Jose Mourinho asks supporters to behave ahead of United-Liverpool game
Mourinho said he was looking forward to the game in Anfield. Photograph: (Reuters)
Ahead of Monday's game against Liverpool, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has asked supporters of both teams to show restraint when two of football's fiercest rivals face-off in the Premier League.
"In football, we have some 'football tragedies', which is the big match that you lost, the mistake that some player did and you can make fun of it in a positive way. But the human tragedy is something much, much more serious and I think is the last thing somebody should use on a football pitch, Mourinho told the press. "These need our respect, so I would be really sad if in such a big football match that was a negative point."
He was referring to last season's Europa League last-16 tie when both clubs were fined for chants mocking the Hillsborough and Munich tragedies faced by their teams.
In 1958, 23 people, including eight United players, died after their plane caught fire and crashed in Munich. In 1989, 96 Liverpool fans died after being crushed during an FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough.
On Thursday, the two clubs also warned their supporters to behave in a joint statement.
Mourinho, who has faced Liverpool many times as Chelsea manager, also said he was looking forward to the match at Anfield and liked the atmosphere there.
"I always like to play at Anfield. I won many times there, I also lost. I won big matches, I lost big matches. I cannot say I like to go there because I'm always successful because it's not true. I like to go there, I like the atmosphere, said the Portuguese.
"Being Man United manager obviously means something more because we cannot compare the historical rivalry between my previous club and Liverpool, Man United and Liverpool," he added. "I'm in England for a long time. Obviously I never played this match but I played many times against Liverpool, United. I understand the dimension of the clubs and now I understand better the history between the rivals."
"In the end, it's just a big match. It can be comparable to Milan v Inter Milan, (Real) Madrid v Barcelona, maybe Porto v Benfica, maybe comparable to one of these matches."
He also clarified that the outcome would not impact United's season.
"The season for me is not about the Anfield match though, or Old Trafford in January. It's about many matches, many points to win, many points to lose and targets to achieve."
(WION with inputs from Reuters)