Steven Gerrard wrote that he wanted Manchester United “to die” in his autobiography, whatever that means. Wayne Rooney said this week that he “hates” Liverpool. And?

Apparently it’s a big deal though, leading Sir Alex Ferguson to play down the meaning behind Rooney’s words today.

“As David Moyes has pointed out, the rivalry between Everton and Liverpool is now ferocious,” said Fergie. “And now that Wayne has come to Manchester United, he obviously wants us to win, so I don’t think it was anything out of the ordinary. The word wasn’t used the right way. Everyone uses the word ‘hatred’ because it’s easy to say. Nobody uses the word ‘dislike.’ Hate is an easy word to use, but it doesn’t mean a lot really.”

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