As the weeks starting running out last season, the chance of a Manchester United vs Liverpool European Cup final were looking stronger and stronger. Both teams progressed through the rounds, when a semi-final meeting between United and Barcelona, as well as Liverpool and Chelsea, was drawn.
Once United beat Barcelona, we knew it was going to be an all English final, but who was to be our opposition? Our title rivals, Chelsea? Or our hated enemy, Liverpool? Whilst both would have made a tasty clash, I was hoping for the rentboys.
Firstly, because they had endured a season similar to ours, competing for both the title and Champions League, meaning fatigue was as much a problem for them as it was for us. Liverpool, in contrast, dropped out of the title race by the turn of the year, and could afford to rest their players in anticipation of the final. With the race tight at the top, United couldn’t afford to rest their best players, as we would risk losing out on the title.
Secondly, whilst beating Liverpool in the European Cup final would be so sweet, losing against them would be utter misery. I can’t really imagine how you could get over something like that. Everybody would be talking about it for years. We can sing about our successes, whether it’s their five times or out Treble, but them beating us in the Champions League final would be the ultimate trump card, and I wouldn’t be able to stand it.
Fernando Torres has today spoken out about his dream to face United in the final, and score against us, something he’s yet to manage. In fact, he hasn’t had a sniff at goal in both games he’s played against United.
“We all want to score against our big rivals,” said Torres. “I’ll have another chance at Old Trafford this season … or maybe in the Champions League final.”