The story of a once domineering boy and the new naive players
A long time ago, there was a boy in a country who had aspirations and big dreams. Dreams of becoming the best and dreams about ruling his own country. That boy’s name was Liverpool.
He didn’t have the money but he was lucky as that was the time when money was still considered as a jerry-built to the attributes that defined the real character of a man. So he started to infuse hope into the local people and instead of buying some mercenaries for his army, he chose squaddies for whom passion and loyalty were a priceless commodity, a thing for which they were all ready to die.
To strike a chord in the enemy’s heart, that big boy chose to wear a color resembling blood, encapsulated by hunger for success, indomitable will to rule, and of course irreplaceable loyalty and passion towards their common cause, and it made them a force to be reckoned with, and his army was called “Reds” by everybody.
Soon the reign started and there was nobody to stop them. They destroyed everybody that came in their path and ruled the country with their iron fists. But the big boy wasn’t contented in the victories over his rivals in his own country. To satiate his ever-growing thirst for success, he soon set his sight on the whole continent, and he wasn’t disappointed as he tasted victories after victories in the battles against the best in the world.
Blind by the enormous success, he couldn’t see a man planning to knock the boy off his perch. That man was Manchester United and was called the “Red Devils”. To achieve their long-cherished dream, they tasked a Scottish, whose hatred for the big boy was unspeakable, to make United the best in the country. But the boy was too big for the man at that time and didn’t take his words seriously when he made his aspirations public that “he wants to knock the boy off his perch”.
But that was the first of the many mistakes the boy made after that as the marriage between those two proved to be the biggest nail in the coffin of boy’s reign and to make the matter worse for the big boy he called himself the “Red Devils”
Nothing remained the same after that. But the boy was still not ready to accept the change. He still believed in passion for his duty and his history but those attributes were in wane and money became palpable for buying passion and loyalties.
Backed by enormous money, United started to show its power. The Scot started to build his army around talented mercenaries bought from all around the world. Soon, that over-spending started the period when Scot and his army reached the heights that once made Liverpool a mighty force. The man achieved success after success, while the boy was still content singing songs about his glory days. Success eluded him and he just cursed the effect of money.
Soon other players came into action. Because now they knew the easy way to success and it was money. No efforts to nurture a talent, they threw the money and bought the best. Long gone were the days when success was molded at home by the homegrown boys. Now the money was everything and the armies named “The Blues” (Chelsea) and the “The Citizens” (Manchester City) spent in millions on new mercenaries and thus money became even too important to rule as they too tasted success.
But there was still something to hang on to for that boy. It was the history. All those boys were new players and naive to think that they are as big a name as he once was. Even their recruit and mercenaries knew this heartbreaking fact. Just like their best soldier in Kevin de Bruyne who accepts that it will take another 50 years for his team to match the success of Liverpool.
Now take a look at something that even money couldn’t buy for Manchester City.
The Citizens have not won at Anfield in the Premier League for nearly 15 years - bad news for the league leaders ahead of their trip to Liverpool.
City have lost 14 of their 20 meetings at Liverpool during the modern top-flight era, snatching their sole victory with a 2-1 win in May 2003 - when current City winger Leroy Sane was just seven years old.
During that period, the Manchester club suffered their heaviest defeat against the Reds in October 1995 when Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler notched two apiece, while Jamie Redknapp and Neil Ruddock completed a 6-0 rout.
In total, City have shipped 40 league goals at Anfield since 1992 and only scored 17, having lost each fixture since 2013/14 - despite ending each term with a superior league standing.
This season, Pep Guardiola's side are undefeated and 15 points clear top of the table, with 20 wins from 22 games - scoring a league-high 64 goals and conceding a league-low 13.
However, Guardiola will be confident his side can finally break the 15-year Anfield hoodoo following their 5-0 victory over Jurgen Klopp's men at the Etihad in September.
That result was City's biggest winning margin over Liverpool, in all competitions, home or away, since winning by the same scoreline during WWII, at Anfield in October 1945.
Will City break the Anfield curse?