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Liverpool myth brutally exposed as Gary Neville makes an ‘appalling’ claim

Liverpool myth brutally exposed as Gary Neville makes an ‘appalling’ claim

Liverpool’s lowest last season was the Merseyside derby, in a season marked by more troughs than peaks.

After banging their chests about an unbroken Anfield record dating back to September 1999 against Everton, a grotesquely distorted tenure reached its lowest point with a 2-0 defeat at home to their fiercest local rivals in February last year.

The fact that the record was broken inside an empty stadium may have lessened the blow for some, but at the time, it only served to emphasize a squad in freefall, as they lost four consecutive home games for the first time since 1923.

It was a dreadful way to equal a dreadful record that had stood for 98 years, and to make matters worse, it was a game in which Jordan Henderson joined Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, and Joe Gomez on the sidelines with season-ending injuries.

They would eventually add two more defeats to that streak, making it six in a row for the first time in club history. Thankfully, that seems like a long time ago.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s 240th encounter between two ancient adversaries, it’s tempting to argue that, with the benefit of hindsight, defeat has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Liverpool will no longer go into their match against Everton with the subtle gnawing of such a record perhaps falling by the wayside.

It was had to happen at some point, and the fact that it happened in a behind-closed-doors game will have made the humiliation a little more bearable for fans than it would have been if 3,000 Blues were in the away end on Anfield Road.

Liverpool are unrecognisable from the injury-plagued group that was down on its luck at the time, and there is a school of thinking that assertions that they have a tougher run-in than title rivals Manchester City are a bit of a fallacy.

At least this week, where the Reds will have played both Manchester United and Everton by Sunday evening.

On Tuesday night, it was Gary Neville who, despite being suffering from the disgrace of United’s Anfield stupor, was still able to find the nail’s head with the hammer when it came to Liverpool.

“In the Premier League, we’ve looked at [Manchester] City and thought that’s an easy run-in, but actually that’s because we’re looking at a Merseyside derby and Manchester United, which in an ordinary season would be tough, those two teams are appalling, they could be easier than any of the teams than any of the teams Manchester City have got,” Neville said.

While a pre-judging of Everton’s Anfield performance may appear harsh, the fact that they take their shortest trip of the season with one of the worst away-day records in all of English football this season does not bode well against a team that will have gone over five years since a home Premier League defeat in front of their fans by Sunday afternoon.

Neville’s heinous accusation has, whether indirectly or directly, demolished the myth of a week that would ordinarily be regarded as one of the most difficult of the season at Anfield. After all, Liverpool has won 13-1 in three games this season against both Manchester United and Everton.

That is why, just like on Tuesday night, Jurgen Klopp’s team will have to take on the players in the shirts rather than the badge on their chests. If they achieve that, they are certain to take another important three points as the Premier League title race with City appears to be coming down to the wire.

Whatever happens, Reds fans will be able to raise a glass to the return of the ‘real’ Anfield derby, which hasn’t occurred since December 2019.


Liverpool myth brutally exposed as Gary Neville makes an ‘appalling’ claim

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