Louis van Gaal has denied that Liverpool are the “enemy” of Manchester United, claiming they are just another opponent.
Van Gaal has faced – and beaten – Liverpool four different times during his Old Trafford tenure, and the two clubs will face each other again in the Europa League round of 16. The first leg is on Thursday.
“You have to win, in both cases I think,” Van Gaal said before the game. “It is no different, although Liverpool against Manchester United is always a big game, traditionally I think, historical, and now, especially as both teams fight for a Champions League position so it’s a big game for both sides I think.”
Asked whether he perceived Liverpool as an ‘enemy’, the Dutchman replied: “I don’t think like that. I think they are an opponent and we want to beat that opponent.
“It’s curious we have beaten Liverpool so many times under me. When I beat teams like Liverpool then the appreciation is higher.
“I hope we shall beat them for the fifth time and the sixth time but more for the fans than myself.
“I want to win every game and when I lose I am very disappointed. You can see that – my body language is very expressive,” Van Gaal added.
“I think football in England is very deep in the life of the people, of course I have noticed that also in Spain and Germany but that was less deep than here.
“It’s fantastic to see that, that’s also one aspect why I wanted to come here, to have that experience.
“It is also sometimes what I can see too much, but I like to see it because you can see the heart of the club and also the feeling that they are with you every game. It’s nice for the players and for the manager.”