OPINION

HARTE OF THE MATTER: Liverpool v Man Utd, is it irrelevant?

Rangers v Celtic derby was a great watch

Jimmy Harte

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Jimmy Harte

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editorial@donegaldemocrat.com

HARTE OF THE MATTER:  Liverpool v Man Utd, is it irrelevant?

The recent game between Man United and Liverpool was certainly a must-see and it put a few questions to bed regarding their development over the last few years.

Over the years these two clubs have dominated soccer in England. However, we now see a changing of the guard in England with Man City well and truly the team to beat.

After their win over Stoke last Monday, they find themselves 16 points ahead in the Premiership. This is unprecedented in modern soccer. Both Utd and Liverpool are vying for second place and the prospect of Man City dominating English soccer is very real as Pep Guardiola has shown how his style is suited to winning the Premiership by a long margin.

He has blended the defensive qualities with an attacking flair that is unrivaled in English soccer since United and Liverpool did it in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. City perhaps might even dominate European football for many years into the future.

Man City have one of the most perfect, albeit, expensive squads (£350 million) in football which makes Wigan's victory over them recently even more incredible. Wigan had eight players signed on free transfers and goalscorer, Northern Ireland's Will Grigg, is their most expensive player at £1.3 million.

They toppled the soon to be crowned Premier League Champions in spite of having only 17.5 % possession. To give this even more context if needed, Accrington Stanley beat Wigan this year. It was probably the greatest success for a lower league team over a Premier League team.

Where does that leave Man Utd and Liverpool FC for the next few years? Playing catch-up in the Premiership for a quite a while I think, which is increasingly taking the shine off their once fierce derby.

However, that seems to be far from the case in Scotland. The victory by Celtic over Rangers last weekend showed that football is on the up in Scotland. The Old Firm is back and it was a thrilling game played by two attacking teams. I think the game turned when Celtic got the equaliser on the stroke of half time to leave it 2-2 and despite Celtic having a man sent off they were worthy winners on the day when some credibility was returned to Scottish football.

Brendan Rodgers' appearance at a Celtic function next weekend in Letterkenny shows how closely Celtic are tied to Donegal supporters. And I’m sure the support will grow over the next few years.