Neville would swap Anfield defeat for title glory

Manchester United captain Gary Neville insists he would happily accept two defeats against arch-rivals Liverpool this season if it means retaining the Premier League crown.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were beaten 2-1 and 4-1 by Liverpool last season but still finished four points ahead of Rafa Benitez’s team to win their third successive title.

Ahead of Sunday’s meeting at Anfield, lifelong United fan Neville is adamant he would have no problem with the same scenario this time, even though it would mean suffering two painful losses to the old enemy.

“Liverpool may have beaten us twice in the league last season, but I wouldn’t say we’re looking for revenge,” Neville said.

“When the top teams play against each other it seems to go through cycles and teams have good results and bad results.

“We know anything can happen in these kind of games, so the main thing is not losing.

“The most important thing at the end of the season is winning the league and we’re delighted that we won it last season.

“I suppose we’d rather lose both games again and win the league than beat Liverpool and not win the title.”

Liverpool are in dismal form and could fall 10 points behind United if they lose on Sunday, but Neville believes Benitez’s men could still get back in the title race.

“They haven’t had the best start to the season, but even if we beat them, it would be too early to write off their championship challenge,” he said.

“Teams can win six games on the run and they’ll be back up there again.”

Neville knows he is likely to receive a hostile reception from the Liverpool supporters once again on Sunday after his infamous goal celebration in front of Reds fans at Old Trafford several years ago.

“I don’t get a great reception at Anfield I must say—I’m not their favourite son,” he added.

“No United players get a good reception at Anfield, but it’s the same for their players at our ground and it is to be expected.

“I’ve never said I don’t respect Liverpool. You have to respect a team that has been as successful as they have and has the history and tradition they have.”—AFP

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