Liverpool fans haven't always enjoyed their season, having started it in a poor fashion with a manager who ended up getting sacked two months into the season. Manchester United fans haven't had a lot of fun this season either, having also played poorly and being saddled with a manager who seems like he's on the verge of getting sacked before, after, and even probably sometimes during a match.
Few on the Red side of Merseyside will have much sympathy for the struggles of Louis van Gaal and his Red Devils, but the manager's internal bargaining will feel all too familiar. Managers, players, and fans alike have to believe that a good run of form is always just around the corner after a string of poor results, and LvG is no exception to that rule.
"I agree that the Liverpool game was not one of our best performances but we haven't been playing like that all season," van Gaal said, conveniently forgetting any and all previous instances of poor play by his team this season. "There are games when we have played better. After the defeat to Midtjylland I was sacked according to the media, but we stood up again in the next match and put a run of wins together. Maybe that could still happen in the second leg with Liverpool, and it is also possible that we can beat West Ham in the FA Cup.
"I think it is working, though the circumstances are sometimes difficult and we are not always getting the best results. We are not playing well enough to be champions, but it is still possible to win the Europa League or the FA Cup. We have a lot still to fight for. If we go out of one of the cups it is a difficult situation for everyone, but we still have the chance to win something and we have to keep believing we can."
Manchester United face West Ham in FA Cup action in the late game on Sunday. Liverpool fans who would be pulling for a Hammers' victory as a matter of principle will be doubly hoping for them to knock out United if only to extend a dire period of play for Louis van Gaal's men until Liverpool face them again on Thursday in a deciding Europa League tie.