ALEX FERGUSON measures everything he says, mindful of the importance of placing the correct emphasis on every word, yet he might just have missed the irony in his call for Liverpool not to ”throw their history away” by easing Chelsea’s path to victory at Anfield on Sunday.Ferguson said he was ”confident” Liverpool would be trying.”Great clubs don’t throw their history away; they don’t throw their traditions away for one game.”The Manchester United manager knew exactly what he was doing, defying the present team to diminish their predecessors’ memory by offering Chelsea a leg-up towards the title and thereby keeping the trophy out of United’s clutches. If Liverpool answer Ferguson’s call and deny Chelsea victory, then Rafael Benitez’s players will be helping to erase the club’s name from the history books anyway by nudging United towards their 19th title – a record that would eclipse Liverpool’s 18.Little wonder that the Kop will be unusually muted when Benitez’s team trot out against Chelsea.It is a no-win situation for Liverpool and their supporters but, perversely, Ferguson would not have United’s fate in the hands of any other club. In 1995, United’s century-old rivals almost sent the Premier League trophy back to Old Trafford by defeating Blackburn, managed by Liverpool icon Kenny Dalglish, on the final day of the season.Liverpool did their bit, only for United to falter at West Ham.History, tradition and a respect for the integrity of competition. All three are ingrained in Liverpool’s psyche, which is why Ferguson is content to trust Benitez’s players ahead of United’s 4pm kick-off against Sunderland on Wearside.”In 1995, it was exactly the same; the similarities were there. We depended and hoped on Liverpool producing and we got that.”Roy Evans, the Liverpool manager, talked to me and said, ‘You have to earn the right to win the title’ and that stands today.”OK, there were a lot of English players in that Liverpool team at the time and they understood the traditions of the club, but I don’t think there has been such a swing that the players don’t understand the history of Liverpool.”They have been in 11 European finals and have won 18 titles. That is a fantastic history and you don’t throw that away.”Do you think their fans want to go home saying that their team capitulated and didn’t even try? Of course not.”Telegraph, London
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