MANCHESTER, UK: Jose Mourinho’s resurgent Manchester United will attempt to reel in arch rivals Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp’s faltering side visit Old Trafford in Sunday’s (Monday in Manila) Premier League headline clash.
United have won their last nine games in all competitions — their best run since an 11-match winning streak in early 2009 — while Liverpool are still to win a game in 2017.
Mourinho’s men needed an ultra-defensive performance to secure a 0-0 draw at Anfield when the teams last met in October, but three months on, his team is now firing on all cylinders.
“Because the results are better, that changes a lot of things,” the United manager said.
“You know, at that time I had less time of working together with my players. Now I have a little bit more.
“We know each other better, we have a certain way of thinking football, we have a certain way to play football.
“We don’t just have good performances, we have also the happiness of the good results.”
United’s trip to Anfield fell during a troubling sequence that saw them win just twice in 11 league outings.
But although they have sat in sixth place for over two months, they have closed to within five points of Liverpool, who slipped to fourth after Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal overtook them on Saturday.
A key factor in United’s revival has been the improved form of record signing Paul Pogba, who has seemed liberated since Michael Carrick was brought into the team to anchor the midfield.
The France midfielder has scored three goals and supplied three assists in his last 10 games and credits Mourinho with giving him the freedom to play his natural game.
“He said, ‘You know how to play, do what you want,’” Pogba told the BBC. “He let me free on the pitch.
“He told me just to enjoy myself. That is it. That is all I need to hear from the manager.”