Despite a plea from Alex Ferguson for supporters of both Liverpool and Manchester United to show restraint and sensitivity, with the manager pointing out that "both clubs had suffered fatalities through football," some at Old Trafford could be heard chanting "Always the victim, it's never your fault" last Saturday when Wigan visited. United loyalists have argued it was a chant only offering comment on Luis Suarez, but given the timing and opponent—a side not Liverpool days after the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report—that line of reasoning is almost impossible to swallow.
Given those unfortunate events and what can often be a rather heated rivalry between the two sides and their fans, Ferguson has again called for restraint, this time while offering an olive branch of support to Liverpool and the club's supporters ahead of United's visit to Anfield—the first home match for Liverpool following last Wednesday's landmark report on Hillsborough.
"It is going to be a very emotional day on Sunday and we will support them in every way we can," said the United manager. "As a club we are totally supportive of Liverpool in the situation they are in. We understand what those families must have felt when they got that report."
As for the chants heard when United hosted Wigan, he added, "I didn't hear it, but others did, particularly in the directors' box. [Chief executive] David Gill was disappointed. I was disappointed to hear [about] it. It is a minority. But in society there is a minority wanting to be heard."
We don't often find ourselves on the same page as Alex Ferguson around these parts, but on this occasion we can only agree with him and hope that on Sunday the focus is on remembering the 96 in a respectful fashion and on the football, with no need to talk about the actions of a few misbehaving fans.