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Man City and Liverpool fans’ relentless toxicity shows a new Premier League rivalry is in town

Man City and Liverpool fans have grown obsessed with each other's movements after a season of going neck and neck

The Premier League season finished nearly a month ago.

But try telling that to some Man City and Liverpool fans.

It is perhaps a true indication of how far Man United have fallen that their two biggest rivals now seem more occupied and bothered by each other than the Red Devils.

Neck and neck

PA:Press Association
Neck and neck

In previous years City and Liverpool saw a common interest; the enemy of your enemy is your friend, after all.

Not anymore.

The narrative amongst the keyboard warriors is already clear this summer – this season’s top two represent a new, unrelenting bitterness which their respective fanbases have fully bought in to.

Any suggestion that the two would put their differences aside during the off-season has been instantly vanquished.

Every move Virgil van Dijk makes is now being microscopically examined and scrutinised, with City supporters lining up to cash in on any mistake made by the PFA Player of the Year.

Van Dijk was roundly booed by a selection of the travelling England support in Guimaraes,while a clip of a tasty duel with City’s Raheem Sterling went viral.

Sterling initially seemed to edge the contest before he was duly dispossessed and flattened for having the temerity to even consider leaving Van Dijk with egg on his face.

What did we learn from this? Is Van Dijk a fraud for initially losing out to Sterling? Is Sterling a bigger fraud for hitting the turf? What even is a fraud anymore?

City fans will feel one of their own exacted some revenge after Bernardo Silva ’embarrassed’ Van Dijk in the Nations League final on Sunday night.

But how can Bernardo even show his face in public after Gini Wijnaldum ‘sent him for a hot dog’ in the same game?

That’s just three days worth of content ahead of a long summer. It’s net spend this, FFP that.

While the social media side of things might be petty, it does represent a genuine shift in the Premier League psyche.

City and Liverpool’s rivalry has all the ingredients to become a modern day version of the battle between Sir Alex Ferguson’s United and Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.

Competition is healthy and instead of several great pretenders dreaming of dethroning City, they have a genuine contender for the crown.

Does Pep have more reason to stay?

Does Pep have more reason to stay?

What’s more, there are suggestions that Pep Guardiola could opt to extend his stay in England if his rivalry with Jurgen Klopp develops further.

The goalposts have moved and the enemy has a new identity.

This could be just the start of a momentous tussle for supremacy and if you didn’t know it yet, their fans will bring you up to speed in no time.

As for United, it’s a long journey back to relevancy from here.