Hyypia in hopeful mood

Sami Hyypia returns to Old Trafford on Tuesday night hoping his experience with Bayer Leverkusen is more like his best day against Manchester United rather than his worst.

Last Updated: 17/09/13 at 19:44 Post Comment

Sami Hyypia: Leverkusen boss

Sami Hyypia: Leverkusen boss

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

A veteran of a decade's service at Liverpool, Hyypia has plenty of experience on the ground which will mark his debut as a Champions League manager.

Indeed, his final start as a Liverpool player came there, when Fernando Torres inspired a remarkable 4-1 win.

Yet just as sharp in the Finn's memory is a visit six years earlier, in 2003, which did not end quite so well.

"I was sent off after four minutes and watched the rest of the game in the dressing room," he said. "It was the only red card and we lost 4-0.

"You remember those kinds of things but the first one that comes to my mind is playing my last game here, when we managed to win 4-1.

"I only knew I was playing two minutes before kick-off and it was my last 90 minutes for Liverpool."

Signed by Gerard Houllier in 1999, it did not take Hyypia long to recognise the rivalry that existed between Liverpool and United, even if he would prefer to distance himself from it now.

"Coming from Finland, I knew something about the English game and that Liverpool and United were rivals," he added.

"I didn't realise it was quite as fierce as it was though. People started speaking about the United games weeks before they were actually played.

"That kind of stuff means more to the fans though. To us it was just another game, and now I am with Leverkusen, not Liverpool."

Nevertheless, Hyypia understands the enormity of the change United have undergone following Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.

And he hopes to exploit some uncertainty in the Old Trafford camp even if, ultimately, he expects David Moyes to be a success in his new job.

"It is not the first year they have started slowly," said Hyypia.

"They are at home, they have bigger experience in the Champions League and the pressure is on them.

"We are more relaxed but we must make sure we do not show them too much respect.

"David Moyes is an experienced manager though.

"Everyone should give him more time to get things running. I just hope it doesn't happen tomorrow."

Surprise victors over United in the 2002 semi-final, Leverkusen have undergone something of a transition.

They deserve respect, though, given they have started with four wins from five games in the league that supplied both last season's finalists.

Jens Hegeler and Gonzalo Castro have both been ruled out through injury but Hyypia expects to have star man Lars Bender and last season's Bundesliga top scorer Stefan Kiessling available.

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e doesn't need a caoch. He needs a bus. A bloody big one, that he can park across the goal line. And when he gets one, he can do us a favour and let us know where we can buy one from as well.

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: No defence coach

Y

ou are wrong Per, thats the right way the play. Its everyone elses' fault that it doesnt work.

delboy
Mertesacker urges style change

A

s it's panto season coming soon, let me be the first Oh yes you do

munchie
Rodgers: No defence coach

Footer 365

La Liga: Barcelona's Luis Suarez adamant biting days are behind him ahead of El Clasico return against Real Madrid

Barcelona's Luis Suarez is adamant his biting days are behind him as he returns from a four-month ban against Real Madrid.

Transfer news: Van Gaal hints former Barcelona keeper Valdes could stay at Manchester United

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has refused to rule out the possibility of signing goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Premier League: Ronald Koeman looking at European challenge sparked by Dusan Tadic

Ronald Koeman believes Dusan Tadic can spark Southampton into a challenge for Champions League football next season.

Mail Box

'Goals Like That Can Make You Pregnant'

Those being sniffy about Erik Lamela's rabona are given short shrift in the afternoon mailbox, where criticism of Brendan Rodgers is smashed out of the park...

Does David De Gea Need Competition?

It would certainly be a good idea to give Victor Valdes a contract, while we have more mails on Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, the rabona and mailbox gripes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property