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

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.

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

bright and edgy
Sturridge: Right to leave City

O

h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

ajsr1982
Eye On The Experts: John Motson

M

an who resembles bond villain complains about spies ....brillliant

mrjackson
Palace deny spying accusation

Footer 365

Luton Town promoted to Football League after winning Conference Premier title

Luton Town have won promotion from the Conference Premier - ending a five-year absence from the Football League.

Premier League: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce frustrated to lose lead at Arsenal

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admitted his frustration at his side's inability to hold their lead in the loss at Arsenal.

Premier League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hails importance of West Ham win

Arsene Wenger hailed the importance of Arsenal's victory over West Ham as his side came from behind to win 3-1.

Mail Box

Worried Liverpool Will Become A Selling Club

Liverpool fans in the mailbox are not too worried about sour grapes from United supporters, but one admits he's scared the Reds could end up selling their best players...

United Should Have Gone For Bruce And Hughes

A mailbox asking why United did not go for two old boys over Moyes, what Wenger's targets were for the season and whether he's had a better season than Pellegrini..?

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