Even prior to an ultimately meaningless pre-season clash, Jose Mourinho couldn't help but engage in his trademark mind games.

It is three years since, speaking ahead of his Manchester United team facing Liverpool in a friendly in Michigan, the Portuguese completely unnecessarily took aim at the opposition.

The Reds had just enjoyed one of their busiest summer transfer windows in some time, adding Fabinho,Naby Keita,Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson Becker to a squad that had lost the Champions League final the season prior.

And, according to Mourinho, that meant that they deserved to face pressure from the media going into the new campaign.

“Maybe this season finally you demand that they win," the wily former Porto and Chelsea boss declared to reporters.

Mourinho probably felt that stance was justified three days later when United suffered a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of their rivals in front of over 100,000 fans.

Not that he was keen to offer any praise to the opposition, instead preferring to publicly hammer his own players.

“We are not playing here to improve the team, the dynamic or our routines," he said.

"We are playing just to try to survive and not have some ugly results.

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"Alexis [Sanchez] is the only attacking player that we have. We don’t have wingers, we don’t have strikers. He is the only one who is here and the poor man is trying his best with the frustration of somebody who wants more.”

Still, the gauntlet had been thrown down to Liverpool, whose two-and-a-half seasons under Jurgen Klopp had featured three cup final defeats.

But if they were feeling the pressure of that trophy drought, it did not tell in their performances.

The Reds made a remarkable start to the new season to go top the Premier League and progress beyond a tough Champions League group before the turn of the year.

The month of December also saw them emphasise their superiority over United, claiming a 3-1 victory that resulted in Mourinho's reign coming to an early end.

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However, any satisfaction gleaned from that sacking would not have lasted long had it not been followed by Liverpool earning the silverware they were told was a minimum expectation.

Fortunately, after missing out on the title on the very last day, the Reds beat Tottenham in Madrid to lift the Champions League.

It is a victory that set them on the path to claiming a further three trophies in the form of the Premier League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.

In the meantime, Mourinho has joined Spurs, been sacked after failing to live up to expectations, and now finds himself at AS Roma.

He has a big job on his hands in the Italian capital to simply restore the Giallorossi to the Champions League so that they might even compete with clubs like Liverpool.

But, should he ultimately achieve that, Mourinho might think twice about trying mind games on Klopp.

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