Steven Gerrard after the Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa, December 2021.

Watch: Steven Gerrard is raucously booed as he emerges at Old Trafford

Aston Villa Steven Gerrard was never and will never be the most popular man among Manchester United fans, and they rowdily reminded him of that fact as he emerged from the tunnel for Villa’s FA Cup third-round tie on Monday night.

Gerrard is a Liverpool legend, having captained the Reds for over a decade and helped them to seven major trophies during his career.

They were the only English club he ever played for and it is widely accepted that, so long as he makes a reasonable fist of his current role as head coach at Villa Park, he will one day return to Anfield to sit in the dugout.

What does all that mean to Manchester United fans? Well, that Gerrard is public enemy number one.

The animosity between Manchester United and Liverpool, as the two giants of football in the North West and England’s two most successful clubs, is long-running.

Gerrard was the conductor for much of that hatred for many a year and upon his return as manager, it was never going to be any different, even with him representing a different club.

Before the game, Gerrard had said: “Anfield and Old Trafford, these are places that history tells you are really tough places to go, to win games of football against top teams and top players.

“But these are environments and teams you want to test yourself and compete against, I’m sure the players share those thoughts.”

When Gerrard emerged from the tunnel in the corner of the Stretford End, he was greeted with loud boos that rang around the famous old stadium.

And as the fans booed, Gerrard could be seen allowing himself a little moment of quiet enjoyment, turning to face the Stretford End and soak in the, err, adulation.

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