Xherdan Shaqiri has revealed how a number of his friends are blaming him for Manchester United parting with Jose Mourinho, with his double for Liverpool against the Red Devils leading to a managerial axe being wielded.
The Swizterland international stepped off the bench during a Premier League fixture at Anfield on December 16 to net a match-winning double.
With those efforts having helped Jurgen Klopp’s side to a first victory over their old adversaries in eight attempts, drastic action was taken by deflated opponents.
The contest proved to be the last for Mourinho as United manager, with his contract having been torn up and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appointed on an interim basis in his place.
On the role he played in a high-profile departure from Old Trafford, Shaqiri said:
“I had a lot of messages from my friends when it happened.
“There were a lot of good messages about the United game at first and then, when the news came out about Mourinho, I had messages saying: ‘That’s your fault!’ But this is football sometimes.
“I don’t think it was just because we won that game that United wanted to change their manager.
“There were other reasons but it means the game goes down in history. It will always be in my history too.”
While United are preparing to make a fresh start in what has been a testing 2018-19 campaign to date, Liverpool are riding high at the top of the Premier League table.
Shaqiri has helped to put them there, with the 27-year-old proving to be quite the bargain for Klopp following a £13 million ($16m) summer move from Stoke.
He has made important contributions from the start and off the bench, but fierce competition for places means that he is not guaranteed to figure on a regular basis.
“Every player wants to play, that’s pretty normal,” Shaqiri added on his role at Anfield.
“Every player is unhappy when he’s on the bench, that’s pretty normal too. But it’s football, only 11 players can start and the coach has his game-plan for each game.”
Liverpool return to action on Friday night with a tricky trip to an in-form Wolves side looking to secure a fourth successive victory in the English top-flight.