Gary Neville admits the success being enjoyed by Liverpool at present is “worse than a funeral” for Manchester United and their loyal army of supporters.
While the Red Devils have been knocked from a lofty perch, their arch-rivals from Anfield have stepped up onto it.
Jurgen Klopp’s class of 2019-20 are already Champions League winners and are now eight points clear in the race for the Premier League.
United, with 13 crowns to their name in the modern era, are having to watch on from afar and are sat a long way off the pace at home and abroad.
Neville admits that is difficult to take for everyone at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils legend telling Sky Sports after seeing Liverpool overcome title rivals Manchester City on Sunday: "It's as painful as it gets. I have worn all black today with a black tie as well.
"It was a funeral match today, it was worse than a funeral. This is my funeral and you are witnessing it as we speak.
"Manchester United fought for 20-odd years to get a title back and keep it away from Liverpool, the one club that can compete with United in terms of global fanbase, scale, tradition, history, success.
"If they get a Premier League title under their belt, they become a real power.
"In football, when a group of fans love a manager, love a group of players and you see that triangle of the manager, players and fans coming together, it's so powerful. It's a spirit that's difficult to break.”
Neville once formed part of a star-studded United squad which swept aside all before them under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Klopp is now looking to do likewise at Liverpool, with many of the traits which once made the Red Devils so successful now prominent in the plans of their old adversaries.
Neville added: "It's painful to watch because this Liverpool team have a lot of the qualities from the Manchester United teams I was part of; winning games late, that never-say-die attitude, looking desperate every single time to win the ball back, celebrating every goal like it's the last goal they will ever score.
"As a Manchester United fan it's awful to be at Anfield watching it, but you have to respect it.
"I watch football all the time and you see teams that are struggling to connect with their fans, or managers. We must recognise when a team is very good, and this Liverpool team is very good."