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Liverpool legend John Arne Riise re-lives epic 2001 strike against Manchester United

4 Nov 2001:  Joy for Liverpool goalscorer John Arne Riise during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Liverpool and Manchester United played at Anf
Image: John Arne Riise celebrates his famous goal against Manchester United

John Arne Riise's thunderbolt for Liverpool against Manchester United turned him into an instant hero for the red half of Merseyside in 2001.

Ahead of the visit of Jose Mourinho's side to Anfield, live on Monday Night Football, Riise tells Sky Sports how he scored the goal that gave birth to one of the most recognisable football songs of the Premier League era.

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"It was just one of those times when things just went the way you hoped they would. I could never have dreamed of scoring that kind of goal," said the flame-haired Norwegian.

"It was the first time I'd played against Manchester United, a team that had David Beckham and all of their big boys in it. I just told Didi Hamann to push the ball one-and-a-half yards and I smashed it. I didn't even feel like I'd hit it but 15 years later I still get asked about it.

04 Nov 2001:  John Arne Riise of Liverpool scores from a free kick during the FA Barclaycard Premiership game between Liverpool and Manchester United at An
Image: Riise takes the shot that made him an instant hit with Liverpool fans

"I used to spend five or six hours a day practising my shooting technique when I was young so it didn't come for free but sometimes things are just meant to be. It was a good goal, it's followed me around ever since and it put me straight into the hearts of the fans."

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Watch Liverpool’s top five goals against Manchester United

Riise left Liverpool for Rome in 2008 but Reds fans still sing his song - to the tune of Bruce Channel's Sixties classic 'Hey Baby' - to this very day.

"It so difficult for me to describe what that feels like," added Riise, who is currently playing for Indian Super league champions Chennaiyin FC.

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John Arne Riise (L) says Rafael Benitez (R) is the best coach he has ever worked under
Image: Riise was part of the Liverpool side that won the Champions League in 2005

"I get texts from friends in Liverpool on matchdays when they sing my song in the pubs before the game and at the stadium.

"It's been a long time since I was there, I left eight years ago and I could never have hoped for or dreamt of that. It shows that I did something right in my seven years there and it's one of the reasons why I love - and always will love -Liverpool. It's my club."

Delhi Dynamos FC's Milan Singh (R) vies for the ball with Chennaiyin FC's defender John Arne Riise
Image: The Norwegian is in his second stint playing in the Indian Super League

United are three points behind Liverpool ahead of the Red Monday clash with their bitter rivals, and Riise feels the onus is on Mourinho's side to come away from Anfield with a positive result.

"It's one of the biggest games you can play in," he said. "Wherever you go in the world there seem to be more fans of Liverpool and Manchester United than any other team.

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Riise recreates his famous free-kick against United

"But I think as it stands this game is more important for Jose Mourinho than Jurgen Klopp because he needs to turn things around and show his team are still capable of challenging at the top.

"It's a big game for both teams but for me Mourinho is under more pressure now."

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