The roots of the rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool F.C. lie in the illustrious history of the two cities. It is claimed that Manchester built a canal and it started eating into the money earned by the merchants from Liverpool. History repeated itself; as the glory era of Liverpool in English Football was replicated and to a certain extent overshadowed by Alex Ferguson led Manchester United team. There are no signs of the rivalry cooling down between the two giants of Football. Below are few of the top five clashes between the two old foes:
Manchester United Vs Liverpool (Premier League, 1995-96), Result: 2-2
This was a significant match as Eric “The King” Cantona was making a comeback for Manchester United after serving his eight month long ban for his kung fu kick to a Crystal Palace supporter. United went one goal up in the match when Cantona played a delightful ball from the left flank as Nicky Butt pounced on the opportunity and scored. The response from Liverpool was a double by Liverpool’s Robbie Fowler as he scored a screamer followed by another clinically finished strike to put the visitors ahead. Twenty minutes from time, again a move started by Cantona ended in Giggs being tripped in the penalty area and the Frenchmen scored from the spot and completed his comeback to the team. This match was instrumental in getting Manchester United back in the title race and followed by famous rant of Kevin Keegan, United were eventually crowned champions as the Newcastle United capitulated in the end.
Manchester United Vs Liverpool (Premier League, 2002-03), Result: 4-0
A victory with a four goal margin in this fixture was last seen 50 years back as Manchester United then defeated by Liverpool 5-1. In this fixture in 2002-03, Manchester United was put ahead by a brace from the Dutch Ruud Van Nistelrooy, followed by strikes from evergreen Giggs and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. This victory was on route to another Premier League triumph for Red Devils under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Manchester United Vs Liverpool (Premier League, 2008-09), Result: 1-4
Manchester United was on their way to another Premiership trophy and the only team sitting between them and the trophy was Liverpool. This was in fact the campaign where a Benitez led Liverpool’s team came the closest to securing the Premiership trophy. Manchester United started strongly and went ahead with a penalty which was scored by Ronaldo. Thereafter it was all about Liverpool as they put four past United’s defense. This match also highlighted Vidic’s plight in controlling Torres as he received his second red card in the season against Liverpool. This was one of Manchester United’s biggest thumping from their rivals however they still went on to regain their third title in a row.
Manchester United Vs Liverpool (Premier League, 2011-12), Result: 2-1
This match was marked as a comeback match for Liverpool’s talisman Suarez. He was banned following a racism row involving him and Patrice Evra. All the drama in this match happened before and after the ninety minutes. At the beginning Suarez refused the customary handshake with Evra and as a result was snubbed by Rio Ferdinand and Danny Welbeck. At the end of the match as United came out as winners, Patrice Evra celebrated in front of Suarez and thus giving him a fitting sendoff to the Uruguayan following his snub earlier in the match.
Manchester United Vs Liverpool (Premier League, 2013-14), Result: 0-3
Liverpool earned a double over Manchester United after running riot at Old Trafford and winning against a lackluster United’s side under David Moyes. Following a two penalty strikes from Gerrard, Suarez signed off his Liverpool stint on a winning note against one of his most controversial opponents. This match also was the beginning of the end for the David Moyes regime as the Manchester United’s side was not up for this fixture at any point in time.
What lies ahead on Sunday is surely a belter of a match. The aforementioned moments in key matches helps in making this rivalry, one of the most viewed spectacles in the world of football.
Image Source: Mirror (UK)