From the Vault: Top 10 Premier League games between Manchester United and Liverpool
Written by: Waseem Zaidi
The two giants will renew one of the longest and most decorated rivalries in world football.
The North West derby played between one of the oldest and the biggest clubs in England is back when Manchester United host bitter rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday. No matter where either of the two clubs lay in the Premier League table, this fixture takes the highest priority every season.
Whenever these two sides clash on the field, there is always an air of tension and excitement. The two sets of fans loathe each other and the resulting chants create a sort of an atmosphere which can be best described as volatile. While the winners take the bragging rights, there is always exceptional football at a display for the neutrals.
Currently, United are forging a resurgence under the caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, which has seen them climb up to the fourth position on the table. On the other hand, Liverpool are in a tight race for the league title sitting second in the standings.
The upcoming tie gives us a perfect opportunity to shift our focus towards ten of the most memorable encounters between Manchester United and Liverpool.
10. Manchester United 4 - 0 Liverpool ( 5 April 2003 )
Watch: That brace from the Dutchman
The match is remembered for a howler of a performance from the Liverpool centre-back, Sami Hyppia. The stopper gave away a penalty and was also sent-off in a crunch tie played at Old Trafford. United demolished their rivals with a brace from Ruud Van Nistelrooy and a goal each from Ryan Giggs and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The margin of the defeat made the loss even more embarrassing for the Reds.
9. Manchester United 1 - 4 Liverpool ( 14 March 2009 )
Watch: Fernando Torres was a different player at Liverpool
It was the period when Fernando Torres was setting the league scoring charts on fire. The Spanish striker was a constant menace for United’s stopper Nemanja Vidic. The match was nothing short of a nightmare for the Serbian who gave away a penalty and also got himself sent off. Goals from Torres, Gerrard, Fabio Aurelio and Andrea Dossena handed a humiliating defeat for the hosts. The iconic image of Gerrard kissing the camera took place in this very match.
8. Manchester United 3 - 2 Liverpool ( 19 September 2010 )
Watch: Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick in this thrilling encounter
Dimitar Berbatov had one of his best performances in the United shirt during this game. Scoring a hat-trick, the Bulgarian stamped his authority on the game and was the difference between the two sides. A brace from their captain Steven Gerrard was not enough for Liverpool who left Old Trafford empty-handed.
The sublime overhead kick from Berbatov is still hailed as one of the best goals in any United vs Liverpool fixture ever that not only left Pepe Reina flat footed but also the rest of the stadium which took a few seconds to grasp the magic on display by the forward.
7. Liverpool 3 - 1 Manchester United ( 6 March 2011 )
Watch: Dirk Kuyt made Anfield rise up to its feet
Manchester United’s title-winning season had a bitter taste due to the manner of the defeat received by the hands of their fierce rivals. In one of the heaviest defeats of an otherwise dominant season for the Red Devils, the highlight of the game came during the half-time mark when both sides were involved in a brawl after Carragher fouled Nani that required the Portuguese to be stretchered off. A hattrick from Dirk Kuyt was enough to seal the victory for the Merseyside club.
6. Manchester United 0 - 3 Liverpool ( 16 March 2014 )
Watch: Luis Suarez was on fire that season
In a season when Liverpool did the double over their rivals, the manner of how it was achieved left a bitter taste in the mouths of the United faithful. Before ‘slipping up’ in the title race, Liverpool put more misery on the head of then United manager, David Moyes, by handing a humiliating defeat to the hosts. A Gerrard brace and a goal from Daniel Sturridge coupled with Nemanja Vidic’s red card was enough for the visitors to take away all three points.
5. Liverpool 1 - 2 Manchester United ( 21 March 2015 )
Watch: Steven Gerrard lasted just 38 seconds on the pitch
Juan Mata cemented his place in every United fan’s heart by winning the tie at Anfield by scoring an overhead goal in front of the Kop end. He also opened the scoring for the visitors who were then managed by Louis Van Gaal. The match is also remembered for the incident where Steven Gerrard came off the bench and got sent-off within 38 seconds after having stomped on Ander Herrera. This was also the last game for the Englishman against Manchester United which ended on a rather distasteful note for the Liverpool legend.
4. Manchester United 3 - 1 Liverpool ( 12 September 2015 )
Watch: Anthony Martial marked his debut with a wonderful solo goal
Before the game, the headlines were dominated by a certain last-minute signing which made fans of Manchester United wonder, “Who is Anthony Martial?” That question was conveniently answered by the Frenchman who introduced himself in a sublime manner to the United fans. In one of the most iconic moments of any United vs Liverpool match, Martial justified his £58 million price tag by weaving around three defenders from the left-wing and finishing a Henry-like goal in the bottom corner.
Goals from Ander Herrera and Daley Blind prior to that strike were enough to cancel out Christian Benteke’s outrageous overhead goal.
3. Manchester United 2 - 1 Liverpool ( 11 February 2012 )
A game that is remembered for all the reasons unrelated to football saw United defeat Liverpool thanks to a brace from Wayne Rooney. However, the game was overshadowed by the antics from Luis Suarez who had recently served a ban over allegations of racial comments made towards Patrice Evra. His refusal to shake Evra’s hands in the build-up was the beginning of a day full of controversies. A half-time tunnel bust-up also ensued after it looked like that Suarez had angrily kicked the ball into the crowd.
The scenes got more ugly when Evra went on to celebrate the win in close proximity to Luis Suarez that invited more ire from the Liverpool players.
2. Liverpool 1 - 0 Manchester United ( 18 February 2006 )
Watch: Peter Crouch's solitary goal separated the sides
The FA Cup tie between the two fierce rivals saw Liverpool go through with a solitary winning goal thanks to a Peter Crouch header past Edwin van der Sar. This was Liverpool’s first win over United in the FA Cup in over 85 years. However, the match is infamous for an incident that many believe ended Alan Smith’s career in top-flight football.
In an attempt to block a free-kick struck by John Arne Riise, the sheer force of the ball broke Alan Smith’s leg which was later described by Sir Alex Ferguson as “the worst I’ve ever seen”. Both sets of fans applauded Smith in unison while he was being stretchered-off writhing in pain.
- Liverpool 3 - 1 Manchester United (16 December 2018)
Watch: Super Sub Xherdan Shaqiri scored a brace to dump United
The reverse fixture that many believe was the final nail in the coffin for Jose Mourinho saw Liverpool not only come out as victors, but had totally dominated Manchester United in every aspect of the game. The hosts registered a massive 36 shots on goal. Despite David de Gea’s usual heroics between the posts, two deflected shots ended United’s resolute defensive performance. Sadio Mane had opened the scoring for the Reds after which Jesse Lingard soon equalised thanks to an error by Liverpool’s newly-signed goalkeeper, Alisson Becker.
The above mentioned iconic matches are a proof that no tie between these two rivals is devoid of entertainment. All eyes will be on this fixture and it goes without saying that this particular match is a must-watch no matter which team one supports.
Published: Sat Feb 23, 2019 01:13 PM IST