Classic Manchester United v Liverpool Matches
Dubbed as one of the most famous footballing rivalries of all time, the latest clash between Manchester United and Liverpool takes place this Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford. Freebets.com have therefore picked out some of the most famous ties between the two from down the Premier League years.
The rivalry between both cities ultimately can be etched back to the audacious Ship Canal completion in 1894, which consequently resulted in job losses at the port and resentment from the locals of Liverpool.
In the world of football, the rivalry stems greater and the hate almost more potent, both sides having won more English titles and lifted the European Cup more times than anyone else in the land.
The contest has seen an ill-tempered affair and hostile atmosphere down the years, but ultimately superb footballing moments as the blood runs thicker. We decided to countdown our top six ties between the pair…
Liverpool 3-3 Manchester United (4 January 1994)
United had only lost once up until this stage, 21 points clear of Graeme Souness’s Liverpool who sat down in ninth place heading into what proved a thriller at Anfield after New Year.
The away side indeed started the stronger, but it took until the ninth minute for Steve Bruce to complete one of his famous headers from the far post and gift Manchester United the early lead after a fabulous Eric Cantona cross from the left wing. Cantona then proceeded to fire wide before an expertly-executed spin from Ryan Giggs left his defender begging before lobbing over Bruce Grobbelaar into the top corner after 20 minutes.
Four minutes later, John Barnes and the prominent Neil Ruddock tangled themselves in defence from a resurgant Man United attack, the latter giving away a crucial free kick that Dennis Irwin thundered into the top corner to make it three, Liverpool seemingly dead and buried.
Or so it seemed, as a remarkable comeback ensued for the Kop to marvel over. Only a minute later, Jamie Redknapp’s loose shot deflected out to Nigel Clough who smashed home a delightful long-range effort into the bottom corner past Peter Schmeichel, the home crowd suddenly coming alive once again.
It soon become 3-2 after just 38 minutes when Mark Wright combined fluently with top scorer, Ian Rush, to find Clough who sprinted into space and slotted home his second. The second half saw Grobbelaar forced into acton to palm away a Giggs effort from outside the box, Schmeichel himself saving face at the opposite end as Redknapp curled a shot his direction.
Julian Dicks was next to challenge the Man United stopper, before the comeback was soon completed to rapturous reaction at Anfield when Stig Inge Bjørnebye’s cross was headed in by Ruddock just before the 80th minute, star goalkeeper Schmeichel revealing that he was sacked temporarily by Alex Ferguson after this game.
Manchester United 2-2 Liverpool (1 October 1995)
The 1995 visit to Old Trafford was made memorable by the return of ‘The King’, Eric Cantona, having served an eight-month ban for his infamous kung-fu exploits at a member of the crowd at Selhurst Park.
It set up just one outcome, one that was only inevitable.
It tyipcally took just 67 seconds for United to take the lead through the exploits of the Frenchman, Cantona in space finding Nicky Butt with a cross across goal that the latter controlled and volleyed home to give the home side an early advantage.
It was not the simple routine showing that Old Trafford were to witness however, as the first half soon saw Robbie Fowler change the picture after a Cantona shot at one end had been blocked, the Liverpool striker racing down the opposing side before lashing his shot into the roof of the net to level proceedings.
The second half saw Fowler heap more woes on United as the Scouse sensation was played in down the left by Michael Thomas, taking on and beating Gary Neville before chipping Schmeichel effortlessly to gift the Reds a 2-1 lead.
The script still needed one final act however. It came, unsurprisingly, through Cantona, breaking just before the 70th minute to feed Ryan Giggs a golden ooportunity, the Welshman fouled in the box by Jamie Redknapp which left Cantona to seal the 2-2 draw with a calm spot kick.
Manchester United 4-0 Liverpool (5 April 2003)
Old Trafford enjoyed a rout of their big rivals in April, Ruud van Nistelrooy providing many of the wounds inflicted on the Reds who had reclaimed the advantage in the Premier League.
The chaos for Liverpool errupted in just the opening five minutes. Paul Scholes invited the opportunity with a fine through ball to the rushing van Nistelrooy, who was pulled down by Liverpool captain, Sami Hyypia. The Dutchman converted the penalty kick, while Hyypia was sent on the long walk after seeing his only red card in the league.
It took until the second half for more Manchester United punishment to be inflicted, as referee Mike Riley then awarded a second penalty 20 minutes into the restart when Scholes was brought to ground in the box. The catalyst was Igor Biscan, ironically on to fill the gap vacated by Hyypia.
Van Nistelrooy again calmly converted the spot kick, before almost adding a third on the 78th minute after a delightful cross from David Beckham down the right was whipped into the danger area, Ryan Giggs heading home after the ball sailed by the Dutchman to compund more misery of the visitors.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer completed the rout and a rare league double over Liverpool for the first time in six seasons, latching onto a Giggs pass before cutting inside and slotting in a fourth from the edge of the box to leave Old Trafford in raptures.
Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool (14 March 2009)
Manchester United were the defending champions and league leaders at the time, but their home visit in 2008/09 was one to consign to the dustbin of their memories at Old Trafford.
A routine start was made for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side when Park Ji-Sung was fouled by Pepe Reina in the 22nd minute, Cristiano Ronaldo calmly converting the spot kick that followed.
The joy soon tunred to despair for the Red Devils from this moment however, as a horror day for captain Nemanja Vidic began five minutes later as he was beaten by Fernando Torres who finished the job by slotting in the equaliser.
Steven Gerrard soon put Liverpool ahead just before the interval when he converted a penalty of his own after Patrice Evra brought the Liverpool skipper to ground, before his persistence induced another Vidic error that saw the defender sent off.
The resulting free kick was then spectacularly curled over the wall into the top corner by Fabio Aurelio, before the rout was completed by Andrea Dossena who chipped Edwin van der Sar to top off a joyous afternoon for the Reds.
Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool (11 Feburary 2012)
The atmosphere between the two rivals was heightened to its maximum in the 2012 visit to Old Trafford by the ugly storyline between Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra, the former having served an eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra when the sides met in October.
The controversy began even before the whistle as Suarez chose to ignore Evra’s handshake, sparking a frustrated reaction from the Frenchman who grabbed the arm of Suarez in protest, before Rio Ferdinand then refused to shake hands with the Liverpool striker as the situation threatened to descend into farce.
A goalless first half also ended with with angry scenes as they teams went down the tunnel at half-time, Suarez the central figure again after he had ended the half by thumping the ball into the crowd.
The hostile atmposhere saw a thoroughly entertaining contest however between the two sides, ultimately won by Wayne Rooney’s quick-fire double just four minutes into the second half.
A Ryan Giggs corner was deflected off Jordan Henderson into the path of Rooney, who volleyed stylishly past a helpless Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal before the Manchester United striker added a second two minutes later when he turned home Antonio Valencia’s delivery after Jay Spearing conceded possession clumsily.
Suarez almost made more headlines with an 80th-minute goal, poking home from a Charlie Adam free kick that came off of Ferdinand.
Victory was Manchester United’s, Patrice Evra sparking his own bout of controversy after the final whistle as his extensive celebrations soon drifted directly in front of Suarez – provoking a shoving match by Liverpool players (although not Suarez himself) to conclude an unsavoury afternoon.
Manchester United 0-3 Liverpool (16 March 2014)
The last tie between the two sides at Old Trafford was one Liverpool fans will still rejoyce at, while Manchester United crumbled spectacularly. David Moyes by now had seemingly passed his bought time in charge of the Red Devils, but the home side seemingly surrendered to their rivals on this occasion and were soon behind after 34 minutes.
The visitors dominated early on and Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool the lead in front of the Stretford End with a penalty following Rafael’s handball, before adding a second from the spot just a minute in the second half after Phil Jones clumsily fouled Joe Allen in the box on the restart.
The Liverpool skipper was then presented with a glorious chance to bag a hat-trick of penalties on the 78th minute, Nemanja Vidic sent down the tunnel after a second yellow card for fouling Daniel Sturridge in the penalty box.
However, the resigned home crowd would not witness that outcome as Gerrard missed his third from the spot, only for Luiz Suarez to add a third six minutes later and compound a victorious day for the Kop.
Moyes was sacked the following month, telling Sky Sports after the match: “I think the job was always going to be hard but if you are asking me is it harder than I thought, I would say so, yes.”