In English football, historically speaking, it does not get any better than Liverpool vs Manchester United. The two clubs share as many as 128 major honours between them and are always looking to get one over their bitter adversaries. And if we had to look at their greatest battles of all time, it would take much more than a short YouTube video. So instead, we limit ourselves to modern times and look at the most memorable recent duels of the two giants. So let’s get going without further ado. Do you think Liverpool failed in 2022? Check out the reasons.
The Wizardry of Berbatov
Regardless of what league position both teams are in, form goes out of the window when they lock horns. And in 2010/11 at Old Trafford, this fixture lived up to the hype. To sum it up, there was only one man who grabbed all the headlines, Dimitar Berbatov. The former Tottenham Hotspur man was prolific as he opened the scoring with a header off Ryan Giggs’ corner.
The Bulgarian doubled the lead with a sensational overhead kick in the second half. Even though Steven Gerrard’s brace brought a few worrying faces in the Stretford End, Berbatov continued to shine as his winner in the 84th minute left Pepe Reina stranded. At The Theater of Dreams, Berbatov may not have achieved the heights initially expected of him but this performance alone keeps him in the good books of the United faithful.
The Suarez Handshake Row
When you think about Manchester United and Liverpool, we expect some huge headlines to be made during the ninety minutes. However in the Old Trafford fixture of 2011/12, the breaking news was more about the incident that happened before the kick-off. During the handshake before the start, Luis Suarez ignored Patrice Evra’s hand before moving over to Rio Ferdinand. The United captain, after watching Suarez shrug off Evra, chose not to shake his hand either.
All this happened after Suarez was banned for eight games after racially abusing Evra. And Evra, being the bigger man, decided to put his hand forward despite his grudges with the Uruguayan, only to be snubbed by Suarez. After the match, Sir Alex Ferguson called Suarez “a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club”. The match itself finished 2-1 to the home side with Wayne Rooney grabbing both the goals for the defending Premier League champions. The best possible revenge for the Red Devils.
That Gerrard Celebration
Manchester United were on course to win a third Premier League title in a row, with Liverpool just a few points behind them. However, Liverpool made the title race interesting with a remarkable match against their enemies. Cristiano Ronaldo gave the defending champions a lead from the penalty spot, before an error of judgement from Nemanja Vidic brought Fernando Torres one on one with Edwin Van Der Sar, and the Torres of Liverpool never needed a second invitation.
Then, the legendary Steven Gerrard scored from the spot to give the away side a meaningful lead. The most memorable moment was when he went to the camera and kissed it gleefully as a reply to the booes he received from the home crowd. Since then, it has become quite the memory for the Kopites. The match went beyond the stretch of Alex Ferguson’s men when Fabio Aurelio and Andrea Dossena scored two second-half goals to bring Liverpool back in the title race with a heavy win.
Meeting for the First Time On The European Stage
Manchester United and Liverpool are two massive footballing giants that are expected to compete on the biggest European stages. That being said, they had never faced off on the European stage. That changed in the 2015/16 season. After Louis Van Gaal’s men got demoted to the Europa
League after finishing 3rd in the Champions League group stage, they met their old rivals in the most exciting yet unfamiliar circumstances. The first leg, at Anfield, was pretty one-sided with Jurgen Klopp’s men dominating the game. It finished 2-0 to the home side with goals from Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino. In the second leg, Van Gaal’s men started brightly with a penalty from Anthony Martial. However, Phillipe Coutinho extinguished the tie with a brilliant chip over David De Gea. Although both teams gave us two exciting games, in the future they would want to face each other in the penultimate stages of the Champions League rather than the Europa League. And we hope that too.
A Stamp of Domination from Liverpool
24th October 2021 was a huge day in the history of football as we saw football derbies across Europe (England, Italy, and Spain). However, the heated rivalry between United and Liverpool was quickly extinguished by the brilliance of Jurgen Klopp’s men. It took only the 5th minute for the men in white to go ahead via Naby Keita before Diogo Jota doubled that lead in the 13th minute. After that, it was all about Mohammad Salah as his hat trick ensured one of the most lopsided score lines in the history of this rivalry. Klopp’s men also proved how many steps ahead they are from their arch-rivals. Talk about snatching the bragging rights and then some.
While one side may have the upper hand at one time or another, both rivals make sure to never let the other team go out of sight. So while Liverpool may have the upper hand right now, United are in close pursuit and will continue to make this fixture an exciting prospect for all Premier League and football fans.