LIVERPOOL welcome bitter rivals Manchester United to Anfield on Monday evening, looking to maintain a five-game unbeaten spell in the league.
United, on the other hand, have only won two of their last five in the league, though they will be buoyed by their positive record against the Reds at Anfield. In 24 meetings Premier League meetings between the sides, they have come out on top in 12 – Liverpool have won eight and four have ended in a draw.
Liverpool have been on the winning side in all three of the cup ties against their bitter rivals, though it’s their early season form which will give them the most positive feeling heading into this crucial clash. Despite daunting aways at Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea, the Reds have won five of their seven league games so far this season. United, who have had a considerably easier start, have four wins from seven – and some cracks are already starting to show.
Despite contrasting fortunes it promises to be a mouth-watering tie, with all the ingredients to be a classic. In Jürgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho, both sides have two of the world’s best at the helm – and something about playing under the floodlights at Anfield makes it feel all the more important.
So, to get you right in the mood for the game, here are nine times the Reds have sent the Mancs back down the East Lancs Road feeling sorry for themselves.
Liverpool 2 Manchester United 0 – March 31, 2001
THE first in our collection happened over 15 years ago, as goals from Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler saw Liverpool beat their rivals 2-0.
The Reds had the better of the early exchanges and were rewarded a quarter of the way through of the game, when Gerrard unleashed an effort from distance which nestled into the top corner of the United goal. Gerrard was once again involved just before half time, crossing the ball in towards Robbie Fowler who controlled and smashed home to double the lead.
Despite the away side having a goal disallowed for offside against Dwight Yorke and Danny Murphy receiving his marching orders for a second yellow card, Liverpool held on for all three points.
That win completed a double over United, after Murphy’s free-kick won the Old Trafford tie earlier that season, and ended United’s unbeaten run of four games at Anfield. It didn’t stop them winning the league title, though a third place finish and a famous treble represented a roaring success of a season for Liverpool.
Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1 – November 4, 2001
JUST a couple of months later, Liverpool secured another convincing victory over United with two goals from Michael Owen and a cracker from John Arne Riise.
Fabian Barthez had looked shaky early on but the first goal came after an error from Wes Brown, his slip allowed Emile Heskey to play through Owen who made no mistake with the finish. The Reds got their second after a perfectly worked free-kick routine, Didi Hamann laid it off for Riise who thundered it off the crossbar and in.
Beckham gave the away side a glimmer of hope five minutes after the restart, capitalising on Liverpool’s failure to clear a Denis Irwin cross. However, it took a matter of seconds for Owen to put the game to bed, Heskey headed the ball over Barthez who had come to clear and it fell to Owen who rose high to nod into the empty net.
That win represented the second triumph over United in a matter of months, having already beaten them in the Community Shield, and Danny Murphy was the hero once again later that season at Old Trafford. Liverpool would finish second, above their rivals in third, with Arsenal running out as the league champions.
Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0 – February 18, 2006
THE first of Liverpool’s three Anfield cup wins over United came courtesy of a Peter Crouch winner inside the first 20 minutes.
A short corner from Steven Gerrard was whipped into the area by Steve Finnan and United’s failure to clear the danger saw Crouch creep into the centre of the 18-yard box and nod past Edwin Van Der Sar for the only goal of the game.
Rafa Benitez completely outsmarted Alex Ferguson on this occasion, the latter left with further headaches after Alan Smith broke his leg chasing down a John Arne Riise free-kick.
However, that cruel injury couldn’t do much to dampen the spirits of the Liverpool players, who advanced to the quarter-finals at the expense of their rivals. Benitez’s side would go on to win the FA Cup, defeating West Ham on penalties in the final just a year after their miraculous Champions League win in Istanbul. United finished the season with League Cup winners’ medals, with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea continuing their league dominance.
Liverpool 2 Manchester United 1 – September 13, 2008
LIVERPOOL came back from behind to further strengthen their position as title contenders, after an own goal from Wes Brown and a Ryan Babel winner kept them level on points with first-placed Chelsea.
United took an early lead in just the third minute through Carlos Tevez but the home side would have the better of the play after the goal. The breakthrough came after a Xabi Alonso strike from distance deflected and looped up between Edwin Van Der Sar and Brown, who both went for the ball, with the latter putting into his own net.
After three-quarters of the game, some good work from Javier Mascherano saw the ball fall to Dirk Kuyt who squared to Babel to apply the finishing touches and secure the points for the Reds. Nemanja Vidic received his first of three consecutive red cards in Liverpool-United clashes, for a challenge on Xabi Alonso.
Liverpool would famously win the reverse fixture at Old Trafford 4-1 but would lose out to United in the title stakes, finishing in second – four points behind their rivals, despite losing just twice all season.
Liverpool 2 Manchester United 0 – October 25, 2009
A THIRD consecutive victory over United saw a third consecutive sending off for Nemanja Vidic, as second half strikes from Fernando Torres and David N’Gog secured a 2-0 win.
For Rafa Benitez, the win meant much more than three points on the board, having lost the last four games in all competitions heading into the United clash and his side looking a shadow of the team that took their rivals all the way just the season before.
It would take until after the hour mark for the first goal to come, a perfectly weighted ball from Yossi Benayoun to Torres who held off the challenge of Rio Ferdinand before smashing home. Vidic was given his second booking for a rugby-style tackle on Dirk Kuyt, before Javier Mascherano was also dismissed for a second yellow after a foul on Edwin Van Der Sar. But the game was wrapped up not long after through substitute David N’Gog, who made no mistake of a one-on-one at the Kop end.
That victory would represent temporary salvation in what was, ultimately, a dismal season for Liverpool. They would finish seventh and Benitez was sacked. As it seemed things couldn’t get much worse, the club appointed Roy Hodgson as manager while owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett continued driving the club into the ground. Good times, eh?
Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1 – March 6, 2011
PERHAPS the sweetest victory of Kenny Dalglish’s second term at the club, as a Dirk Kuyt hat-trick helped Liverpool to a 3-1 win.
The first goal was owed almost entirely to Luis Suarez who weaved his way through several United defenders before placing the ball on the goal line to leave Kuyt with a tap-in. The Uruguayan was involved again for the second goal, his cross headed back towards the United goal by Nani as Kuyt crept in to nod it over the line.
Kuyt wrapped up his hat-trick just after the hour mark. Suarez was right at the heart of it once again, having forced Edwin Van Der Sar to parry his free-kick right into the path of his compatriot who made no mistake for his third of the afternoon. Javier Hernandez managed to get a consolation with minutes remaining but the damage was already done.
Liverpool would finish the season in sixth, a pretty remarkable turnaround after The Hodge’s early season work, while United won the league title. Which Fergie probably celebrated by talking about us while swilling a double Glenfiddich.
Liverpool 2 Manchester United 1 – January 28, 2012
A LATE winner from Dirk Kuyt secured safe passage to the FA Cup fifth round, after Daniel Agger’s opener was cancelled out by Park Ji-sung.
The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes as Agger rose highest to head home a corner – goal from a corner, imagine that – over the helpless David De Gea. It would only take under 20 minutes for United to level, Rafael getting the better of Jose Enrique before crossing to Park who slotted home the equaliser.
After a couple of chances and handball shouts at either end, Kuyt wrapped the game up. Pepe Reina’s long kick was flicked through by the head of Andy Carroll and the Dutchman took the ball in his stride before hammering it low past De Gea.
Liverpool went on to reach the final of the FA Cup before losing to Chelsea in the final, but did triumph in the League Cup defeating Cardiff City on penalties. Those two cup runs were not enough to save Kenny Dalglish’s job, however, after an eighth place finish.
Video by motifoot
Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0 – September 1, 2013
A FOURTH minute flick-on goal by Daniel Sturridge was enough to wrap up the points for Brendan Rodgers against David Moyes’s side.
Steven Gerrard’s corner was headed towards goal by Daniel Agger, though it was Sturridge who applied the finishing touch to grab the only goal of the game.
The only other real flash point in the game came when Robin Van Persie took exception to a challenge by Martin Skrtel which led to him and Gerrard getting involved in a heated argument.
The victory over United was a sign of things to come for Liverpool, who enjoyed a thrilling season which saw them finish second in the league – not going to say it, ’cause it still hurts – while their rivals had a shocker under former Everton manager Moyes, who was sacked with four games remaining, as they finished seventh in the league.
Liverpool 2 Manchester United 0 – March 10, 2016
THIS tie felt like the start of something special for Liverpool as the Europa League became much more important than an unwanted mid-week distraction.
It felt massive as soon as the two teams were drawn against each other and it lived up to expectations on the night. The first goal came from the penalty spot, after Nathaniel Clyne was brought down inside the area by Memphis Depay. Daniel Sturridge put the penalty past David De Gea for the Reds’ first of the night.
Liverpool dominated the game, and the away side were pretty flat in truth, so it was only right that Roberto Firmino gave them some breathing room to take into the second leg at Old Trafford. Adam Lallana linked up with Jordan Henderson on the right hand side before laying it on a plate for the Brazilian to finish.
The Reds drew the second leg to advance and made it all the way to the final in Basel, before losing out in heartbreaking fashion to Sevilla after a second half collapse. Despite the eventual loss, the Europa League run captured the imagination of fans and represented hope for the new era under Jürgen Klopp.