Manchester United travel to Liverpool on Saturday in a resumption of one of the world’s biggest derbies, as England’s two most successful clubs share a rivalry that spans more than the short distance between Old Trafford and Anfield.
Here’s a look at five classic matches between the two fierce rivals.
Over 20 years before United became the first team to complete the treble, Liverpool had the chance to pull off the feat. They came into the FA Cup final having sealed the league title, and would go on to win the European Cup four days later. But at Wembley, United had other ideas.
Lou Macari’s deflected winner won the FA Cup for the Red Devils as they ruined their rivals’ chances of winning the treble.
The 80s was virtually a lost decade for United, while Liverpool reigned supreme in both England and Europe. It was a painful time for Red Devils fans, and Liverpool punctuated their misery at the old Wembley Stadium in 1983.
Ronnie Whelan’s delightful curled winner sealed the Reds’ third consecutive League Cup in Bob Paisley’s last season in charge.
If the 80s was United’s lost decade, the 90s ended up on a similar note for Liverpool. An immensely talented team always seemed to fall short in their challenges for trophies, a fact made harder to bear by United’s resurgence and subsequent dominance. The decade threw up some classic encounters between the two rivals, with this one of the best of the lot.
United raced into a 3-0 lead after just 25 minutes at Anfield, but Nigel Clough scored two before Neil Ruddock’s equaliser.
This was United’s fairytale season, but the treble talk could have been nipped in the bud by their fiercest rivals. Liverpool took an early lead at Old Trafford thanks to a 2nd-minute goal from Michael Owen, then held on and looked set for victory.
United’s treble dream looked sunk but late Dwight Yorke and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer goals sealed an FA Cup 4th round win.
The last time these two sides were pitted against each other in a title race, and this clash was set to be a pivotal one. United fans won’t ever forget this Old Trafford humiliation, which included goals from Fabio Aurelio and Andrea Dossena.
However, they had the last laugh as after a slight wobble, United held on to win the league. Liverpool wouldn’t come this close for another five years.
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