Liverpool and Manchester United have produced some epic matches down the years. As we build up to this weekend's huge clash at Anfield, I've taken a look into the history books to relive five modern-day classics in front of the Kop.
Let's start with the most memorable of all their Premier League meetings back in 1994.
have been countless classic Liverpool v Manchester United matches, but
few could match the excitement of this encounter. United were riding
the crest of a wave. The reigning champions were once again top
of the table. In contrast Liverpool were struggling. The Reds were ninth and Graeme Souness's men were in desperate need of a lift.
The opening stages were dominated by the visitors. United took a ninth minute lead when Steve Bruce headed in Eric Cantona's cross. Ten minutes later it was two as Ryan Giggs pounced on Jamie Redknapp's
misplaced pass. The Welsh winger gain possession twenty yards from
goal and produced a sublime chip which sailed over Bruce Grobbelaar's head and into the net.
was stunned when United went three up. Denis Irwin's curling free-kick
appeared to have wrapped up the points before half time. Mid way
through the first half Liverpool grabbed a lifeline. Nigel Clough's low drive beat Schmeichel from 20 yards. The goal shifted the momentum in the home side's favour. Clough made it game on after 35 minutes. The former Nottingham Forest striker netted after the ball bounced off Roy Keane.
Moments later Manchester United spurned a great chance to re-establish their two goal advantage. Giggs fluffed his lines with the goal gaping. The same player also forced a fine save from Grobbelaar after the interval. Liverpool were also creating chances with Redknapp having a drive tipped round
the post by Peter Schmeichel.
The Reds' pressure bore fruit on 73 minutes. Stig Inge Bjornebye's left wing cross found Neil Ruddock's
forehead. From close range Razor planted his header into the roof of
the net to make it 3-3. Liverpool had completed an excellent comeback, but Manchester United went on to retain their title.
LIVERPOOL 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 0
2001 FA PREMIER LEAGUE
Any true Liverpool fan dreams of scoring against Manchester United. Steven Gerrard fulfilled his fantasy with a wonder strike. The goal further underlined the midfielder's enormous potential. A Scouser through and through, Gerrard was born in Whiston in 1980. The die-hard Red joined his boyhood favourites in 1997 and made swift progress through the ranks, making his first team debut the
following year. Two years later Steve G won the first of his 98 England caps.
Gerrard was now the heartbeat of a promising Liverpool side. The Anfield club were bidding to do the double over United. Gerard Houllier's men had won 1-0 at Old Trafford in December. It took only 15 minutes for Gerrard to make his mark on the return fixture. Fabian Barthez's
scuffed clearance was intercepted by Liverpool. The ball reached
Robbie Fowler. His neat pass teed up Gerrard 25 yards from goal. The 21-year-old hit a stunning first time shot which flashed past the
provider as the home side went two up. Gary Neville failed to cut out
his right wing cross, Neville's error let the ball run on to Fowler, the
striker's immaculate first touch was followed by a deadly finish.
The two fine goals capped an impressive win for Liverpool. Houllier's men went on to complete a unique treble - the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup were all captured by the Merseyside Reds.
LIVERPOOL 0 MANCHESTER UNITED 1
2005 FA PREMIER LEAGUE
Wayne Rooney's first goal against Liverpool proved decisive in this tight encounter. The staunch Evertonian scored after a goalkeeping error. Jerzy Dudek
dived over Rooney's 21st minute strike to hand three precious points to
Rooney must have taken extra delight from netting at the Kop end. The goal capped a remarkable journey for the 20-year-old striker. In 1996 he had been a ball boy during an Anfield Merseyside derby. In the pre-match warm up Rooney attempted to chip big Neville Southall.
Nine years later the Croxteth-born frontrunner
had scored a crucial goal at the same venue. Rooney's strike sealed a
deserved win for the visitors. Despite having Wes Brown sent off, United
were always in control. Roy Keane's first half thunderbolt struck the
crossbar and rebounded to safety.
Liverpool rarely threatened to gain parity. Jamie Carragher's low drive was the best effort from the off-colour Reds.
Ironically it was Manchester United who ended the season empty handed. The Red Devils finished second in the league to Jose Mourinho's Chelsea. Liverpool went on win the Champions League. And who was the hero of that truly memorable final? The aforementioned Jerzy Dudek. The Reds fought back from three down to claim their fifth European Cup. The big Polish keeper made a miraculous double save to prevent Shevchenko putting AC Milan 4-3 up. In the resulting penalty shoot out Dudek saved spot kicks from Shevchenko and Pirlo. That Rooney blunder was a very
LIVERPOOL 0 MANCHESTER UNITED 1
2007 FA PREMIER LEAGUE
last-minute winner clinched three crucial points for Manchester
United. The goal kept United on course for yet another title.
Alex Ferguson's men rode their luck at Anfield. For long periods Liverpool dominated proceedings. Only the brilliance of Edwin Van Der Saar kept the Red Devils on level terms. The Dutchman produced a superb stop to deny Peter Crouch.
The visitors' cause suffered a further setback when Wayne Rooney limped off. O'Shea's first half introduction was to prove pivotal in the outcome. The fates continued to conspire against United. In the 86th minute Paul Scholes was sent off. The flame-haired midfielder received his marching orders after clashing with Xabi Alonso, but like all great sides the Red Devils managed to dig out a result.
With seconds on the clock the championship chasers were awarded a free-kick. Cristiano Ronaldo's left flank inswinger was spilled by Pepe Reina. The ball fell to O'Shea, who prodded home.
The winner made the Irishman a Stretford End hero. It was fitting reward for a loyal servant, O'Shea joined the club in 1998 and went on to play 256 times for the Old Trafford
side. The vital win virtually sealed the deal for Manchester
United. They went on to win the title with 89 points, six points clear
of second place
LIVERPOOL 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 1
2012 FA CUP FOURTH ROUND
A year is a long time in football. In January 2011 Liverpool Football Club sacked Roy Hodgson. Anfield legend Kenny Dalglish stepped into the hot seat and the following day Dalglish's new charges faced Manchester United in the FA Cup. The third round tie was decided by Ryan Giggs' first minute penalty. The new boss was comforted by an improved performance at Old Trafford.
months on the Reds had the opportunity to redress the balance. Both
sides came close to making an early breakthrough. Maxi Rodriguez saw
his well struck effort tipped round the post by De Gea. The visitors were unfortunate when Antonio Valencia's right foot shot
cannoned off the post. But it was Liverpool who broke the deadlock on
21 minutes. Daniel Agger headed home a left wing corner. United keeper David De Gea was out-jumped by the Danish centre back.
Manchester United continued to look dangerous going forward. Their pressure paid off when Park Ji Sung equalised eight minutes before the break. The Korean stroked home Rafeal's right wing cross. Sir Alex Ferguson's men had the upper hand.
showed great strength of character to stay in the game. A replay
looked to be looming when Pepe Reina prepared to take a 90th minute goal kick. The long clearance was flicked on by Andy Carroll. Dirk Kuyt latched on to the knock down and belted the ball past De Gea. Once again the Dutchman was the toast of the Kop.
Kuyt had scored a hat-trick during the Red Devils' last visit to Merseyside. Liverpool went on to reach the FA Cup Final. Despite a late rally the Reds lost 2-1 to Chelsea.
Well they are my five most memorable games between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield. Do you agree or diagree? I'd love to hear from you.