Clash Of The Titans: Top 5 Liverpool v Man United
Liverpool meeting bitter rivals Manchester United in the final of the International Champions’ Cup in the early hours of Tuesday morning in what should be a great precursor for the new season ahead.
We look at some of the best clashes between English football’s greatest rivalry.
Man United 2:2 Liverpool, October1995:
The focus before this clash was on Eric Cantona, who was making his first appearance after an eight-month suspension for his infamous kung-fu kick on a fan. The Frenchman made an immediate impact, setting up Nicky Butt for the opening goal. However, a Robbie Fowler brace put Liverpool in front before Cantona calmly equalised from the penalty spot, climbing a pole beside the goal at the Stretford End to celebrate. United’s number seven even had time to silence Neil Ruddock – who’d pestered him by constantly turning down Cantona’s proud collar – by gesturing that the Liverpool defender was rather plump around the stomach and face.
Liverpool 3:3 Manchester United, 1994:
United stormed into a three-goal lead in the opening 25 minutes and it seemed a case of how many goals the champions would score. However Liverpool, who were languishing in ninth place in the table, woke up and a brace before half-time from Nigel Clough sparked an unlikely comeback. United looked like clinging onto their lead and extending the gap between the clubs to 24 points, before Neil Ruddock’s bullet header eleven minutes from time rocked Anfield and claimed Liverpool an improbable point.
Manchester United 1:4 Liverpool, 2009:
Liverpool put themselves right back in the title race with this stunning win at Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo’s early penalty put United in front but Fernando Torres’ equaliser shortly afterwards hinted at what was to come. The Spanish striker capitalised on a Nemanja Vidic mistake for the leveler and went on to torment his opponent all afternoon, before the Serbian defender was eventually sent off. Steven Gerrard’s converted penalty put the visitors in front just before half-time and Fabio Aurelio’s brilliant free-kick capitalised on Vidic’s red card. United’s humiliation was complete when Andrea Dossena finished neatly in stoppage time to claim a rare goal.
Manchester United 2:1 Liverpool, 1999
An FA Cup classic, this match epitomised United’s never-say-die attitude during their Treble-winning season. Michael Owen nodded Liverpool in front after just two minutes and their rearguard seemed to be holding on in this cagey encounter. United had not been beaten in the cup by their arch rivals since 1922 but seemed to be heading for an early exit before a stunning smash-and-grab transformed the game – and United’s season. After waves of United pressure, Dwight Yorke finally grabbed an equaliser with two minutes on the clock from close range. Supersub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer then hinted at what was to come in Barcelona a few months later with a stoppage time winner that stunned Liverpool. Sir Alex Ferguson felt this comeback gave his side the belief they needed to go on and claim their historic Treble.
Liverpool 3:3 Manchester United, 1988
United trailed league leaders Liverpool by eleven points going into this match, with a win crucial to maintain any slim chance of the title. Captain Bryan Robson put them in front but goals from Peter Beardsley, Gary Gillespie and Steve McMahon before half-time seemed to have killed off any hopes of a Red Devils title challenge. However, Robson grabbed a second before Gordon Strachan grabbed a last-gasp equaliser, antagonising the Anfield crowd by pretending to smoke a cigar in celebration.