Matches between Liverpool and Manchester United have always been important, but perhaps none in recent years have been as crucial as when the two sides meet on 15th January 2017. I don’t have to mention just how bitter the rivalry is between these two great clubs, yet this weekend there’s far more than mere pride on the line. The Red Devils have been resurgent in recent weeks, recovering from a rocky start to the season to enjoy some tremendous form, finding themselves just 3 points outside the top 4. Likewise, Liverpool have been a force to be reckoned with this season and currently sit just 5 points off league leaders Chelsea.
Matches between these two bitter rivals are always entertaining and almost never short of seeing a few sparks fly, but how have the Reds stacked up against the red side of Manchester in recent meetings, and what has been the standout fixture in recent years?
Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United- 17th October 2016 at Anfield
In the most recent matchup, and Jose Mourinho’s first visit to Anfield as the United boss, Liverpool were held to a scoreless draw by a defensive lineup fielded by the Portuguese mastermind. With Liverpool being in fine form going into the fixture there was an emphasis on shutting out the free-scoring Reds’ attack, which the Manchester outfit managed with no lack of help from shot stopper David De Gea. On the few occasions the Reds did break through the United defence, the Spaniard showed great composure to maintain a clean sheet and secure a valuable point on Merseyside.
Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool – 17th March 2016 at Old Trafford
The second leg of the Europa League last 16 was an explosive affair between both the two teams and set of supporters who turned Old Trafford into a cauldron that night. Playing just one week after beating Louis van Gaal’s Red Devils at Anfield, Liverpool were the favourites to progress to the next stage of the competition, bringing a 2-0 aggregate lead into the second leg of the tie. France starlet Anthony Martial gave the hosts the advantage of the night, converting from the spot little over half an hour into the first half to give United a 1-0 lead. However moments before the conclusion of the first half, Brazilian magician, Philippe Coutinho’s sensational solo effort effectively killed the tie off, chipping De Gea from an improbable angle at the near post to gift Liverpool the all-important away goal. The match ended in a stalemate at 1-1, although Jürgen Klopp’s Reds progressed thanks to a 3-1 aggregate win.
Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United – 10th March 2016 at Anfield
The first time these two sides met in European competition it was a one-sided affair, with a place in the Europa League quarter final at stake both sides came into the tie with the hopes of progressing and taking another step closer to the coveted prize. Liverpool played hosts first and set themselves up well to progress to the next stage of the competition with Daniel Sturridge giving the Reds the lead on the night, calmly converting his penalty to make it 1-0. Roberto Firmino doubled the home side’s lead in the second half against a floundering United side, converting from close range to beat the stoic David De Gea, who, until that point, had kept United in the tie with a series of great saves. The match ended 2-0, standing Liverpool in good stead to eventually progress to the quarter finals.
Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United – 17th January 2016 at Anfield
In Jürgen Klopp’s first clash against Manchester United as Liverpool manager, things didn’t end in such a storybook manner for the charismatic German. The Liverpool boss could do nothing but watch as he saw his side bested by a late Wayne Rooney strike in a scrappy 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Red Devils. That Rooney goal would be his first scored at Anfield in over 10 years as he last netted for United at Anfield in a 1-0 victory over the Reds in January 2005.
Manchester United 3-1 Liverpool – 12th September 2015 at Old Trafford
Perhaps the most distressing match against the red side of Manchester in recent times, the last time Liverpool visited United in the league they were bested 3-1 by van Gaal’s men as Brendan Rodgers’ side looked a far cry from the team that came so close to winning the Premier League title little over a year ago. After an uneventful first half ended scoreless, the floodgates seemed to open at Old Trafford with Dutchman, Daley Blind giving the hosts the lead less than 5 minutes into the second half. Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera would double United’s lead later in the half, converting from the spot to make it 2-0. The one silver lining from the matchup at Old Trafford for Liverpool fans would be Christian Benteke’s sensational scissor kick as the big Belgian thumped the ball into the United net to pull one back for the visitors. However, just minutes later, debutant Anthony Martial decided to make his mark on the match, dancing his way around the Liverpool defence to score a goal to rival that of Benteke’s and give United a resounding 3-1 win.
Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool – 14th March 2009 at Old Trafford
In what is arguably one of Liverpool’s finest moments in the Premier League, Rafael Benitez took his title-challenging side to face leaders, Manchester United, then masterminded by all-time great, Sir Alex Ferguson. The game began in favour of the Red Devils with Portuguese hitman Cristiano Ronaldo giving his side the lead from the penalty spot. However, just 5 minutes later the equilibrium had been restored as Fernando Torres took advantage of Nemanja Vidic’s hesitance on the ball, humiliating the Serbian before going on to calmly slot home against a helpless Edwin Van der Sar. Moments before the first half concluded Liverpool took the lead as Patrice Evea brought down Steven Gerrard in the box, earning the Reds a penalty. The skipper converted the subsequent spot kick to give Liverpool a 2-1 lead going into the break. Throughout the second half, things would only go from bad to worse for United as Brazilian full-back Fabio Aurelio gave the visitors a 3-1 lead, netting a sensational free kick that left Van der Sar rooted to the spot. Finally, to further rub salt into United’s wounds, Italian defender Andrea Dossena made it 4-1 to the Reds in injury time, sealing a historic win for an ecstatic Liverpool as they closed the gap on United in the 2008/09 title race.