Football

Liverpool vs. Manchester United: A defining rivalry

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In sport, plenty of events have the ability to capture the attention of an entire nation, Great Britain has the Wimbledon tennis final, Australia the Melbourne Cup and America the Kentucky Derby.

Few events however have the ability to cause the planet to stop, sit in front of a TV or go to a bar to enjoy a few hours of sporting drama, however this weekend one such event is taking place as the two most successful clubs in English football square off at Anfield.

When Liverpool and Manchester United collide on the same pitch it is much more than just a game of football, with perhaps the biggest number of fans globally when the two teams meet it is a clash of religions, ideologies, the legend of the Kop against the might of the Red Devils.

It is where heroes are made from Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush to Ryan Giggs and George Best and where history is made with every goal, sending off or poor refereeing decision.

Statistically they are the most successful clubs in England, in the last 20 or so years Manchester United have surpassed Liverpool's tally of 18 titles and now have 20 league triumphs, thanks mostly to Sir Alex Ferguson, though Liverpool still have the most number of Champions League trophies with 5, the most recent in 2005.

What makes this north-west derby so great apart from the history and apart from the great footballers who have graced this fixture is how this game is followed not just from England, not just from Europe but how this game is now one of the biggest global football games every year.

Fans from Boston to Beijing, Sydney to Sao Paulo no matter what the time zone all are huddled around the TV willing their team on.

Liverpool vs. Manchester United is what has made the Premier League the global success it is today.

As I mentioned the tide has very much swung from Merseyside to Manchester in recent decades, when Sir Alex Ferguson arrived at United 24 years ago his goal was to as he said: "knock Liverpool off their perch" and he certainly did that. Liverpool have not won a league title since 1990 while Man Utd have won 13 titles in that time.

In the all-time head-to-head list United also have the upper hand, with 74 wins as opposed to Liverpool's 62 with 51 draws.

Last season Manchester United won both fixtures home and away by a narrow 2-1 margin, the last Liverpool win was a 2-1 victory at Anfield in the 4th round of the FA Cup in January 2012, Liverpool's last league win was in March 2011 again at Anfield with a 3-1 win.

Thanks to Liverpool's demise in recent years there have not been many major games in terms of battling for trophies, indeed the last cup final between the two was the League Cup final in 2003, however in the 08/09 Premier League season Liverpool had their most successful campaign in recent memory.

That season Liverpool achieved a rare double themselves winning 2-1 at Anfield and then the highest profile game between the two in recent years saw Liverpool claim a stunning 4-1 win at Old Trafford, eventually however Utd would be crowned champions with Liverpool finishing second.

Controversy too is never far away from this fixture, the rivalry extends all the way down to the players with Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney in-particular well known for relishing a clash against their most loathed rivals.

Luis Suarez quickly etched his name into the history of the fixture after being banned for 8 games for racially abusing Patrice Evra at Anfield in 2011, while Gary Neville, another man known for his feelings toward Liverpool, famously berated Liverpool fans by kissing his badge in front of the Kop after a late goal gave Manchester Utd the win in 2006.

Looking ahead to this weekend's game at Anfield it marks a new chapter in the history of this great rivalry.

With Sir Alex Ferguson now gone at the helm at Old Trafford it falls to his replacement David Moyes to continue the recent domination Man Utd have had against Liverpool.

While Moyes adjusts to life at Old Trafford, Liverpool too remain in a period of reform with Brendan Rodgers in charge. This weekend's game will be an interesting one for the many millions watching around the world as Moyes looks for his biggest win yet as boss and his first at Anfield while Liverpool look to make it 3 wins from 3 at the start of the new season.

From my perspective I am one of a rare breed, born near Manchester but support Liverpool (and don't I know it!), and if you wanted my honest prediction I think we will have a 2-2 draw.

Both teams have plenty going forward and are a little wary at the back and I'm sure if you offered both teams a point now they would probably take it.

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Topics:
Liverpool
Manchester United
Football
Premier League

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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