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PostSubject: Manchester United vs Liverpool   Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:31 pm

North West derby

City or region: North West England
First contested: 28 April 1894
Liverpool 2–0 Newton Heath
Teams involved Liverpool, Manchester United
Number of meetings 184
Most player appearances: Ryan Giggs (42)[2]
Most recent meeting: 11 February 2012
Manchester United 2–1 Liverpool
All-time series: 72–51–62 Manchester United
Largest victory: Liverpool 7–1 Newton Heath (12 October 1895)

The Liverpool F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry is a footballing rivalry between English clubs Liverpool and Manchester United. It is considered to be one of the biggest rivalry matches in England and is sometimes called the North West derby because both clubs are from the North West of England with both the cities of Liverpool and Manchester historically being part of the county of Lancashire.

The clubs are also the two most successful teams in England; between them they have won 119 honours: 60 for Manchester United and 59 for Liverpool. The fixture is usually played at midday due to media interest and to discourage fans from drinking before the game.

Long-serving Manchester United player Ryan Giggs claimed that Liverpool against Manchester United is "probably the most famous fixture in English football". This rivalry is one of the most high-profile derbies in the country.

Inter-city rivalry

The rivalry can be considered as a manifestation of one which already had existed between the two cities since industrial times. During this time both were competing with each other for supremacy of the north-west, with Manchester famous for its manufacturing prowess while Liverpool was famous for the importance of its port.

Once the Manchester Ship Canal was built, ships could bypass Liverpool and transport goods directly into Manchester. The Ship Canal was an audacious project and upon completion in 1894 it was the longest ship canal in the world. The Ship Canal meant less dues for Liverpool merchants which consequently resulted in job losses at the Port and resentment from the local people of Liverpool. Historians generally regard this as the key incident as to why such inter-city rivalry exists. Furthermore, the crest of Manchester United includes a ship representing the Manchester Ship Canal and reflects Manchester's trade roots. Furthermore this ship is also included on the crest of many other Mancunian institutions such as Manchester City Council and rivals Manchester City F.C..

During the late 1970s and 1980s, the two cities had been in decline due to the downturn of industries. However, both cities have again grown and found success, with both Liverpool and Manchester now recognised as world-class cities. Recently, Manchester hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games, while Liverpool was awarded the title of 2008 European Capital of Culture.

Football rivalry

Both clubs claim the title of 'the Greatest English Football Club', having won over 50 major trophies each. Liverpool dominated English football during the 1970s and 1980s, claiming the league title eleven times and the European Cup on four occasions during that period, including winning a treble of the League, the League Cup and the European Cup in 1984. Manchester United, however, have dominated the 1990s and 2000s, winning the Premier League title a record twelve times, a European Continental Treble (European Cup, the Premier League and the FA Cup) in 1999, two domestic Doubles and The European Double of the Premier League and European Cup in 2008. Both clubs are also the two most successful English sides in European competition, with Liverpool having been European champions 5 times and securing 11 European trophies overall, and Manchester United having been European champions 3 times and winning a total of 5 European trophies. Manchester United have also won 2 World Club titles; in 1999 and 2008. With Manchester United's victory in the Premier League season 2010–11, they moved ahead of Liverpool with a record 19 league titles. Despite Liverpool's success in England, they have never won the Premier League since its founding in 1992. Winning the League Cup in 2010, Manchester United then set a new English record of 33 domestic honours - moving one clear of the Merseysiders for the first time. Manchester United currently have 34 domestic honours, after their victory in the 2010–11 Premier League season, with Liverpool winning their 33rd domestic trophy following their win in the 2012 League Cup.

As well as competing on the football pitch, both teams are also two of the biggest-earning, and widely-supported, football clubs in the world.

The rivalry has extended to the players as well: United striker Wayne Rooney, a product of Liverpool's city rivals Everton described how, although he is from Liverpool, he grew up hating the Reds, while Liverpool's Steven Gerrard took a film crew on tour of his home where he showed off a collection of football shirts he had swapped with opposing players as part of the after match routine; he pointed out that there were no Manchester United shirts in there and that he would never have one of them in his house. Manchester United's Gary Neville has been publicly vocal in the past with regards to his dislike of Liverpool; following a fixture in which John O'Shea scored a stoppage-time winner in front of the Kop in 2007, Neville described O'Shea's achievement as "a lifelong dream" for himself. Neville was berated by Liverpool fans for his role in celebrating in front of them in 2006, kissing the crest on his jersey and appearing to shout angrily towards the fans.

In the 2011-12 season, the rivalry was exacerbated by claims that, in the first League meeting of the season at Anfield, Livepool striker, Luis Suárez racially abused United's Patrice Evra. After considering the evidence, an FA panel found that Suarez had referred to Evra using the term 'negro' 7 times (Suarez himself admitted to having done so once, but denied racism) and Suarez was banned for 8 games. This included the FA Cup 4th round tie between the two clubs (again at Anfield), which Liverpool won. However, on 11 February 2012, United and Liverpool met again at Old Trafford, and Suarez started a match for the first time since he began his ban. Prior to kick-off, the two teams were expected to shake hands, but Suarez ignored Evra's offered hand and moved onto the next United player in line (David de Gea). As a result, Rio Ferdinand and Danny Welbeck rejected Suarez' handshake. United went on to win 2–1 and Evra celebrated in front of the home supporters, with Suarez close by. Sir Alex Ferguson declared Suarez to be a "disgrace" and suggested that he should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again. Kenny Dalglish vehemently denied having seen the missed handshake. The following day, Suarez, Dalglish and Liverpool FC all issued statements of apology, which United accepted. The FA decided against any further action against either club or the players involved.

Player transfers

The rivalry between the two clubs has become so intense that since the 1964 transfer of Phil Chisnall from United to Liverpool, no player has been transferred directly between the two clubs. Some players, however, have played for both clubs, but having played elsewhere between each tenure, such as Paul Ince (playing for Internazionale in between) and Peter Beardsley (Vancouver Whitecaps and Newcastle United) and more recently Michael Owen (Real Madrid and Newcastle United).

In 2007, there was a bid from Liverpool to sign Gabriel Heinze from United, but United refused to allow him to join their biggest rivals due to the ongoing feud. United claimed that it was agreed Heinze would only join a foreign club if he chose to leave. Heinze went public with his request to join Liverpool which was seen as the ultimate betrayal by the Manchester United fans. The Manchester United fans who once chanted "Argentina" in honour of the player now turned their backs on him. Heinze was eventually sold to Real Madrid instead.


With the rise of football hooliganism across English football during the 1970s and 1980s, matches between the two clubs brought some minor and major incidents of hooliganism. Since then, the modern game has seen a decrease in violence between the rival supporters and incidents are fairly uncommon. This is more likely due to an increase in Police presence and CCTV with huge steps taken to keep the fans separated. To this day, both sets of fans still hold a resentment toward each other. As well as physical violence, sections of the clubs' fan bases often taunt each other with unsavoury chants about the Munich air disaster and the Hillsborough disaster respectively.

At the 1996 FA Cup Final, an unidentified Liverpool fan spat at Eric Cantona and threw a punch at Alex Ferguson as a victorious Manchester United team walked up the steps at Wembley Stadium to collect the trophy from the Royal Box.

After an FA Cup match in 2006 between the clubs, an ambulance carrying Alan Smith, who had broken his leg during the match, was attacked on its way to the hospital. The same match featured foreign objects thrown at Man United fans by Liverpool supporters, including human excrement. Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final game against Chelsea at Old Trafford later that year also resulted in damage to the stadium, including graffiti about serial killer Harold Shipman.

At Anfield, fans are banned from going near the away team entrance on matchdays following an incident in the late 1990s where a Liverpool fan threw an egg at Alex Ferguson.

In March 2011, the Daily Mail reported that an FA Youth Cup game between the two clubs was marred because of "sick chants" about Hillsborough and Heysel coming from the Manchester United fans at Anfield. The article also claims that six Manchester United fans were ejected from the stadium due to bad behaviour. Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge was at the game and told the Liverpool Echo that "the level of abuse was absolutely sickening."

In January 2011, the Manchester Evening News reported clashes between the M.I.B (Manchester United Firm) and the Urchins (Liverpool Firm) in Deansgate after Manchester United's FA Cup 3rd Round win over Liverpool at Old Trafford. Several Manchester United fans were injured and around 20 to 30 people were arrested.

Significant games

In 1977, the two clubs met in a cup final for the first time, when they reached the final of the FA Cup. The two clubs took to the field at Wembley on 21 May, with Liverpool having just won the league title, knowing that winning this game would put them on course for a unique treble as they had the European Cup final to look forward to four days later. However, United ended Liverpool's treble dreams with a 2–1 win, with goals from Stuart Pearson and Jimmy Greenhoff, five minutes apart with a Jimmy Case consolation goal in between.

Six years later, on 26 March 1983, the two sides met for the Football League Cup final. Goals from Alan Kennedy and Ronnie Whelan won the game 2–1 for Liverpool, who collected the trophy for the third year in succession. Norman Whiteside scored United's consolation goal. It was the last of Liverpool manager Bob Paisley's nine seasons in charge (during which Liverpool had dominated the English and European scene) before his retirement, and his players allowed him to climb the 39 steps to collect the trophy from the Royal Box.

On 4 April 1988, Liverpool were 11 points ahead at the top of the league and almost certain of winning the First Division title with barely a month of the league season remaining. United, in their first full season under the management of Alex Ferguson, were their nearest rivals. The two sides took to the field for a league encounter at Anfield and with the second half just minutes old the home side had a 3–1 lead with goals from Peter Beardsley, Gary Gillespie and Steve McMahon, with United's only goal coming from Bryan Robson. Robson then pulled a goal back for United, and with 12 minutes remaining fellow midfielder Gordon Strachan equalised to force a 3–3 draw.

Nearly six years after this clash, Anfield was the scene of another 3–3 draw in the league between the two sides, only this time it was the home side who climbed back from the jaws of defeat. On 4 January 1994, in the second season of the new FA Premier League, United took a 3-0 lead at Anfield in the opening 25 minutes with goals from Steve Bruce, Ryan Giggs and Denis Irwin. Liverpool managed to claw back to draw 3-3 with two goals from Nigel Clough and another from Neil Ruddock. It was one of the last games in charge of Liverpool for manager Graeme Souness, who had resigned by the end of the month.

On 1 October 1995, United's Eric Cantona made his comeback to the side after serving an eight-month suspension for attacking a spectator in a game against Crystal Palace. His comeback game was against Liverpool in the Premier League at Old Trafford. United took an early lead through Nicky Butt, only for Liverpool's Robbie Fowler to score twice and give the visitors a 2–1 lead. However, United were awarded a penalty in the 71st minute and Cantona converted it successfully, forcing a 2-2 draw. At the end of the season, the two sides met again at Wembley for the FA Cup Final. The game stayed goalless until the 85th minute, when Liverpool conceded a corner, which David Beckham swung into the box to be cleared by David James, only for Eric Cantona to fire home United's winner.

On 14 March 2009, the two sides met at Old Trafford in the Premier League. United were ahead at the top of the league and Liverpool were looking to make a late run to the title which had eluded them since 1990. United went ahead in the 23rd minute with a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, but Fernando Torres equalised five minutes later for Liverpool, and a Steven Gerrard penalty just before half time put Liverpool in the lead. United had Nemanja Vidić sent off in the 76th minute, and their misery was swiftly confounded by late goals from Fabio Aurelio and finally Andrea Dossena, condemning them to a 4-1 defeat - their heaviest at Old Trafford in any competition for 17 years (though Manchester City would later surpass this achievement in 2011 with a 6-1 away win).[32] However, United managed to finish the season as league champions for the third season in succession, with Liverpool finishing second.
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PostSubject: Re: Manchester United vs Liverpool   Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:32 pm

Football Rivalries - Manchester United and Liverpool

18.10.1992 - Manchester United vs Liverpool
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