One of English footballs most notorious and passionate rivalries, unlike the others, is based not on location but on success. The annual fixtures between Liverpool and Manchester United are infused with a passion not derived from locality, but form the size of the trophy cabinet. Indeed, this rivalry is more of a modern development as, although major clubs compete fiercely with each other across the land, the fight to be crowned as the most successful club in England has fused this rivalry.
Post War Top Flight Finish comparison
Anfield was home to some of the finest teams of the 1970s and 1980s and with total domination in the league and European success they were the undeniable kings of Europe. Keegan, Souness, Dalglish, Hughes……the names that are drip off the tongue. Whilst the Kop was awash in success and silverware. Down at Old Trafford United were having mixed fortunes. Still one of Englands biggest clubs success was thin on the ground, with an unexpected relegation and inconsistent form. Then the turn around came…
Just as Liverpool’s grip on the English game began to loosen, United started to emerge. Alex Ferguson’s appointment in 1986 was the key moment and despite the initial struggle Ferguson began to build a dynasty which would make United the most dominant team in the Premier League. Indeed, with the coming of the Premier League in 1992 United surpassed all records. League title after league title, cup after cup, Champions League success and a place at the very highest spot in world football. Liverpool fans had to watch has their crowns were taken, records were smashed and United were the team everyone talked about.
During the Premier League era Liverpool could not muster together the form or quality to win the division. Although always in and around the top 5 Liverpool never mounted a serious challenge until the arrival of Brendan Rodgers and United had it all their own way. Liverpool did have success in Europe and domestic trophies but the domination of United in the league, that Liverpool once dominated, was a bitter pill to swallow.
Liverpool fans clung onto the past, citing figures and statistics of how they were still England number 1 team. United fans teased and hunted records, making a big deal about every Liverpool record that was beaten.
This success rivalry led to the games between the pair being tinged with venom, passion and excitement. United, although involved in their own city derby, looked to the Liverpool game as the marker for their season. Liverpool looked to the United game for a chance to take the champions down a peg.
The hunt for success by two of the world’s biggest clubs will continue and the rivalry that goes with it will continue to entertain neutrals season after season.
Major Honours Comparison and Footie Quiz Scoring Matrix
So who do you think are the biggest and the most successful of the two?