As Jose Mourinho’s men take a difficult trip to Anfield on the weekend to face Jurgen Klopp’s side, the main focus within English football on Saturday will certainly be the fixture between Liverpool and Manchester United. The two most successful clubs of England will go head-to-head once again as they aim to achieve victory and go on to challenge for the Premier League title.
The Red Devils have got off to a superb start to the 2017-18 campaign, where they have earned 19 out of a possible 21 points and have conceded only two goals in seven league games. However, the side have had an easy schedule for the first few months of the season compared to the other teams within the top six. The match against Liverpool will be the side’s first big test of the term.
Meanwhile, Liverpool will want to forget the results they picked up in the whole of September, as they got demolished by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium as well as experiencing failure to take their chances in the stalemates at home to Burnley and away to Newcastle United. Despite picking up the three points against Leicester City, the Reds were very lucky to hold on to the lead until the final whistle.
When it comes to the head-to-head between both sides within the league, Manchester United’s 67 wins (compared to Liverpool’s 55) brings them ahead by a decent margin, which may not come as a surprise given the fact that the latter have suffered a major decline than the former over the last five to ten years.
Without further ado, we look at the three matches/moments away at Anfield that are still unsurprisingly remembered by a lot of die-hard Manchester United fans today…
The infamous Diego Forlan brace in 2002
He might not have had a successful time at Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson, however, forward Diego Forlan, who bagged just the ten goals in 63 appearances, will surely be remembered forever due to his monumental brace in December 2002.
Within the matter of three minutes, the Uruguayan struck twice as he punished Liverpool for their poor defending and goalkeeping errors.
On top of that, the result was proved to be vital as United continued their form that season to be announced as champions of England whilst Liverpool suffered a downfall and finished three points behind fourth-place Chelsea.
Since then, the supporters have sang the name of the former Villarreal and Atletico Madrid star on a regular basis, who retired from professional football last year but still follows Manchester United constantly as mentioned in an interview not long ago.
John O’Shea with the winner in injury time
In the final minutes of the game, United are down to ten men and have a good chance to grab the winner from a set-piece just outside of the box on the left side of the pitch.
A low driven cross from Cristiano Ronaldo is weakly parried away by Pepe Reina into the feet of John O’Shea, who pounces on the mistake and smashes the ball into the roof of the net to give the away side the three points.
From the first minute of the game till the final whistle, Rafael Benitez’s side were dominant throughout the match and played Ferguson’s men off the park for most of the afternoon.
In the end, United showed their mentality as champions by winning games that they did not deserve to whilst Liverpool failed to converted their clear-cut chances in front of goal. The result allowed the Red Devils to be 12 points ahead of the rest of the league as they went on to achieve their 16th league title in English football.
Juan Mata’s masterclass under Louis Van Gaal
Louis Van Gaal’s first season at the club was not going well as he constantly adjusted to different formations to find the perfect system for his squad, however, the side’s well-controlled and convincing display kept them a step or two ahead of Brendan Rodgers’ team from the start till the end.
Juan Mata’s brace instantly made himself a popular figure within the United fanbase, with a sweet shot in off the post in the first-half and a gorgeous bicycle-kick goal just before the hour mark.
However, the main headlines of the match was focused on Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who was sent off 38 seconds after coming on a half-time substitute.
Maybe the rising atmosphere from the away stands got to him or the fact that this would be the final chance for him to be a huge influence on a big game, on the other hand, the United fans loved every single bit of the game as all the outcome went their way.
The three points from the fixture helped Van Gaal’s men to a top-four finish whilst Rodgers’ side were helpless and had to settle for sixth-place come the end of the season.
Written by Asif Norat
Follow Asif on Twitter @Asif9707
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