Euro 2020 Special

Liverpool vs Manchester United: A Historical Rivalry

The history of Liverpool vs Manchester United rivalry runs deep. It isn’t just two famous clubs situated in the North of England but the two cities that just don’t get along from way back in time. The origin of the rivalry began due to economic reasons but soon it was the performances on the pitch which made most headlines. These two cities are just 30 miles apart but there’s nothing friendly about these two neighbours.

Here’s how the Liverpool vs Manchester United rivalry has shaped up over the years.



During the Industrial Revolution, both the cities were thriving economically but 1894 was the year where the situation of the two cities turned. The new Manchester Ship Canal was built to take the trade away from Liverpool and that’s where this rivalry was born. The construction of the newly built Ship Canal in Manchester meant that ships no longer had to dock in Liverpool but could go all the way to Manchester and it meant that plenty of jobs were lost in Liverpool. People from Liverpool still hold this against Manchester and have plenty of resentment towards the Mancunians over this loss of income from the city.



It wasn’t just economic reasons why this is known as one of the most heated rivalries in world football history. It may have started due to that but soon performances on the field took over for the hatred to spread. Both these clubs are the most successful clubs in the country and it is a matter of pride to don the red of either of these clubs. Both these clubs believe that they are the greatest club in England and rightly so as both the clubs share 130 trophies between the two – 64 major trophies for Liverpool and 66 major trophies for Manchester United.

Liverpool were crowned as first English champions in 1901 but United fans would tell you that their club has more titles now – 19 for Liverpool and 20 for Manchester United. The red of United became the first-ever English team to win the European Cup back in 1968 but Liverpool fans would tell you that they have more European trophies – six European Cups for Liverpool and three for Manchester United.

Occasionally it gets extremely heated on the pitch as well. The players give no quarter to one another. It is so intense that since 1964 no player has been transferred between the two clubs. The clubs will never engage in any business whatsoever.



The 1970s and 1980s were dominated by the red half of Liverpool. They had the best in class during those decades. But Liverpool’s sharp fall from grace at the beginning of the 1990s coincided with United’s rise under Sir Alex Ferguson. He had only one objective to knock Liverpool off their perch. He rightly did so, in the 23 long years he was at United, he won a staggering 13 titles during his time at the club while Liverpool struggled even to finish in the top four consistently. It can be said with ease that Sir Alex Ferguson was more than successful in achieving his objective. 



It’s been more than eight years since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club and ironically that was the last season when United were realistic title contenders in the Premier League. Since then we’ve seen their bitter rivals like Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool lifting the trophy while United kept struggling to bridge the gap between them and the title winners. Liverpool in the due course under Jurgen Klopp has gone on to lift their sixth Champions League trophy and their first Premier League title. Safe to say that Liverpool are on the ascendency and United are still trying to bridge the gap. This weekend promises to be a blockbuster clash as table-toppers Manchester United have a massive trip to Anfield to take on the champions Liverpool on their home patch. It couldn’t be set up more beautifully for an iconic title race which could be remembered for years to come.




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