Liverpool vs. Manchester United: Top five matches at Anfield

Ahead of tomorrow's meeting between Liverpool and Manchester United, Sports Mole looks back at five of the most memorable Anfield encounters between the rival clubs.

One of the biggest rivalries in European football will resume tomorrow lunchtime when Manchester United make the relatively short trip along the M62 to Liverpool.

The contempt between the two is not only based on football, despite the two sides being the most successful that England has ever produced, but also trade. The building of the Manchester Ship Canal in the late 1800s meant that ships could bypass the Merseyside city, much to its disgruntlement.

All of which has made for some fiery encounters on the pitch when these two teams have locked horns. With that in mind, Sports Mole has picked out five of the most memorable encounters from down the years at Anfield.

Liverpool 4-4 Man United, August 1953

Supporters were charged three pence to watch the highest scoring post-war clash between these two clubs 60 years ago. Hosting Liverpool, who included Bob Paisley among their starting lineup, fell behind when Jack Rowley put United in front. However, by half time, the Reds held a 2-1 lead thanks to strikes from Billy Liddell and Bill Jones. Sir Matt Busby's United responded after the restart courtesy of Roger Byrne, but it appeared that the points would be going to the home side when Louis Bimpson scored a quick brace. The spoils would ultimately be shared, though, as youngsters Eddie Lewis and Tommy Taylor secured a draw for the away side.

Liverpool 3-3 Man United, April 1988

He may not have found the net in this encounter, but without Norman Whiteside, United would have left Anfield empty handed. Captain Bryan Robson put the visitors in front, but goals from Peter Beardsley, Gary Gillespie and Steve McMahon handed the initiative to Liverpool. Then, when Colin Gibson was given his marching orders, United's misery appeared to have been compounded. The introduction of Whiteside swung the contest United's way, though, and they claimed a point thanks to goals from Robson and Gordon Strachan, who goaded The Kop by pretending to smoke a cigar in celebration.

Liverpool 3-3 Man United, January 1994

Graeme Souness's Liverpool only earned a point for their efforts in early January, but it will have felt like a victory. United raced into a 3-0 lead within the opening 25 minutes courtesy of goals from Steve Bruce, Ryan Giggs and Denis Irwin. However, by the break, two goals from Nigel Clough had cut United's advantage down to just one goal. That was then wiped out 11 minutes from time when Neil Ruddock, up from the back, got above Gary Pallister to head in the equaliser.

Liverpool 2-3 Man United, September 1999

Scoring an own goal is unfortunate, but to bury two beyond your own goalkeeper in one match is something else. In fact, it was a feat (if you can call it that) that Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher achieved within the opening 45 minutes! Further goals from United striker Andy Cole, who would later be sent off, and Liverpool centre-back Sami Hyypia made the scoreline 3-1 at half time. The home side rallied in the second half and reduced the arrears through Patrick Berger, but they were unable to draw level against a depleted United side. The game also marked a United debut for Italian goalkeeper Massimo Taibi, who showed some early promise and certainly no signs of the disaster that was to come!

Liverpool 3-1 Man United, March 2011

Not since Beardsley in 1990 had a Liverpool player scored a hat-trick in this fixture. Step forward Dirk Kuyt, who would go on to make himself a hero in the eyes of the Anfield faithful when he scored all three of his side's goals in this victory. The Dutch attacker netted his trio within the opening 65 minutes - the last of which saw him benefit from an error by United goalkeeper and his fellow countryman Edwin van der Sar. Javier Hernandez pulled a goal back for the Red Devils in stoppage time, but it was an afternoon that belonged to Kuyt.

Darren Fletcher loops a header into the net against Chelsea.
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