By Bill Farnham
I hate losing to Manchester United. I don’t care if it’s at Anfield or at Old Trafford. I would rather beat Manchester United than beat Everton any day of the week. Maybe it’s because I’m not a Scouser or because I’m not from Liverpool, but it’s always the Manchester United games that get my blood pumping.
In light of last Sunday’s “glorious failure,” I thought that I would remind myself of some of my favorite Liverpool – Manchester United games from the last few years to ease the pain of the past few days (and a season where we have yet to record a league win). Nothing beats watching a replay of Liverpool thrashing Manchester United, except for watching it live of course.
1. Liverpool 4, Manchester United 1, March 14, 2009
Goals by Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Fabio Aurelio (yes!) and Andrea Dossena (who?) followed a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty as the Reds romped at Old Trafford and came back from an early deficit. Torres had Nemanja Vidic’s number all day, as Vidic picked up two yellows to earn an early shower, and Dossena’s lob of Edwin Van der Sar in stoppage time was the icing on the cake. Scoring four goals at Old Trafford is always special, and the only drawback as far as I am concerned is the hideous away kit, which was clearly designed by someone whose fashion sense is equal to my footballing ability.
2. Liverpool 2, Manchester United 0, October 25, 2009
Nothing like a home shutout against Manchester United to bring a smile to my face. Torres was excellent in this match as Vidic was sent off for the third match in a row against Liverpool. Javier Mascherano also saw a red card and miracle of miracles, David Ngog scored a goal. Jamie Carragher gets stuck in on Michael Owen for good measure when Owen comes on late as a substitute. My favorite moment in this match is when Pepe Reina sprints the entire length of the field and is the first one to reach Ngog after he scores to put the game to bed. Pure class. Now if only he could rediscover some form.
3. Liverpool 3, Manchester United 1, March 6, 2011
Luis Suarez gets a hat trick off of Dirk Kuyt and Nani in this match. Kuyt’s first goal was set up by a vintage Suarez dribble in the box, while the second goal for the Dutchman followed Nani’s poor attempt to head clear a Suarez cross. Jamie Carragher settled Nani’s hash right before halftime and was leniently awarded a yellow card, while Rafael made an equally absurd tackle on Lucas Leiva. Nani was stretchered off but Lucas got back up and finished the match Kuyt’s third goal came after Van der Sar couldn’t hold onto a Suarez free kick, and spilled the shot for him to tuck into the net. This game also included a Fabio Aurelio injury in the first half and Andy Carroll’s first appearance as a Red.
Just in case watching those three games doesn’t pick you up, try to find footage(!) of the Liverpool vs. Newton Heath match from October 12, 1895, a 7-1 Second Division Liverpool victory in front of 7,000 strong at Anfield. William Barclay, former Everton manager, was at the helm for Liverpool as the Reds destroyed the team that would become Manchester United in their first ever match against them. Another good spirit-lifting match occurred on March 25, 1908, a 7-4 First Division thumping that remains the highest scoring match between the two sides. Liverpool’s hero on the day was Bill McPherson, who scored a hat trick, as 10,000 Liverpool fans cheered lustily from the terraces.
P.S. I know we need to stop reliving past glories. It’s just that we’re a little short of present glories…