There probably couldn’t have been a better game to start the football weekend after an international break. Liverpool vs Manchester United. Both teams have had contrasting starts to their seasons. Klopp’s Liverpool have lost all their early season momentum, with Sadio Mane’s injury adding to a long list of problems for the German manager. United, on the other hand, have blitzed almost everyone before them so far, showing an attacking swagger not normally associated with Jose Mourinho’s teams. A win for United would see Liverpool drop 10 points behind their Manchester rivals, and with the unveiling of the Kenny Dalglish stand to precede the game, there is not going to be a lack of atmosphere for this tie.
The games against Liverpool are always the ones United fans look out for when the fixture calendar is first released. We all have our favourite moments from these games, and to build up to the big game, we spoke to some of our writers and asked them about their favourite memories from a Liverpool vs United game at Anfield.
Anfield hasn’t been the best of venues for us. Victories have been rare, and therefore wildly celebrated. One of these rare victories came about in January 2016, in a period when Louis van Gaal was under immense pressure. The goalscorer? Wayne Rooney, of course. Liverpool dominated the game, David de Gea kept us in it with a few vital saves, and with about ten minutes to go, Fellaini headed against the crossbar and Rooney smashed in the rebound. I remember jumping around my living room like a maniac, for if there’s anything better than a late winner, it’s a late winner against Liverpool. At Anfield. Scored by Wayne Rooney.
My favourite derby at Anfield I remember the most is the 2-1 victory under Louis Van Gaal in 2015. United had just blown Spurs away 3-0 at Old Trafford and it finally looked like, after 7 months in charge, LVG had worked out how to set up his team. Despite the scoreline being 2-1, we controlled the game and won easily. This is probably the game that solidified the fans’ love of Herrera and Mata. The pair combined for the first goal beautifully and Juan scored that exquisite bicycle kick to win the game. Of course, we shouldn’t forget this was in the midst of the Stevie G farewell tour. Summoned to try and rescue the game at halftime, he lasted a few seconds before getting sent off. This would have been the funniest moment of his career, had it not been for a certain slip.
Juan Mata slides scissoring in from Angel Di Maria’s deliciously scooped pass. “This is Juanfield”. Loved that headline. ‘Slippy G’ getting sent off a minute after coming on.
Easter 1988, United 3-1 down, down to 10 men, Whiteside comes on to show Steve McMahon what a REAL ‘hard man’ looks like, Robbo pulls one back with a deflected shot off Gary Gillespie, then wee Gordon Strachan (best player on the park that day) is put through, calmly passes it into the corner of the net in front of the Kop and proceeds to ‘smoke a cigar’ in celebration….magic!