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Ranked! Manchester United’s 6 most glorious wins over Liverpool

Manchester United

No bias here, ladies and gents. Click here to see Liverpool’s best wins over Man United.

6. Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool (Premier League, 2006)

Nothing quite like a 90th-minute winner against an old rival, particularly when that goal comes from an unlikely source. This game was actually nothing special, with the home side missing a suspended Cristiano Ronaldo and Djibril Cisse missing an easy chance (he will do that) for Liverpool.

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Yet as the clock ticked to 90 minutes, Rio Ferdinand rose to merk in a Ryan Giggs free-kick and send Old Trafford ballistic. However, for once banter king Rio was outdone in the wind-up stakes, as Gary Neville took it upon himself to race across the pitch at full-time and celebrate enthusiastically in front of the away supporters (an act which later cost him a £5k fine). Wonderful shithousery.

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5. Liverpool 0-1 Man United (Premier League, 2007)

This list isn’t entirely 1-0 smash-and-grabs with defenders scoring late winners. Honest. Yet say the words: “John O’Shea” and “in front of The Kop” to any Man United fan and they will get a dreamy look in their eye, as they picture the lanky Peter Kay do his ‘I never score – how do you actually do a celebration?’ celebration.

Sheasy’s roofed finish after some penalty box scrapping came in injury time in a game the away side had hardly looked like winning. The fact that they were down to 10 men after Paul Scholes's late red card, without an injured Wayne Rooney, and that this result saw United take a huge step towards reclaiming the league title for the first time since 2003, made it all the sweeter.

4. Man United 4-0 Liverpool (Premier League, 2003)

Whisper it, but while Manchester United have been largely superior to their old rivals over the last 20 years, that hasn’t always manifested itself in results between the pair. Even during Sir Alex Ferguson’s pomp, the north-west derby tended to be fiercely competitive with United often winning by the odd goal but rarely putting Liverpool to the sword as they would occasionally do with other rivals (read: Arsenal).

Yet this result stands out: the widest victory margin recorded by either team in the post-1992, Premier League era. Ruud van Nistelrooy converted a penalty after Sami Hyppia brought him down, the Liverpool captain was sent off and Liverpool’s 10 men could do little as Van Nistelrooy scored a second penalty, Ryan Giggs made it 3-0, then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored late on (he will do that).

In truth, this was hardly a vintage United display – the game was all but over after Hyppia’s early red – but crushing your local rivals 4-0 without even having to find top gear? Pretty sweet.

3. Liverpool 1-2 Man United (December, 2002)

How to make yourself a United cult hero in two simple steps: sign for the club as a highly rated striker then basically fail to score any goals (this, admittedly, is the less fun part). Step two: score a double in a tense pre-Christmas tie against historic rivals to inflict their first home defeat in a year.

As it turned out, Diego Forlan was an excellent player – but he never fully settled at Old Trafford, aside from this glorious brace that’s still recalled in song by the United faithful. His first was in fact a horrific rick by Liverpool keeper Jerzy Dudek (he will do that) as the ball spilled though The Dude’s buttery hands and Forlan pounced.

The confidence now flowing like his lustrous mane of blond hair, Forlan’s dander was up – and he blasted in a second just two minutes later. Hyppia halved the deficit late on, but not enough to deny Man United a cherished victory.

2. Man United 3-2 Liverpool (Premier League, 2010)

Winning a see-saw thriller with a hat-trick from a classy but maligned striker, with one of the Premier League’s greatest ever goals to boot. So a fairly quiet game, then.

Dimitar Berbatov opened the scoring, but it was his second that dazzled. The Bulgarian somehow managed to look laidback while scoring a bicycle kick, as he controlled Nani’s cross on his thigh before flicking it over his head, onto the underside of the crossbar and in. A thing of beauty.

Yet Steven Gerrard – often a thorn in Man United’s side when he wasn’t picking up red cards in the fixture - turned the game around for Roy Hodgson’s men via a penalty and a free-kick. Then, on 84 minutes, Berbatov completed his hat-trick with a soaring header. Cue pandamonium, even in the prawn sandwich seats.

1. Man United 2-1 Liverpool (FA Cup, 1999)

Coming from behind late to win a north-west derby is special in any circumstances, but it’s only in retrospect how important this result – which extended United’s run of not losing an FA Cup game against Liverpool to 77 years – was.

Michael Owen scored the opener just two minutes into this midday kick-off, and while the home side dominated after that (Roy Keane hitting the woodwork twice), they couldn’t break Liverpool down.

That is, until two minutes from the end when Dwight Yorke tapped in Andy Cole’s header across goal, before substitute Solskjaer swept in an injury time winner.
Cathartic victory, but also a Sliding Doors moment. 

This was only a January FA Cup fourth-round tie, but without those late goals, Manchester United would never have gone on to win the Treble. It also set the pattern for come-from-behind victories to come. And Solskjaer has won it – not for the last time, either.

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