It’s Manchester United vs Liverpool. Let’s take a trip down memory lane. This is my five all-time favorite United vs Liverpool derby’s.
The biggest game in football is happening this Saturday. Manchester United against Liverpool. It doesn’t get better, at least not for a guy who grew up as a United supporter – with a Liverpool dad.
I can still remember how the derby’s used to make me feel. It was like Christmas and my birthday all in one day. The highlights of the season. I wasn’t even nervous back then. No way Manchester United were going to lose against Liverpool. In recent years… well, let’s say it’s not that easy to keep my nerves in check anymore.
Diego Forlán. John O’Shea. Dimitar Berbatov. There’s been so many iconic moments as a Man United supporter, and after going through every single United v Liverpool derby I’ve watched over the years, here’s my absolute favorites.
2015: The Juan Mata Show
Let’s start with a recent favorite, mostly because I was in the stands at Anfield. It was a ballsy move, joining my father and step brother, who both are Liverpool fans, to the derby – at Anfield. And we were sitting in the middle of all the Liverpool fans. You can try to imagine how my face looked after Gerrard was sent off after 48 seconds on the pitch. Trying so hard not to laugh, and it didn’t get better when the late Liverpool fans came out after half time saying «What the hell happened». I mean, they didn’t even know Gerrard was subbed on. It was h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s.
United was obviously leading 1-0 already at that point, but when Juan Mata did the bicycle kick to make it 2-0 in the second half I almost stood up and cheered. Glad I didn’t, cause the guy behind me, who were screaming «Get a grrrrrrrrip lads» the entire match, would probably have killed me. That was a nice day in Liverpool.
Oh yeah. O’Shea. The game itself wasn’t much, but the ending. Holy smokes. John O’Shea went from being a decent allround player to a Manchester United legend after smashing the ball in the back of the net from close range in the 91st minute.
United fans, be honest… you’d take back Johnny in a heart beat. Just to be able to see him in a United shirt again. I know I would.
2002: Oh Diego
The best Diego ever? Well, at least he was for 90 minutes against Liverpool in 2002. I didn’t actually get to watch this match on TV, because I was at some family birthday party, but this still is one of the derby’s I remember best from my childhood. It’s weird how that works.
Two words: Text TV. I was refreshing that page every second, every minute, and after the name Diego Forlán appeared not once – but twice – within three minutes, I was absolutely sold. It did help that my dad was sitting next to me, trying to be optimistic when Sami Hyypia scored in the 82nd minute. Sorry, but you didn’t have Diego.
2010: The Coolest Guy To Ever Wear a United shirt
No, I’m actually not talking about Eric Cantona. I’m talking about the Bulgarian superstar Dimitar Berbatov. I wasn’t even that big of a fan until this exact game against Liverpool in 2010.
Steven Gerrard scored two goals that match, but I doubt anybody remembers that. Cause Berbatov netted three. Bang. Bang. And an over-head kick. Poetry in motion, and probably the best derby in the last decade.
2001: The Riise Rocket
Your reaction is probably “What the fuck? A match United lost?” Yeah, actually. Being a Norwegian, seeing a Norwegian guy score the greatest United v Liverpool free kick of all-time, that kind of sticks with you. We spent the entire following week trying to copy that goal in between classes at school. I think we thought we made it. But we absolutely did not. What a freaking rocket.
That’s the derby’s that I remember the best. I have no doubt in my mind I should probably have mentioned a few more, Rio Ferdinand’s 90th minute winner, Mikael Silvestre’s double, and so on, but these are easily my top five.
So what about the game this weekend? Well. The last four games between the two has ended as a draw. United are indeed at home, but I can’t see José going for goals after the start he had vs Crystal Palace. This will be a tight (boring) match, that probably ends 0-0 or 1-1.
WRITTEN BY MATTIS HOLT, SPORTS WRITER AND VALUELIVE SHOW HOST
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