Football rivalries, like rivalries in other sports, often help to define eras, and they may even become synonymous with the game itself in a given country.
Few rivalries in English football are more intense than that between Manchester United vs Liverpool, which is one of the country’s longest-running derbies and features the country’s most successful teams.
The greatest rivalry in English football is between Manchester United and Liverpool. By a long shot, they are England’s two most popular clubs. It isn’t considered a local derby since the clubs aren’t from the same area, but the distance between them is only 30 miles.
The competition extends beyond sports, as the cities compete against one another. The football clubs’ rivalry has developed as a result of this. Jobs in Liverpool lost their employment when the Manchester Ship Canal was completed in 1894.
This was due to Liverpool’s status as a major seaport, which was harmed when ships could bypass the city and go straight to Manchester. Because of this, there was outrage in Liverpool, and tensions between Liverpool and Manchester arose.
The First Meeting was held in 1894
The 1893-94 seasons saw Newton Heath, Manchester United’s original name before it was changed in 1902, finishing last in the First Division. Liverpool secured the Second Division after going unbeaten in the season, resulting in a playoff game between the two clubs for the right to play in the First Division the next season. Liverpool won 2-0 and moved up to the First Division, replacing Newton Heath. The rivalry between Manchester United vs Liverpool was born.
The early 1900s
In 1901, Liverpool secured their first league title. They added a third in 1906, the same year Man United was relegated from the First Division. Man United secured their first league title a few years later, in 1908. The next year, they won the first-ever Charity Shield, followed by the FA Cup the next year. In 1911, United won the league and the Charity Shield for the second time.
Moving forward, When the legendary Matt Busby was hired as manager in 1945, Man United started to see some prosperity. Busby had previously played for Manchester City and Liverpool, United’s two main rivals. Busby played 204 games for Man City and 115 for Liverpool, and he also captained the Reds. Busby was given a position as Liverpool’s assistant manager after retirement from football. Since he thought he understood the game better than the club’s administrators did, Busby requested that he be involved in training, be able to select the squad, and oversee the club’s transfer operation.
United’s Rise Under Busby
Although Busby did not bring Man United immediate success, he did provide stability. In 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1951, the club finished second in the First Division. In the 1946/47 season, just one point separated Manchester United and Liverpool, with Liverpool winning the league by a single point. Busby’s first major achievement as united manager came in 1948 when the team won the FA Cup. Liverpool was not especially competitive during this time, despite winning the league in 1947. It was their first championship since 1923, and they didn’t win another until 1964.
Liverpool reclaimed their place as the most powerful club in the world. Liverpool won the championship in 1973, with Bill Shankly still in charge. This marked the start of an unprecedented period of Liverpool domination. Shankly won his third and final title with Liverpool the following season, after winning the FA Cup. He left the club the following season, in 1974, after winning the FA Cup. After this incredible run of success, Liverpool was by far the most successful English club. Nobody might even come close to matching them. During this time, Man United had one thing to cling to.
The Dominance of Manchester United Begins
The 1992-93 season didn’t start well, but that changed when United signed Eric Cantona from Leeds. The next season, United won the league championship for the first time since 1967. A late revival against Sheffield Wednesday, in which they scored in injury time, or Fergie time, propelled them to the top of the table and was seen as the game that would propel them closer to winning the championship.
There is real animosity between both sets of fans and players, as there is with every major rivalry between clubs. When they play, there are always disagreements on and off the field. Some people go too far and cross the line, while others bring a lot of flavor to the situation. It doesn’t need to be mentioned that this is abhorrent behavior that should never occur and should never be accepted. However, only a small percentage of people cross the line and sing about such topics.
A massive police operation is in place every time the clubs play. This is due to frequent squabbles between the two groups of fans. Even though hooliganism is on the decline in English football, fans from rival clubs will clash if given the opportunity.
United supporters would argue that their team is the best since they have accomplished more in recent years and won more leagues. Liverpool supporters, on the other hand, would point to their six European Cups as proof that their team is the best in England.
People may dispute both sides, but regardless of who is on top, these are the two clubs in English football with the most history and trophies, and it appears that this will continue for several years.
Liverpool seems to be the more likely team to compete at the top of the Premier League and in Europe at the moment. Man United, on the other hand, is such a large club with so many resources that they never seem to be far away from a title challenge. Even if United seems to be lagging at the moment, the two could be in direct competition again in the coming years.