Liverpool vs Manchester United: The Bitter Rivalry in English Football

Many people ask the question “What is the biggest rivalry in English football?” To that there is only one answer Liverpool FC vs Manchester United. This is not just any fixture which has a rivalry like many other teams in the English Premier League, this stands alone at the top.

Refered to as the North West Derby, this fixture, whether at Old Trafford or at Anfield is watched by fans around the world. The two most successful clubs in English football share over 70 domestic trophies between them without including European accolades.

Not only is the clubs, just 35 miles distance between the two are rivals on the pitch, this can also be said about the two cities itself.  This goes back over hundreds of years back to the Industrial Revolution.

Manchester’s merchants, not happy by the high import charges levied by the Port of Liverpool, built the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 to bring raw materials directly to their cotton mills. This change challenged the city of Liverpool as Manchester became the global hub of the textile industry.

Manchester’s merchants, not happy by the high import charges levied by the Port of Liverpool, built the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 to bring raw materials directly to their cotton mills.

From this period, Manchester overtook the city of Liverpool and since then they have never regained the advantage. In terms of football, and local music including the Beatles the city was energised in the 1960’s. The Reds of Liverpool also dominated English football in the 1970’s and 80’s, leaving Manchester United well and truly in the shade so much so they won 19 major trophies in 17 years, an amazing feat.  Over the years in terms of music, Manchester has dominated with the bands Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, The Stone Roses and Oasis etc.

Whilst this never looked like the Red Devils could catch, in walked Sir Alex Ferguson who completely transformed the team and club. The manager was determined to overtake Liverpool and famously said he wanted ‘to knock Liverpool off the perch’ . In the next 20 years Manchester United won 21 major domestic honours in 18 years, culminating in the 19th league title in 2010-11.

The record now stands that Manchester United are more successful in English Football than Liverpool except that Liverpool have the superior record in European competition.

Every game between Manchester United and Liverpool truly is worth watching, tickets for the games are sold-out months in advance. Seat-Compare.com have created some statistics for the game in which the fixture Liverpool vs Manchester United, ticket prices are on average £350 compared to £95 for any other game.  Seat Compare analyse the prices of all Premier League fixtures and found that in terms of ticket demand, this is the biggest. Fans from both clubs purchase tickets the day the fixtures are released, often 6 months + before.

The history of this fixture means that it stands alone every season and one that if you can attend then we highly recommend.

Other games which have similar but quite the same are Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa vs Birmingham City and Manchester United v Manchester City.

Do you agree that Liverpool v Manchester United is the biggest and most bitter in the English Premier League? Give us your thoughts and comments below.

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