Sunday sees Liverpool travel to Old Trafford in by far the most enticing of all the FA Cup matches this weekend. The two most successful clubs in England go head to head just as Manchester United appear to be odds on to take title 19.
The pre-match build up will no doubt centre on Kenny Dalglish and whether he is the right short term appointment to take over from Roy HodgsonÂ and the history of this fixture is against the Merseyside giants.
It should though be pointed out that FA Cup results don’t always go with form or league position so if Liverpool can somehow forget their woeful away record this season, you never know.
Here are five classic FA Cup ties between Manchester United and Liverpool.
1. Manchester United 2 – Liverpool 1, May 21, 1977. United surprised Liverpool in the Wembley FA Cup final and prevented them from completing a treble which the Manchester club would famously achieve for the first time 22 years later. The game sprung to life just after the break as Stuart Pearson finished well and celebrated with a clenched fist. Jimmy Case equalised two minutes later with a fine turn and finish only for a third goal in five minutes from Jimmy Greenhoff to win the match in front of just under 100,000 fans with a scuffed effort.
2. Manchester United 2 – Liverpool 2, April 13, 1985. Goodison Park played host to a cracking semi-final with Liverpool yet again the favourites ahead of the encounter. Bryan Robson put United in front, only for Ronnie Whelan to equalise with minutes remaining with one of the finest goals scored in this fixture. In extra time Frank Stapleton scored with a low bender only for substitute Paul Walsh to level things up on 120 minutes from on the line to complete a cracking game. Manchester United would go on to win the replay 2-1.
3. Manchester United 1 – Liverpool 0, Â May 11, 1996. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side completed their second double in three seasons as Eric Cantona made his comeback from a Kung Fu kick at Selhurst Park and lengthy suspension with a fine volleyed winner. Liverpool meanwhile turned up in white suits that have gone down in FA Cup folklore and failed to make an impact on a dour game, coming a cropper to Eric the King.
4. Manchester United 2 – Liverpool 1, January 24, 1999. One of the finest ever FA Cup ties and undoubtedly a precursor to what would happen in the Nou Camp against Bayern Munich later on in the season. Michael Owen headed Liverpool ahead and Roy Evans’ side looked like winning the match until two minutes to go especially after Roy Keane had hit the post. Dwight Yorke tapped in the equaliser from an Andy Cole header and then seconds later Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would win it outright.
5. Liverpool 1 – Manchester United 0, February 18, 2006. Peter Crouch’s header from a Steve Finnan cross after just 20 minutes was enough to give Liverpool a rare FA Cup win over United, their first over their great rivals for 85 years. To compound matters for Sir Alex Ferguson, a horrific broken leg suffered by Alan Smith would effectively all but end his Old Trafford career and the hatred between the two teams was sharply illustrated with some unsavoury scenes as the midfielder was sent in an ambulance to hospital.