Even if, as currently seems to be the case, there is a gulf in quality between the two most successful clubs in English football history, there is still enough interest, intrigue and anticipation over what is certainly the biggest and most-watched Premier League game of each and every season.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds will head to Old Trafford thie weekend on a run of 17 successive league victories, of which eight have come this season, with win meaning they’ll equal Manchester City’s 18-game record set in 2017.
Well they’ll be able to take inspiration from some of these classic clashes.
1. Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United – March 31, 2001
He’d already been around for a while at this point, but this was one of the first occasions that Steven Gerrard really announced his game-seizing, thunderbolting best on the biggest stage.
Just 16 minutes had elapsed when a weak clearance from Fabien Barthez eventually reached Gerrard, and he unleashed a remarkable 30-yarder into the top corner to set Liverpool on the way to victory.
2. Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United – November 4, 2001
That Anfield Road End net was in for some serious punishment in 2001, as just over seven months after Gerrard’s strike it then had to put up with John Arne Riise – in his first season with Liverpool – firing in a stunning free-kick.
Michael Owen’s brace meant that a David Beckham strike was just a consolation for United.
3. Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United – December 1, 2002
Before this clash at Anfield Diego Forlan had been seen as something of a laughing stock, but after it fingers were being pointed at Jerzy Dudek.
The Liverpool goalkeeper allowed a harmless Jamie Carragher header through his grasp to let Forlan score, before failing to keep out a long range effort from the Uruguayan three minutes later.
4. Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United (League Cup Final) – March 2, 2003
However, redemption was around the corner for Dudek just a few months later, as a man of the match display in the League Cup final laid the foundations for a 2-0 Liverpool victory.
Gerrard’s early deflected effort opened the scoring, with Owen sealing the win when he raced clear to score late on.
5. Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool – January 22, 2006
Another 1-0 United win, although one in which the goalscorer isn’t actually the one remembered for it.
Rio Ferdinand’s last gasp header won the day for United, but it was Gary Neville’s wild celebrations in front of the Liverpool fans that people remember, as he picked up a £5,000 fine.
He’s since said he’d gladly pay it again “100 times over.”
There was a different type of drama on show at Anfield in the FA Cup less than a month later, as Peter Crouch’s header won the day for Liverpool on their way to lifting the trophy.
Alan Smith’s horrific broken leg was the main memory of the day though, with the Englishman’s leg crumpling under the weight of a Riise free-kick.
He departed Anfield on a stretcher to a standing ovation.
7. Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United – March 3, 2007
Surely one of United’s sweetest victories over Liverpool in recent times, the visitors were down to 10 men following a red card for Paul Scholes in the 85th minute, and then up stepped the unlikely figure of John O’Shea.
The Irishman fired home in front of a stunned Kop to win the game in stoppage time.
8. Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool – March 14, 2009
Liverpool had been in the title race, then out of it, and then firmly back in it again after they overwhelmed United at Old Trafford.
A Cristiano Ronaldo penalty opened the scoring, but the visitors hit back through Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, the unlikely figure of Fabio Aurelio and the even more unlikely figure of Andrea Dossena to leave their fans in dreamland.
9. Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United – October 25, 2009
Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool were under siege when they welcomed United to Old Trafford in October 2008, having lost their previous four matches to plunge into depths they’ve barely been in before.
They rose to the challenge, however, with Torres holding off Ferdinand to score the opener, and then – with Owen up the other end in a United shirt – the young David Ngog racing clear to wrap it up late on, sparking wild celebrations.
10. Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool – September 19, 2010
This was Roy Hodgson-era Liverpool, but as bad as the current Crystal Palace manager was for the Reds there was nothing he could have done about the genius of Dimitar Berbatov in this clash at Old Trafford.
The Bulgarian scored a hat-trick, including a quite remarkable overhead kick for the winner, meaning that two Gerrard goals proved mere consolations.
11. Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool (FA Cup) – January 9, 2011
All eyes were on the Liverpool legend in the dugout for this one, as Kenny Dalglish had been parachuted in for this FA Cup third round tie after the sacking of Roy Hodgson.
There was soon a Liverpool legend in the changing room too, as Gerrard was sent off in the first half for a lunge on Michael Carrick, with Ryan Giggs’ penalty the only goal.
12. Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United – March 6, 2011
Dirk Kuyt may have scored a hat-trick, but everyone left this game talking about Luis Suarez, as the Uruguayan – who’d only been at Anfield for just over a month – proved mesmeric as he teed up two of the goals.
Kuyt’s close range treble won the day though, with Jamie Carragher’s “challenge” on Nani also on the dramatic side, too.
13. Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United – October 15, 2011
Good dramas occasionally take unsavoury plot-twists, and so it proved in October 2011 when Suarez and Patrice Evra went head-to-head.
Ridiculous t-shirts, translations in Rioplatense Spanish and a racism charge followed, as relations between these two reached an all-time low.
14. Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool – February 11, 2012
Four months later, the sequel.
Suarez had only recently come back from his eight-match ban and managed to score for Liverpool at Old Trafford, but a Rooney brace won the day for United, and Evra certainly seemed to enjoy it at full-time.
15. Manchester United 0-3 Liverpool – March 16, 2014
This was peak David Moyes-era United, as a title-chasing Liverpool turned up at Old Trafford and completely overwhelmed them.
Gerrard scored two penalties and missed another one, with Suarez adding the third late on to the sounds of Reds fans thoroughly enjoying the former Everton boss’s discomfort.
16. Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United – March 22, 2015
Gone in 38 seconds.
Liverpool were a goal down to United at Anfield towards the tail end of the Rodgers reign, and so on came Gerrard, in his final season at the club, to try and rescue the situation. But he was promptly sent off.
Juan Mata’s excellently taken brace won it for United, with Daniel Sturridge striking for the 10 men.
17. Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United (Europa League) – March 10, 2016
The first ever European meeting between the sides was always going to be quite the occasion, and Jurgen Klopp’s Reds overwhelmed United in the first leg of this last-16 tie.
A Sturridge penalty and a well-taken Roberto Firmino strike secured a two-goal advantage on a raucous night at Anfield.
18. Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool (Europa League) – March 17, 2016
And that set Liverpool up perfectly for the second leg a week later, although nerves would have frayed when Anthony Martial’s penalty gave United the lead.
One man who wasn’t nervous, though was Philippe Coutinho, and his brilliant run and chip secured Liverpool an away goal just before half-time, effectively killing off the tie.
19. Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool – March 10, 2018
Things were just starting to come together for Klopp’s Champions League chasing side, but they ran into a motivated Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, with United ruthlessly seeing off their rivals. Marcus Rashford’s first half brace put United in control, with Eric Bailly putting through his own net in the second half.
20. Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United – December 16, 2018
Sadio Mane and Jesse Lingard had traded first half goals at Anfield, but with Liverpool well on top and dominating possession against Mourinho’s side, it fell to substitute Xherdan Shaqiri to make the difference in the second half.
The Swiss climbed off the bench to score twice, and Mourinho was sacked the very next day.