Five epic Anfield tussles between Liverpool and Manchester United

With Sunday's clash potentially seeing Liverpool leapfrog their north west rivals into the Champions League places, we look at some memorable encounters from the past.

Brendan Rogers' men are unbeaten in the Premier League since December's 3-0 reverse at Old Trafford, a run of 13 games that has propelled them to the cusp of the coveted Champions League places. Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal's Manchester United have maintained a top-four position despite unconvincing form and an FA Cup exit at the hands of Arsenal last week.

Now, as the two face a pivotal Anfield clash on Sunday, we look back at previous contests that have proved decisive in the balance of power between two of English football's fiercest rivals.

4th April 1988

With Liverpool powering to another league title and Alex Ferguson a relative fledgling in the Old Trafford hot seat, many felt the late season Anfield clash was a formality for the Merseyside league title holders. However, Bryan Robson gave the Red Devils an early advantage before a destructive spell saw Liverpool take a seemingly unassailable 3-1 lead through Peter Beardsley, Gary Gillespie and Steve McMahon. Ferguson had already forged his team into outside title contenders however, and they hit back to stun their rivals with late goals from Robson again, and Gordon Strachan to claim a 3-3 draw.

26th April 1992

By now Liverpool were on the slide and it seemed inevitable that Ferguson's Manchester United would end their 24-year wait for a league title win. Despite Liverpool not taking any part in the title battle themselves, they took great delight in beating Ferguson's men 2-0 to hand the title to Leeds United, who had won earlier in the day. To rub salt in their wounds, Anfield legend Ian Rush chose the occasion to score his first ever goal against Manchester United.

4th January 1994

Manchester United had won one title and were hungry for another, and it showed as they raced to a devastating 3-0 lead through goals from Steve Bruce, Ryan Giggs and a Denis Irwin free-kick. Liverpool replied twice before half-time through a Nigel Clough brace and equalised with 12 minutes remaining through Neil Ruddock. A month later though, Souness had resigned as Liverpool manager and Manchester United went on to win the league at a canter.

19th April 1997

Roy Evans had formed his 'Spice Boys' into title contenders and in a three-way battle with Manchester United and Newcastle, victory in this late season clash would have put Liverpool on top of the table. Gary Pallister silenced a frenzied crowd with an early strike and although John Barnes briefly restored parity, it was Pallister again who put the visitors back in front. In a critical second half, Liverpool couldn't find the breakthrough and Andy Cole extended the lead to 3-1. It was a win that finished off Liverpool's challenge as Ferguson's men ran away with it again.

15th October 2011

A game that was otherwise devoid of major incident, sprung to life with the score at 0-0 when Manchester United defender Patrice Evra was seen to exchange words with Luis Suarez as the two opponents lined up for a corner. Suarez was later found guilty of racially abusing Evra, in the first of a string of on-field controversies for the Uruguayan striker. Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool the lead from a free-kick on 68 minutes, before Javier Hernandez equalised with an 81st minute header.  

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