Manchester United and Liverpool FC is the Premier League’s fiercest rivalry

As he walked off the Liverpool man pointed the finger of blame at Sir Alex Ferguson, accusing him of influencing the referee’s decision.

Shelvey apologised after the game and Ferguson admitted he was impressed, telling the midfielder he had ‘a bit of b***s about him.’

Jonjo Shelvey points the finger of blame at Sir Alex Ferguson after being sent off in the September 2012 meeting at Anfield


Encounters between these two are usually settled by the fun88 odd goal and in January 2005 it was Wayne Rooney that settled it in United’s favour.

The England striker had just made the switch from Everton and was heckled throughout. Share or comment on this article

ByAdam Shergold for MailOnline

Published: 11:22 GMT, 10 September 2015 | Updated: 15:42 GMT, 10 September 2015

It has long been English football’s most combustible fixture, a contest liable to explode at any second after a malicious tackle or word out of turn.

Manchester United vs Liverpool is the Premier League’s answer to the ‘Clasico’, a rivalry between two cities on so many levels condensed into 90 minutes on the football pitch.

We’ve had full-scale melees, rash two-footed challenges, ranting and raving, and plenty of handbags.

Ahead of Saturday’s showdown at Old Trafford, we take a look back at 10 flashpoints in this fixture from the modern era.


The most controversial incident of recent times saw Liverpool striker Luis Suarez fined 40,000 and banned for eight games after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in the Anfield contest on October 15, 2011.

A Football Association investigation found Suarez used the word ‘negro’ five times during an argument and concluded that the Uruguayan’s testimony was unreliable and inconsistent. Liverpool continued to protest his innocence.

The controversy rumbled on when the teams next met, with Suarez appearing to snub Evra’s handshake before the match, leading to further condemnation.

Luis Suarez (left) and Patrice Evra clash after the Liverpool striker racially abused the Manchester United defender in October 2011

Suarez, who was banned for eight games following an FA investigation, refused to shake Evra’s hand before the club’s next meeting

Evra celebrated in front of Suarez after Man United beat Liverpool 2-1 in the return fixture at Old Trafford later in the season


Nemanja Vidic didn’t exactly have the best disciplinary record against Liverpool, having been sent off four times between 2008 and 2014.

The first came in a 2-1 loss for United at Anfield in September 2008, leading with the elbow in an aerial duel with Xabi Alonso and earning a second yellow card.

The Vidic dismissal that remains in the memory came in Liverpool’s 4-1 win at Old Trafford in March 2009 when he finally snapped after an afternoon of being tormented by Fernando Torres, bringing down Steven Gerrard and seeing red.

Further dismissals followed at Anfield in October 2009 – making it three in as many games – and then in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Old Trafford in the depths of the Moyes era in March 2014.

Vidic is shown the red card at Anfield back in September 2008, compounding United’s misery in a 2-1 defeat

This tackle on Steven Gerrard led to Vidic receiving another red card during Liverpool’s 4-1 win at Old Trafford in March 2009

And it was three-in-a-row when Vidic was dismissed in United’s 2-0 defeat on Merseyside back in October 2009

Vidic challenges Daniel Sturridge, earning his fourth red card against Liverpool, in their 3-0 win at Old Trafford in March 2014


This iconic photograph from the 1996 FA Cup Final sums up this fixture’s antagonism as Roy Keane and Robbie Fowler exchange words.

Hero worshipped at their respective clubs, there was no other contest they enjoyed more.

It was United’s day, winning 1-0 thanks to a late Eric Cantona winner and completing the Double for the second time in three seasons.

Robbie Fowler and Roy Keane exchange words during the 1996 FA Cup final at Wembley. It may have stalled United’s Treble challenge but the blow wasn’t fatal.

Denis Irwin is sent off by referee David Elleray for kicking the ball away as Liverpool fight back from two-down to draw in 1999


The 16th – and most recent – red card in this fixture came back in March when Steven Gerrard, facing United for the final time in a Red shirt, was dismissed just 38 seconds after coming on as a substitute.

The Liverpool skipper stamped on Ander Herrera, leaving referee Martin Atkinson little choice.

Steven Gerrard was sent off for this stamp on Ander Herrera during United’s 2-1 win at Liverpool back in March

The Liverpool captain, playing against Man United for the final time, was dismissed a mere 38 seconds after coming on as a substitute


There have been plenty of confrontations between the two sets of players over the years but the March 2011 meeting at Anfield seemed to specialise in them.

There was one after Jamie Carragher’s x-rated challenge on Nani and also when Rafael da Silva unwisely decided to pick a fight with the whole Liverpool side.

Nani is left with blood pouring from his shin after a rash challenge from Jamie Carragher (centre right) in the 2011 meeting at Anfield

The Liverpool defender only received a yellow card for his rash tackle, which came in a 3-1 victory for his side

Rafael da Silva decides to take on a group of Liverpool players during the same Premier League encounter


Gary Neville was never too fond of Liverpool Football Club, nor the city of Liverpool, nor the people of Liverpool.

Never the most popular figure on Merseyside, things escalated in 2006 when Neville marked Rio Ferdinand’s late winner at Old Trafford by running to the away section and kissing the badge on his shirt.

Various outspoken comments about Liverpool and clashes with Jamie Carragher, now his co-pundit on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, did little to repair the damage.

Gary Neville didn’t endear himself to the Liverpool public after this public display of affection for United back in 2006

Neville’s outspoken antipathy towards Liverpool always ensured him a warm welcome at Anfield

And Neville’s many clashes with Liverpool favourite Carragher during their playing days did little to improve relations


In one of the most surreal moments in Premier League history, Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez in January 2009 decided to launch an extraordinary critique of Sir Alex Ferguson.

During a rant that left many questioning the Spaniard’s sanity, he claimed Ferguson was the only manager in the Premier League who could escape punishment over disciplinary breaches, accused the Scot of playing ‘mind games’ because he was scared of Liverpool’s challenge and even suggested his United counterpart arranged the fixture list.

The infamous ‘facts’ speech was met with widespread ridicule.. All of a sudden, United look rattled and Irwin is shown a second yellow card by referee David Elleray for booting the ball away in an attempt to wind down the clock.

It proves costly, with United old boy Paul Ince popping up to equalise in the dying moments. An expensive fit of rage for one Liverpool fan.

Wayne Rooney is pelted with a mobile phone after celebrating in front of the Kop following his goal at Anfield in 2005

Rooney celebrates with Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring, responding to the abuse aimed his way following his switch from Everton


May 1999 and Manchester United are closing in on their famous Treble triumph. Liverpool are determined to halt the trophy charge.

In a pulsating game played out to a febrile Anfield atmosphere, United take a two-goal lead through Dwight Yorke’s header and a Denis Irwin penalty.

But Liverpool rally and Jamie Redknapp halves the deficit midway through the second-half. United won the match 1-0 and lifted the trophy


It was September 2012 and the Anfield fixture was played against the backdrop of the landmark publication of findings of an independent panel investigating the Hillsborough Disaster, raising hopes that justice might finally be achieved for ‘the 96′.

Before the match, United legend Sir Bobby Charlton presented flowers to Liverpool’s record scorer Ian Rush as opposing captains Gerrard and Ryan Giggs released 96 red balloons in memory of those who lost their lives.

But the goodwill went out the window on 39 minutes when Jonjo Shelvey lunged in two-footed at Jonny Evans and was shown a straight red card. And when his under-struck 25-yarder squirmed under Jerzy Dudek in the 21st minute, he knew how he was going to celebrate.

Running to the Kop, Rooney cupped his ears and was pelted with all kinds of objects, among them a mobile phone

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Amelia Woodward

Amelia Woodward

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