Man United vs Liverpool: Still The Premier League's Biggest Rivalry?

We asked fans from either side whether this is still English football's biggest grudge match
10:00, 20 Oct 2019

Manchester United and Liverpool go head-to-head in the Premier League’s biggest game of the season on Sunday.

But is it? Is it still the stand-out fixture in the English football calendar?

The two rivals, different clubs from different cities separated only by the East Lancs Road and a bias towards The Beatles or Oasis, have always loved to hate each other.

However, after decades of shared dominance, now, in 2019, it’s Liverpool gunning for Premier League glory while United struggle and stutter to make the top six.

While it’s always a headline fixture, Reds talisman Virgil van Dijk insisted this week that this fixture isn’t Liverpool’s most important of the season.

“It’s massive, but it’s more massive for the fans,” he told Sky Sports. “The whole atmosphere and leading to the actual game is bigger than some other games but I don’t think it’s the biggest of the season.

“The big ones are the Champions League and the ones that are hopefully going to win us the Premier League title.”

So, is he right? The Sportsman asked one staunch United fan and one mad Liverpool supporter to get the view from the terraces to see whether this really is still the biggest match of the campaign.


Liverpool supporter Paul Machin of The Redmen TV

In terms of the bitterness and really wanting to win to put a smile on your face, Liverpool vs United is the biggest game of the season but from a pure sporting perspective, it’s not anymore, no.

It’s effectively Liverpool against a team they should, on paper, be beating. The biggest game now is Liverpool v Man City, you can feel the team that manages to take six points in that fixture will probably win the league.

It’s a historic thing really, you can’t look past the battle for ‘who’s won the most’, that ‘genital measuring’ shall we say and Liverpool finally being on the upturn while Man United are on the downturn. 

I think it’s certainly been hyped more. The hype has grown but the quality has diminished - you have to go back to 08/09 for the last time these sides were the teams to finish first and second in the league, that was the last time they were really both at a top level.

We want to get back onto that perch of having the most league titles. You want to be the team, the big dog, you want it to be undisputed that the team you follow is the best club in the country.

You’ve got to enjoy the wins - obviously it would be great to win nine games at the start of the season but Liverpool could then lose the next 10. If they get the win against United that would be the biggest thing.


Manchester United fan Stephen Howson of Full Time DEVILS

We’ve probably got the two biggest fanbases and are the two clubs in England with the most history.

It’s one of the fiercest rivalries and, even though Liverpool haven’t really seriously challenged bar last season - or won a title in 30 years - it didn’t affect the status of this game whilst they weren’t successful.

So, even though United are in a bad spot currently, it’s still the biggest game. It’s massive now but it’s always been huge. 

Though Van Dijk is probably right. We might be historical rivals but in the hunt for winning the league, we’re pretty insignificant at present. 

This game is far more fierce than the Manchester derby. City have come to prominence recently, but they’ve only been taken seriously in my lifetime because of the money that was invested. If I wasn’t Mancunian, City would be as relevant as Wigan Athletic. 

It’ll be unexpected if we win but it’ll be celebrated - albeit with the background of there’s much work to be done - as nothing beats putting that lot in their place.