We’re about to get a double dose of Manchester United vs Liverpool.
The famous rivals will face off in the Premier League next weekend, and now, thanks to Peter Crouch’s cup draw tekkers, they will clash again a week later at Old Trafford, in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
English football’s two most successful sides have had more than their fair share of battles over the years. They’ve won 41 league titles between them, taking it in turns to dominate English football – whether it was Liverpool’s success under Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish or Manchester United‘s rise to prominence and Sir Alex Ferguson.
But while their hammer-and-tongs league history has carried over into the 2020s, with Liverpool taking the initiative under Jurgen Klopp, cup meetings between the side have been fewer and farther between.
When did Liverpool and Manchester United last meet in the cup?
While the two actually most recently met in the 2015/16 Europa League, their last meeting in a domestic cup competition, came back in 2013, when a strike from Javier Hernandez sent David Moyes’ team through to the fourth round of the League Cup.
To find their last meeting in the FA Cup, you have to go back 20 months further, when they met at Anfield in – you guessed it – the fourth round.
Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt, who loved a goal against the Red Devils, sent United packing on their way to the final against Chelsea, which would be Kenny Dalglish’s final match in charge.
FA Cup Head-to-Head Record
Delve any further into the FA Cup history between the two clubs, however, and things start to look a little hairy for the Reds. That Kuyt-inspired win was one of just four FA Cup meetings between the two Liverpool have won in their entire history. United have won nine.
If you’re worried that’s a bad omen, then look away before we get into their away record against United in the FA Cup.
Astonishingly, Liverpool haven’t beaten their rivals away in the competition since 12 January 1921. The draw for this year’s fourth round was made in 11 January 2021 – one day shy of being exactly 100 years on.
One of the most famous FA Cup meeting between the teams came in the final in 1977. Paisley’s Liverpool were the favourites, having already won the league, but were caught out by Tommy Docherty’s United, who ended any hopes the Anfield giants had of finishing the season with a treble.
That started a long run of FA Cup hoodoo for Liverpool, who wouldn’t beat United again in the competition until 2006.
United also won the only other FA Cup final featuring the pair, when Eric Cantona’s strike won the game in 1996.
As the two prepare for a present day cup classic, neither team looks quite like the dominant force they have been in the past, yet it has rarely been more finely poised.
Their meeting in the Premier League, which comes a week earlier, might well determine who goes in as favourite,. But where these two are concerned, form can be safely thrown out the window.
It’s their first FA Cup meeting in almost eight years and it should be a cracker.