The five biggest Liverpool vs Manchester United drubbings in the Premier League era

 | December 15 | 

5 mins read

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Aiming to be top of the tree at Christmas, Liverpool host Manchester United on Super Sunday hoping to dish out another drubbing to their most historic rivals. These two have now played each other 239 times across their rich histories, with Manchester United shading the overall score, with 90 wins to Liverpool’s 81. 

The first meeting came way back in 1894, when the Reds beat the then Newton Heath 2-0. Their second clash saw Liverpool run out 7-1 winners, a one-sided scoreline that would not be beaten until 2023 - but more on that later. To bring this conversation into the modern era, we’ve looked at the five Liverpool vs Manchester United drubbings in the Premier League was inaugurated. 

We’ve quantified a drubbing as a league match in which your team scores a minimum of four goals, while conceding a maximum of once. So no, 3-0 does not count as a drubbing. It leaves us with this interesting final five, three of which have occurred in the past four meetings. 

Liverpool vs Manchester United selected odds

  • Over 5.5 goals @ 7/2
  • Over 4.5 Liverpool goals @ 5/1
  • Mo Salah to score a hat-trick @ 16/1

Manchester United 4-0 Liverpool (5 April, 2003)

The first time either side netted four goals against their opponents in the Premier League era was 11 years after the competition began, in 2003. The previous season, Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United had not only lost their grip on the Premier League title, as Arsenal stormed to victory, but they’d also finished behind Liverpool, dropping outside the top two for only the second time since 1992. 

That simply wasn’t on in the eyes of Fergie, and by April 2003 he was locked in another title tussle with Arsenal. Hunting them down every step of the way, United were in second place when Liverpool came to town. Things got off to a perfect start for the hosts when Mike Riley sent off Sami Hyypia in the third minute for pulling down Ruud van Nistelrooy in the box. 

The Dutchman converted the penalty, before adding another from the spot in the second half. Ryan Giggs and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put the gloss on a one-sided match. The Liverpool fans were left fuming at the referee, but United came away with the spoils. 

Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool (14 March, 2009)

If you are of a Manchester United persuasion, you might want to take a breath before you continue reading. Things don’t get any better than the 4-0 win in 2004. By 2008/09, Fergie had built one of the finest sides in Europe - a team that would go on to win the league and the League Cup, and reach the Champions League final where they would lose to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona. 

However, in the title tussle with Liverpool they were handed a brutal lesson by Rafa Benitez’s men. Liverpool hadn’t enjoyed a big win over United in some time, but with the title well up for grabs in March they bagged an iconic Old Trafford win. Cristiano Ronaldo gave United the lead from the penalty spot, but Fernando Torres robbed Nemanja Vidic to level before Steven Gerrard put the away side ahead with his own converted penalty. 

Vidic’s nightmare of a game got worse as he was sent off, then Fabio Aurelio’s free-kick and Andre Dossena’s lob saw Liverpool come away with a famous victory. United and Fergie would have the last laugh however, as Federico Macheda’s famous late winner versus Aston Villa helped them fend off the Reds and secure another league title.

Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool (24 October, 2021)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had led United to a second-place finish in the previous campaign, and after the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, there was belief that the Red Devils could win the Premier League title. 

However, by the time Liverpool came to town the tide had begun to turn against the Norwegian manager. 

What unfolded in front of him at Old Trafford undoubtedly led to his sacking just under a month later, as Liverpool ran riot. Naby Keita opened the scoring, Diogo Jota made it two, and then a Mo Salah hat-trick handed United one of their worst home defeats in Premier League history. In the first season back in front of fans after lockdowns, Jurgen Klopp’s men would miss out on the Premier League title by one point. Manchester United fans must have wished this one was played behind closed doors.

Salah to score a hat-trick vs man utd

Liverpool 4-0 Manchester United (19 April, 2022)

The last two performances at Anfield have been atrocious from a United point of view. By the time the reverse fixture from that aforementioned 5-0 had rolled around, United had decided to place Ralf Rangnick in charge. It didn’t go well. 

This game was less than two years ago, yet David de Gea, Phil Jones, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Anthony Elanga - none of whom remain at the club - all started. That’s a snapshot of Manchester United’s current issues, and Liverpool took full advantage. Salah helped himself to two more against the old enemy, with Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz also getting on the scoresheet. 

Liverpool 7-0 Manchester United (5 March, 2023)

Genuinely - who thought it would get this bad? Last season Manchester United finished eight points above Liverpool. They had a proper manager in charge in Erik ten Hag and had just lifted the Carabao Cup to end their five-year trophy drought. Things were looking good for United, and they were only five points off the top of the league when they went to Anfield. Marcus Rashford was in the hottest form of his career and there was serious belief that they could secure a famous victory. 

Bruno Fernandes should have put them 1-0 up but Cody Gakpo gave Liverpool the lead before half-time. And from that point, they capitulated in a way not many teams have in the past 20 years. From 1-0 down at half-time, to 7-0 at full-time, it was a frek 45 minutes that nobody could have predicted. United were so far off it in that second half, and the Reds put them to the sword. Ten Hag felt the power of Anfield for the first time - but has he learnt his lesson? Another hammering on Sunday would reflect incredibly badly on the Dutch manager. 

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