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Manchester United and Liverpool and the two most decorated teams in English football, and yet … strangely – from the start of the Premier League in 1992, you would do well to recall a genuine title race between the pair.
In the 28 seasons before this, only one time The two soccer giants finished in the top two, when Sir Alex Ferguson’s team edged out the Merseysiders for the top flight crown in 2008/09.
For large swaths of the last three decades, Liverpool and Manchester United have been sliding doors, passing like giant ships in the night, any other trash metaphor you can think of that basically says “As soon as one becomes good, the other is spoiled.”
But hello, what new hell is this? ARE BOTH GOOD NOW? Well, that may be a bit of a stretch, but the table is no lie, and the fact is that they are currently at the top of a disappointing bunch.
The respective teams of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jurgen Klopp have tallied 33 points from their 16 Premier League games so far this season, with the latter ranking first by virtue of goal difference.
With other teams in the league having games in hand due to the coronavirus postponements, they are more than likely not the only team vying for the title this year, but you would be a miserable soccer fan if you weren’t in at least one. Little thrilled at the prospect of England’s two biggest clubs renewing their rivalry at the top of the table.
So when was the last time the pair tied on points in the Premier League? And don’t try to be smart and say “at the beginning of every season hahaha”, we’ll talk once the season has started.
Of course, both sides were tied at three points after the first week of play of the 2019/20 season, after Liverpool defeated Norwich 4-1 and the Red Devils were one better by beating Chelsea 4-0, but the similarities in their respective campaigns ended there when Liverpool decided to crush the league, losing just two points in the first 27 games (United were a bit more “wasteful”).
But ignoring the points where the table was still in its infancy, the last time the two sides had exactly the same points, Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz topped the UK music chart with ‘Number one‘, Wayne Rooney’s hairline was all his own work and Federico Macheda was the heir (not the hair) evident at Old Trafford.
May 9, 2009 was the date for those of you trying to figure it out, which means that United and Liverpool have not been together at the top of the table for more than 11 years.
The pair had been on the same number of points a few weeks earlier after the ‘Andrey Arshavin’ game, with the little Russian scoring four goals in Afield to seriously damage Liverpool’s title credentials in a 4-4 draw.
Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard inspired West Ham to 3-0 a few weeks later, when the defending champions were once again held back, although United’s two games in hand meant they were now firm favorites.
And so it turned out; Ferguson’s side would only lose two points in their last four league games when they claimed their 18th league title, equaling Liverpool’s record.
Could this finally be the year that we see the two Northwest powers fighting at the top of the table once again?
Put aside any dislike you may have for either club, it would be glorious to see.