By Renata Leite, FootballPredictions.NET, 17:42 07/09/2020
Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in world football, having won a total of 19 first division titles and six European Cups - an English record. With this great footballing prestige comes a number of high-profile clashes with other members of the world’s football elite - both locally, nationally, and even internationally.
Liverpool FC’s rivals are traditionally Everton (with whom they share the city of Liverpool) and Manchester United (due to their competition as England’s premier club). However, rivalries with Manchester City and Chelsea have blossomed during recent decades as investment in the two clubs has seen them rocket into the top echelons of world football.
But which rivalries hold true today? In this article, we will outline Liverpool FC’s biggest rivals.
Merseyside rivalry still one of the biggest fixtures on the calendar
Fixtures between Liverpool and Everton are still among some of the feistiest in the Premier League, despite the fixture being the longest-running top-flight derby in England. Liverpool is the most successful side in the fixture, with the red half of the city winning 93 of the 234 meetings between the two sides.
The first Merseyside derby was contested in October 1894, with Everton running out 3-0 winners. Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall has the most appearances in the famous fixture with 41, while Liverpool legend Ian Rush netted the most goals - scoring 20.
The rivalry has been nicknamed “the friendly derby” due to the historic solidarity shown between the two sides - with the Hillsborough disaster and the murder of Rhys Jones the biggest examples. The derby also rarely produces any matchday violence, which has unfortunately become synonymous with derby games in England.
Everton are without a win in almost 10 years in Merseyside derbies, with the last meeting in June 2020 culminating in a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park.
Northwest derby among some of football’s greatest rivalries
Matches between Liverpool and Manchester United are known as the northwest derby, one of football’s most prestigious matches. The two clubs are England’s most successful, with the duo boasting 39 league titles, 19 FA Cups, 13 League Cups, 36 FA Community Shields, nine European Cups, four UEFA Cups and even more between them.
Due to the success of the two sides, most fans consider the North West derby to rank above their respective city derbies in terms of importance. Manchester United are the most successful side in the derby, winning 80 of the 204 meetings between the sides.
Ryan Giggs (48 appearances) played the most derby games, with Steven Gerrard, George Wall, and Sandy Turnbull (all 9 goals) scoring the most in the fixture.
The two cities also share a historic industrial rivalry outside of football, and this is reflected in some of the unsavoury aspects of the fixture. Hooliganism has been documented on several occasions at the games, with deplorable chants coming from both Liverpool and Manchester United fans about the Munich Air disaster and the Hillsborough disaster respectively.
The last match between the two saw Liverpool run out 2-0 victors at Anfield, with Manchester United’s last victory coming in March 2018 with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
Modern rivalries against England’s new superpowers
The breaking of England’s football status quo by Chelsea at the turn of the century and by Manchester City after their takeover in 2008 meant that historic powers Liverpool and Manchester United had even more competition for greatness.
Liverpool had struggled to compete in England since their last title win, and 31 meetings in eight seasons after Liverpool’s most recent Champions League triumph in 2005 caused familiarity to truly breed contempt among the two clubs.
At the crux of the rivalry was the midfield battle between England greats Steven Gerrard of Liverpool and Frank Lampard of Chelsea. Gerrard even turned down the chance to join Chelsea among all this madness.
The rivalry between Manchester City and Liverpool is a very recent development - with the two fighting a battle for English dominance while head and shoulders above the chasing pack.