Manchester United had finally won the league the previous season after a painful wait of 26 long years and they were romping towards another league title when they visited Anfield at the turn of 1994. The gap between the two sides was more than 20 points as Liverpool were lingering in mid-table, but as it has so often been the case in matches between these two fierce rivals, form counted for an absolute zilch.
As Ferguson’s men entered the Anfield, their much famed 12th man in the form of the crowd were ever prepared to welcome the Champions. Flares were being burnt, flags were being waved and on top of all that, an extremely vocal and hostile set of supporters were ready to suck the life out of the opposition. United’s title glory the previous season was also being played down by the banner that read, “Au Revoir Cantona and Man United…come back when you’ve won 18″. Although that banner has been the cause of banter from United fans these days, but it wasn’t the case then as their team had 10 less titles than the team from Merseyside.
Fergie’s men, though, responded with an aplomb to say the least as the Liverpool faithful were stunned into silence as United were up 3-0 after merely 24 minutes. Steve Bruce opened the scoring for the visitors as he headed in an inch perfect cross from Cantona that took out the entire Liverpool backline. Giggs doubled the lead for his team as a wonderful chip from just outside the area left the keeped rooted to his spot. But the best of the lot came from Dennis Irwin as he fired in a brilliant free-kick from 25 yards into the top corner of the Liverpool net. The home supporters feared the worst, as a rout was on the cards at the hands of their most fierce rivals.
However, the game was far from over as Souness’ men staged one of the most amazing comebacks to be seen in the Premier League. Nigel Cough, who was signed for an enormous fee (in those days) of £2.3m, repaid every bit of it to the club on that day alone by scoring a wonderful brace. The first was a ferocious drive from 25 yards that left Schmeichel grasping for thin air while the second one came from a sublime finish that sent the great Dane the wrong way. The Kop was sent into raptures as the Reds went into the break as the more confident team. The second half had a sense of calmness after the first half frenzy with the home side pressing for a goal while the Red Devils were prepared to sit back and defend. But their resistance was finally broken by Neil Ruddock who headed home to send the home crowd wild, leaving their rival fans deflated.
The draw was enough at that time to save Graeme Souness from being sacked but not for long as a home defeat at the hands of Bristol City in the third round of the FA Cup later that month spelled doom for the Liverpool legend. Roy Evans took over the reigns but failed to inspire the team as his team slipped from being fifth when he took over to finish eighth in the league. United, on the other hand, went on to win a second successive league title, finishing a massive 32 points ahead of Liverpool in the final standings. Furthermore, Fergie’s men went on to lift the FA Cup as well making it one of the best ever seasons in the club’s illustrious history.