Maybe the contest has lost its charm in recent years because of the dwindling fortunes of both teams, but for fans a Manchester UnitedLiverpool match is still a big match. There’s far too many fans of either team for this rivalry to die down. And these matches have the best goals too.

On Sunday, United host Liverpool in a match both managers need to win. Louis Van Gaal’s needs his philosophy to be backed by results, whereas Brendan Rodgers badly needs breathing space after a spate of poor results, and a win against Manchester United would get the fans off his back, for a while.

The contest has produced spectacular moments over the years, and some of the football has been brilliant. Recapping the five best goals from United-Liverpool matches of recent times:

a) Steven Gerrard, 2000/2001

The video does make it seem like a goal from decades ago, but this one was scored at the start of the millenium. United traveled to Anfield in March 2001, and went behind as early as the 16th minute to this screamer from Steven Gerrard. The Liverpool midfielder was allowed to take his time and shoot from 35 yards, with predictable ramifications.

United eventually lost the match 2-0, Robbie Fowler netting the second.

b) Dimitar Berbatov, 2010/11

United hosted Liverpool in an early season meeting in September 2010. Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov chose to mark the occasion with a splendid hat-trick, capping off his performance with a stunning bicycle kick to win the match for United.

United went on to win the game 3-2, and Dimitar Berbatov became the first Ai??Manchester United playerAi??since Stan Pearson in 1946Ai??to score three goals against Liverpool.

c) Luis Suarez, 2010/11

March 2011 saw United travel to Anfield hoping to pick up few points. What they faced though was a Luis Suarez in astonishing form. Dirk Kuyt took the plaudits with his hat-trick, but one of the goals belonged to Suarez, even if might not have gotten the final touch.

The deftness to seemingly glide past four perplexed Manchester United defenders is simply unreal. Wes Brown and Chris Smalling would have had nightmares about that.

d) Rio Ferdinand, 2006/07

One of Rio Ferdinand’s greatest moments for Manchester United came against Liverpool in October 2006. It was Paul Scholes’ 500th match for United, and the midfield maestro marked the occasion with the opener. Rio Ferdinand would make the day more memorable with his fantastic goal in the 66th minute. Defenders are not supposed to do this:

e) Eric Cantona, 1996 FA Cup Final

For sheer brilliance and ingenuity, nothing beats Eric Cantona’s FA Cup winning goal of 1996. With the match tied at 0-0, United received a corner which was cleared by goalkeeper David James, only for it to fall to Eric Cantona.

The Frenchman, facing the goal, contorted his body to let rip a powerful volley, which sailed past a sea of Liverpool defenders and arrowed into the net. Cantona scored what would be the only goal of the match, securing a domestic double for United and consequently winning his last trophy with the club.

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