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Manchester United v Liverpool: Five match-winning performances

Is United v Liverpool England's greatest rivalry?

Paul Scholes says Liverpool are still United's fiercest opponents. The Premier League table suggests otherwise but the rivalry runs deep. Below, are five match-winning performances that players from both teams will hope to emulate when they meet on Sunday. Tell us about your favourites too...

Torres and Gerrard terrorise Vidic 

He only scored once in this 4-1 rout but Fernando Torres' performance at Old Trafford in March 2009 was a highlight of his Liverpool career. United went ahead through Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty but, once the Spaniard had out-muscled and out-bustled Nemanja Vidic to equalise, their defence collapsed. This was unusual for a back four which had recently played over 1,000 minutes of football without conceding. However, after Steven Gerrard smashed in a penalty, the Liverpool captain got the better of Vidic only for the Serbian to haul him down and receive a red card. You can get 2.915/8 on a sending off on Sunday.


Berbatov's finest Old Trafford hour

Lazy waste of 30 million or nonchalant genius? For most United fans, the truth about Dimitar Berbatov lies somewhere in between. I once had the privilege of watching the Reds training and, with his cuffs pulled over his hands and his knees knocking in the January breeze, Berba looked like the kind of kid who sits out PE. On his day, however, he was, and still is, devastating. His stylish hat-trick - check out his magnificent overhead kick for number two - in a 3-2 win set the precedent for a season in which the Bulgarian finished as the Premier League's top goalscorer. Robin van Persie looks likely to emulate that feat this year, but would you back a hat-trick in Sunday's match?


Murphy sinks United - again

To hit the winner at Old Trafford is a Liverpudlian's dream but to do it twice is asking too much. Not for Danny Murphy, who scored a dipping free-kick to earn the Reds a rare victory in 2000, and, just over a year later, was the match-winner again. United were the Premier League's form side going in to this January 2002 clash while Liverpool were enduring a miserable run of form under Gerard Houllier. However, neither side could make the breakthrough and the match was drifting towards a goalless draw when Murphy stole in to the box to lift the ball over Fabien Barthez. I was there - sitting amongst the away fans (don't ask) - and it hurt. You can get 19.018/1 on 0-1 this Sunday.


Rio rocks the Stretford End and Neville goes mental

Of course, United are the masters of late winning goals. Liverpool were the better side in this January 2006 match - Gerrard ran the show - but they couldn't convert, with Djibril Cisse missing an open goal. So poor were United that they didn't win a corner until the 86th minute. That came to nothing but, when Ryan Giggs swung a free-kick in to the penalty area in the final minute, Rio Ferdinand climbed high to head past Pepe Reina. Gary Neville, who was well known in those days for his animosity towards Liverpool, ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the away fans. Draw/Man United can be backed at 5.69/2 on Sunday.


Cantona seals comeback win

Eric Cantona's scored his most famous goal against Liverpool came at Wembley - that beautifully driven extra-time winner in the 1996 FA Cup final. But this one was significant in a different way because it was his first game back after an eight month suspension for assaulting a fan at Selhurst Park. Cantona set up Nicky Butt then scored the equaliser in this 2-2 draw. United will want more than a point so will you back them to win both halves on Sunday?


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09 January 2013

Premier League

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