It wouldn't be United week if the press wasn't full of stories about how Liverpool was in some kind of turmoil. In the past it might have been players leaving and managers losing the plot, but this time around it's been a little more low key—just a bit of talk about how Liverpool's out to kill football dead because they're evil, greedy, and not very nice.
Just don't look over at Manchester United getting to keep their entire matchday revenue, even if there's no fundamental difference between a club keeping all the earnings from fans looking to watch them in person and a club keeping all the earnings from fans wanting to watch them while sitting in a pub at 6AM on another continent. Especially when one considers that in the past, gate revenue was shared around in a manner similar to how television revenue now is, and that United's desire to keep all those earnings was a driving force behind the move to how things are today.
But we've been over all of that at length already, and as if Liverpool greedily looking to destroy over a century of precious English sporting history isn't enough of a warm up for Saturday's match, now some in the media have decided to trot out a series of quotes from Rafa Benitez that show how he, the club, and the fans are all bitter and jealous. Even if there's a great deal of truth to what he says, especially in light of the hard time Liverpool has been given for splashing the cash on young, British talent in recent months. When asked if Ferguson, with his mind games and press victories, is the primary reason why Manchester United has been so successful in recent seasons, Benitez quite fairly brought up that money has also played more than a bit part in their current dominance:
No, I think it’s the money they were spending. If you analyse the transfer record and the history—Rooney or Ferdinand for example—£30m! £30m for a young player or a centre back. Every year they are very well-off. It’s not just because of the interviews or the press conferences; it’s because they had money.
Given that with inflating player costs Ferguson paid out what would be closer to £50M in the current transfer market than the £30M it was at the time, it does seem at least worth mentioning that United's success isn't solely down to their manager's deity-like brilliance. Especially when nobody seems able to mention Andy Carroll or Jordan Henderson without turning up their nose and sneeringly reminding everybody of how much they cost. Still, it's United week, so what else would you expect? Liverpool being a bunch of bitter, resentful, greedy bastards who've probably collectively lost the plot is really just par for the course when you get right down to it. And it's just this kind of talk that seems to pop up before every match against Manchester United that makes Liverpool's record against them in recent seasons all the more sweet.
With that in mind, it seems like a good time to look back at some of those past moments against United, some of the club's best in recent years, while we all wait for Saturday to arrive.