For a team as storied as LFC and with as long a history, it would make sense that the list of teams that raise the ire of fans would be long and distinguished. Parsing out the ones nestled at the top, though, the ones for whom the “derby” tag is reserved, that’s pretty special.
Liverpool Women take on Everton on Sunday and then the men return the favor on the 21st, marking two derby matches inside of one week. Everton certainly qualify as one of Liverpool’s all-time rivals but it made me wonder who else - besides that one team up the M62 - might be deserving of the mantle.
And so, presented for everyone is my ranking of Liverpool’s most historic rivalries, in descending order.
5. Chelsea FC
I feel like this rivalry is likely well past is sell-by date but given that it does involve at least one scandalous move between clubs (Fernando Torres ditching Red for Blue), I felt it had to be included on the list. That the move involved the player that I feel is most responsible for me becoming a Red in the first place is also apt.
On the one hand, maybe it’s too soon to add them to this list, what with the nature of the rivalry being mostly contained over the past decade or so. On the other, given how intense those matches (and title fights) have been, it almost feels like this is too low on the ranking list.
3. Real Madrid
Yes, this is also recent but given the history of both clubs and the stakes of the competition in which they’ve been fighting it out, putting them a notch above City feels fair. I know it’s considered insanity to do the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, but I for one would welcome exorcising our demons once and for all by eliminating Madrid in the next edition of the Champions League that we find ourselves drawn into.
I’m willing to entertain that this rivalry deserves the top slot for two reasons:
1. Liverpool’s own existence is owed, in part, to Everton.
2. There’s something special about inter-city rivalries.
That being said, there just hasn’t been much to talk about, even in the derby, since Everton have been so dire. Not that I miss the gut churning feeling of Everton derbies past, but just noting that I don’t get that feeling in the build up anymore.
This is likely personal and probably indicative of how I’m positioned as a fan (as a Child of the Hodgepocalypse, I’m relatively new and I’m also an overseas fan), but even with how badly United have gotten this fixture is still the first one I search for when the fixture list is revealed. United have managed to retain this position of ire because, unlike Everton, they’ve had decades of success that back up their claim to being our biggest English rival.
Their relative success internationally says they’ve got the history to claim our attention when in Europe, as well. And even as they flounder, they spend like the Old Money teams in the Prem. I don’t think any club, City or otherwise, are approaching this rivalry any time soon.
And there you have it! Go ahead and share your rankings in the comments below!