In the grand scheme of animosity-fuelled, dynasty-measuring, spittle-laden dust-ups few fixtures can match the heat generated when Liverpool and Manchester United do battle.
It’s a rivalry steeped in history, one of trade disputes, two great cities, cup finals, high-scoring thrillers and two bitter enemies constantly trying to outdo each other.
And when the pair meet again in their upcoming Monday Night Football clash all of the above and a whole lot more will be re-ignited.
We’ll all be glued to our television screens and smartphones to process the action via an unrelenting stream of digital media.
But what of those classic encounters pre-2004? How would we have reacted to Ryan Giggs’ sublime chip over Bruce Grobbelaar or John Arne Riise’s rocket past Fabien Barthez?
Here’s a flavour of what could’ve gone down…
Liverpool 3-3 Man United, January 4 1994
The nineties weren’t kind to Liverpool and the fact that their arch-rivals were so dominant throughout the decade remains a constant bugbear.
This match threatened to blow the gulf open even wider with Alex Ferguson’s rampant Red Devils 3-0 up inside 24 minutes courtesy of goals from Steve Bruce, Ryan Giggs and Denis Irwin.
Anfield desperately needed a hero and not one, but two men, duly stepped up to the plate. First up was forgotten flop Nigel Clough, with his brace reducing the deficit before half-time.
And then it was Razor’s turn. Neil Ruddock’s thumping header gave him, United and the Kopites present a headache to remember – though for differing reasons.
Here’s what he had to say post-match…
Man United 2-2 Liverpool, October 1 1995
Commeth the hour, commeth the man. Or, as United fans put it, ‘The Return of the King’.
Eric Cantona was back following an eight-month ban for assaulting a rather idiotic spectator at Selhurst Park and the Stretford End duly lauded their hero’s second coming.
However, The King wasn’t going to just stand on ceremony. Cantona was there to make a point and in turn put the boot into his side’s adversaries.
With just two minutes gone the Frenchman’s cross found Nicky Butt who did the rest and in doing so racked up the excitement levels even further.
Liverpool’s own enfant terrible Robbie Fowler dampened the mood, with his brace turning the match on its head.
However, King Eric was to have the last word from the penalty spot.
United went on to do the Double but before that their fans were quick to bask in the glory of denying the Merseysiders.
Liverpool 1-3 Man United, April 19 1997
With just five games remaining this was THE chance for Liverpool to derail the United juggernaut created by Alex Ferguson.
Gary Pallister and co. weren’t about to let that happen though and shortly after the first whistle sounded at Anfield (at the ridiculous kick-off time of 11:15) the Red Devils defender handed the visitors a 13th minute lead.
John Barnes restored parity just six minutes later but another Pally strike and a second-half Andy (he wasn’t Andrew then) Cole effort sealed the deal.
A fourth Premiership title was in sight…
Liverpool 3-1 Man United, November 4 2001
Don’t be fooled, this hasn’t been a one-sided rivalry in the last couple of decades.
Heading into this clash the Reds had the chance to win four on the trot against the team from up the M62.
And they duly delivered with Michael Owen’s brace doing most of the damage while David Beckham provided scant consolation for the away side.
However, the real star turn was John Arne Riise’s thunderbolt free-kick on 39 minutes…
Man United 4-0 Liverpool, April 5 2003
There’s nothing quite like a rout of your biggest rivals. And when it completes your first double in six seasons over your enemies it’s even sweeter.
This was a crucial victory for Fergie’s outfit with the three points taking United top of the Premiership tree in the 2002-03 season.
The afternoon started badly for Liverpool and only got worse following Sami Hyypia’s early dismissal for hauling down Ruud van Nistelrooy.
The Dutch striker duly converted the subsequent penalty and added another from the spot after Igor Biscan’s indiscretion.
Ryan Giggs then netted his first Premiership home goal in for two years before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added the icing on the cake.
And for at least one United legend, this was the stuff of dreams…
*This article is a parody and Neil Ruddock’s head was not severely damaged during production*
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing