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TOP 5: Defeats to the Enemy

Top Five126-1, 5-1, 4-1. Playing Manchester City and getting tonked by them is actually a fairly regular occurrence these days. But way before then, it didn’t help that Manchester United were rubbish. It didn’t help that any team can have an off day. It didn’t help that Manchester City have recently been able to play really, really well. Those are miserable defeats, ones that can linger like a scar. But it’s not just losing to Manchester City we’re going to talk about now, but also against the possibly even more hated Liverpool. What’s that? No, come back, it’ll be fun. Promise.

Manchester United 0-1 Liverpool, 24 April 2004

Danny Murphy was staggeringly good value, costing just a couple of million pounds from Crewe. He doesn’t play like an English midfielder – he can pass, for one – and despite the fact he wasn’t the best player in Liverpool, the neutral could really enjoy and warm to him. He wasn’t especially arrogant, he was erudite by footballer standards, and he’s never really been involved with some grotesque moral outrage. Which is great, if you’re a neutral, and devastating if you’re a certain type of Manchester United fan. To plenty, he was scum. Under that veneer of decency was the dark heart of a man willing to play for Liverpool. He should have been playing for Spurs, or Everton, or anyone else. What kind of animal would join Liverpool? What kind of man would then go on to enjoy it?

In truth, this wasn’t even the most harrowing defeat. This was the third time under Gerard Houllier that Murphy had scored the deciding goal against Manchester United for Liverpool. And this goal was the one to end the mathematical hopes of winning the league. It may not have been a shock that United lost – this was a squad with David Bellion introduced to chase the game for the last ten minutes – but with Murphy scoring again it was painfully predictable.

Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United, 30 April 2012

Eight points. Eight points. Eight. Points. Three weeks before the game Manchester United had an eight point lead over Manchester City. They were going to win the league, again. Ferguson was going to make a fool of the passive aggressive idiot Roberto Mancini, who had publicly conceded the league. Eight points. Eight points. Eight. Points.

The four, five and six goal defeats are, from a distance, comical aberrations. They’re so ridiculously awful at the time that they exist on another plane. This defeat wasn’t a dagger to the heart like Sunday was, it was like being in a car crash on ketamine.

A tepid loss to Wigan, and an even more inexcusable 4-4 draw at home to Everton having had a two goal lead, and United were in the brown stuff. But no worry – Ferguson was going to take the game to Manchester City, and a draw or win would give United the chance to remain in charge of the race, and stabilise the psyche. But oh no!

Ashley Young and Ji Sung Park were present. The always-cowardly and the now-pointless, respectively. United never threw a punch, and Captain of Smug Vincent Kompany headed inte winner. It was a pathetic showing, allowing Manchester City to go ahead on goal difference. And how did City win the league in the end? That’s right! Goal difference!

Eight points. Eight points. Eight. Points.

Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United, 28 January 2012

Luis Suarez is a racist, is a racist. Luis Suarez racially abused Patrice Evra over the course of a match earlier in the year, and was ultimately banned for being a racist. Luis Suarez = racist. What better way, then, to deal with the club that stood by the racist Luis Suarez – the club, who at the match, also had a fan make monkey gestures at Evra – than to give them an almighty dicking on the football pitch. Liverpool were a team of utter muck, and United were in the middle of seemingly getting back into the title (though see above).

It was not, we have established, the time to lose to an injury time goal from a Rafa Benitez acolyte and anti-football disciple. Dirk Kuyt is a miserable example of everything Liverpool stood – a shit folk hero in love with a club’s shit mythology – and he scored the winner. Some of us heard about the result in a car park in North Yorkshire. Some of us considered staying in the car, running a hosepipe from the exhaust through the window, and giving in.

Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool, 14 March 2009

Kill me.

Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United, 14 March 2004

Having just got knocked out of Europe, this is the genetic perfection of the worst defeat. Smarting from an eminently winnable Champions League with a bit of focus and luck, United had no luck and lost their focus. That continued against City. Smarting and grumpy, United lost 4-1 to a dreadful Manchester City side. Worse than that, it was a dreadful lose to a team containing the openly scouse Robbie Fowler. He might have been an excellent player, he might have supported striking dockers, but there’s a lot wrong with him. For one, he homophobically abused Graeme Le Saux, which is as thick as it is tedious. Worse than that, he’s from Liverpool.

The team United faced was dog dirt. A real collection of Premier League rubbish, and yet they won. Look at this:

James, Dunne, Van Buyten, Distin, Wright-Phillips, Reyna (Bosvelt 45), Sibierski (Jihai 84), McManaman (Sinclair 45), Tarnat, Macken, Fowler.

This was before City became good off the back of money earned through the exploitation of slave labour and dictatorship in the Middle East, so it wasn’t the level of the defeat, it was the fact of defeat. This was meant to get the season back on track, three easy points. Instead it was the third defeat against City under Fergie ever. There was indignity last Sunday, but was it as undignified as losing to this pile?



  1. MAN to the UNITED says:

    Haha! Shity win the league ONCE (by goal difference and only because of that dickhead Joey Barton) and then the fans think that they are the best in every competition! Yes you did play a lot better than us last week, BUT that is only 1 result. There is a long way to go this season and there will be plenty of little slip ups (Cardiff) to come for you bunch of useless bank notes!

    Money doesn’t buy you history! You would struggle against Villa as well if Benteke was fit.

    Come back and gloat about results when you have 20 league titles behind you. Oh and when you win the champions league NOT your group stage!


  2. theradlegion says:

    While I understand having ads on a site like this is inevitable, which is completely normal in my opinion. But do we really need two huge and the same ads on the left and right, while having a video running on the top that starts with more ads forcing us to listen at the same time?

    Seriously it is really ruining my reading experience.

    While I’m not suggesting to remove the ads, can you please do something about them?
    Sorry for the unrelated rant.

  3. Andromeda says:


    Ditto that pal, really its annoying to listen to the same video over and over every time I refresh the blog, it literally nullify my power of thinking and can’t do anything about it, anyway no disrespect for the contents of the ad.its just a matter of giving us more space for concentration, cheers.

  4. RedSenna says:

    Spurs got a good player in Eriksen thats for sure.

  5. DreadedRed says:

    Happy Match-Day Reds!

    Come on United!

    ps If my favourite player doesn’t start, then my favourite manager will have to pick another player from my favourite squad. Or else!

  6. theradlegion says:

    Yup, hopefully they listen. A site redesign is hugely needed to fix the ads placement etc and to improve the commenting features in general.

  7. theradlegion says:

    And if Spurs win this game, I wonder if the media reaction would be equal to us lost to City last week. We will see the hypocrisy and the double standard very soon enough.

  8. Marq says:

    Haha, if winning the league last season is classified as the past, wonder what that makes of City’s title that was gifted to them 2 seasons ago? Ancient history? Or dinosaur age stuff?

  9. fitz'em'good'n'tight says:

    interesting lineup. great to see evans, kagawa, nani ans chica in the team. Anderson and buttner need a good game

  10. Gopher Brown says:

    The 1-6 was misleading though. We were a man down and they scored 3 times in the last 3 minutes. The scoreline is shocking on paper, but it would have been 1-3 if it hadn’t been for those 3 min.

    The 4-1 the other day was worse. They were 4-0 up in 50 minutes. Utterly appalling.

    We also won the league in 09. I would take losing 1-4 to Liverpol at OT every year if it meant we won the league.

  11. Jon Phillips Rose Hill says:

    King Eric – fair enough. Just one thing though, Joe Hart is British.

  12. Squeaky says:

    Jon – you’ve just made my point.

    You lot are still giddy about a few good results, bless your cotton socks.

    Haven’t those 5 victories sunk in yet?

    Pinch yourself lad. And then calm down.

    Long way to go until May

    And how can you describe the current Champions as living in the past?

    Im sure you’re a sharp lad but you should wind your neck in and think a bit more.

    Stop being giddy. You are indeed nosey neighbours. Congratulations.

    But you’ve got a long way to go before you match Arsenal, never mind Chelsea…

    First things first aye?

  13. Squeaky says:

    *meant noisy,

    but come to think of it you are a bit of a nosey so and so for regularly visiting a Manchester United blog.

    Can’t think of a single reason why I’d want to visit a City blog? but I can understand why you’d want to linger on a United website.

    Your success as a growing football club can only be measured against United. Took Ferguson nearly 3 decades to pass Liverpool domestically. You and you club have a long, long way to go.

    All the best.

  14. Killer Bong Hit says:

    Carrick needs to go…he’s a waste

  15. RJ says:

    Hated the 4-1 defeat to ‘Boro. I.Hated.It.

  16. Abs says:

    I propose a better two-word commentary for the 1-4 loss against Liverpool that perfectly encapsulates how shit that was

    Andrea Dossena.

    That game was worse than the 1-6 for me.

  17. Badgerflaps1 says:

    “City were co-founders of the Premier League upon its creation in 1992, but after finishing ninth in its first season they endured three seasons of struggle before being relegated in 1996. After two seasons in Division One, City fell to the lowest point in their history, becoming the second ever European trophy winners to be relegated to their country’s third league tier, after 1. FC Magdeburg of Germany”.

    The Bluenoses may of had some good results of late, but no matter how good they were and how bad we may have been in those matches that have been mentioned, at least we never sank as low as them.


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