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Liverpool pain will subside

Liverpool
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Liverpool vs. Manchester United: Six memorable clashes at Anfield

Emotions will run high when Liverpool host Manchester United in Thursday's Europa League last-16 tie. ESPN FC takes a look at six notable Anfield showdowns from a home perspective...

1. The old-fashioned beating: Liverpool 4-0 Manchester United (Sept. 16, 1990, Division One)

Liverpool's most emphatic defeat of United since 1925 came in the middle of a purple patch that brought them eight wins from eight at the start of the 1990-91 season. Kenny Dalglish's men were looking intent on retaining their league crown but the title was to elude them, as it has done ever since.

This, though, was all about the dancing feet of Peter Beardsley, who scored a hat trick, and John Barnes, who scored the other goal as Alex Ferguson's United team were steamrolled by the Reds' "pass and move" game.

2. The bitter farewell: Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United (March 22, 2015, Premier League)

United completed a league double over Liverpool in Louis van Gaal's first year in charge with this victory -- a feat they were to repeat at Anfield in his second season. Juan Mata scored once in each half for United before Daniel Sturridge pulled one back; Wayne Rooney had an injury-time penalty saved by Liverpool's Simon Mignolet.

The day will be remembered, however, for the brief, disastrous entrance of Steven Gerrard. Sent on as a substitute in place of Adam Lallana at the start of the second half, Gerrard clattered Mata, stamped on Ander Herrera and was sent off -- his final appearance against United having lasted 38 seconds.

LiverpoolLiverpool
Manchester UnitedManchester United
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3. The humdinger: Liverpool 3-3 Manchester United (Jan. 4, 1994, Premier League)

Champions for the first time in 26 years, United had displaced Liverpool as the English game's dominant force, arriving at Anfield 17 matches unbeaten in the league and 21 points better off than Graeme Souness' ninth-placed Reds.

They had the hosts on the ropes at 3-0 down after 25 minutes. Steve Bruce headed in Eric Cantona's cross, Ryan Giggs chipped in the second, then a Denis Irwin free kick made it 3-0.

Nigel Clough drove in from 25 yards and made it 3-2 after Mark Wright's pass ricocheted off Roy Keane. The thriller concluded with Neil Ruddock heading in Stig Inge Bjornebye's cross to level.

4. The morale boost: Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United (March 6, 2011, Premier League)

En route to their 19th league title -- the tally that took them past Liverpool's 18 -- United's progress was nonetheless checked on Merseyside. Dalglish was freshly back at the helm at a torrid time for the home team that was alleviated by this success two days after his 60th birthday.

Rafael Da Silva of United and Liverpool's Jamie Carragher were among those to overheat in a fiery affair in which Dirk Kuyt claimed Liverpool's first hat trick against United since Beardsley in 1990.

Luis Suarez, bought for £23 million from Ajax five weeks earlier, contributed to all three goals before Javier Hernandez got one back and another January arrival, the £35m Andy Carroll, made his Liverpool debut from the bench.

Luis Suarez vs. Man United
Luis Suarez, left, caused Man United all kinds of problems the first time he played them in 2011.

5. The misfortune of others: Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United (April 26, 1992, Division One)

For all his feats as a goalscorer, Ian Rush had never netted against United in his 11 years at Liverpool. He managed it here, to the visitors' cost and home supporters' glee.

At this point it was United, rather than Liverpool, who were haunted by a league title drought lasting a quarter of a century -- and, just as would be the case when the roles were reversed, that void had coincided with the other club's most decorated years.

With two rounds of matches to go, United needed to avoid defeat to push their tussle with table-toppers Leeds United into the season's final week. Goals by Rush and Mark Walters ensured they conceded the title at Anfield, prolonging the agony for another season.

6. The good omen: Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United (Feb. 18, 2006, FA Cup)

Each time these sides met in the FA Cup in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, the victor went on to lift the trophy. That had always been United, but Liverpool were finally able to get in on the act as a fifth-round win helped Rafael Benitez's side on their way to beating West Ham on penalties in that year's final.

United captain Gary Neville received a hot reception, having goaded Liverpool fans at Old Trafford in the recent league meeting, but this time it was Peter Crouch celebrating after claiming the game's only goal.

It was the first time Liverpool had overcome United in the FA Cup for 85 years.

Tom is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. Follow him @writertombell.

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