In Focus: Gerrard's best moments against old foes United
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard will face Manchester United once again tonight — but it will be his first time as a manager.
The 41-year-old takes his Aston Villa side to Old Trafford for an FA Cup third-round clash hoping to write more history after some fine displays against the Reds’ fierce rivals over the years.
We pick out Gerrard’s best moments against the Red Devils below.
Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United (March 31, 2001)
Already a first-team regular at the age of 20, Gerrard earned his status as one of England’s most exciting talents with a thunderous first-ever goal against Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
The visitors looked to be strolling to the title in late March 2001 but a dominant 2-0 home victory for Gerard Houllier's men stopped them in their tracks.
It was Liverpool’s No17 who set them on the way, racing on to the ball before firing a 30-yard piledriver past Fabien Barthez to notch what would go down as one of Gerrard’s great Premier League goals.
That same half, his cross found Robbie Fowler, who struck home to earn Liverpool a lead they would hold on to.
While United eventually did go on to lift their seventh Premier League title, it was the first of many instances where the boyhood Liverpool fan would prove the scourge of their old nemeses.
Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United (March 2, 2003)
His next goal against United would have more meaning, as he set his side on their way to winning the League Cup.
After finding space 25 yards out at a packed Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, the midfielder let fly with an ambitious effort.
It owed a lot to good fortune as the shot deflected off David Beckham and looped over Barthez to stun favourites United.
It sparked jubilation not only from Gerrard on the pitch but also among his fellow Liverpool supporters watching on.
Michael Owen added another late on to secure a 2-0 victory, with Gerrard adding the second of his three League Cup medals to his collection.
Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool (March 14, 2009)
Undoubtedly one of Gerrard’s most iconic Old Trafford moments came during the latter stages of the 2008-09 season.
A title charge under Rafa Benitez saw Liverpool threatening to end years of Premier League dominance for United and a 4-1 victory in late March had fans dreaming it could be their year.
While Fernando Torres was the star of the show after consigning Nemanja Vidic to a disastrous afternoon, Gerrard finally had an Old Trafford goal to savour.
After winning a penalty through the outstretched leg of Patrice Evra, the Liverpool captain dusted himself down to coolly slot past Edwin van der Sar to put the Reds 2-1 up in the game.
Gerrard would not miss the opportunity to milk the moment as he ran towards the away section, kissed the Liverpool badge and did the same to the pitch-side camera.
Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool (September 19, 2010)
While this encounter would ultimately end in disappointment late on, it was not without a monumental effort from Liverpool’s talisman.
The Reds were struggling under new manager Roy Hodgson at the start of the season and things were made worse when a Dimitar Berbatov double deservedly put United 2-0 up in this early-season encounter.
But as he so often did during that time for Liverpool, Gerrard almost single-handedly dragged his side back into the game with an exceptional quickfire double in the second half.
The No8 went the same way as the previous year from the penalty spot to halve the deficit before hitting a free-kick to draw Liverpool level out of nowhere.
A winner from hat-trick scorer Berbatov ensured it would go down as the Bulgarian's game but Gerrard’s efforts had given Liverpool hope they thought they did not have.
Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United (October 10, 2011)
Just over a year later and Gerrard struck home an almost identical free-kick, this time at Anfield.
He had surprisingly found himself out of the team during the 2011-12 season but was returned to the starting XI by manager Kenny Dalglish for the grudge clash.
Gerrard responded by putting in a man-of-the-match display, with his free-kick topping off a superb individual performance in a deeper midfield position.
It was the first sight of Gerrard covering every blade of grass in a more defensive role which he would go on to make his own during his latter years at Liverpool.
A late Javier Hernandez equaliser denied them victory but like so many occasions before, Gerrard was at the heart of all things good for Liverpool.
Manchester United 0-3 Liverpool (March 16, 2014)
There is just something about playing United in March that brings the best out of Gerrard.
The tables had firmly turned when this game came around in 2014 as Liverpool appeared to be racing towards their first ever Premier League title under Brendan Rodgers.
United, on the other hand, were on the decline in the first season post-Ferguson under David Moyes.
It must have been a feeling of deja vu for the United faithful as Gerrard sidefooted a penalty to the keeper’s left before doing the exact same shortly after the half-time break.
As is customary for a Gerrard goal at Old Trafford, the boyhood Red found the nearest camera to plant a kiss in celebration — a sight Red Devils fans must be sick of.