One of English football’s most notorious and fierce rivalries added another chapter to its storied history on Sunday, when Liverpool hosted a resurgent Man Utd side at Anfield. The hard hitting action of clashes past continued the tradition of bruising encounters between the two sides – a point highlighted by the dismissal of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard less than 40 seconds after entering the fray as a substitute.
The visitors were enjoying a two points advantage over their hosts going into the game, and that soon extended to five as the former Premier League champions took the short trip back up the M6 with a 2-1 victory thanks to a superb brace from former Chelsea man Juan Mata either side of a Daniel Sturridge effort, which found the net with 20 minutes to go. The introduction of Gerrard, who has struggled to assert himself for Liverpool in his final year, did not go to plan.
Gerrard’s sending off for stamping on Ander Herrera was the 16th red card shown during games between these two sides since the Premier League began in 1992. It was also the second time Gerrard has seen the red during a game against one of his long-time club’s fiercest rivals, having been sent off in the 32nd minute of Liverpool’s trip to Old Trafford on 9th January 2011 – a game which Liverpool lost 1-0.
The first dismissal of the lot was shown to Michael Owen – then of Liverpool fame, before signing for United on a free transfer several years later – on 10th April 1998. That game at Old Trafford finished 1-1, with Owen having already registered on the scoresheet just minutes before being sent to the stands. A few months later, in April 1999, United defender Denis Irwin joined Owen as only the second player dismissed during the fixture, seeing red for a second bookable offence 15 minutes before the culmination of a 2-2 draw.
Of all the red cards shown during games involving England’s two most successful clubs, Finnish defender Sami Hyypi
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