Premier League: Here we are going to look at our own handpicked biggest Premier League rivalry in the League’s history… We think that the continuous rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City is the biggest.
But are we right? Continue reading to find out. Below are our list of the biggest Premier League rivalry in the history of the league:
Manchester United vs Arsenal, 1996-2004
If Arsene Wenger admired Sir Alex Ferguson, he kept it buried as well as the Sol Campbell deal. It was clear that the emotion was mutual.
They weren’t just the smartest people; they were also the most charismatic. Their players were World Cup winners and Ballon d’Or nominees on both sides, and if their football wasn’t as tactically clever as Catalans and Germans of the future, it was just as heavy-metal: at times, just as flowing and beautiful.
Even the 0-0s, with their mad Keowns and everything, were straight out of Hollywood: each meeting offered a new flashpoint. All those tunnel scraps and presser soundbites, including Giggs’ wonder goal, Henry’s wonder goal, a 6-1, a 2-2, the 2002 title decider, the boot that hit Becks, the unbeaten record ending, and all those tunnel scraps and presser soundbites
The ice ultimately thawed, and Wenger and Fergie are said to be friendly these days. Perhaps it’s because even they realize it was unlike any other ride in English football. There may never be another.
Manchester City vs Liverpool, 2018-present
Never before in the Premier League have two minds worked so well together. Never before has English football been at the forefront of tactical innovation. Manchester City and Liverpool are perhaps the best teams in history.
Despite all of the hoopla about the Big Six and how competitive the Premier League is, Manchester City and Liverpool have been battling for the title since 2018 and no one has come close. Of course, this is the age of superstars — Salah, De Bruyne, and others – but it is also the age of the super coach. Klopp and Guardiola are eerily similar, yet diametrically opposed.
The only flaw in this spectacular rivalry drama is that they appear to really respect and admire one another.
Manchester United vs Chelsea, 2004-2011
When Jamie Carragher claims that English football currently has two of the finest teams in Europe for the first time since the 1970s, he is not entirely correct. Manchester United’s rivalry with Chelsea peaked in 2008, and it may have peaked again in 2009 if not for questionable refereeing decisions in the semi-final between the Blues and Barcelona.
Arriving in English football, Jose Mourinho displaced Arsenal from Sir Alex Ferguson’s main concentration and challenged him to improve as a manager. The title swung like a pendulum from Stamford Bridge to Old Trafford between 2005 and 2011, with both sides enjoying golden eras of glory. Individual duels between Lampard and Scholes, Cole and Ronaldo, and Vidic and Drogba were spectacular.
Mourinho would have a squabble with almost everyone, while Liverpool and Arsenal would compete with these two on the field and in the press. But in the late 1990s, English football was king, and these two were the crème of the crop.
Manchester United vs Manchester City, 2011-2016
At the turn of the century, English football was in a slump. United won the league with just 80 points in 2011; Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez shared the Golden Boot with just 20 goals each, while relegated Scott Parker received the FWA Footballer of the Year award and Gareth Bale won the PFA award… with just nine goals and assists in 30 appearances.
The rowdy neighbors, on the other hand, gave English football a fresh lease on life. After Rooney’s overhead kick in 2011, Manchester City exploded onto the scene the following season, thrashing United 6-1 in October and eventually winning the Premier League on goal difference. United got the last laugh a year later, in Fergie’s penultimate season, while United’s decline under Moyes and ensuing ennui saw the tides radically change.
Mourinho and Guardiola’s fall derby in 2016 felt like the start of a new era. It was the end of an era – but one that gave the Premier League new vitality in the early days of the Big Six.
Chelsea vs Tottenham, 2014 – 2019
On New Year’s Day 2015, Tottenham Hotspur stunned Chelsea, who had gone undefeated in the league. Spurs thrashed their London rivals 5-3 in a match that set the tone for the rest of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign.
Spurs would lose in the League Cup final, be hammered in an FA Cup semi-final by future manager Antonio Conte, and be held to a tense 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge to hand Leicester City the title. Both sets of players made it clear how much they despised the other side during the tour.
These games were typically season benchmarks, chess battles in which Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen would find space behind Conte’s backline or Marcos Alonso would whip a free-kick to seal three points. Chelsea won the war, but the battles were fascinating contests that came to define this era of English football.