Liverpool FC: The Reds' Top 6 English Premier League Weapons of Manc Destruction
Over the years, two super-powers have grown in the North West of England's elite football. During the 70s and 80s Liverpool were the undisputed kings of the country, sweeping all before them both at home and abroad.
In the following two decades, Manchester United usurped them as they pegged back and finally overtook Liverpool's record league title haul. A European Cup or two along the way has also established the Red Devils as one of the world's major clubs, though they still trail Liverpool's tally of wins in both established European competitions.
Matches between the two domestically are often heated, passionate affairs, more often than not resulting in flared tempers and wielded cards—of both colours.
Last season, a limp Reds display at Old Trafford saw United cruise into a two-goal lead before some set-piece heroics drew the teams level, but United took a deserved three points in the end.
It was a different story at Anfield as the rejuvenated Reds took the spoils with a polished and dominant display, thanks in no small part to the two players featured in the picture above, Luis Suarez and Dirk Kuyt.
Next weekend, the two giants clash again in the first meeting of the new Premier League season.
Here are Liverpool's top six players who have made a good habit out of scoring against one of the club's biggest enemies—the Reds' Weapons of Manc Destruction.
6. Fernando Torres
While wearing the Red of Liverpool, Fernando Torres initially looked like he would score every time he touched the ball against Manchester United.
Much-vaunted Premier League defensive stars Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand looked like scared kids in a playground facing kids three years older than them when they came up against the floppy locks of Fernando as he scored firstly in 2008-09 before a further two strikes followed in 2009-10, his last full season as a Red.
5. Danny Murphy
Penalties and free kicks were mainly the order of the day for former midfielder Danny Murphy against Manchester United.
The set-piece specialist netted three times against the Red Devils and was sent off against them as well, as he was a big part of the Gerard Houllier side who frequently triumphed over their rivals.
Murphy scored in 2000-01 season, 01-02 and 03-04.
4. Dirk Kuyt
Until last season, Dirk Kuyt had completed four seasons without finding the net against Manchester United for Liverpool.
One hat-trick demolition later at Anfield and that statistic had been well and truly scrubbed off the board.
With more than a helping hand from fellow forward Luis Suarez, Dutchman Kuyt will be hoping that he is able to add to his current tally next week.
3. Steven Gerrard
He could be in line for his first start of the season in a week and a half and Steven Gerrard will be hoping to add to his current tally of five strikes against Manchester United—the same number he currently has against Liverpool's other biggest rivals, Everton.
Gerrard first scored against United in 2000-01 and also netted in the League Cup final in 2003. A further strike in 2008-09 followed before a brace in last season's 3-2 defeat for the Reds left him in third place overall for the Reds' Premier League-era goalscorers against United.
2. Michael Owen
Prior to his turncoatery and picking splinters out of his behind, Michael Owen was once a feared striker who netted goals for fun.
His first strike came in 1997-98 and he followed it up with another goal the following season.
A barren year or two followed—against the Red Devils at least—before a treble during the 2001-02 season helped Liverpool on their way to the Community Shield title. His final goal against United came in 2002-03 in the League Cup final, giving him six goals in total.
1. Robbie Fowler
Robbie Fowler burst onto the goal scoring scene for Liverpool against Manchester United in 1995-96 season as he plundered four goals in two games, netting a brace in each match home and away.
He rather stole the limelight from the returning kung-fu king Eric Cantona, as he netted two brilliant strikes to earn the Reds a draw in the first game.
'God' also followed up with a goal in 1997-98 and another in 2000-01, leaving Gary Neville on the floor to fire home en route to Liverpool's successful trophy-laden end to that particular campaign in which Fowler was to play a pivotal role.