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Sir Alex Ferguson’s brutal message about Liverpool – ‘I don’t need to talk

While Liverpool might have scored nine goals across two emphatic victories over Manchester United at Old Trafford and Anfield last season, they haven’t enjoyed the best of fortunes against the Red Devils during the Premier League era. Their 2-1 loss to Erik ten Hag’s side last month was their 29th from 61 top-flight clashes since 1992/93.

Winning 18 and drawing 14, Liverpool ‘s inferior record over the past three decades is hardly surprising having seen Sir Alex Ferguson ‘s almighty United side dominate the first 20 years of Premier League football. Knocking the Reds off their perch in the process, the Scot led the Red Devils to 13 league titles before his retirement in 2013.

As a result, he’d oversee just 11 defeats at the hands of their fierce rivals from his 42 Premier League matches between the two sides at the helm. Meanwhile, he’d oversee 10 victories from 21 Premier League visits to Anfield.

And it was from one of these victorious trips to Merseyside that former United defender Rio Ferdinand claims Ferguson delivered his most iconic team-talk as Manchester United manager.

Speaking to William Hill’s Stripped Podcast , the former Red Devils captain recalled: “The most iconic team talk Sir Alex Ferguson ever gave at Manchester United was when we played Liverpool at Anfield once and he just said, ‘I don’t even need to talk to you, really. It’s the worst Liverpool team I’ve ever seen on a team sheet’. That was it. And then yeah, we won that day.”

Ferdinand would not reveal which game he was specifically referring to, but by process of elimination allow us to take an educated guess.

The England international would make 455 appearances across 12 seasons at Manchester United, with nine of those outings coming at Anfield. From those nine, the defender was on the winning side four times.

Two of those victories came back-to-back in 2006/07 and 2007/08 against Rafa Benitez Liverpool sides containing the likes of Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Pepe Reina, Sami Hyypia, Javier Mascherano and Fernando Torres. With the Reds losing 1-0 on both occasions, we can assume Ferdinand is not referring to either match.

Meanwhile, his last victory at Anfield came during Ferguson’s final season in 2012/13 as the Red Devils ran out 2-1 winners against 10 men following Jonjo Shelvey’s dismissal. While clearly weaker than Benitez’s own sides, Brendan Rodgers could at least call upon Luis Suarez alongside the likes of Gerrard, Agger and Reina.

Admittedly, Fabio Borini started in a front three on that occasion, yet such a clash is not our prime suspect. For that, we go back to the 2003/04 season and Gerard Houllier ‘s final season at Anfield.

Harry Kewell was on the scoresheet for the Reds as a Ryan Giggs brace saw United run out 2-1 winners in November 2003. And, with injuries arguably forcing Houllier’s hand when it came to naming his side, looking back his squad list is certainly not the strongest that Ferguson ever had to overcome.

Jerzy Dudek started in goal with Steve Finnan and Djimi Traore operating at full-back and an out-of-position Igor Biscan partnering Sami Hyypia at centre-back. And while Gerrard started in midfield, along with Danny Murphy and Vladimir Smicer, so too did El-Hadji Diouf.

Meanwhile, Kewell supported lone striker Emile Heskey in attack, as French teenagers Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Anthony Le Tallec, having only joined the club the previous summer, were brought on in vain to rescue the two-goal deficit. Chris Kirkland, John Arne Riise and Salif Diao made up the rest of the bench.

Of course, it’s perfectly plausible that Ferdinand has misremembered certain events considering such a team-talk took place, at the very least, a minimum of 10 years ago.

But regardless, considering how Liverpool fare these days, having won every major honour going since Jurgen Klopp’s appointment as manager back in 2015, Ferguson’s previous dismissal of their squad from within the Anfield away dressin

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