Manchester United have not enjoyed visiting Anfield to play Liverpool in recent years. United have failed to win in any of their last five trips to Liverpool’s famous home ground, losing three and drawing the other two matches in all competitions.
United are winless in their last four Premier League games against Liverpool, which is their longest run without victory against their rivals since a streak of five matches between March 2000 and January 2002.
The Red Devils haven’t had as many as 10 shots in Premier League games at Anfield since September 2013 under David Moyes.
That poor run could be extended on Sunday, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes his team to Merseyside to play Jurgen Klopp’s side in a top-of-the-table Premier League clash.
Liverpool have gone a remarkable 67 home league matches without tasting defeat at Anfield – a run which stretches back to May 2017 and hints at the size of the task facing Solskjaer’s players this weekend.
However, there is hope. The Reds have failed to win any of their last three Premier League matches, while United are unbeaten in their last 15 away league games.
Solskjaer and his players could be well served by casting an eye over the last United side to win at Anfield, because Louis van Gaal’s team managed to take home three points on January 17, 2016 against a side featuring current players Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson and James Milner, despite having won just two of their previous 11 matches coming into the game.
He could always ask members of his squad to explain how they came away with a 1-0 win five years ago, with four players remaining from the 18 Van Gaal selected in his squad.
Ahead of this weekend’s potentially decisive Premier League match, here is a look at the last United team to beat Liverpool at Anfield.
GK: David de Gea
One of the few who remain at the club to this day and will be involved in Sunday’s showdown, although it is fair to say De Gea was a more feared goalkeeper five years ago.
The Spaniard made fine saves from Emre Can and Adam Lallana to keep the away side in it that day. While he was the undisputed No 1 then, this time around he faces a growing threat from his understudy, Dean Henderson.
RB: Ashley Young
The former winger had moved back to make the right-back position his own under Van Gaal. After nine years at United, in which he won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League, he moved to Inter Milan in 2020, where he plays under former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte at the age of 35.
CB: Chris Smalling
Another former United defender who has found himself in Italy. Smalling initially moved on loan to Roma in 2019, but that switch was made permanent in October of last year. The 31-year-old has established himself as a first-choice centre-back for the Serie A side this season.
CB: Daley Blind
The Dutch defender was one of the first signings after Van Gaal arrived in the summer of 2024. He is now back where it all started at Ajax following a 2018 transfer back to his first club.
LB: Matteo Darmian
The Italian utility player spent five years at United, from 2014 to 2019. Darmian failed to establish himself as a regular starter at the club, instead being used as a stop-gap in both full-back positions when others were injured. He joined Parma in 2019, but is currently on loan at Inter Milan, often playing on the opposite flank to Young.
CM: Morgan Schneiderlin
Schneiderlin’s United career never took off after he arrived from Southampton for £25million in 2015. He spent two years at the club before joining Everton, but he is now at Nice in Ligue 1.
CM: Marouane Fellaini
The ultimate polarising player of the post-Fergie era. The giant Belgian midfielder spent six years at United after being signed by David Moyes in 2013 before leaving for the riches of the Chinese Super League and Shandong Luneng in 2019, where he remains to this day.
CM: Ander Herrera
The combative Spaniard put in five years of service for United before leaving to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2019, where he reached the Champions League final last year.
RW: Jesse Lingard
Lingard is one of just four players to remain in the United first team picture still, but his star has certainly faded. The 28-year-old midfielder has been strongly linked with a transfer away from the club in the January transfer window after slipping down the pecking order under Solskjaer.
LW: Anthony Martial
Martial was a highly-rated youngster back in 2016, a year after joining the club from Monaco. Now he is one of the main strikers for United alongside Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani.
ST: Wayne Rooney
Back on January 17, 2016, Rooney was busy netting his 176th top-flight goal for United to a new record for the most Premier League goals scored by a player for one club. These days he is busy focusing on managing Derby County in the Championship after retiring from playing.
Subs: Memphis Depay, Juan Mata, Sergio Romero, Guillermo Varela, Paddy McNair, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Andreas Pereira.
The substitutes’ bench from that trip to Anfield shows how improved United’s current squad is. Mata remains a loyal player for the club, but the rest are examples of club flops.
Depay has gone on to better things with Lyon, but none of the remaining players have made waves since leaving the club, while Romero is still stuck at United desperately seeking a new club.