On returning to the top flight under Mercer and Alliison in 1966/67, reigning Champions Liverpool met Man City three games into the season on a Wednesday evening at Maine Road. In front of a crowd of 50,923, goals for Colin Bell and Jimmy Murray gave Man City a 2-1 victory and the Blues' first top flight victory under Mercer and Allison. The return fixture at Anfield occurred six days later. The kick-off for this evening match was slightly delayed because the City team was delayed in traffic and had to walk from their transport to the stadium carrying their kit-skips with them. In front of 51,645 at Anfield, goals for Geoff Strong and two for Roger Hunt gave Liverpool a 3-2 victory, while Matt Gray and Jimmy Murray were on target for the Blues.
City finished their first season back in 1965/66 in fifteenth place, while their neighbours United won their second title in three years. Liverpool meanwhile finished nine points behind United in fifth. In 1967/68, Liverpool travelled to Maine Road on the opening day of the season. The two sides started the season with a goalless draw in front of 49,343. The return fixture at Anfield occurred nine days before Christmas 1967. At the midway point of the season, City were one point behind neighbours United at the top of the table, above Liverpool on goal average. Goals for Roger Hunt and Francis Lee meant a 1-1 draw. Liverpool finished third, while Man City ended the season as League Champions for the first time since 1937.
City's first game as reigning Champions in 1968/69 was a visit to Anfield to face Liverpool.
A crowd of 51,236 saw City suffer defeat on their opening game of the season with goals for Bobby Graham and Peter Thompson earning a 2-1 win for Liverpool, while Neil Young was on target for City. The two sides would have to wait until the penultimate game of the season to meet again at Maine Road. In their previous game, Liverpool had conceded the title to Leeds United in a 0-0 draw at Anfield with the West Yorkshire side. A goal for Francis Lee gave Man City a 1-0 victory in front of 28,309. Liverpool ended 1968/69 as runners up, while Man City finished thirteenth, but won the FA Cup. The sides met again early on in the season in 1969/70, this time two games in at Anfield.
In front of 51,959 people, Ian St John gave Liverpool the lead after two minutes. An own goal for Tommy Smith and a goal from Ian Bowyer put City in front, a lead they held until the last seven minutes when goals for Roger Hunt and another for Ian St. John meant a 3-2 victory for Liverpool. Eight days later, Liverpool headed to Maine Road. In front of a crowd of 47,888, two goals for Bobby Graham gave Liverpool a 2-0 victory. The final game between the two sides during the 1960s came a month later when the two sides were drawn together in the third round of the League Cup at Maine Road. In front of 28,019, goals for Mike Doyle, Neil Young and Ian Bowyer gave City a 3-2 victory, while Alun Evans and Bobby Graham were on target for Liverpool.
City went on to win that year's League Cup, while finishing eleventh in the League. Liverpool meanwhile finished fifth. The two sides had to wait a whole calendar year before their first meeting of the 1970s. In early January 1971, Man City stood fourth in the table and ten points behind League leaders Leeds United, while Liverpool were seventh. Liverpool had replaced the old guard of the like of Ron Yeats, Ian St John and Tommy Lawrence with newcomers John Toshack, Ray Clemence and Emlyn Hughes. The 45,985 who turned out on a cold Tuesday night watched the two sides play out a 0-0 draw. The return fixture in late April came amid a run of three games in four days for Liverpool and their involvement with Leeds United in the Fairs Cup Semi Final.
With two League games left to go, Liverpool stood in fifth and thirteen points behind League leaders Arsenal whom they were to face in the FA Cup Final in ten days' time. Just 17,975 turned out for the Monday evening clash, in terms of goals however they got their money's worth with a 2-2 draw with two goals for Bobby Graham for the Reds, while Stephen Carter scored for City from the penalty spot and an Ian Ross own goal. Liverpool however were fined £7,500 for fielding a weakened team in this First Division match as only Alun Evans would be among the Liverpool side that were defeated by Arsenal in the 1971 FA Cup Final. The Reds finished 1970/71 in fourth place in the league, while City finished tenth.
In 1971/72, the two sides first met at Maine Road six games into the season on the first day of September. In front of a crowd of 45,144, a goal for Ian Mellor gave City a 1-0 win. The two sides then became embroiled in one of the most competitive title races ever. By the time of their next meeting in late February, City topped the table with thirteen games left to go, while Liverpool were six points behind in sixth. In front of a crowd of 50,074 at Anfield, goals or Larry Lloyd on his debut, Kevin Keegan and Bobby Graham gave Liverpool a 3-0 victory. Liverpool finished third ahead of Man City in fourth on goal average. Both sides finished one point behind League Champions Derby County.
Over the summer of 1972, a boardroom coup led to Malcolm Allison taking over from Joe Mercer as City boss. His first game in charge on the opening day of the game came against Liverpool at Anfield. In front of a crowd of 55,383, goals for Brian Hall and Ian Callaghan gave Liverpool a 2-0 win. Both Larry Lloyd and Manchester City's Wyn Davies were sent off for fighting in the first half. Shankly wasn't happy with the sending-off as he felt it was Davies who was the culprit by simply headbutting Lloyd. Liverpool became the first team to fight a three-match ban over a player before the newly-formed independent disciplinary tribunal and won, with Lloyd's ban subsequently overturned.
Two weeks before they were to meet again in the League, the two sides were drawn together in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Anfield. A crowd of 56,296 saw the two sides play out a 0-0 draw. The replay at Maine Road the following Wednesday saw 49,572 turn out for the tie. Goals for Colin Bell and Tommy Booth gave City a 2-0 victory.
Man City progressed to the next round, where they faced second tier Sunderland. The Blues however exited the competition to that year's eventual winners. For Liverpool, their poor spell continued with a visit from fellow title challengers Arsenal, where they suffered a 0-2 home defeat. The Gunners overhauled Liverpool at the top by one point, but having played one game more. Man City meanwhile were eighth in the table as Liverpool headed to Maine Road in the League. A crowd of 40,528 turned out for the game, highlights of which were covered by Granada's 'Kick Off Match'. Tommy Booth put City ahead just before half time. Into the second half, Tommy Smith had been sent off by referee Clive Thomas with twenty minutes left to go. With thirteen minutes to go, Phil Boersma equalised for Liverpool as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Liverpool however turned their season around from this mini-blip to seal the League title with a three-point lead over runners up Arsenal and their first trophy for seven years. City meanwhile finished the season in tenth place, with Malcolm Allison's reign in charge lasting less than a season before he headed to Crystal Palace outside of the top tier. By the time Liverpool next played Man City on Good Friday in mid-April 1974 at Maine Road, they were managed by Ron Saunders. Liverpool were four points behind League Leaders Leeds United, but with two games in hand. City meanwhile were twelfth. A 43,284 turned out as goals for Peter Cormack and Francis Lee gave the two sides a 1-1 draw.
It was however the final game in charge for Ron Saunders who by the time of the return fixture the following Tuesday had quit as City boss, with Tony Book taking over. A crowd of 50,781 saw Liverpool capitalise on City's disarray with a 4-0 win secured by goals from Phil Boersma, Kevin Keegan and Brian Hall. Liverpool finished the season as runners up, five points behind Champions Leeds United, but winning the FA Cup. City meanwhile finished in fourteenth place, but had the joy of relegating Man United on the final day of the season at Old Trafford with a 1-0 win. Over the summer of 1974, Bill Shankly would announce his retirement as Liverpool boss, with his assistant Bob Paisley taking over.
Bob Paisley's first meeting with City as boss came seven games into the 1974/75 season. Liverpool topped the table with five wins and a draw from six games. City meanwhile where two points behind in third. A crowd of 45,194 turned out at Maine Road, while the cameras of BBC's 'Match of the Day' were there to capture the highlights. Goals for Rodney Marsh and Dennis Tuert gave City a 2-0 victory.
The return fixture at Anfield came on Boxing Day 1974. By this point, Liverpool stood fourth but one point behind league leaders Ipswich Town. City were one point above them in third, but having played one game more. A crowd of 46,062 saw Liverpool rout City by 4-1 with goals from John Toshack, Steve Heighway and two for Brian Hall, while Colin Bell would be on target for City. Liverpool finished 1974/75 in third place and two points behind title winners Derby County, while Man City finished eighth. After a year and one day, the two sides met again in 1975/76 the day after Boxing Day. Both sides had played a league game twenty-four hours earlier, with Liverpool holding off Man United at the top of the table on goal average, while City were four points behind in seventh. In front of a crowd of 53,386, a goal from Peter Cormack gave Liverpool a 1-0 victory.
The return fixture came on Easter Monday in front of a crowd of 50,439. With two games left to play, Liverpool topped the table with a one point lead over second place QPR. There was also the involvement of Man United who were four points behind with two games in hand. Man City meanwhile were seventh. Seventeen minutes from time, Steve Heighway put Liverpool ahead. In the final two minutes, two goals for David Fairclough gave Liverpool a thumping 3-0 victory. Liverpool sealed the title in their final game with a victory over Wolves. City however dropped to eighth, though won the League Cup.
In 1976/77, the two sides met at Maine Road during the interim between Christmas and New Year. Liverpool topped the table though Man City were two points behind in third with a game in hand. Former Evertonian Joe Royle gave City the lead ten minutes before half time. An own goal from Dave Watson in the final minute however earned a 1-1 draw. The two sides met again at Anfield in April. Liverpool topped the table with nine games left to play, City were three points behind in third but with a game in hand. A crowd of 55,283 turned out for the game. Two minutes before half time, Kevin Keegan put Liverpool ahead. With thirteen minutes to go, Brian Kidd equalised for City. Sixty seconds later, Steve Heighway restored Liverpool's lead. With no further scoring, Liverpool ran out as 2-1 winners.
A 0-0 draw for Liverpool over West Ham in May saw the Reds retain their League title and end the title hopes of Man City who ended 1976/77 in second place and one point behind Liverpool. The Reds also won the European Cup for the first time, but were defeated in the FA Cup Final by Man United to prevent a treble. In 1977/78, Liverpool stood second after twelve games and two points behind league leaders Nottingham Forest. Man City were three points behind in fifth. In front of a crowd of 49,207, goals for Mick Channon, Brian Kidd and Joe Royle gave City a 3-1 victory, while David Fairclough would be on target for Liverpool.
The return fixture came on May day 1978. Liverpool had already lost their League title to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest side and stood eight points behind in third, a point behind neighbours Everton with two games left to play. Liverpool however were looking to retain their European Cup with a date at Wembley against FC Bruges to look forward to. A crowd of 44,528 saw goals for Phil Neal and a Kenny Dalglish hat-trick secure a 4-1 victory for Liverpool, who managed to overhaul Everton to secure the runners up spot. Man City meanwhile finished 1977/78 in fifth place.
Liverpool's attempt to win back their league title in 1978/79 saw them come to Maine Road three games into the season. In front of a crowd of 46,710, goals for Ray Kennedy, Kenny Dalglish and two for Graeme Souness were on target for Liverpool who ran out 4-1 winners, while Brian Kidd would be on target for City.
The return fixture came in mid-November at Anfield. After fourteen games, Liverpool topped the table with eleven victories. Man City meanwhile were eight points behind in seventh. In front of a crowd of 47,765, despite a brave performance from City keeper Joe Corrigan to keep Liverpool at bay, a penalty from Phil Neal four minutes from time gave Liverpool a 1-0 victory. Liverpool finished the season with a nine point lead as League Champions. Man City meanwhile languished in fifteenth place, which led to City sacking Tony Book and bringing Malcolm Allison back as Man City boss. The final meeting between the two sides during the 1970s came in late October 1979.
Liverpool stood fifth after eleven games and four points behind leaders Nottingham Forest. Man City meanwhile were separated by Liverpool by goal difference, but stood ninth. In front of a crowd of 48,128, goals for David Johnson, Ray Kennedy and two for Kenny Dalglish gave Liverpool a thumping 4-0 win. The return fixture (the first meeting between the two sides during the 1980s) came in mid-March. Liverpool topped the table with thirteen games left to play with a two point gap over Man United and a game in hand. Meanwhile Man City stood in sixteenth place and six points from the relegation zone.
In front of a crowd of 40,443, an own goal from seventeen-year-old Liverpudllian Tommy Caton and a winner from Graeme Souness seven minutes from time gave Liverpool a 2-0 victory.
By May, Liverpool had retained their league title, meanwhile Man City finished seventeenth. By 1980/81, the sides met for the first time in October. After eight games, Liverpool stood second and had experinced a 10-1 victory over Finnish side Oulu Palloseura in the first round of the European Cup a few days prior. City meanwhile were without a win in eight games and in twentieth position. Their ongoing season had been part of a fly on the wall TV documentary called 'City' for Granada TV.
41,022 turned out at Maine Road, where goals for Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Sammy Lee gave Liverpool a 3-0 victory. A piece of history also occurred in that Howard Gayle coming on for David Fairclough became the first Afro-Carribean player to turn out for Liverpool.
The result left Malcolm Allison's position untenable, with his former West Ham team mate John Bond taking over in his place. Man City recovered sufficiently enough to go on a Cup run, drawn against Liverpool in the Semi Final of the League Cup in January 1981. The first leg occurred at Maine Road in mid-January. A crowd of 48,045 saw an 81st minute goal from Ray Kennedy enabling Liverpool to return to Anfield with a 1-0 lead. The second leg occurred one month later at Anfield. In front of 46,711, goals for Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Reeves meant a 1-1 draw with Liverpool progressing to the final where they would win their first ever League Cup after a replay with West Ham.
Man City would however reach the FA Cup Final, though lost the final with Spurs after a replay. The Blues last league game of the season came five days later with a rearranged fixture away to Liverpool at Anfield. Liverpool had experienced a comparatively poor season, languishing in sixth and the hope of reaching five should they beat City. Either way, it was to be their worst League finish for over a decade. Man City meanwhile could reach no higher than twelfth, regardless of the result. Liverpool had a two week gap between fixtures and a goal from Ray Kennedy on sixteen minutes gave Liverpool a 1-0 win in front of 24,462. The following week, after a disappointing domestic season, the Reds managed to win a third European Cup Final.
In 1981/82, Man City returned to Anfield on Boxing Day. Liverpool's continued decline had reached such a point that they were now languishing in twelfth place and nine points behind league leaders Swansea City. Man City meanwhile were seventh. Thirteen days prior, Liverpool had gone to Tokyo to face Brazilian side Flamengo and lost 0-3. Liverpool's misery continued as Asa Harford put Man City ahead on nine minutes. With fifteen minutes to go, Kevin Bond doubled City's lead from the penalty spot. Liverpool pulled one back with a goal from Ronnie Whelan, however a last minute goal from Kevin Reeves gave City a 3-1 victory.
The result meant that Liverpool went into 1982 in the bottom half of the table. This however was a transition period for the Reds, with the introduction of players such as Bruce Grobbelaar, Ronnie Whelan and Craig Johnston to replace the likes of Ray Kennedy, Terry McDermott and Ray Clemence. Though the latter three went on to become mainstays of the Liverpool side for the remainder of the decade, there would be a period before they were fully bedded in. Also, after the Man City game, Phil Thompson was stripped of the Liverpool captaincy in favour of Graeme Souness.
By the time Liverpool headed to Maine Road, the Reds had climbed to the top of the table on the back of a run of fourteen wins out of fifteen and a 1-0 win over Man United the previous week. Man City meanwhile were ninth. Highlights of the game were captured by BBC's 'Match of the Day'. Goals for Sammy Lee, Phil Neal, Craig Johnston, Alan Kennedy and Ian Rush gave Liverpool a thumping 5-0 victory.
Liverpool finished the season at the top of the table with a four-point lead over second place Ipswich Town. City meanwhile finished tenth. In 1982/83, the two sides met during the interim between Christmas and New Year with an 11.30AM kick off. Liverpool now held a five-point lead at the top of the table over second place Man United. Man City meanwhile were ninth. A crowd of 44,664 turned out at Anfield for the match. By twenty-four minutes into the game, Liverpool were three goals up with Phil Neal on target and two for Kenny Dalglish. David Cross pulled one back for City four minutes from half time. In the second half, another goal from Ian Rush and Dalglish completing his hat-trick furthered Liverpool's lead. Merseyside born tommy Caton pulled one back for City in the last minute, however Liverpool ran out 5-2 winners.
The return fixture at Maine Road came on Easter Monday in early April. Liverpool were now runaway leaders of the old First Division with a sixteen-point lead over second place Man United. City had now sunk to seventeenth, with a seven-point cushion from the relegation zone having played three games more than second from bottom Luton Town. The collapse in form saw the departure of John Bond as City manager, with John Benson taking over in his place.
In front of a crowd of 35,647, goals for Graeme Souness, Alan Kennedy and two for David Fairclough gave Liverpool a thumping 4-0 victory. Liverpool retained their title with an eleven-point lead, though Bob Paisley would retire and be replaced by his right hand man, Joe Fagan. Man City however sunk to the second tier after finishing twentieth as a result of losing what was effectively a relegation play-off with Luton Town, who kept their place in the top flight on the back of that victory.
City would spend two seasons in the second tier before returning in 1984/85 with a third-place finish. Their first game with Liverpool on their return to the top flight came on Boxing Day 1985, by which point City were now managed by Billy McNeill and Liverpool by Player boss Kenny Dalglish. The Reds stood four points behind run away leaders Man United, who were just now beginning to wobble after suffering a home defeat to Arsenal five days before Christmas. City meanwhile had only won five games all season and stood sixteenth. A crowd of 35,584 turned out at Maine Road to witness a shock 1-0 win for Man City with a goal from Clive Wilson.
By the time of Man City's trip to Anfield on Easter Monday in late March, Man United's title challenge was collapsing with Liverpool having leapfrogged them, but standing second behind reigning Champions Everton who held a two-point lead over Liverpool with a game in hand. By now, Man City were thirteenth. Highlights of the game were covered by the BBC's 'Match of the Day' with football returning to the box, after the TV black out of late 1985. A crowd of 43,316 turned out at Anfield for the game, to witness two goals for Steve McMahon giving Liverpool a 2-0 victory.
Liverpool ended 1985/86 as League Champions and FA Cup winners, becoming only the third side of the twentieth century to achieve such a feat. Man City meanwhile finished fifteenth with a six point cushion from the drop zone. The two sides met three games into the 1986/87 season at Anfield. In front of a crowd of 39,989, the two sides played out a 0-0 draw. The most noteworthy incident of the game had been the post-match sending off of Ian Rush for 'foul and abusive' language. The card was later rescinded so he didn't receive a ban.
By the time of the return fixture in mid-January 1987, Liverpool stood in third place and six points behind leaders Arsenal who had a game in hand. City meanwhile had replaced Billy McNeill with Jimmy Frizzell and were sixteenth, but with a cushion of just two points from the relegation zone. Highlights were captured by Granada's 'Kick Off Match' and a crowd of 35,336 turned out at Maine Road for the game. An Ian Rush goal eighteen minutes from time gave Liverpool a 1-0 victory.
Liverpool finished 1986/87 trophyless and runners up, six points behind Champions Everton. City meanwhile were relegated back to the second tier after finishing the season second from bottom of the table. During their absence, the two sides were drawn together in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup at Maine Road in mid-March 1988. Liverpool had been unbeaten in the league since the start of the season and were one game away from equaling Leeds United's record of twenty unbeaten from the start of the season. The game was covered live by ITV's 'The Big Match' and 44,047 turned out at Maine Road for the event.
Liverpool were without leading goal scorer John Aldridge, who was injured and replaced by Craig Johnston, who'd spent most of the season out of the side. Liverpool however still romped home with a 4-0 win courtesy of goals from Ray Houghton, Peter Beardsley, Craig Johnston and John Barnes. Liverpool went on to win the League and reached the final of the FA Cup, however suffered a shock defeat to Wimbledon.
City again spent two seasons outside of the top tier and returned in 1988/89 as runners up with Mel Machin as boss. Their first game back on returning to the top flight came against Liverpool at Anfield. Liverpool had suffered the trauma of Hillsborough the previous season, as well as losing their title to Arsenal in the final minute of the season. The Reds were therefore eager to make up for that in 1989/90. A crowd of 37,628 turned out at Anfield for the opening day, where a John Barnes penalty gave Liverpool the lead on seven minutes. Midway through the second half, future Evertonian Andy Hinchcliffe equalised for City. Two second half goal for Peter Beardsley and Steve Nicol however gave Liverpool a 3-1 victory.
The return fixture came in early December after fifteen games, by which point Liverpool on goal difference topped a four-way tie at the top of the table above Arsenal, Aston Villa and Chelsea respectively. Man City meanwhile were anchored to the foot of the table with just four wins all season. Mel Machin had now departed from Maine Road and City were now awaiting the arrival of former Everton boss Howard Kendall and in the meantime Tony Book and John Deehan were acting as Caretaker for this game. In front of a crowd of 31,641 at Maine Road, goals for Peter Beardsley, Steve McMahon and two for Ian Rush gave Liverpool a 4-1 win, with Clive Allen on target for City.
Liverpool finished 1989/90 as League Champions by a nine-point margin, though would be the last time in which they would be crowned English League Champions. City finished fourteenth though only one place lower than Man United on goal difference. In 1990/91, Man City visited an unbeaten Liverpool at Anfield in late November. Liverpool held an eight point margin over an Arsenal side who were also unbeaten, but had had two points deducted for an on pitch brawl with Man United at Old Trafford. Man City meanwhile stood a respectable seventh place. By now, Howard Kendall had returned to Goodison Park, but City were now led by another former Evertonian in Peter Reid as player boss.
Just past the hour mark, Merseyside born Mark Ward gave City the lead which was held until eight minutes from time when Ian Rush equalised for Liverpool. With four minutes to go, Israeli substitute Ronnie Rosenthal put Liverpool ahead with four minutes to go, however City earned a point with a last-minute goal from Niall Quinn which made it a 2-2 draw.
By the time of the return fixture at Maine Road, Kenny Dalglish had resigned as Liverpool boss and replaced by Ronnie Moran as caretaker boss. The Reds had also lost their lead at the top of the table, as Arsenal now had a three point lead at the top of the table after beating Liverpool on live TV the week prior. Liverpool now standing second, while Man City were eighth. Liverpool however managed their first victory for exactly one month as two penalties from Jan Molby and a goal from John Barnes with four minutes to go meant a 3-0 win for Liverpool at Maine Road in front of 35,150.
By the close of the season, Graeme Souness had taken over as Liverpool boss, but couldn't prevent Arsenal winning the title with a seven point margin over Liverpool. Man City meanwhile finished one place above rivals Man United in fifth place. In 1991/92, Liverpool came to Maine Road two games into the season in late August. In front of a crowd of 37,322, Man City picked up a 2-1 victory with two goals from David White, while Steve McManaman would be on target for Liverpool.
The return fixture at Anfield occurred four days ahead of Christmas 1991. Graeme Souness was taking a wrecking ball to the Liverpool old guard, with Steve McMahon the subject of transfer speculation to City. Souness's side stood twelve points off of leaders Man United in fourth and one place ahead of Man City on goal difference. In front of a crowd of 36,743 at Anfield, Liverpool took the lead with a goal from Dean Saunders on nine minutes. Within the first ten minutes of the second half, two goals for David White put Man City in front. Liverpool however scraped a point with an equaliser from Steve Nicol eight minutes from time.
In what would have been unfathomable just a few years prior, Man City finished the league season with a six-point gap over Liverpool, as the two sides finished 1991/92 in fifth and sixth place respectively. Liverpool however did go on to win the 1992 FA Cup. That year also saw the formation of the breakaway Premier League. The first Premiership meeting between the two sides came in the interim between Christmas and New Year in 1992. The previous week, Liverpool were thumped 1-5 away at Coventry City and stood in tenth place at the half way mark of the season. Man City meanwhile were two points behind in eleventh.
A crowd of 43,037 turned out at Anfield and witnessed Niall Quinn giving Arsenal the lead six minutes before half time. Four minutes into the second half, Ian Rush however equalised and earned Liverpool a 1-1 draw.
The return fixture at Maine Road took place on Easter Monday. Liverpool stood in the unfamiliar position of thirteenth place, while Man City stood seventh. A crowd of 28,098 saw Garry Flitcroft give City the lead on eleven minutes. Midway into the second half however, Ian Rush equalised for Liverpool. With no further scoring, the two sides played out a 1-1 draw. As Man United won the inaugural Premiership, Liverpool finished in fifth place, while Man City finished ninth. In 1993/94, Liverpool headed to Maine Road in late October, by which point Peter Reid had been replaced by Brian Horton as City manager.
After eleven games, Liverpool had won five games and stood tenth. Man City meanwhile had won three and stood fourteenth. In front of a crowd of 30,403. Midway through the second half, David White put City in front, however a last-minute equalizer from Ian Rush meant a 1-1 draw. The return fixture at Anfield came in late January. By this point, Liverpool stood twenty-one points off of Man United at the top of the table in sixth. Man City had now slumped to nineteenth and only kept out of the relegation zone by goal difference. After four minutes, Carl Griffiths gave City the lead, before Ian Rush equalised midway through the second half. A last-minute winner from Ian Rush gave Liverpool a 2-1 victory.
The following Wednesday, a home defeat in the FA Cup to Bristol City led to the resignation of Graeme Souness as Liverpool manager and him being replaced by Roy Evans. Liverpool finished 1993/94 in eighth place and thirty-one points behind Double winners Man United. Man City meanwhile finished sixteenth and three points off of the relegation zone. In 1994/95, the two sides first met in the interim between Christmas and New Year at Anfield. After twenty games, Liverpool stood ten points off of leaders Blackburn in fourth. Man City meanwhile stood tenth. Ten minutes into the second half, Liverpool took the lead with an own goal from Terry Phelan. With eight minutes to go, Robbie Fowler added a second, which gave Liverpool a 2-0 victory.
The return fixture on Good Friday in mid-April at Maine Road. Liverpool stood fifth with seven games left to play. Man City stood seventeenth and three points off of the relegation zone. In front of a crowd of 27,055, goals for Nicky Summerbee and Maurizio Gaudino gave Man City a 2-1 win, while Steve McManaman was on target for Liverpool. By the end of 1994/95, Liverpool finished fifteen points behind Champions Blackburn in fourth, while Man City avoided relegation by a four-point margin in seventeenth which led to the sacking of Brian Horton who was replaced by Alan Ball over the summer of 1995. In 1995/96, City met Liverpool twice in the space of three days in October. The first came at Anfield in the third round of the League Cup. A crowd of 29,394 turned out and witnessed a 4-0 win for Liverpool courtesy of goals for John Scales, Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush and Steve Harkness.
After ten matches in the league, Liverpool stood seven points behind leaders Newcastle United. Man City meanwhile were rock bottom of the Premiership without a win in ten games. Again, at Anfield, Liverpool enjoyed a thumping victory in front of 39,267 as goals for Jamie Redknapp, Neil Ruddock and two apiece for Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush gave Liverpool a 6-0 victory and ten goals against City in three days. The next meeting came on the final day of the season at Maine Road. A week earlier, Maine Road had been the epicentre of the world of popular culture as Oasis headlined two gigs at Man City's Maine Road home.
City were caught beneath the landslide of seventeen other Premiership clubs and within the relegation zone on goal difference. Liverpool meanwhile could rise no higher than third and had an FA Cup Final against Man United the following week. In front of a crowd of 31,436, City went in at half time two goals down, with an own goal from Steve Lomas and second from Ian Rush. In the final ten minutes, goals for Uwe Rosler and Kit Symonds pulled Man City level. City boss Alan Ball then made the mistake in thinking that a draw would have been good enough to ensure City's safety and played for the draw. Unfortunately, City were down on goal difference.
To add to the pain of Man United securing their second league and FA Cup Double in three season by beating Liverpool in the FA Cup Final the following week, there would be no quick return for City, who even dropped as far as the third tier at the end of 1997/98. As will be seen in Part Four however, City would return to the Premiership by the year 2000 and by the end of the noughties even secure a source of wealth that would propel the club to the forefront of English football.
(Part Four covering 2000 to 2017 can be found here)
*Published 11th January 2018
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