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5 reasons behind the Manchester United-Liverpool rivalry

Akshay Pai
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 08:51 IST

#4 A rivalry forged in the ashes of the industrial revolution

The construction of Bridgewater Lock on the Manchester Ship Canal in northwest England, circa 1890. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The construction of the Manchester ship canal saw animosity rise between the 2 cities

Both the cities of Liverpool and Manchester were 19th-century powerhouses. The Merseyside city was acclaimed to be one of the world’s greatest ports. Manchester, on the other hand, was a booming trade centre for cotton, with Piccadilly Basin central to the textile industry in the United Kingdom.

Back then, however, it was a relationship of cooperation and understanding; Liverpool would trade what Manchester had made. Strong allies for many years, they became enemies during the fallout from the great depression. To sustain a faltering economy, Manchester built their own ship canal all the way to the sea, thereby cutting the Liverpudlians out of the process.

Eventually, both the cities ended up suffering massively as their traditional industries went into terminal decline. The animosity bred during these times eventually boiled on to the football pitch, with both clubs consistently challenging for top honours.

Published 02 Dec 2016, 17:43 IST
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