The 5 Biggest Premier League Rivalries Ever!

Carragher reckons that we witnessed the greatest rivalry, Liverpool versus Manchester City being the biggest Premier league rivalries ever.

Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
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Jamie Carragher reckons that we witnessed the greatest-ever Premier League rivalry last season, with Liverpool versus Manchester City being the biggest Premier league rivalries ever.

"I can hear the dissent from Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea fans as I argue this," Carra wrote in the Telegraph. "They are among the best teams to ever play in English football, guided by legendary coaches, who are well ahead of everyone else in this country."

Is this statement true? Here is our top 5 biggest Premier League rivalries ever:

5. Chelsea vs Tottenham, 2014-2019:


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On New Year's Day 2015, plucky Tottenham Hotspur shocked Chelsea, who'd been unbeaten in the league up until then. Spurs ran riot, smashing their London rivals 5-3 in a game that would set the tempo for the rest of Mauricio Pochettino's tenure. 

Spurs would be beaten in the League Cup final, thrashed in an FA Cup semi-final at the hands of future boss Antonio Conte and most painfully, be held to a fiery 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge to hand Leicester City that title. Throughout the journey, both sets of players made it abundantly obvious how much they disliked the other side. 

The games between these two teams were often benchmarks of the season; chess matches in which Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen would find space behind Conte's backline or Marcos Alonso would whip a free-kick to seal three points. Chelsea certainly won the war – but the battles were intriguing match-ups that came to define this period of English football. 

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4. Manchester United vs Manchester City, 2011-2016:

Biggest Premier League Rivalries Ever: MUN VS MCI | Sportz Point.

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English football was in a bit of a lull at the start of a new decade. United won the title in 2011 with just 80 points; just 20 goals were enough for Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez to share a Golden Boot, while relegated Scott Parker won the FWA Footballer of the Year award and Gareth Bale scooped the PFA gong… with just nine goals and assists combined in 30 appearances. 

The noisy neighbours emerged, however, to provide a new spark in English football. In 2011, Rooney scored that overhead kick; Manchester City burst out of the traps the following season, walloping United 6-1 in October and eventually securing the title on goal difference. United had the last laugh a year later, in Fergie's final season, while United's downfall under Moyes and subsequent malaise saw the tides turn dramatically. 

2016's autumn derby between Mourinho and Guardiola felt like the start of a new era. It was practically the end of an old one – but one that breathed life into the Prem in the early days of the Big Six. 

3. Manchester United vs Chelsea, 2004-2011:

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When Jamie Carragher says that now, for the first time since the 70s, English football can boast the two best sides in Europe, that's not strictly true. 2008 saw the peak of Manchester United's rivalry with Chelsea – and perhaps it should have in 2009, too, were it not for questionable refereeing decisions in the semi-final between the Blues and Barcelona.

Jose Mourinho arriving into English football dislodged Arsenal from Sir Alex Ferguson's sole focus and pushed him to become a better manager. Between 2005 and 2011, the title swung like a pendulum from Stamford Bridge to Old Trafford, as the two sides enjoyed golden eras of success. Lampard vs Scholes, Cole vs Ronaldo, Vidic vs Drogba: the individual duels across the pitch were dynamite. 

Mourinho would have beef with just about everyone, while Liverpool and Arsenal would both compete with these two both on the pitch and in print. But English football was where it was at in the late noughties and these two were the cream of the crop. 

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2. Manchester City vs Liverpool, 2018-present:

Biggest Premier League Rivalries Ever: LIV VS CITY | Sportz Point.

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Never before have two minds quite like these managed in the Premier League. Never before has English football been quite so at the cutting edge of tactical ingenuity. Manchester City and Liverpool might be the two greatest teams of all time.

For all that talk of the Big Six and of how competitive the Premier League is, Manchester City and Liverpool have been fighting it out for the title between themselves since 2018 and no one has come close to them. This is an time of superstars, of course – of Salah, De Bruyne and the like – but really, this is the age of the supercoach. Klopp and Guardiola are so similar, so different and so, so brilliant. 

The only fly in the ointment in terms of blockbuster rivalry drama is that they genuinely seem to respect and admire one another.

Manchester United vs Arsenal, 1996-2004:

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If Arsene Wenger respected Sir Alex Ferguson, he kept it as well hidden as the Sol Campbell signing. The feeling was most certainly mutual. 

They weren't just the brightest minds but the most charismatic. Their players were World Cup winners, Ballon d'Or nominees – on both sides – and though the football may not have been as tactically astute as Catalans and Germans of the future, it was every bit as heavy-metal: at times, just as fluid and beautiful. 

Even the 0-0s were straight from Hollywood, crazed Keowns 'n' all: every meeting brought a new flashpoint. Giggs' wonder goal, Henry's wonder goal, a 6-1, a 2-2, the 2002 title decider, the boot that hit Becks, the unbeaten record ending and all those tunnel scraps and presser soundbites. 

The ice thawed eventually, with Wenger and Fergie reportedly cordial these days. Perhaps that's because even they recognise that there was no ride in English football quite like it. There may never be ever again. 

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This completes our list of the top 5 Biggest Premier League Rivalries Ever. For more lists and articles like this, Follow Sportz Point

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