The ultimate goal was clear for Sir Alex Ferguson's reign. "My greatest challenge is what's happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking right off their f-ing because."
While Manchester United continued to be considered one of the world's biggest clubs during the 1970s and 1980s, Liverpool dominated England in terms of on-field success. By 1990, the Merseysiders had taken their tally of league titles to 18 and had pocketed four European triumphs to boot, and all of them could stand and watch from the other end of the East Lancs Road.
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Wind forward to 2019 and Liverpool are trying to finally win a 19th league title 29 years and 13 United crowns on their last. And, although they have to keep up with Manchester, they need Manchester City to slip up somewhere with the stuff of Manchester derby at Old Trafford looming on Wednesday night.
For United fans, this might be the worst-case scenario. They are hopefully a title, and it is City and Liverpool who are battling for the crown. 'Noisy neighbors' City are gunning for back-to-back championships but the vast majority of Liverpools would have the prospect of Liverpool returning to the top table.
"It's mainly historic, two things that many peoples have been the team that we've always been competing against, whereas City is sort of new kids on the block," Anthony Shaw of the United We explains Fanzine stand. "And while that might change in the future, at the moment the majority of fans would say Liverpool to be our biggest rivals.
"Liverpool is the United States's biggest rivals. I never saw Liverpool's glory days but it was becoming serious rivals. I know, maybe youngsters might consider it to be City, but the majority still think of Liverpool as the major rivals. "
As the run-in has developed, scenarios relating to Liverpool has been presented thick and fast, and the feeling towards Liverpool has even taken Anthony back.
"I was quite surprised by the extent of it when all the questions cropped up recently about 'Would you rather beat Paris Saint-Germain or Liverpool and end up helping City win the league?'" He adds.
"I did a poll on it, asking which you would rather win the FA Cup game against Chelsea, PSG at home or Liverpool at home. That said a trophy was the one for me so picked up the FA Cup game because that was the best chance we had, but about 86 for cents said they'd rather beat Liverpool at home, which gives you a measure.
"Now to the right of the city to look at."
"The way I see it, it's pretty inevitable that Liverpool will win one and they'd still be behind us in terms of league titles. [a sixth title to United’s three].
"But, while I'm a spokesperson for the whole support, personally I'd rather look after their own interests before considering others because I'd rather accelerated by getting into the European Cup and being able to buy better targets Liverpool fans bragging on social media or the media fawning over them. But a lot of United fans are sick of the winning league. "
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday that he is too keen on either side winning it even when he is helping his side to compete once more.
"For me," the motivation is something, to win something yourself, "said Solskjaer. "It's about taking something away from others. We want to overtake them, not because it's City and Liverpool.
"But of course, because it's City and Liverpool, to support you. I am as good a manager, because they are so close to the city. We have been the best." and it's not nice seeing those two at the top. "
United need the three points as what may on Wednesday in their chase for fourth spot. But, no matter what the result at Old Trafford, don't be too surprised if you see United fans siding with City in the remainder of the run-in.