Statistical Analysis

Merseyside comes out on top in battle against Manchester

Fri, 8 December 2017, 9:50

The rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool, two of England’s biggest cities, is nothing new.

Just over 30 miles apart (not too long on the M62) in the north-west, the enmity between the cities was said to be sparked by the building of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894, and has taken in business, music, and politics.

Perhaps the biggest example of the rivalry, however, is in football. The two clubs both boast two big clubs with plenty of history and fanatical support - City and United for Manchester, Liverpool and Everton representing the other.

But which city comes out on top through history? With both the Manchester and Merseyside derbies taking place on the same day this weekend, we’ve decided to take a look, and see if we can crown a winner.

Well, we’ve done the maths – and looking at top division points since the start of the English football league, it is Merseyside who comes out on top.

Over the 118 seasons since Everton were one of the founding members of the original First Division in 1888/89, the two clubs from Liverpool have played over 1,000 more top flight games, picking up 13,245 points.

Perhaps helped by the fact Everton have only spent four seasons in their history outside of England’s top division, and Liverpool only 12, the Merseyside clubs have racked up the matches, meaning they have a lot more combined wins, and points than their Manchester rivals.

This may also be the reason why they have more league titles, with 27 to Manchester’s 24, with Liverpool lifting the trophy 18 times, and Everton nine.

This outranks Manchester’s 24, with United contributing 20 and City just four.

However, neither side from Merseyside have won the league since Liverpool’s 1989/90 triumph – when the Reds held the record for the most titles won.

However, since then, United have won 13 Premier League trophies to overtake their fierce rivals’ mark, and with Manchester City adding a further two, the gap is certainly closing.

When looking at the rivalry through history, it’s interesting to note how the balance of power has swung between the two cities over time.

Merseyside certainly dominated the early proceedings, with Everton claiming their first title in 1890/91, before either Manchester side had reached the First Division.

Manchester United – then Newton Heath FC, were first promoted into the top flight in 1892/93, but failed to make an impact – lasting two years before being relegated. They were renamed to their current form in 1902.

Manchester City, at one-point Ardwick FC, made their First Division debut in 1899/1900, but the supremacy was certainly with Merseyside, after Liverpool won the 1900/01 and 1905/06 leagues.

The first time the two Manchester beat the two Merseyside ones was the first time the title ended up in the city. United, led by Ernest Mangnall, finished top, nine points clear of Aston Villa in second – and City in third.

United repeated the trick in 1910/11, by which time the rivalry between the two cities was a lot more even. Just a single point separated Manchester and Merseyside that season, with supremacy switching regularly in the lead up to 1914.

Despite war breaking out that year, Everton completed the 1914/15 season to be crowned champions – though that was the final season played until 1919.

It was Merseyside that came out on top between the two wars, claiming four titles – two apiece for Liverpool and Everton, though Man City won their first ever league in 1936/37.

The First Division trophy stayed on Merseyside throughout the war – Everton won the final 1938/39 season before World War Two began, with Liverpool taking the first title once football returned in 1946/47.

However, it was Manchester who dominated the 1950s.

United won three titles that decade, with Liverpool spending between 1954 and 1962 in the second tier – the last time they haven’t competed in the top flight.

There was a remarkable run from 1962 to 1968, however, when the trophy was passed between all four clubs. Bookended with league wins from Everton and Man City, United and Liverpool traded two titles each, meaning no club outside Manchester or Merseyside had a look in.

1968 saw City win the First Division, while United won the European Cup – and an era of Manchester dominance seemed on the cards.

That wasn’t to be, however, with that City league win the last time the title would come to the city for a quarter of a century – and it was Merseyside who took control.

Liverpool won the title four times during the 70s, and six times during the 80s, with Everton also notching three of their leagues across the two decades.

The dawn of the Premier League marked a revolution in English football – which was bad news for the Reds.

15 of the 25 titles available since 1993 have gone to either United or City, and the pair sit first and second in the current table.

Manchester led the way through the 90s, even while Man City dropped out of the Premier League after 1996, such was Sir Alex Ferguson’s side’s dominance over proceedings.

As Manchester and Merseyside prepare for their derbies, is the long-held dominance of the two Liverpool clubs finally coming to an end?

Well – there’s still three league titles, and around 2,000 points to go before Manchester can claim to be the north-west’s dominant footballing city.

So, now that’s cleared up, Oasis or the Beatles?

Statistical Analysis discovers hidden trends and values in major gambling events by deciphering both contemporary stats and historical data. We derive our probabilities from history, not just betting odds, so you don't have to.

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