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Scholes: Manchester United-Liverpool still top EPL rivalry

Jan 13, 2013, 10:41 AM EDT

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League Getty Images

Says the voice on TV in the waning moments of Manchester United’s latest triumph, an important one, over bitter rival Liverpool: “It has not been the combustible affair that this rivalry usually produces. … But it has been a competitive one.”

So, is this one losing some steam?

Robin van Persie’s early goal, and a somewhat controversial second half strike has decided the latest outcome between these two old, old rivals. It’s league leader Manchester United. Again. This time 2-1.

Is it still the most celebrated of EPL rivalries? Is the other team in Manchester, the team known as “City,” getting closer to bumping Liverpool off its half of the perch atop the rivalry tree here?

(MORE: Analysis of United’s 2-1 win)

After all, a full 24 points now separate United and Liverpool in the table. That’s 24!  While Liverpool-Manchester United can certainly still tick the box under “historic rivals,” at what point will Liverpool need to be more competitive generally to keep this one atop the heap of top worldwide derbies?

For now, none other than longtime Manchester United man Paul Scholes, who has played in more than a few of these, says this one remains right at the top.

Whether Manchester City have overtaken Liverpool now [as United's biggest rivals], I don’t know … it’ll probably take years for City to create what Liverpool have done.

“I think it was the top one for quite some while. … Liverpool probably haven’t done as well as they’d have liked over the last few years – and they’d probably admit that. But it’s definitely still right up there, it’ll always be right up there.”

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