Man Utd vs Liverpool: English football's most successful club after Europa League final

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Manchester United have lost the 2021 Europa League final.

After a cagey 90 minutes in which Gerard Moreno and Edinson Cavani exchanged goals, the climax of Europe's secondary competition trundled through extra time and all the way to penalties.

Every single outfield player converted their spot-kick in Gdansk, but when David de Gea needed to find the net for United, he saw his effort from 12 yards pushed away by Gerónimo Rulli.

2021 Europa League final

It was a heartbreaking way for United to lose and duly elongates their barren run without trophies under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with the club having now gone four years since their last major honour.

And defeat in Poland means that United missed the opportunity to draw level with Liverpool as the joint-most successful English football club in the history of the beautiful game.

According to talkSPORT, Liverpool boast an astonishing 43 major honours in their decorated history, while United entered the game at the Polsat Plus Arena Gdańsk on 42 plaques.

Villarreal vs Man Utd - Europa League Final (Football Terrace)

English football's most decorated clubs

Now, those numbers might run contrary to other trophy statistics you might have read in the past, but talkSPORT have defined major honours by the strictest means - and that's a good thing.

With only season-long competitions being considered, so no one-off trophies like the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup in the conversation, the tough criteria irons out a lot of technicalities.

So, without further ado, check out the 20 most decorated clubs in English history - with a minimum of one league title as the entry price - down below:

=19. Portsmouth - 4 trophies

League title (x2)

FA Cup (x2)

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=19. Preston North End - 4 trophies

League title (x2)

FA Cup (x2)

=17. Leicester City - 5 trophies

League title (x1)

League Cup (x3)

FA Cup (x1)

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=17. Sheffield United - 5 trophies

League title (x1)

FA Cup (x4)

=15. West Bromwich Albion - 7 trophies

League title (x1)

League Cup (x1)

FA Cup (x5)

=15. Leeds United - 7 trophies

League title (x3)

League Cup (x1)

FA Cup (x1)

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (x2)

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=13. Sheffield Wednesday - 8 trophies

League title (x4)

League Cup (x1)

FA Cup (x3)

=13. Sunderland - 8 trophies

League title (x6)

FA Cup (x2)

=11. Nottingham Forest - 9 trophies

League title (x1)

League Cup (x4)

FA Cup (x2)

European Cup (x2)

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=11. Wolverhampton Wanderers - 9 trophies

League title (x3)

League Cup (x2)

FA Cup (x4)

10. Blackburn Rovers - 10 trophies

League title (x3)

League Cup (x1)

FA Cup (x6)

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9. Newcastle United - 11 trophies

League title (x4)

FA Cup (x6)

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (x1)

8. Everton - 15 trophies

League title (x9)

FA Cup (x5)

European Cup Winners’ Cup (x1)

7. Tottenham Hotspur - 17 trophies

League title (x2)

League Cup (x4)

FA Cup (x8)

European Cup Winners’ Cup (x1)

UEFA Cup/Europa League (x2)

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6. Aston Villa - 20 trophies

League title (x7)

League Cup (x5)

FA Cup (x7)

European Cup (x1)

5. Manchester City - 22 trophies

League title (x7)

League Cup (x8)

FA Cup (x6)

European Cup Winners’ Cup (x1)

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4. Chelsea - 24 trophies

League title (x6)

League Cup (x5)

FA Cup (x8)

European Cup (x1)

European Cup Winners’ Cup (x2)

UEFA Cup/Europa League (x2)

3. Arsenal - 31 trophies

League title (x13)

League Cup (x2)

FA Cup (x14)

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (x1)

European Cup Winners’ Cup (x1)

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2. Manchester United – 42 trophies

League title (x20)

League Cup (x5)

FA Cup (x12)

European Cup (x3)

European Cup Winners’ Cup (x1)

UEFA Cup/Europa League (x1)

1. Liverpool – 43 trophies

League title (x19)

League Cup (x8)

FA Cup (x7)

European Cup (x6)

UEFA Cup/Europa League (x3)

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Another blow for United

That rubs salt in the wounds for United fans, doesn't it?

It's staggering to think that after centuries of history at the top of their games that United and Liverpool are only separated by a single trophy, especially considering how far ahead they are.

Even if both north-west giants embarked on decades upon decades without a trophy, it's almost impossible to imagine a world in which Arsenal and Chelsea get vaguely close to their tally.

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As such, the Liverpool vs United dogfight seems destined to continue and only time will tell whether Solskjaer can get his hands on the silverware that has evaded him for so long at Old Trafford.

Until then, it's Liverpool who sits atop that infamous 'perch'.

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