When he took over at Old Trafford in November 1986, Liverpool had won the title 16 times while United had won it on seven occasions, with the last of those successes coming in 1967. (Agencies)
By the time he retired at the end of last season, Manchester United had two more titles than Liverpool's 18 but in an almost ironic twist, as soon as Ferguson left the stage, Liverpool are poised to steal in and claim a first league crown since 1990.
Their emphatic 4-0 demolition of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday left the Anfield crowd singing "we're gonna win the league" with real belief, and Brendan Rodgers can take his team into the final six matches with their destiny firmly in their own hands.
The victory moved Liverpool to 71 points, two ahead of Chelsea, who have played the same number of matches, and four clear of a Manchester City side that have eight fixtures remaining.
Getting over the line will not be easy but if Liverpool can stretch their current eight-match winning streak to 14, including home games against Manchester City and Chelsea, they will end their 24-year wait for a 19th title.
Only one team has ever won 14 successive top flight matches - Arsenal in 2002 - which is perhaps why Rodgers, who has been playing down their chances all season, walked into his news conference following the Spurs match, and unprompted, said: "No, we can't!" before anyone had even asked him if they could.
Following Chelsea's shock 1-0 defeat against Crystal Palace on Saturday, manager Jose Mourinho said the Londoners were out of the title race and although their chances suffered a massive blow at Selhurst Park, they are still very much involved.
City also lost ground following a 1-1 draw at Arsenal, but like Liverpool, they remain the masters of their destiny.
When he took over at Old Trafford in November 1986, Liverpool had won the title 16 times while United had won it on seven occasions, with the last of those successes coming in 1967.