Saturday, 14 March 2009

Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool

As we have seen so often before, pre-match rants have a tendency to bite back you back. Rafael Benitez' random press conference, in which he proceeded to reel off a list of un-pleasantries aimed at counter part Alex Ferguson in January, coincided with Liverpool's dip in form, and United's healthy gap at the top of the Premier league table.

Today at Old Trafford, Rooney's (deleted) pre-match comments about his unsurprising hate for Liverpool, came back to haunt him in the most unpredictable fashion.

Even after going down 1-nil to a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, Liverpool didn't look like buckling, and were playing with the confidence installed since the 4-nil demolition of Real Madrid.

So, it was no surprise that Liverpool levelled 6 minutes after Ronaldo's spot kick, with Steven Gerrard being awarded a penalty, which is as rare as rocking horse shit at Old Trafford. Patrice Evra, making the mistake, tripping Gerrard in the box.

Liverpool continued to play the better football, and the tireless Torres got the second before half time after a rare mistake by Vidic allowed him a one on one with Edwin Vad der Sar.

Man United started the second half with a real urgency, pinning Liverpool back deeper and deeper. Torres and Gerrard were looking very isolated and it was beginning to look like it was only a matter of time before Man United got back in the game. Which, after 60 minutes, left me surprised when Alex Ferguson made a triple substitution. I have never really been a fan of triple substitutions, unless your team is playing dreadfully then its worth a gamble, but in this instance Man United were in good shape and dominating proceedings.

The gamble to use the triple substitution, back fired only moments later when, Vidic brought down Gerrard who was clean through on goal. United will argue that Vidic was not the last man, but there was no way Ferdinand was going to catch Gerrard. Referee Rob Styles, held his bottle like he did when he awarded the Liverpool penalty, and gave Vidic his marching orders.

From the resulting freekick, Fabio Aurelio managed to do what Ronaldo had failed to do on numerous occasions, finding the net with a superb finish, that left keeper, Edwin Van der Sar rooted to the spot to the deafening silence of the Old Trafford crowd.

That effectively ended the tie, as United, even with a fair amount of possession and being awarded freekick after freekick, never really looked like scoring, and individual errors became the theme of the day For Ferguson's troops.

To put the icing on the cake, Dossena finished off the rout, after a great lob over Van der Sar making it 4-1 to Liverpool, leaving Old Trafford half empty, and turning it in to the theater of nightmares for United.

Man Utd v Liverpool

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails