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Match Reaction: Manchester United v Liverpool

Manchester United extended their recent run of good form by dispatching mid-table Liverpool 2-1 without too much trouble.

Sir Alex’s men are now unbeaten in the league since mid November, a run of 10 league games, winning 9 and drawing the other away to the impressive Swansea. This has seen the Reds cement a 7 point lead at the top of the table, 24 points ahead of yesterdays visitors who are now just 12 points clear of the relegation zone.

With Jonny Evans injured and sat behind us with his fiancée Helen McConnell, the Reds started the arguably first choice pairing of Ferdinand and Vidic, with Evra and Rafael either side of them and De Gea in net. A midfield of Young, Cleverley, Carrick and Kagawa sat behind Welbeck and Van Persie.

United started the game brightly with Carrick particularly impressive when recycling possession  frequently sending the ball out to either wing where Liverpool seemed ill-equipped to deal with the overlapping runs of Evra or Rafael. Kagawa started the game on the left and had perhaps his best game for the club in terms of the quality of his touch, and seemingly improved strength on the ball and was instrumental in the superb pass-and-move build up play to United’s first goal.

A sequence of fantastic passes from Kagawa to Evra, back to Kagawa, to Cleverley, to Welbeck, to Carrick, to Kagawa, to Welbeck, to Cleverley, to Evra who crossed for Robin van Persie to slide the ball past Reina really highlights the difference in quality between the two sides. At no point during that sequence did any Liverpool player look likely to steal the ball, or even anticipate where the next pass would go, they were left chasing shadows as United cut through them with ease. A damning indictment on a team that’s apparently attempting to reinvent itself (for the thousandth time) into Barcelona-lite.

By happy coincidence, Liverpool restarted the game with 19:18 on the clock, another reminder of their fading significance to accompany the Stretford End’s chants of having knocked the scousers off their perch, and them ‘not being famous any more’ – not to mention ‘Luis Suarez, your teeth are offside…’

The rest of the first half was a stale affair, Liverpool failing to create any real chances, while United probed and prodded  and should have been 2-0 up during a goal mouth scramble that saw Pepe Reina stay down injured. Referee Howard Webb allowed Liverpool to counter attack, leading to a threatening cross to United’s penalty spot before halting the game so Reina could get treatment once United won the ball back. Webb was shockingly poor in many aspects yesterday, but allowing Liverpool to counter then halting play only when United won the ball back was his most egregious error.  Liverpool had plenty of opportunities to put the ball out of play if they were truly bothered about the health of their keeper, and either Reina was injured enough for Webb to stop play, or he wasn’t. He didn’t magically get MORE injured because United won the ball back.

Both teams made a change at half-time with United bringing on Valencia for the largely ineffective Young, and Liverpool bringing on deluded couldn’t-cut-it-at-City, couldn’t-cut-it-at-Chelsea Daniel Sturridge, who proclaimed this week that he’d joined “The biggest club in the world” – though neglected to specify by what means he measures this, given that it’s not the size of fan base, success, current league position or stadium facilities. Perhaps ‘tolerance of racism’ or ‘speed at creating t-shirts of support for racist players’ was his yardstick – though his previous employer gives his new one a run for their money in both instances..

United extended their lead after 53 minutes as a superb free kick from Robin van Persie found both Vidic and Evra free at the back post – unbelievably negligent marking if ever there was some given the effectiveness of Evra from set pieces this season. Evra headed towards goal, and Vidic claimed the faintest of deflections on the ball to steer it past the hapless, and apparently totally recovered, Reina.

Sir Alex’s men then appeared to be too comfortable with the two goal lead, as if lulled into a false sense of security by Liverpool’s abject play until that point. Sturridge did make a difference to them, giving Suarez someone to play off, rather than running round like a headless chicken, hoping the ball would bounce for him as he’d spent the previous 60 minutes of the game doing.

Liverpool equalised 3 minutes later after some sloppy play from Cleverley allowed Steven ‘kisses the badge on his chest, then puts in a transfer request’ Gerrard to unleash a shot on goal which De Gea could only parry into the path of Sturridge. The new signing, who has now played approximately 100 minutes for Liverpool, then gave the 5 finger salute to United’s fans – to indicate their European Cup wins. I nearly fell over laughing at the sight of this, a reminder from one of their own players of a long-gone era when Liverpool were a successful club, celebrating the wins of a competition that they’re no longer good enough to qualify for, and which Sturridge hasn’t played a single minute for them in.

Although the lead had been halved, the goal provided the funniest moment of the day as the away fans set off a red smoke bomb in their own end (despite the fact that United were playing in red, and they were playing in black) – happily celebrating the fact that they were now just one goal behind the home side. This was the personification of the small-time, mid-table no-mark club that Liverpool have become.

Liverpool huffed and puffed for the rest of the game, carving a few half chances but never really exerted the pressure of a top club whilst United’s defence stood firm to complete the double over them this season.

The win saw the red half of Manchester temporarily open a 10 point lead up at the top of the table, which was later reduced back to 7 with City’s win away at Arsenal.

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By Sam

MUFC ST holder N2412. Sub Editor of RedMancunian.com - Follow the first team, home and away, and the reserves and youth teams. Edinburgh Uni graduate.

14 replies on “Match Reaction: Manchester United v Liverpool”

Sam you are a bell end.
Even in victory you can’t be graceful. Text book example of sore winner 🙂

Liverpool were horrid yesterday (well in the first half) and United beat them before the game even started. Liverpool played like they were expecting to get beat and to limit damage. Mentality all wrong.

Not picking on anyone in particular (more an example of it in action) but Downing turned back every time a united play faced him, this fear spread to Sterling and Wisdom meaning Liverpool ended up frightened of their own shadows. Horrific.

Pool fans can console themselves with a few ‘what ifs’ seeing as united almost completely folded when Liverpool actually started to attack (well after the game was already won mind you).

It’s the first time in ages I’ve seen Liverpool players not even think it’s possible to get a result from united and that’s a worrying thing (lack of confidence and belief against top 6 sides).

Hey ho.

Keep er lit young Brendan! 🙂

24 points back at the half is about all one needs to know about the gulf between the two clubs. It you are honest, this game should have been put to bed in the first 45 minutes, such was Uniteds’ dominance and point blank chances. Well beck has to score at least 1 of the 2 great chances and RVP has to score at least 1 more. Carrick was once again the difference–he cut Liverpool apart with precision perfect passes. Rafael dominated anyone that came down his side and Vidic and Rio dominated Suarez.

Dear Sam
What a load of rubbish.Do you get paid to write this rubbish. If you do good luck to you. If not dont give up the day job. Uni Grad? Thats a laugh.
What do you say about wayne and his transfer request? Not to mention the granny incident.

Did a module of English in first year.. I learned that “dont” and “thats” both require apostrophes.. the wonders of modern education.

Not a Rooney fan myself, but he wasn’t playing in the game, so didn’t feel the need to include my views on him.

Thanks for reading.

The great advances in technology have delivered many benefits to society as a whole; unfortunately it also means that anyone with half a brain can write completely one dimensional comments containing no objectivity whatsoever.
While common sense would dictate ignoring this pathetic rant the fact that it is the most blinkered opinion I have ever read has dictated I like you ignore common sense….
No right minded Liverpool supporter will argue that United have being the most dominant force in the EPL for 20 years and that Ferguson has done unequalled work in building successive teams that have won trophies, but as in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s as United did, Liverpool are attempting to rebuild, they may or may not succeed but there are enough signs to be confident, Chelsea and City will keep buying the best players and if it wasn’t for Van Persie United would struggle to be in the top 4, if you actually knew anything about football you would realise that United could easily find themselves adrift, Fergie can’t go on forever and it will be interesting to see who takes the job and then how they cope with his legacy…
While I will never read your vitriol again I may revisit the site should any of the above occur and see what your blinkered views are then…
I’m glad you made a reference to Barcelona; I wonder what you wrote if anything following the night they dismantled you in Wembley……great teams are remembered for their success outside of their own country
Logic would dictate that your pathetic assertions (Steven Gerrard comments for example) mask the real fear that engulfs you which is the nightmare (for you) if Liverpool the greatest European team ever to come from the English league were to regain their position as one of the greatest and most popular teams in the world….(dream on I hear you say, Liverpool supporters will always have faith unlike a lot of United supporters who called for Fergie’s head in ’89….)
Support your team but for your own well-being lose the bitterness, it’s obviously some deep rooted issue you should seek some help for…

The great advances in technology have delivered many benefits to society as a whole; unfortunately it also means that anyone with half a brain can write completely one dimensional comments containing no objectivity whatsoever.
While common sense would dictate ignoring this pathetic rant the fact that it is the most blinkered opinion I have ever read has dictated I like you ignore common sense….
No right minded Liverpool supporter will argue that United have being the most dominant force in the EPL for 20years and that Ferguson has done unequalled work in building successive teams that have won trophies, but as in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s as United did, Liverpool are attempting to rebuild, they may or may not succeed but there are enough signs to be confident, Chelsea and City will keep buying the best players and if it wasn’t for Van Persie United would struggle to be in the top 4, if you actually knew anything about football you would realise that United could easily find themselves adrift, Fergie can’t go on forever and it will be interesting to see who takes the job and then how they cope with his legacy…
While I will never read your vitriol again I may revisit the site should any of the above occur and see what your blinkered views are then…
I’m glad you made a reference to Barcelona; I wonder what you wrote if anything following the night they dismantled you in Wembley……great teams are remembered for their success outside of their own country
Logic would dictate that your pathetic assertions (Steven Gerrard comments for example) mask the real fear that engulfs you which is the nightmare (for you) if Liverpool the greatest European team ever to come from the English league were to regain their position as one of the greatest and most popular teams in the world….(dream on I hear you say, Liverpool supporters will always have faith unlike a lot of United supporters who called for Fergie’s head in ’89….)
Support your team but for your own well-being lose the bitterness, it’s obviously some deep rooted issue you should seek some help for…

Thanks for your double comment. Using a computer is hard sometimes isn’t it?

I’ve no desire or need to strive for “objectivity”. This is a United blog, not an independent entity.

Loved the comment though, full of ‘ifs’ ‘buts’ and ‘maybes’ as is usual from your deluded fan-base.

Glad I wound you up, that was the point.

I am neither a utd or Liverpool fan but a football fan and I have to say Sam you are a muppet of the highest order. This is what other fans across the world do not get and that is how foolish and arrogant utd fans are. I actually can’t wait for ferguson to retire because we will see see another new dawn and perhaps another team take the reins as the best team in England!!

Warren, with due respect, if you’re not a United or Liverpool fan, you won’t fully understand the rivalry, and obviously certain parts of the blog are crude digs at them. Not sure i display arrogance though.

I’m fully aware we may not be on top forever, but i’m still living it up from their boasts when we weren’t. If i can’t enjoy it whilst we’re the better team, when can i?

@sam,you are doing a good job,keep the flag flyin,proclaim the name Man Utd for we ard the best. Dont mind haters,ntin can be done 2 stop us from winin. About the match Man Utd should have sealed up the first 45 mins wit four goals ahead that shows how strong the United are dis season

Sam, great article, well written, love the jibe’s, but can’t understand why LFC’s deluded come on here to read it? What do they expect, that you will build up the 20mins of 1 goal ( your mate Rafael sleeping again) and not a lot else, yes Stuart Pierce’s love child had 2 more chances, but he returned to form and blasted over and wide. But enough of them, our first half performance was brilliant, just needed the 2nd goal, and I think we would have got more had we got that! One point for you, did we wait too long to change the shape when they went 442? Or do we need a defensive midfielder aka Buskets, Alonso type? From what I hear, Strootman is this type of player, would he be good enough for this team?
Sam, keep this blog going and the ” Digs” hitting hard!

Not a fan of Rafael Jim? He’s been my player of the season so far.. Bound to have the odd lapse, but overall has been brilliant in both defending and contributing to attacks.

I did think it took too long to respond to the threat posed by two strikers, but i think Carrick could have fulfilled that role if asked.. more a failure of our system to adapt to the change, than a lack of personnel to do it in my opinion.

Cheers for the support 🙂

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