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Match Report: Manchester United 3-0 Liverpool

Having witnessed arguably our worst, and certainly most embarrassing, performance of the season in this fixture last year, United fans went home very happy after witnessing a Reds victory over their troubled rivals that, while hardly flawless, was ultimately convincing and borne once again of two increasingly significant features of late: a relentless team spirit and a truly outstanding performance from a man who is now head and shoulders above any other goalkeeper in the premiership and probably, Manuel Neuer aside, the world.

Liverpool were the livelier side in the early stages, but it was United who made the best of their chance when it came to take the lead. Lallana had, moments earlier, put Sterling through on goal but De Gea parried his shot at close range. From the break Valencia surged forward on the right and left both Moreno and Allen for dead before cutting the ball back for Rooney, advancing from an unfamiliar midfield position, struck home decisively from the edge of the area.

While Liverpool continued to offer an attacking threat, piling on the pressure like a SuperCasino largely due to some erratic passing in the Reds midfield, United increasingly looked the more composed side. Sterling forced another save out of De Gea but much of the away side’s play was frenetic and ragged. Young and Valencia both carried a real threat out wide and when the former whipped a cross in from the left, it skimmed off Van Persie’s head and fell invitingly to Mata who nodded home at the far post. The Dutchman’s touch actually meant Mata was in an offside position, but the infringement wasn’t spotted and the goal stood.

Liverpool brought Balotteli on at half time and ought to have pulled one back when some comedy defending left Sterling through with only De Gea to beat. The keeper kept his nerve, however, and managed to force his opponent wide before blocking his shot with an outstretched leg. Although United indulged themselves in the rarity of missing a couple of chances – from Rooney and Van Persie – De Gea made another outstanding save when he tipped an effort from Balotelli onto the bar.

While Manchester United had to soak up some pressure, their work-rate was once again impressive and they always looked likely to exploit the increasing space and add to their total. They did so when a slick passing move led to a Rooney receiving the ball on the left: his cross was poor but the attempted clearance was even poorer and it fell to Mata on the edge of the box. The Spaniard might well have taken a shot himself but instead he opted to play in Van Persie, who netted comfortably.

De Gea made two more fine saves from Balotelli late one and there was even an opportunity for the otherwise hapless-looking Brad Jones, in for the equally hapless Mignolet, to push a Van Persie effort over the bar. Although Liverpool had more shots on goal during the match and it was only De Gea that prevented them from capitalising, United were still good value for this win, which makes it six wins in a row before we go into the busy Christmas period. Many Liverpool fans, of course, will go red in the face arguing that it was only the offside goal that made a difference and see no logical contradiction between that and their increasingly shrill calls for Rodgers to go. A sweet afternoon indeed.

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One reply on “Match Report: Manchester United 3-0 Liverpool”

de gea saved united.
fellaini as holding midfielder? defensively he broke up plays but offensively his passing needs to improve especially with the left foot.

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