Big, big game, for both clubs. Liverpool were clearly desperate to dig themselves out of the hole they’ve made, even if the new manager barely had time to pick a parking space before he was asked to travel to Old Trafford.
Nervous game, which I suppose is typical when you go in front in the first minute and remain at the score for the next 92. The penalty decision, well, slight contact I’d say, but not enough to justify the fall that followed.
Liverpool responded well, but the form of their strikers meant they could not make the opportunities they needed. Torres had an absolute shocker of a game, which is strange to see against United. I can’t see him staying at Anfield much longer, with the attitude he is displaying.
The red card was the right call and the defence of the “challenge” is absurd. Two footed, lunging, feet off the ground, failed to win the ball. You don’t get much redder then that. Webb didn’t have a spectacular game, but that was the correct decision. Daglish’s reaction post match was ridiculous.
United dominated the second half, but just could not kill the game off. I kept thinking the second goal would come, the one that would put it to bed, but the chances just did not fall the way we wanted them to. Hernandez didn’t get much of the ball and Berba lacked good opportunities.
United’s left wing, Giggs and Evra, had a suburb game and tore the Liverpool defence apart on several occasions, while making sure they could do nothing down that flank in our half. United’s defence was solid enough, Evans especially gave a fine performance. Midfield lacked spark, even after the departure of Gerrard.
Liverpool can take some heart from this performance, but not much. A lot of players had poor games. The highlight of course was the Jonjo Shelvey attempt to lob Kuszczak from a distant free kick which got this reaction from Mark Lawrenson: “Promising career ruined by a niggling brain injury”. Liverpool’s moment was the Aureilo free kick, which brought a fine save. Liverpool must now focus entirely on improving their league position, at least until the Europa League starts up again.
Result got and United march on to an away tie with League One Southampton. The Saints used to be quite the bogey team for United, especially away, and beat a top-level club to get this far (Blackpool) so they are no pushovers. Interesting game ahead.