Liverpool 2-1 Man Utd – Kuyt sends Reds through

By Jonathan Carroll

In a game that was hyped for all the wrong reasons, Dirk Kuyt made sure the talking point would remain football based after the game was over. The Dutchman latched onto an Andy Carroll flick on to hammer home past a hopeless David De Gea in goal for Manchester United and send Liverpool into the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Liverpool started the game with some notable changes made by manager Kenny Dalglish, who favored a 4-5-1. Martin Kelly started at right back for Glen Johnson, Jamie Carragher was given the role of defensive midfielder with Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson making up the central three. Maxi Rodriguez was given the start at right midfield, Stewart Downing on the left with Andy Carroll up front. All eyes were on the attention Patrice Evra would receive from the Anfield crowd. Apart from the expected booing and a chant questioning his reliability in the Suarez case, the Frenchman’s return to Anfield was not the cauldron of hate the English media had hoped it would be. Booing a player you don’t like is quite normal and in no way racist as suggested by some journalists who shall remain nameless. In fact, compare the reception Luis Suarez gets at Old Trafford to the one Evra got at Anfield, will there be boos? Of course. Each player is the villain to each set of opposing supporters.

Liverpool were happy to sit deep early on allowing Manchester United, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs in particular time on the ball in midfield. Carragher is not a defensive midfielder, nor does he have the versatility to be one at this stage of his career and his natural movement was to sit deep onto the back four. That being said, for all the possession United enjoyed they created little. They created one corner and three shots on target all afternoon, not the output of a team that supposedly were dominant. Liverpool looked to hit on the counter attack by getting both wings involved and allowing the full backs license to overlap to get service to Carroll up top.

This may be the game Andy Carroll realises he can do a job as a lone forward. By no means is the big man a technical wizard but its more of a case of different horses for different courses. The target man battled for every ball, held it up effectively in the second half and won some decisive battles, starting with the one to dislodge De Gea on a Steven Gerrard corner after twenty-one minutes that allowed Daniel Agger to rise highest to head past the floundering Spanish keeper. Paul Scholes started to dominate midfield and that signaled more of a forward thinking intent from United. A Rafael cross was duly dispatched by Ji Sung Park after thirty nine minutes with Jose Enrique at fault with some lacklustre defending to allow the cross in the first place.

The two teams traded field position after that and both groups of supporters  traded songs, unfortunately the away end resorting to making fun of the Hillsborough and Heysel tragedies in order to trade insults. In the case of the Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez case, punishment was quite harsh with many questions still remaining in a case of one mans word against another’s, so how can belittling people’s suffrage on incidents like the two tragedies be okay in the minds of not only the traveling Manchester United fans but also in the mind of the Football Association? Perhaps when Sepp Blatter addresses it, that will be the spur for the FA to punish offenders.

Back on the pitch, Andy Carroll was beginning to unsettle Johnny Evans and once again De Gea failed to handle what should have been an easy clearance, instead heaping more pressure on his own team. Pepe Reina was forced to clear with Javier Hernandez closing in on goal after Martin Skrtel was unsettled by the sun’s glare, Danny Welbeck wasted a good opportunity to test the Liverpool keeper. From the ensuing goalkick, Andy Carroll flicked on into path of Dirk Kuyt who finished low and hard past De Gea to send the Kop into heaven and two minutes away from knocking United out of the FA Cup. Patrice Evra was caught on the wrong side of Kuyt for the goal and will again be remembered as the man involved in the main talking point at Anfield, except this time its football related. Luis Suarez and team mates celebrated on the side lines.

After three minutes of added time, the excellent Mark Halsey blew for full-time and celebrations could now begin. Liverpool and Dalglish responded with two tremendous wins over the course of the week. The next game against Wolves will also be of huge importance to keep the pressure on for fourth and a Champions League place.

Liverpool

2-1

Man Utd

FT

(HT 1-1)

  • Agger 21
  • Kuyt 88
  • Park Ji-sung 39
  • Possession                47%                         53%
  • Shots on target           9                               3
  • Shots off target           5                               6
  • Corners                      5                                1
  • Fouls                          11                              9

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina – 7
  • 03 Jose Enrique – 5
  • 05 Agger – 7
  • 23 Carragher – 6 (Kuyt 63)
  • 34 Kelly – 8
  • 37 Skrtel – 7
  • 08 Gerrard – 7 (Bellamy 72)
  • 11 Maxi – 5 (Adam 63)
  • 14 Henderson – 8
  • 19 Downing – 6
  • 09 Carroll – 7

Substitutes

  • 32 Doni,
  • 02 Johnson,
  • 16 Coates,
  • 26 Adam,
  • 33 Shelvey,
  • 18 Kuyt,
  • 39 Bellamy

Man Utd

  • 01 De Gea – 3
  • 03 Evra – 6
  • 06 Evans – 5
  • 12 Smalling – 6
  • 21 Rafael – 7 (yellow card)
  • 11 Giggs – 7 (Berbatov 90)
  • 13 Park Ji-sung – 7
  • 16 Carrick – 5
  • 22 Scholes – 8 (Hernandez 76)
  • 25 Valencia – 7
  • 19 Welbeck – 6

Substitutes

  • 34 Lindegaard,
  • 05 Ferdinand,
  • 20 Fabio Da Silva,
  • 38 Keane,
  • 42 Pogba,
  • 09 Berbatov,
  • 14 Hernandez

Referee: Mark Halsey – 8

Attendance: 43,952

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This entry was posted in FA Cup, Match Preview and tagged , , , , , , , by Jonathan Carroll. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jonathan Carroll

I’m a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Born and bred in Ireland I played Gaelic football and soccer while growing up and attended the prestigious Colaiste Ide in Dublin to prepare for a soccer scholarship to the USA. I played soccer at Thomas University in Georgia and was made team captain in my junior and senior years. I was honored to become an All-American in those same years. I graduated in 2007 and coached high school and collegiate level soccer programs incorporating year round strength and conditioning techniques with great success. I moved to Boston in 2011 and went on to work at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning. I am currently the head strength and conditioning coach for the Boston Wolfe Tones Gaelic football team. Qualifications: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach FMS Certified United States Soccer Federation “D” License Football Association of Ireland Certified

5 thoughts on “Liverpool 2-1 Man Utd – Kuyt sends Reds through

  1. Many talking points, just happy they’re football related this time. Does possession automatically win you the game? Ask Barca about Mourinho’s Inter. Other than Valencia, who else from MUFC really threatened (moslty idle) Reina?

    We were patient, Caroll was fully in this game, Kenny got his subs spot on, and Kuyt proved the FA remains a knockout tournament, full of drama. I enjoy reading material on this topic. I have certainly enjoyed reading this one.

    Like

  2. Well written piece.The FA aren’t interested in the defamation of the dead just the hurt feeling of Patrick Evra who was made to look an absolute chump for Kuyt’s winnner..Karma’s a bitch eh Evra ?

    Like

  3. Pingback: Reds head to Molineux for fourth match in 10 days | The Red Letter

  4. Looking back on last week, lets hope that the wins in the cup allow us to improve our league form and grab fourth place. The Wolves win away was a good result, the real test will be on Monday against Spurs.

    Like

  5. Pingback: Jump in the Fire: Suarez, Liverpool head to Old Trafford | The Red Letter

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