Liverpool 1-2 Man Utd – Performance Lacked Only Goals

By Jonathan Carroll

Liverpool faced arch rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday looking to get their first win of the league campaign. In a match made up of big decisions and intense feelings, the referee got the biggest decision wrong on the day. The home support displayed mosaic’s including “Justice” and “The Truth”. It was a day to honor the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy and the families that have campaigned for so long. Unfortunately Manchester United’s traveling support couldn’t be so gracious as Chief football writer for the BBC Phil McNulty reports.

Jonjo Shelvey was sent off after thirty-nine minutes after a tackle involving Johnny Evans. Both players lunged at the ball in a very similar manner but it was the Liverpool player who received his marching orders from referee Mark Halsey.

The second half  started with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers replacing Fabio Borini with Jesus Fernandez (Suso). The young Spaniard played a pivotal role in the opening goal after cleverly dinking his way past Paul Scholes. Suso’s initial cross was cleared but Glen Johnson was first to the ball on the edge of the area and following a deflection the ball found its way to Steven Gerrard whose left foot volley found the right hand bottom corner of the goal at the Kop end. Down to ten men and leading one nil, surely there was an onslaught from Manchester United to come.

The onslaught never really materialized but United did achieve something very important by scoring soon after they went behind. Rafael Da Silva curled home a precise left foot effort into Pepe Reina’s left hand top corner to bring the sides level. Anders Lindegaard twice kept United on level terms with saves from Luis Suarez and Suso.

After Glen Johnson lost possession on the halfway line, Antonio Valencia raced into the Liverpool box only to be clipped by Johnson who was desperately trying to make amends for losing possession initially. The contact was minimal and depending on what referee is in charge it could have gone either way. Following extended treatment for the injured Daniel Agger, Dutchman Robin Van Persie scored from the spot to put United two one up.

Martin Kelly later ruptured cruciate ligaments and Liverpool finished the match with nine players as United saw the game out. Rodgers can be happy with the way his team played on Sunday. The lack of cutting edge and more importantly an out-and-out striker sticks out like a sore thumb. Dominating games and taking nothing from them will not suffice in the long-term but the signs of promise are there and surely the continued improvement in performances will lead to more goals as Rodgers searches for a way to inject more of a clinical edge into his team.The hope is that Liverpool supporters will not have to wait until the January transfer window to finally see someone who can be a regular goal scorer.

Match Statistics

                                     Liverpool                              Man Utd

Possession                        53%                                   47%

Shots                                   13                                         8

Shots on Target                    8                                         4

Corners                                 7                                         3

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina (Booked) – 6
  • 02 Johnson – 6
  • 05 Agger – 6 (Carragher – 80′ )
  • 34 Kelly – 6
  • 37 Skrtel – 7
  • 08 Gerrard – 7
  • 24 Allen – 8
  • 31 Sterling – 8 (Henderson – 66′ )
  • 33 Shelvey – 6 (Sent-Off)
  • 07 Suarez – 7
  • 29 Borini – 4 (Jesus Fernandez Saez – 46′ )

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 23 Carragher
  • 04 Sahin
  • 14 Henderson
  • 11 Assaidi
  • 30 Jesus Fernandez Saez

 

Manchester United

  • 13 Lindegaard – 7
  • 02 Rafael – 7 (Welbeck – 89′ )
  • 03 Evra – 6
  • 05 Ferdinand – 6
  • 06 Evans – 6
  • 07 Valencia – 7
  • 11 Giggs – 6
  • 16 Carrick – 6
  • 17 Nani – 4 (Scholes – 46′ Booked ) – 7
  • 26 Kagawa – 5 (Hernandez – 81′ )
  • 20 Van Persie – 7 (Booked)

Substitutes

  • 01 De Gea
  • 28 Buttner
  • 08 Anderson
  • 22 Scholes
  • 23 Cleverley
  • 14 Hernandez
  • 19 Welbeck

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3 thoughts on “Liverpool 1-2 Man Utd – Performance Lacked Only Goals

  1. Pingback: Title Defense: West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool | The Red Letter

  2. Pingback: Clash at Carrow Road: Norwich City v Liverpool | The Red Letter

  3. Pingback: The biggest derby in the world: Manchester United v Liverpool | The Red Letter

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