Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool – Cautious Approach Costs Rodgers

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

By Jonathan Carroll

Brendan Rodgers brought his Liverpool team to Old Trafford on Sunday to prove his team could compete with teams above them in the league. For the first forty-five minutes there wasn’t much of a competition. Manchester United dominated possession and Liverpool allowed them to do as much. Rodgers’ tactics of sitting back, soaking up the pressure played to United’s strengths. Giving them time on the ball allows a good team to be quite dangerous. Liverpool were lucky to only be a goal behind at half time.

Robin Van Persie gave United the lead following good work from Patrice Evra down the left. While Steven Gerrard was sitting deep, Michael Carrick was dominating the run of play. Everything went through him and Joe Allen was not effective in trying to close down United’s midfield in the first half. The former Swansea player has been on a run of awful performances. If Rodgers opts for a more attacking approach next weekend then Jonjo Shelvey could well get a game ahead of Allen and should get a game ahead of him at this stage.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Rodgers flat out gave United too much room to operate. Never did Liverpool look to impress their game on United in the first half. This was rightfully turned around in the second half as Daniel Sturridge came on for Lucas Leiva, and then later Fabio Borini made it a front three of Suarez, Sturridge and Borini. All three looked comfortable playing a front three and Liverpool dominated possession and pinned United back while trying to take the game to them.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Van Persie was involved in United’s second goal as well. His calamitous fall gained a free kick and from the resulting set play the Dutchman’s cross was headed home by Evra via Nemanja Vidic. Liverpool were only starting to get a foot hold and now were even further behind. Cue Steven Gerrard in a more advanced role. The skippers shot was parried by De Gea and Sturridge was on hand to tap home and get the redmen back in the game.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Clear cut chances were few and far between however. The final ball was frustratingly lacking all afternoon as good play between Suarez and Sturridge faltered around the eighteen yard box. There was a gilt edged chance for Suarez who scooped over following a mix up in United’s penalty area.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Liverpool have failed to beat any of the more competitive teams this season, Rodgers rightfully changed his tactics in a game that Liverpool were hopelessly devoid of ideas in on Sunday. The question that comes to mind now is how long will there be a learning curve for the manager? There is no magic wand for the clubs current situation and going through dips like this season may need to be endured in order for a team and a manager to be constructed to compete in the league.

Match Statistics

Man Utd                                     Liverpool

Possession                         56%                                              44%

Shots                                   15                                                 12

Shots on Target                   10                                                  5

Corners                                 3                                                  1

Manchester United

  • 01 De Geav – 6
  • 02 Rafael – 6
  • 03 Evra – 7  (Booked)
  • 05 Ferdinand – 7
  • 15 Vidic – 7 (Smalling – 79′ )
  • 16 Carrick – 8
  • 18 Young – 5 (Valencia – 46′ ) – 5
  • 23 Cleverley – 6
  • 26 Kagawa – 6 (Jones – 77′ )
  • 19 Welbeck – 7
  • 20 Van Persie – 8

Substitutes

  • 40 Amos
  • 04 Jones
  • 12 Smalling
  • 07 Valencia
  • 08 Anderson
  • 11 Giggs
  • 14 Hernandez

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina – 6
  • 02 Johnson – 5 (Booked)
  • 05 Agger – 6 (Booked)
  • 37 Skrtel  – 5 (Booked)
  • 47 Wisdom – 6
  • 08 Gerrard – 7
  • 19 Downing – 6
  • 21 Lucas – 5 (Booked) (Sturridge – 46′ ) – 7
  • 24 Allen – 2 (Henderson – 80′ )
  • 31 Sterling – 4 (Borini – 62′ )
  • 07 Suarez – 6

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 23 Carragher
  • 49 Robinson
  • 14 Henderson
  • 33 Shelvey
  • 15 Sturridge
  • 29 Borini
Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 75,501

 

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