Two Steven Gerrard penalties and a strike from Luis Suarez helped Liverpool triumph over North West neighbours Manchester United who had to last the final quarter of an hour with 10 after club capt
Two Steven Gerrard penalties and a strike from Luis Suarez helped Liverpool triumph over North West neighbours Manchester United who had to last the final quarter of an hour with 10 after club captain Nemanja Vidic saw red.
It’s been a tough season for David Moyes’ men and the game didn’t start well for them as Brazilian full-back Rafael Da Silva was cautioned on the half hour mark. The Manchester United defender was lucky not to see red when he handled the ball in the box just a minute later.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard stepped up to spot and managed to coolly dispatch the ball into the corner sending Spanish International goalkeeper David De Gea the wrong way.
A feisty game then saw Gerrard himself pick up a caution whilst Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini was himself lucky not to pick up a booking.
Manchester United were pressuring the Liverpool defence but a Simon Mignolet save on 43 minutes would prove to be their best chance of the half after Rooney had another shot blocked in the box and youngster Adnan Januzaj squandered a chance late in the half.
A pressure cooker of a game
Liverpool came out stronger in the second half and just under 30 seconds in United defender Phil Jones tumbled down Liverpool’s Joe Allen in the box to give away United’s second penalty at the Theatre of Dreams.
Once again up stepped Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard who made the decision to strike the ball low and the same direction as before. This time the Spaniard went the right way but just couldn’t get his hand onto the ball making it 2-0.
Gerrard opted to remind fans of Liverpool’s 4-1 win over the Red Devils by running up to the TV camera and kissing it, a move that won’t have pleased the Manchester United faithful.
Manchester United continued to get forward but seemed to lack the creative spark that they’ve needed this season. They seemed to lack a cutting edge to link up their backline with Januzaj, Mata, Rooney and Van Persie. When they did get forward the Red Devils just seemed wasteful.
Suarez seals the deal
After 70 minutes Inter Milan-bound Nemanja Vidic was booked and Brendan Rodgers decided to make a change with Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling being replaced by Coutinho. The game will have only strengthened Sterling’s chances of heading to Brazil as the young Englishman managed to out-muscle Fellaini on numerous occasions.
It took 75 minutes for David Moyes to make changes with controversial Tom Cleverley replacing Fellaini and Welbeck replacing Januzaj. Earlier this year there was an online petition to ban Cleverley from England’s World Cup campaign.
It went from bad to worse for United as referee Mark Clattenburg deemed Nemanja Vidic had brought down Sturridge after 76 minutes although replays looked as though the England-man went down with little touch. Either-way Vidic was sent for an early bath.
Steven Gerrard stepped up to take the third spot-kick of the match aiming to collect the match-ball. This time he opted to go for the other side only to see his shot deflect off the post denying him the hat-trick.
An unusually quiet Luis Suarez, who donned the first pair of knitted football boots, found himself in the limelight on 83 minutes when a pass from Daniel Sturridge found the Uruguayan whose left-footed strike managed to hit the back of De Gea’s net.
Pressure will no doubt be growing on David Moyes as the United Manager was the brunt of the jokes from Liverpool fans who unveiled a banner saying: “David Moyes is a football genius.”
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