Sunday, 23 September 2012

Liverpool v Manchester United

After a hard fought win on Thursday against Young Boys, Liverpool hosted Manchester United at Anfield in what would be an emotional occasion.

Both sides of fans took part in the pre match tribute to the 96 lost at Hillsborough which was observed with utmost respect and the pre-match handshake caused no problems unlike previous matches.

Liverpool started the better and created numerous chances but as is the Liverpool way this season they couldn't hit the target. Borini and Suarez each had great chances to break the deadlock and the pace and skill of Sterling and Kelly created openings for the home side.

However the balance of the game changed dramatically on 39 minutes as Jonjo Shelvey received his marching orders with a straight red card for a challenge on Evans which on replay looked to be the right decision but Evans may have received a booking as it looked like both went in hard on each other.

Half time came and both sides went in equal at 0-0 with Liverpoool hoping their numerical disadvantage wouldn't cost them the game.

A surprise substitution saw Suso make his Premier League debut in place of Fabio Borini and Liverpool started the half in the best possible way as Steven Gerrard slammed home in the 46th minute, Glen Johnson's attempted burst into the box saw the ball fall into Gerrard's path and he beat Lindegaard with a low finish.

The lead lasted barely five minutes before a spectacular effort by Rafael drew United level with an equaliser of pure class, he collected the ball on the right-hand side of the Liverpool area and bent in a superb shot that left Reina powerless as the ball curled in off the far post.

Luis Suarez had a great chance to regain the lead on the hour mark with a powerful shot from just outside the box which forced a good save from Lindegaard and five minutes later, Suso had a great chance but again Lindegaard kept the scores level.

Raheem Sterling departed the field and Jordan Henderson entered the fray on 66 minutes and Sterling received a great ovation for his good performance.

Suarez broke through  and sprayed the ball across the box but no team mates were in attendance to tap the ball in and regain the lead in the 69th minute.

Penalty to Manchester United on 76 minutes and Johnson conceded it as Valencia advanced into the box and the two collided as Reina came out. Daniel Agger left the field on a stretcher at the other end of the pitch and on came Jamie Carragher. 

No surprise as Robin Van Persie puts the penalty to Reina's left side after a four minute delay and despite getting a touch to the ball he couldn't keep it out and United led 2-1 and Liverpool needed a miracle to claim their maiden win of the season.

Things got worse in injury time as Martin Kelly limped off leaving Liverpool with only nine on the pitch and after six minutes of added time the whistle went and United took the points leaving Liverpool winless after five games.

Other results this weekend
Dare I say it, this is relegation form and I can't see it getting better this season, luck is just not with us and Norwich next Saturday is a must-win no matter what as winless after five is embarrassing enough.