Preview: United v Liverpool

After last season’s drama – right around this time of year, when Luis Suárez refused to shake Patrice Evra’s hand, and Kenny Dalglish lost the run of himself – this fixture was always going to feel relatively low key. Not that a Manchester United – Liverpool match is anything but pumped-up, but there is, as ever, an ebb and flow of tension between these clubs. For once the animosity is on the downside.

Indeed, such is the apparent lack of relative antipathy ahead of Sunday’s clash that rival fans may even collude in action against high ticket prices. Few would have believed it a year ago, with shake-gate tension palpable and the fourth estate stoking the fires of anger. It is, some might say, a measure of just how irrelevant Liverpool has become, off-the-field drama aside.

Still, with the Scousers in something approaching decent form, and the Uruguayan now finding the net where row Z was once frequented, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side is in for a genuine test at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. Not least because of the difficulty the Scot is still having in coaching his team towards a clean sheet or few.

Last weekend’s FA Cup fixture is a case in point, with United conceding two hugely sloppy goals; captain Nemanja Vidić at least partially to blame for the brace of James Collins headers.

And it is to Suárez that the Scot’s attention turns – the “controversial” striker having garnered more mixed headlines than any other player in the Premier League over the past year.

“I don’t know whether he enjoys [the controversy], but it is something we hope we don’t suffer from ourselves,” said Ferguson of the striker who won last weekend’s FA Cup tie against Mansfield Town despite handling in the build-up to Liverpool’s second goal.

“I never saw the game last Sunday, so it is difficult to say whether it was a deliberate handball. You will always support your own player, I don’t think that is surprising from Brendan. I have done it myself. It is just part of your loyalty to the player and protection for them too.

“I hope we don’t suffer from some of the decisions that have gone his way. We want it to be a good game on Sunday.”

Whatever happens on the pitch there is likely to be little controversy in Ferguson’s team selection, although changes from last weekend’s FA Cup side are inevitable. Top goalscorer Robin van Persie returns to the starting line-up, while Ferguson will deploy Rafael da Silva and Antonio Valencia in their more natural positions.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League, Old Trafford - 13 January, 1.30pmA more difficult selection comes with Wayne Rooney’s likely absence from the starting line-up. One of Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernández or Shinji Kagawa should come into the side.

It is one of several key tactical and personnel decisions to be made ahead of the lunchtime clash. Meanwhile, Anderson and Nani will return to the match-day squad.

“I’m hoping Wayne will start training today actually, in which case he won’t be far away,” said Ferguson on Friday.

“I don’t think it’s a big issue but it will help him along. The injury is quite straightforward so if he starts today we should have him available for Wednesday’s game. Nani’s back in training and will be in the squad on Sunday. Phil Jones is back, although I think Wednesday is more likely for him. Anderson has been back training for 10 days so he’ll be in the squad on Sunday.

“All in all, we’re in a healthy situation. How long it will last I don’t know, but it’s good to have them back.”

Few will be surprised if Rooney makes the United bench given the manager’s penchant for pulling off a surprise or two in United’s biggest games. Meanwhile, Ferguson is likely to choose between Vidić and Ferdinand, rather than deploy the pair together against in-form Suarez. The latter may be the sensible choice following Vidić’s rusty performance at Upton Park last weekend.

Despite the mediocrity on show in London’s east end – van Persie’s wonder-goal aside – United starts heavy favourites in a match that still resonates with fans, even if the two giants of the English game no longer compete for the same glories. There is, after all, ample firepower available to Ferguson even without Rooney, while Liverpool continues to blow more cold than hot this season.

“I would say it is the fixture we look forward to first,” said veteran defender Rio Ferdinand.

“The rivalry runs deep. Liverpool have not been up there fighting for the championship but the fans and the players are well versed in what this means to us as a club. I always enjoy playing against Liverpool, either at Anfield or Old Trafford. Hopefully this is another good, exciting and winning occasion for us.

“You look back over the years and see what has gone on before I came to the club. Whilst I have been here there have been loads of great moments. You just want to add your name and be a part of a team that adds to that long list of events that have gone on.”

Recent history is on United’s side too. Ferguson’s side has secured six victories in the past 10 fixtures between these sides, while van Persie has scored five goals in his last six matches against Liverpool. Just a few data points in more than two decades of Scouse Premier League misery – a modern tale of woe that has relegated the 18-times English champions to the domestic game’s middle-ranks.

“The club at the moment is a hell of a challenge because they haven’t won the league for 20 years. It is a long time,” adds Ferguson.

“It is difficult to measure any Liverpool side at the moment with any Liverpool side of the past. I think it is terrific if the Liverpool fans are prepared to be patient because it is going to require patience. It is a long road back to what they used to be.”

If ever, many United supporters will counter. After all, Liverpool is now a club that drives just over half United’s revenue – a performance that has not changed in five years.

Match Details
Manchester United v Liverpool – Premier League, Old Trafford – Sunday 13 January 1.30pm

Possible teams
United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Cleverley, Carrick; Valencia, Kagawa, Young; van Persie. Subs from: Lindegaard, Jones, Smalling, Vidić, Büttner, Carrick, Scholes, Fletcher, Anderson, Nani, Welbeck, Powell, Macheda, Giggs, Hernández, Rooney

Liverpool (4-3-3): Reina; Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson; Lucas, Shelvey, Gerrard; Downing, Suárez, Sterling. Subs from: Doni, Jones, Coates, Carragher, Assaidi, Pacheco, Henderson, Allen, Borini, Suso, Sturridge

Officials
Referee: Howard Webb
Assistant referees: M Mullarkey, D Cann
Fourth official: J Moss

Form
United: WDWWWD
Liverpool: LWLWWW

Head to Head
Last 10: United 6, United 3, Draw 1
Overall: United 73, Liverpool 62, Draw 51

Stats

  • van Persie continues to grab all the headlines as Premier League top goalscorer – his 16 strikes coming from 69 attempts at a 57 per cent conversion ratio;
  • Hernández boasts a goal-per-minute ratio to rival almost anyone in the league – the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index records the Mexican finisher finding the net once every 82.3 minutes this season;
  • Patrice Evra continues to defy the critics this season, with only Michael Carrick bettering a total of 436 passes completed in the opponent’s half;
  • Valencia may not be in the finest form, but the Ecuadorian has delivered 43 crosses this season according to the Index;
  • Tom Cleverley has brought plenty of energy to United’s midfield – he covered an impressive 6.98 miles against Wigan Athletic a fortnight ago;
  • Suárez is three goals behind van Persie in the race for the golden boot, but the Uruguayan has been the busier of the two in front of goal, hitting the target 58 times to the Dutchman’s 39;
  • Unsurprisingly, the Uruguayan has given away more fouls than any other Liverpool player with 29 this season;
  • Steven Gerrard’s time at the top may be on the wane, but the Liverpool captain has provided nine assists and 626 successful passes this season;
  • Right-back Glen Johnson has successfully completed more tackles than any other Liverpool player with 32, while fellow defender Martin Skrtel has achieved a squad-high 35 clearances.

Prediction
2-1

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Comments

  1. AnantaxAnantax says

    So looking forward to this game. Iwill be travelling and have intentionally picked a more expensive hotel that shows the BPL so I can watch the game…

    I think this is a banan skin of a game for us. Either we will win comfortably, or it will be a difficult draw…

  2. TG says

    Liverpool are a very dangerous team and with Suarez and Sturridge they have real class now, with Gerrard playing off them we need to be very careful. They will finish in the top 4 in my opinion, they outplayed us at Liverpool and we got lucky………this will be very tough as they sound very confident.

  3. bman says

    If Rooney’s not starting or even available, the surely Hernandez deserves to start. He has looked sharp again recently and he and RVP seem to work fairly well together. Maybe Kagawa on the left? Hopefully we don’t do the shitty diamond thing, with Kagawa and Cleverly in no-mans-land.

  4. a says

    this is the shitest website ever so much shit bout untd and so maany typos

    i hope ferguson dies soon he is an influential cheating prik

    • says

      A – I always find that when pointing out somebody else’s “typos” that it helps if you are not an illiterate Scouser. Just a friendly word of advice :)

      • Damian Garside says

        No sense in calling him a “wanker” when he obviously can’t locate the organ he needs to enjoy being one.

  5. Sidsidney says

    If we give the ball away cheaply then Liverpool will bore us to fucking death and we’ll draw. Carrick and Clev have got to play so we can keep it.
    Can’t afford any shitness from the centrebacks either. Whatever couple of twats Fergie picks need to be switched on.
    If this happens then the forwards will win it for us. Probably Van Persie on his own.

  6. Damian Garside says

    If we win and City don’t that puts us in a very commanding position. Which is why I fear it won’t happen: when did we last look taking command of anything by the scruff of its neck? If we are 9 or 10 points ahead of City after our respective games, I will be stunned (both ecstatic and surprised and proved beautifully wrong).

  7. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    It’s always amusing seeing some brainless Scouser come on here, a United website, and complaining that it’s all about United! I wonder if anyone’s ever gone on the RAWK site and complained that everyone talks about Liverpool!

  8. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Commenter said:
    this is the shitest website ever so much shit bout untd and so maany typos

    i hope ferguson dies soon he is an influential cheating prik

    Even most Liverpool fans would be embarrassed by that effort Mate… I suppose that’s why you’re posting here… they don’t want you either.

  9. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    this opportunity is too good to be true

    city wont beat arsenal andd probably wont even get a point

    we have no one to blame but taggart if we fuck up

    i think giggs will play

  10. Damian Garside says

    Sorry for feeling and saying this– and I forgive you all in advanced you have a go at me for this. But you know the “in my nature” story of the frog and the scorpion: we’ll I think it’s in AF’s nature to mess this up. We could effectively win the championship ths weekend — which is precisely why it won’t happen. One of two ideal situations could ensue: we go so far ahead that even AF can’t mess it up in the run in OR we hit a blip, slip to level with our rivals AF realizes that he HAS to reinforce NOW an it produce a team without weaknesses storming home in the PL and CL league too. A blip and a unstrengthened team is our worst case scenario.

  11. Sidsidney says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    this opportunity is too good to be true

    city wont beat arsenal andd probably wont even get a point

    we have no one to blame but taggart if we fuck up

    i think giggs will play

    Aye, City are missing some key players, but Arsenal are bollocks. This is probably the worst Arsenal team they’ve had under Wenger. I wouldn’t be surprised if they got a result against City, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

  12. sheesh says

    I have a feeling City will play shit enough for United fans to get excited about the possibility of them dropping points, only for them to nick it with a scabby goal in the 90th minute.

  13. banforth says

    In view of his recent revival and the lack of form of our other wingers, I think Giggs is in with a shout to play.

  14. sheesh says

    Where is everyone? Wake up you penises.

    Nani and Anderson are fit apparently. I’d start both of them, especially Nani, given our shitness on the wings.

  15. 19 and Counting says

    Commenter said:
    In view of his recent revival and the lack of form of our other wingers, I think Giggs is in with a shout to play.

    no, NO, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! But he’s a legend!

  16. Mongoletsi says

    Valencia needs a rest.

    I’d like to see RVP with Kagawa and Young. Then a CM with Cleverley, Ando, and Carrick. I’d even be tempted to go with Giggs instead of Young (contentious, I know!)

  17. says

    Starting either Giggs or Scholes means that for a great period of the game we will be walking the ball up the pitch and rolling passes between midfielders and defenders; I don’t think we perform at our best when we do this.

    We need a line up with energy and pace, we will need clean crisp pass-n-go movement and to run at the dippers defense; with either Scholes or Giggs starting that is not going to happen. Bring either of them on at the end of the game when their technical skills can either close out the games or chase a goal.

  18. baloobaloo says

    De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley, Kagawa, Young, Welbeck, van Persie

    Can we stop with the presumption of negative teams now please? He’s picked attacking sides for all of the big games – I do wonder about dropping Evans though. Personally I thought Vidic still looked a tad rusty and Im worried he might struggle against a bit of pace, which Suarez and Sterling have lots of.

    2:1

  19. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    Evans injured. Not happy with Vida and Rio trying to contain that goofy no eared twat! Vida looked rusty as fuck last time out!

    We’re going to have to our score them big time today!

    I’m going for 4-2 united. Liverpool to score first. Not sure if I’m even going to watch it… Nerves.

  20. marlon says

    Can definitely see Vida getting sent off today – tugging Suarez down as last man. Hope Evans (hamstring) isn’t out for long.

    Anyone know how the front 4 will line up?

  21. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    is brian saying our defence looks weaker without the supposedly horrendous evans

    Yep, that’s how shite we’ve become in defence! Never going to be a fan of Evans but at least he can run, unlike Rio!

  22. Minus The Bear says

    I think our OAPs will be okay. A concern would be later if either were on a yellow and they bring Sturrige on.

  23. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    brianofnazareth said:
    Not sure if I’m even going to watch it… Nerves.

    I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch it. I’ve been using links found on Football Streaming Info for months, but the only listing showing for UK and Ireland right now is for The Sunday Supplement, which finished some time ago. I’m a Mac user, so I need a stream that isn’t Sopcast or reliant on some other video player download, please.

  24. baloobaloo says

    RobDiablo said:
    I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch it. I’ve been using links found on Football Streaming Info for months, but the only listing showing for UK and Ireland right now is for The Sunday Supplement, which finished some time ago. I’m a Mac user, so I need a stream that isn’t Sopcast or reliant on some other video player download, please.

    You can get Sopcast on a mac – I use it.

    http://download.cnet.com/SopCast-for-Mac/3000-13632_4-75764637.html

  25. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    What the fuck?

    Not a single stream for this game????

    Come on you cunts… Alfie allways come through when you need him…

    FIND ME A FUCKING STREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Minus The Bear says

    brianofnazareth said:
    Because he’s fast.

    I think Welbeck has to do a lot of unglamourous work. He gives the other strikers a lot of freedom because of his work rate.

  27. davek says

    rvp put one over the bar welbeck missed two and that complete fuck up near the end whilst they havent had a sniff. We need to get that second.

  28. AnantaxAnantax says

    We’re in control. But 1-0 is never enough….

    Young and Wellbeck quite bad today. kagawa non factor.

    Val or Anderson 2nd half please…

  29. Bris Red says

    The scousers cant be that bad again second half. We looked sharp and hungry. Despite Young being poor very time we came down the right wing it looked like we would carve them up. Carrick has been excellent.

  30. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    I think some people need to watch Welbeck a little more closely. He’s just about the only United player who can retain possession from long punts up the field, his pace and movement creates space for RvP, and he’s useful at pressing and defending when United don’t have the ball. Yes, his finishing needs work, but I think he is better suited to this match than Chicharito.

  31. Violent Banana says

    Frustrated we’re not being more than 1 up, Young and Kagawa wasteful; Carrick and Cleverley immense (again)

  32. Minus The Bear says

    RobDiablo said:
    I think some people need to watch Welbeck a little more closely. He’s just about the only United player who can retain possession from long punts up the field, his pace and movement creates space for RvP, and he’s useful at pressing and defending when United don’t have the ball. Yes, his finishing needs work, but I think he is better suited to this match than Chicharito.

    This. He isn’t a winger yet has often got sacrificed to play there and does without complaint. While it may look like the lack of goals in comparision to Hernandez and Van Persie equals no value to the team, he works a he of a lot harder than a lot of people give him credit. I also think he’s trying to hard to score at the moment.

    Kagawa is doing okay, just looks like a player who has had a prolonged period out. Valenca for Young. Need a second.

  33. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    I think Kagawa has the game… but I’m wondering if he’s got the mentality… looks to me like he’s just a bag of nerves out there.

  34. Minus The Bear says

    In fairness to De Gea, pissing about has given Gerrard a fucking acre to line up a shot and he’s made a good save.

  35. AnantaxAnantax says

    Minus The Bear said:
    In fairness to De Gea, pissing about has given Gerrard a fucking acre to line up a shot and he’s made a good save.

    Still could have done better. This is like 4th game in a row he parries a shot into dangerous area

  36. AnantaxAnantax says

    Our first double over Liverpool since 06/07 I think….
    Good result boys….bit too nervy in the end but job well done

  37. Sidsidney says

    Did enough

    Never really in doubt, although I shit a couple of bricks

    Commentator was gutted, did his best to try and ruin it for United fans by saying ‘Sir Alex will be concerned’ blah blah fuck off

    6 points off the Dippers

  38. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    That was fucking nervy!! Jesus!

    Great win. Great 3 points!

    Class first half as well, Carrrck, Kagawa and RVP all done well.

  39. Violent Banana says

    Jamie Redknapp doesn’t like us much, does he? It makes listening to him whinge after we beat his former side that much more enjoyable.

  40. Sidsidney says

    Listeining to the pundits and commentators you’d think Liverpool won the game

    “Lot’s of positives”

    “Sir Alex will be concerned”

    We didn’t have to play any better

  41. han says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    nevilles becoming a cunt in his quest to appear ‘reasonable’

    so someone new to add to the berba & valencia cunt club?

  42. Damian Garside says

    if City don’t win, then AF has to tell himself and his players that they cannot throw this away. It worries me that they seem so keen to take their collective foot off the pedal. We need to be brutal, wrap it up with a killer instinct. In my view we still lack a player I two to truly commandeer the league as we used to.

  43. sheesh says

    I think the media pressure ‘to be less favourable to United’ got to the ref today because he had an absolute shocker.
    We should have finished the game off as a contest in the first half. Welbeck does all the difficult stuff really easily (and then some) but his finishing is horrific. If he wants to start more games he really needs to work on becoming more clinical in front of goal.
    I thought Carrick and Cleverley were excellent today. Jury’s out on whether or not Kagawa will prove to be a decent signing. Maybe he’ll come good next season when he’s had a decent pre-season.
    I had a funny feeling Sturridge would score after Fergie made those daft comments about him to the media. Oh well, at least we won.

  44. sheesh says

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson reflected on the 2-1 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford with satisfaction.

    The Red Devils cemented their lead at the summit of the Premier League with goals from Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidiceither side of half-time.

    Brendan Rodgers’ visitors were galvanised by the introduction of recent arrival Daniel Sturridge, who halved the lead with a close-range goal that set up a nervy final half-hour – but Ferguson’s men stood firm to take the points.

    “I would have taken that score before the game,” said the United boss. “The first-half performance, and until we scored the second goal, was absolutely brilliant.

    “It was as good a performance as we have had for a long time and we should have been three or four up but when they got their goal they got inspired by it.

    “It was as good a performance as we have had for a long time and we should have been three or four up but when they got their goal they got inspired by it.”

    “Their supporters got going and it was hard work after that. I am just glad we won the match. I haven’t seen the (Liverpool) goal again but it looked a bit soft; once again the keeper has parried one out and nobody is following in the rebound.

    “It lifted them. Some of our defending after that was a bit erratic and even desperate at times. But we managed to get through it. The last three or four minutes they were shoving players into the box and there was some interchange play we had to deal with.

    “The name of the game is winning. There are moments where you have to defend. Today was one of them.”

    Prior to the game Ferguson had claimed their arch-rivals were so far behind United he did not know where they were in the league but, after extending the gap between themselves and eighth-placed Liverpool to 24 points, he changed his tune slightly.

    “Winning against Liverpool is important. It doesn’t matter where you are in the league,” he added. “Manchester United-Liverpool games are fantastic challenges.

    “They are the two most successful teams in the country. Today hopefully those three points will be very important.”

    Despite the victory Ferguson could not resist a dig at referee Howard Webb for not awarding United a penalty when Shinji Kagawa went down in a challenge with Andre Wisdom in an incident which saw the Japan international collide and injure goalkeeper Jose Reina.

    “We should have had a penalty when Shinji was brought down. Howard Webb wasn’t going to give us that,” said the United boss, who was more complimentary about Van Persie’s strike.

    “It was a great build-up, terrific football and a great finish.

  45. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    han said:
    so someone new to add to the berba & valencia cunt club?

    hes taking the unbiased schtick too far

    all the other pundits let it out once in a while

    his emotionless reaction to persies goal at city was a disgrace

  46. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    welbeck was great

    when hes in the side we press high and dominate games

    No he wasn’t… he does his job, and allways puts in a good shift, but in front of goal, he’s a waste of a pass.

    Can’t finish for toffee.

  47. sheesh says

    I sincerely hope that Liverpool play just as well against City as they did against us in that second half. City have to play Liverpool and Chelsea in February.

    We have Spurs away next week.

  48. bman says

    Kagawa should be playing in the middle behind RVP, crafty movement between the opposition’s defenders and midfielders is what he’s all about. Young was a terrible waste of money. I didn’t think he was a world beater, but I thought he was much better than he has been for us.

  49. marlon says

    Kagawa had a good shot saved by Reina (only player other than RVP to have a SOT) and should have had a penalty – a decent contribution, despite all our play once again being directed down the right and being played out of position.
    Our defence should know DDG well enough by now to know he gives up rebounds. No one reacts to the shot or the run of Sturridge and Gerrard has far too much space. Blame Cleverley, CBs and Rafa before DDG for that goal.

  50. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    the shite ones were the usual suspects, young, kagawa, valencia

    You do know that Kagawa isn’t a wide man yeah? It’s Fergal’s decision was to play him out there. Just behind RVP and he’d e much better. Thankfully Vida and Rio were OK today, no more Evans then.

  51. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    Also, Carrick was great in the first half…. Carrick>>>>Gerrard this season NQAT.

    Gezza is a shadow of his former self.

  52. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    brianofnazareth said:
    You do know that Kagawa isn’t a wide man yeah? It’s Fergal’s decision was to play him out there. Just behind RVP and he’d e much better. Thankfully Vida and Rio were OK today, no more Evans then.

    thats bollocks tbf, if hes going to make it at utd its on the left or not at all

  53. han says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    the performance was all there beside the finishing which was shocking, he clearly played well

    correct me cos i seem to think he is paid to put the ball in the net when in a good forward position and not just hold the ball up – i mean we had berba to keep the ball and dribble past defenders and we treated him like donkey shit last season

    or is it because young danny came thru the ranks and didn’t cost us like the bulgarian?
    i got nothing against him in the slightest but you can be so blind with your observations; with the chances he had, welbeck should have put the game to bed before half time.

  54. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    if he hadnt played we wouldnt have pressed high up the pitch and so wouldnt have dominated the game and so the chances wouldnt have came in the first place, his high pressing led to the winner at city also

    everything was there except the finishing, thats obvious to anyone who isnt a fuckwit

  55. CoombesOn says

    Anyone would think we had lost reading some of these comments…

    I actually thought Kagawa had a good game. His movement and link up with Clevs was fantastic at times. It’s only his 3rd or 4th game back from injury and yet he was a real threat in the first half. He admittedly tired in the second but that’s hardly surprising.

    Slightly concerned over the 2 knee injuries picked up in the game. Just as we seem to be approaching full fitness too…

    Either way, 3 points against Liverpool after dominating for the majority of the game is nothing to be sniffed at.

    Roll on Wednesday and the return of Rooney and Anderson!

  56. han says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    if he hadnt played we wouldnt have pressed high up the pitch and so wouldnt have dominated the game and so the chances wouldnt have came in the first place, his high pressing led to the winner at city also

    everything was there except the finishing, thats obvious to anyone who isnt a fuckwit

    seeing the game thru ur jap’s eye as per usual
    you don’t half talk shite – if he hadn’t played etc
    so it was all down to him wasn’t it – he didn’t have a bad game but ffs he can be a real novice (as he is) when it comes to scoring

  57. bman says

    brianofnazareth said:
    Also, Carrick was great in the first half…. Carrick>>>>Gerrard this season NQAT.

    Gezza is a shadow of his former self.

    Carrick’s been better than Gerrard for a while now. He was easily the best English midfielder last season, and possibly the year before. he had a dip in performance after his first couple of seasons with us, but he’s been good again for the past few.

  58. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    carrick has never and will never be better than gerrard

    he played better on the day, gerrard was better at anfield even down to ten

    over the season gerrard has been better

  59. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    carrick has never and will never be better than gerrard

    he played better on the day, gerrard was better at anfield even down to ten

    over the season gerrard has been better

    Knob, Gerrard has been gash this season. On his day he is better than Carrick, but those days are numbered and I believe he now regrets not leaving Liverpool for Chelsea. He hasn’t been the same since his last long lay off from injury.

    Agree regards to Welbeck’s role today, his pressing was a factor in stopping Liverpool’s “playing it from the back” style, BUT he just hasn’t got the touch and finishing needed at this level. His finishing is woeful and so is his ball control at times.

  60. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Watching the analysis on Match of the Day 2, and Peter Schmeichel still referring to United as “us”. The true legends’ hearts never really leave the club.

  61. AnantaxAnantax says

    Give wellbeck time. In a year or two he’d be a good player for us

    But I do agree…he is better today than other games, but still not quite there. Finishing, ball control, even passing is still a bit awry.

    Midfield and defence at fault for Sturridge goal – yes. But de Gea as well. He’s a keeper at Manchester United for heaven’s sake…he should by now have the basics down pat. If it was just this game then fine…but he did this at Newcastle and also another game…

  62. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    brianofnazareth said:
    Knob, Gerrard has been gash this season.

    No he hasn’t… he got off to a slow start, but he’s been brilliant the past 2 months.

    5 goals and 11 assists, to Carricks 0 goals and 4 assists.

  63. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Everyone here going on about De Geas “blunder”… Shmikes claims it was a great save, and just bad luck that he pushed it out to Sturridge.

    I think I’ll take his word for it, over you numpties.

  64. han says

    Spudiator said:
    Watching the analysis on Match of the Day 2, and Peter Schmeichel still referring to United as “us”. The true legends’ hearts never really leave the club.

    seem to recall the true legend celebrating a city goal against us when he was their goalie…still, don’t let that cloud your judgement
    doubt nev would have left us to join those fucks regardless of how much cash they waved at him

  65. Sidsidney says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    No he hasn’t… he got off to a slow start, but he’s been brilliant the past 2 months.

    5 goals and 11 assists, to Carricks 0 goals and 4 assists.

    Yeah but both players do different roles. Carrick isn’t about creating goals. Gerrard has been quietly very good though. But he’s an old box to boxer, Carrick is an old rolls royce.

  66. sheesh says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Everyone here going on about De Geas “blunder”… Shmikes claims it was a great save, and just bad luck that he pushed it out to Sturridge.
    I think I’ll take his word for it, over you numpties.

    Fergie’s exact words post-match were: “once again the keeper has parried one out”, indicating that he felt the keeper should have done better and he’s unhappy that de Gea has conceded in a similar fashion before.
    Personally, I think de Gea should have done better but the defenders should also have reacted much quicker.

  67. baloobaloo says

    sheesh said:
    Fergie’s exact words post-match were: “once again the keeper has parried one out”, indicating that he felt the keeper should have done better and he’s unhappy that de Gea has conceded in a similar fashion before.

    Personally, I think de Gea should have done better but the defenders should also have reacted much quicker.

    Sheesh, the full quote was ‘again the keeper’s parried one and there’s nobody following in’ which actually means something different…indeed, it’s agreeing with your second point and not so much your first.

    The angle the ball comes at him and the stretch he has to do to make the save meant I don’t think it was possible for him to make the ball go anywhere else really.

  68. marlon says

    Luckily Lindegaard is injured so he won’t be dropped. Typical that as our (potential) 1st choice front 6 becomes available (Carrick Clev-Nani Rooney Kagawa-RVP) Evans and Vidic get injured. Hopefully it will all come together in time for Madrid

  69. Merchant says

    I thought it was a really good performance for the first 55 minutes. I agree with SAF that it was probably the best football we have played all season in the first half. My observations were that this was largely down to us pressing very high and aggressively and winning almost every 50/50 loose ball and challenge. This, together with a great hunger and appetite to win the ball back quickly and higher up the field when dispossessed meant we were all over liverpool. Add to that our incisive and intelligent passing and movement.

    The only negative from the first half was Ashley Young! Never a Manchester United player and 18 million! This guy has been in the EPL for about 7-8 years (not too sure) and is 27 years of age which should be the time when you come into your peak as a winger/attacking mid. I counted Young give the ball away 14 times in the first half! (watch the game and count for yourself, its not difficult because he basically gives the ball away 90% of the time he gets it). His touch is poor, he cant beat a man to save his life, he doesn’t score goals, he doesn’t assist much, he constantly puts our players under pressure with his ridiculous back and side passes due to his inability to turn his defender or create space for himself to pass forward. Basically in my opinion he sorely lacks the technical ability and footballing intelligence to make it at Manchester United.

    After we scored our second goal, our high aggressive pressing stopped and our passing and possession play started to deteriorate allowing liverpool (now showing a greater hunger and appetite to win the ball back higher up the field) to get back into the game. I think that we allowed Liverpool to get back into the game by going into our shells psychologically and tactically. Personally I think this was in large part due to our aging and past sell-by date centre backs tiring and dropping deeper and deeper as the game went on.
    Welbeck had a good first half with great off the ball play but 2nd half terrible, constantly unable to control the ball subsequently giving away almost every time it came to him. He played striker yet dont think he had a shot on target all game.

  70. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Anantax said:
    Re de Gea I dont know…if it was a one off then I would agree. But this seems to be a consistent pattern…

    What, making brilliant saves?

    De Gea is a naturally brilliant shot stopper… but there’s a lot to learn, to be a world class keeper… which is why most top keepers don’t establish themselves as first teamers until their mid to late twenties… De Gea is still just a kid by keepers standards, and he’s going to be among the worlds best once he masters his trade… which will happen sooner, the more he plays… in the meantime, he might screw up occasionally, but he’s just as likely to keep us in games with saves that few others could make.

  71. ichiro says

    I was just checking Wikipedia and was surprised to see that despite starting almost every game neither Valencia nor Young has scored a single goal this season.

    I would not be surprised if Fergie sacked one or both of them in the summer if their poor form continues. Probably Young is in danger of losing his place on the left to Kagawa anyway.

  72. Leif Sward says

    I am looking forward to Nani being back and given a good run on the right wing. As poor as Young was in the first half somehow Valencia surpassed it. He looked like a bag of nerves any time the ball went near him.

    Other than that, we seem to be playing really well for the most part now, i’m sure it has a lot to do with Clev and Carrick building an understanding. Some of their passing high up the pitch with Kagawa was fantastic. The only balls up gave them their goal.

  73. says

    De Gea very often makes saves he has no right to make. He shouldn’t get near that Gerrard shot, almost any other keeper in the league would have dived late, or ended up watching that shot trickle in. Raphael doesn’t move quick enough – his only mistake the entire game, mind – but bear in mind, the original mistake was faffing in midfield – Carrick / Clevs, again, their only mistakes in the game – so, if you look at the chain of errors, not closing down, not faffing, not following in – that’s a team concession. Blaming De Gea is convenient but the blame is with the team. At least two mistakes occur before the save, and at least one after the save. Blaming him seems, to me, quite unfair.

    Carrick / Cleverley were brilliant for 60 mins. It was clear to me they had a job on following Suarez around, doubling up on him. When they bring Sturridge on, it doesn’t look like we adjust.

    Raphael owned Stirling / Downing all game, he choked them off. A shame Young or Valencia didn’t really get going, although I felt Valencia’s contribution overall was more valuable – running the ball out of defence and relieving pressure, helping Raphael out, and working hard. Young didn’t really get going, there were hints, but nothing came through.

    Welbeck was outstanding, full of running and pace, and while he should have gotten at least one goal, he constantly created space for everyone else. Kagawa linked up very well with Carrick and Cleverley. He stats on the left, but is only ever on the left when we don’t have the ball. In possession, it seems to me the forward four – Welbeck, Kagawa, Young, and RvP yesterday – have pretty much free reign to move around, with one or both of the fullbacks providing the true width. It’s fantastic to see movement like that, but everyone now and again we didn’t have an outball from the centre, so our moves slowed down.

    Overall, we really should have put three or four in, in the first half, and they did well for about 30 mins. Our performance was vastly better than theirs.

    Finally, Rodgers tried to insist there aren’t “24 points of difference in quality between the two sides”. There are. Look at the league table. It’s the only thing in football that doesn’t lie.

  74. sheesh says

    baloo said:
    Sheesh, the full quote was ‘again the keeper’s parried one and there’s nobody following in’ which actually means something different…indeed, it’s agreeing with your second point and not so much your first.

    The angle the ball comes at him and the stretch he has to do to make the save meant I don’t think it was possible for him to make the ball go anywhere else really.

    I referred to only part of Fergie’s quote because both he and schmeichel have a difference of opinion as to whether or not de gea should have done better with the initial save. Schmeichel put it down to bad luck whilst Fergie is suggesting that de gea has a tendency to save the ball like that.

    I’m not stating that Fergie is solely blaming de gea for the goal. He isn’t.

    I should have made my point clearer. Sorry.

  75. AnantaxAnantax says

    Ben Hulston said:
    De Gea very often makes saves he has no right to make. He shouldn’t get near that Gerrard shot, almost any other keeper in the league would have dived late, or ended up watching that shot trickle in. Raphael doesn’t move quick enough – his only mistake the entire game, mind – but bear in mind, the original mistake was faffing in midfield – Carrick / Clevs, again, their only mistakes in the game – so, if you look at the chain of errors, not closing down, not faffing, not following in – that’s a team concession. Blaming De Gea is convenient but the blame is with the team. At least two mistakes occur before the save, and at least one after the save. Blaming him seems, to me, quite unfair.

    Agree that its a team mistake

    My main point however, is that this is becoming a pattern. He parried one straight to an attacker during Newcastle, and I think in at least one other if not two other games…,

  76. Pikey McScumPikey McScum says

    Jesus Christ, I am sick of this de Gea bashing – fucking lad’s got years in him, and could very well be a great. I’m just glad he’s finally getting a decent run of games again, if for nothing else just to piss the doubters off.

    Aren’t we a club who nurtures and improves young talent? You numpties!

  77. baloobaloo says

    Pikey McScum said:
    Jesus Christ, I am sick of this de Gea bashing – fucking lad’s got years in him, and could very well be a great. I’m just glad he’s finally getting a decent run of games again, if for nothing else just to piss the doubters off.

    Aren’t we a club who nurtures and improves young talent? You numpties!

    Agree with all of this

  78. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    sidney said:

    There’s nothing you can say about that, he just needs a beating

    I don’t know… who could he possibly show that to, who wouldn’t think he’s a complete tool???

    Even most, “right minded” Liverpool supporters would think, “what an idiot”…

  79. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Anantax said:
    Agree that its a team mistake

    My main point however, is that this is becoming a pattern. He parried one straight to an attacker during Newcastle, and I think in at least one other if not two other games…,

    The one against Newcastle was a legitimate blunder… that’s it… where’s the pattern?

  80. sheesh says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    The one against Newcastle was a legitimate blunder… that’s it… where’s the pattern?

    He parried the ball to Michu v Swansea. I wouldn’t get on his back though. He is improving and he is still young.

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