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Liverpool make Ferguson suffer

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Phil McNulty | 20:54 UK time, Saturday, 14 March 2009

Sir Alex Ferguson was like an old streetfighter lying bloodied and beaten in his corner - defiantly insisting his victorious opponent had never laid a glove on him.

Ferguson was selling the message that Manchester United were the better side against Liverpool at Old Trafford. No-one was buying that when a 4-1 scoreline in favour of the visitors slightly contradicted his argument.

Liverpool's win was as impressive as it was deserved and the even the lavish victory margin provoked few arguments, despite Ferguson's protestations.

And while this landmark triumph for Rafael Benitez's side may not have blown the door to the Premier League title wide open, there is little doubt the emphatic manner of the win has pushed it slightly ajar.

The fall-out from Liverpool's win as far as United are concerned needs to be placed in its proper context. Ferguson was correct when he insisted United would have happily settled for a four-point lead with a game in hand if it was offered to him a few weeks ago.

And maybe this defeat, if not its scale, has been coming after a spell when United have been digging out victories as opposed to sweeping opponents aside.

In other words, anyone hoping to detect vital signs of a Manchester United meltdown must not get their hopes up on the basis of a single, albeit surprising and damaging, defeat.

The smart money remains on a swift United recovery and an eventual title triumph, but this was Liverpool's day and Benitez's traditionally impassive post-match demeanour must have surely disguised the fact that he was dancing inside.Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard celebrate Liverpool's win

Benitez was pleased for Liverpool's fans, the club and even his backroom staff. As ever, he kept his own emotions under wraps - refusing even to rise to the understandable bait offered about his public outburst against his vanquished opponent Ferguson in January.

But Benitez, a renowned plotter and strategist of his team's fortunes, could not have scripted the last five days any better than they have turned out.

He has watched his side dismantle Real Madrid and Manchester United, two of the game's most decorated clubs, in that time. And if Tuesday's Champions League win was accompanied by understandable claims of Real's incompetence, no-one must take an ounce of credit away from Liverpool on this occasion.

Liverpool were positive, powerful, committed and dangerous. It was a performance almost without flaw, goalkeeper Pepe Reina's uncharacteristic uncertainty apart.

They are, however, arguably the most baffling, contrary side in the Premier League - and it is this split personality that will be to blame if they do not win the title.

Liverpool have now done the double over Manchester United (despite going behind in both games) and Chelsea while earning a draw against Arsenal at The Emirates.

But home draws against Stoke City, Fulham, West Ham United and Manchester City will be offered up as crucial evidence in the case against them as a title-winning side.

At Old Trafford, Liverpool showed everything admirable about their nature. They proved they are good enough to win the title - they just have not proved it often enough.

Liverpool survived the loss of influential midfield man Xabi Alonso, as well as defender Alvaro Arbeloa in the warm-up, although the latter blow offered Sami Hyypia the opportunity to again demonstrate what an outstanding servant he has been for the club.

If Liverpool wish to present mitigating circumstances for some of their perceived failings this season, then the reduced opportunity to pair Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres together because of injury will top the list.

Gerrard's importance to Liverpool has been underscored time and again does not need repeating here - but it was the magic of Torres that turned this game on its head.

It is a big call to make, but is there a better striker in world football than Torres? Not in my book.

Nemanja Vidic has been an immovable object this season, and no-one would be foolish enough to deliver too harsh a criticism after a rare bad day - but Torres made it a harrowing afternoon for the normally faultless Serb.

The devastating effect Torres had on Vidic with his pace and menace was remarkable to witness. When Vidic was sent off for a foul on Gerrard late on it was a merciful release from his torture.

The pivotal moment came in the 28th minute when the mere presence of Torres induced fatal hesitation in Vidic's mind, ending with him being embarrassed by the Spain striker's burning pace for Liverpool's equaliser.

On this incident the game turned. Torres, in tandem with Gerrard, spread uncertainly like a disease through United's record-breaking rearguard, with Vidic its main victim.

It was like watching the armour fall off a previously impregnable warrior. He was spooked by Torres and it wrecked his performance.

No-one should put Vidic away after this because Torres has the talent to torment the best defenders in the world. Vidic is one of the world's best defenders so this was the proof of the carnage that Torres can inspire.

So what has this done to the title race? Are Liverpool ready to mount a late surge? Previous form suggests no-one could predict that, but United still hold all the cards.

Liverpool captain Gerrard and Benitez talked up the possibility of further joy by suggesting they have proved United are beatable. They are not untouchables.

True enough, but it is an argument with a fatal flaw. Not all of the sides Liverpool are relying on to repeat their feat can call on a Gerrard or a Torres - no minor consideration.

The elation of Liverpool's supporters and the barely confined joy of their players suggest they live in real hope of catching the champions, and their renewed optimism is fully justified by the resurgence of the past week.

And the thousands of empty seats around the Old Trafford in the closing seconds will only have added to Liverpool's unbridled pleasure.

Reality and past records suggest, however, that United's powers of recovery are such that it will take more than this humbling experience against their fiercest rivals to divert them off a course that will take them to the Premier League title.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Fair enough. Torres was superb and Liverpool deserved to win (albeit by one goal), but this might be the sharp and timely reminder United needed that even they are human.

    Don't be surprised to see them angered by this humiliation.

    The big trophies might be even more certainly heading to OT now!

  • Comment number 2.

    I believe Mr. Fergie lost the plot with his treble substitution!

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Phil,

    Despite always reading yours and many other of the bbc football blogs, as well as often listening to 606, I have never felt the need to take part in the discussion, choosing instead to listen to others comments. However I have some strong views that I want to put out there about winning the league title. Oh and I am a Liverpool fan.

    I believe that yesterday's thumping 4-1 victory, along with the midweek destruction of Real Madrid, is a sign that Liverpool WILL win the league title... next season.

    This week has confirmed what I have thought since about November 2008 - that Liverpool have the quality, and the best two attacking players in the league and are capable of beating anybody on the one-off occasion. The problem, as we all know, has been the lack of belief or confidence which has resulted in minimal attacking flair against the lesser teams. Nerves seemed to have got the better of them.

    Again since November I have been saying that United will win the league, but next season it will be Liverpool's turn. I believe it takes two years to win the league title, the first year to get to grips with the awful pressure and the crippling nervousness that comes with the territory, the second year to play to your full potential, free from the shackles of this new found pressure. Now if you had told me that at the start of the season I would have been very sceptical and brushed it off as an excuse for teams who aren't good enough, and although there are just claims that Liverpool's squad isn't in fact good enough in depth, I believe the pressure has been the biggest factor in the slump over January and February.

    I'll use two examples to support my argument.

    1) I started supporting Liverpool in the 1992/93 season, the first year of the Premier League, in other words, I have never experienced winning the league title. In all that time this is the season that we have got the closest, however it is also the season that I have enjoyed the least. At times even victories haven’t offered the same pleasure they did a few seasons back. If that’s how I am feeling with the added pressure and intensity of a title charge, then imagine how the players must be feeling in the same situation, but tenfold! It got to the stage when a few weeks ago when United went ahead against Newcastle I felt relieved because I knew the title race was off and I could go back to enjoying the football again. Coincidence that since that same time Liverpool have put on their best two performances of the season?

    2) I can’t remember the last time a team won the Premier League/1st Division without being involved in the title race to some extent the season before. No team comes from nowhere (and by that I mean 3rd/4th with no hope of winning the league by Christmas) to win the league, they have to have that first season to experience and get used to the pressure that comes with mounting a sustained title challenge. Once a team has that experience they are then able to lay down a genuine claim to be champions. The record books will back me up on that one.

    To summarise, I believe that Liverpool will win the title next season, for 2 reasons – 1) Benitez will now know exactly what needs adding to his team to in terms of new players, and will buy in the summer those 1 or 2 extra players needed, 2) The players will be more used to the pressure and will be able to cope with the expectation that they roll teams over at home, resulting in performances like we have seen this last week more often.


    Thanks for taking the time to read my views, apologies if I went on a bit, please let me know what you think.

    Rick

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Phil,

    I was saying that the win against Real was a fluke, but credit to Liverpool when it's due. I think the hype got to United and no one except Park Ji-Sung were deserving of the Manchester United colors yesterday. However, I do think Liverpool has done us a great favor. Liverpool has hurt United. I hope that the manager will tell the players and remind them that they are playing for the greatest football team on this planet and they have to deliver. We can only bounce back now and with the increasing importance of every game in the League, FA cup and CL, I think the players will try and not be arrogant and complacent against ANY opposition. I only hope that Rooney and Ronaldo get on the ball much more and Carrick and Anderson put in some tackles and fight for the ball in the mid-field. Fletcher would've been a much better choice than Carrick for this game, imo, and Anderson is only 19 and still learning.

    The talk about resurgence of Liverpool's title chances are non-sense. You can as well inscribe "Manchester United FC 2008-2009" on the EPL trophy. If Arsenal buy some good players in summer, I would enjoy watching a really tight title challenge for next season. Everton and Villa might battle it out for a UEFA Cup spot.

    I've to say bravo to Liverpool for their courage, though it hurts to say it. Its not everyday or every year that some team comes to OT and hammers United. United will be hoping and be pumped up to face Liverpool again. And what best than to draw them at CL quarters and knock them off!!! I would pass on a lot of luxury to see that happening.

    United Forever!
    OTfaithful

  • Comment number 6.

    Thats a touch harsh on Fergie. He did admit that Liverpool deserved the plaudits. I thought we controlled the game and Liverpool got their goals against the run of play. I don't remember Liverpool keeping hold of the ball and pressurising us, so your assertion in your match-report that they 'dominated for long spells' seems dubious. Its really hard to play any kind of imaginative football against this Liverpool team, they're awfully good at parking the bus. Still, this result changes nothing. United will win their 18th league title and Liverpool will remain a second-rate team with two worldclass players, who'll win nothing this year. I don't mind the scouse lot milking this for all its worth. I mean after all miracles like these won't happen very often... especially if that clown Benitez signs a new contract.

  • Comment number 7.

    Phil, were the journos at SAF's press conference too scared to put him right about who actually was the better side? I bet you all went in there shaking in your boots. When are one of you lot going to grow a spine and suggest to him that he was wrong? You would all be quick enough to jump on a benitez, wenger or scolari comment!

  • Comment number 8.

    As strong as Liverpool looked, it took some woeful defending from a completely out of sorts Vidic and a great free kick to take United out of the game. Up until that point United while rattled looked by far the more likely to run Liverpool ragged.

    Ferguson was trying to save face, but it was a far closer game than the scoreline makes out. However to be bluntly honest, Phil, has there been a big game in the Premiership Liverpool have won convincingly without having someone from the opposing side sent off? They aren't always going to have a red card go in their favour. On a better day Vidic would have kept Torres firmly in his pocket and he would never have made such a dire mistake. On a day like that, United would have crushed Liverpool. That day will probably come in the Champions League. United will be more than wounded. They will be angry now.

    The last time United were angry, they took down Roma 7-1. They'll probably obliterate Liverpool by the same margin when Blatter inevitably has them drawn in the Champions League.

  • Comment number 9.

    Firstly congratulations to Liverpool for their victory, united can have no complaints as there were simply too many players that did not perform.
    BUT, as usual with these things, there is little perspective being applied. Are we to now believe that Liverpool are suddenly, the scouse equivalent of the 1970's brazilian team, no, if you review the game yesterday and the manner of their goals, they are more like the equivalent of the 1980's wimbledon team, 3 hoofs forward and one penalty.
    That is not to take anything away from Torres who is indeed outstanding, he is the reason the game was won. He instilled such fear into the united defence that they turned into quivering wrecks for the afternoon.
    The idea that Mr Gerrard and Mr Benitez have suddenly found the secret to beating United, IE to attack them, is ridiculous. Liverpool suffer the same fate against the lesser sides, they put the bus in front of the goal, the difference this season is that united get past the bus and get a result whereas liverpool do not have the flair and guile to deal with this, they actually do better when teams attack them and hit on the counter attack.

    Battle to Liverpool War to United

  • Comment number 10.

    As a United fan I was gutted. A generally fair blog Phil.

    Firstly hats off to Liverpool. They were superb right across the park. Especially Hypia who certainly took his chance. I know Liverpool fans don't like it being said, but the simple fact is that Torres and Gerrard are absolute stands outs. Take them away and the team is not worth much more than a top 6 finish. That's not to say there are no other good players - they are all good, but in those two Liverpool have world class players. Gerrard was the star yesterday IMO. He won the penalty and got Vidic sent off (fairly)- and much more besides.

    United were lacking in all areas - but it was the midfield that failed most strongly - exposing the back 4 and allowing too much space in midfield. The attack played as it has done for the last 3 months - nearly brilliant, but actually lacking cohesion.

    I doubt it will make a difference to the EPL, but it is going to make the next few games very interesting. SAF was right about there being another twist along the way.

    As to next year, I think it will be Man Utd again. Liverpool certainly have the potential to improve - but this year United have never really clicked. The dream quartet of B, R, R, T has never properly fired up. Ronaldo, while still excellent, is some way off his level of last year. I can see the current squad building on this season for at least one and possibly 3 seasons. Of course losing a couple of key players could change all of this.

    Finally - it is now perfectly set up for a United Liverpool UCL final!

  • Comment number 11.

    "Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day....."

  • Comment number 12.

    I thought the most damning thing about this defeat for Man U was, they looked very tired in fact I thought some of their players even looked leggy. When your fighting on four fronts (or three now as they have already won one) not only must it be physically demanding but the mental side must be very fatiguing. Vidic will be a massive loss, Rooney blew a gasket with his comments and quite a few Man players looked out of form and with there next game being at a Fulham who have just had a very good away result, the Premiership race looks as though it has come back to life.

  • Comment number 13.

    As strong as Liverpool looked, it took some woeful defending from a completely out of sorts Vidic and a great free kick to take United out of the game.
    --------------------
    Post 8,

    How do you think Utd have won most of their games this season? By being gifted goals or Ronaldo set peices, that's how. Yes Utd are capable of flowing fast counter attacking football but they have only showed that on the odd occasion this season.

    Concerning players being sent off. It's people like you that would normally come out and say it's harder to play against 10 men. I don't know why you even mentioned it because at both Liverpool/ utd games this season, Utd wre as good as beaten with 11 men on the pitch. So were Everton at GP, and you make it sound as though the red cards were not deserved, every one has been!

  • Comment number 14.

    To every person who left Old Trafford before the end of the Liverpool game, SHAME ON YOU. Do you realise how many people around the world who would give both balls(ovaries) to have been in your priviledged position? I have been following United since 1967 but my first live game was against Spurs at White Hart Lane in 1980. That does not make me any less a supporter than the Mancs who have been going for years and years. I was lucky enough to have been at Wembley with my two daughters aged 9 and 7 for the Community Shield against Portsmouth last August; their first time to see United having travelled all the way from Australia and we were being dismissed as 'Tourists" by a hard-core bunch of United fans who wouldn't sit down for the whole game so the people behind them couldn't see. I have been to Old Trafford many times and seen them away many times. Now I am living in Australia and have difficulty watching games on the TV as i don't have Sky/Foxtel and the time difference makes it difficult. So if you are at a United game and you leave early, why do you bother going? If you go to the movies do you leave before the end? Or the Theatre? Do you leave before the conclusion? YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOU even if the cause is hopeless. The Scousers must have been laughing at us for the last 10 minutes as the whole stand emptied and all the tv viewer could see was red seats. Roy Keane must have been close to the mark when he talked about the prawn-sandwich brigade. My mates have been season ticket holders for nearly twenty years travelling 400 miles for every home game while they lived in London and now they live in Ireland spend a large part of their time ferrying across the Irish sea to see their beloved United. Do you think they leave a game even a minute early? Not a chance. Lets prove how loyal you are for the rest of this potentially mind-blowing season and give the team your utmost devotion by staying to the bitter (as it was yesterday)end for every single minute of every single game. Just think if you had left the Nou Camp 2 minutes before the final whistle............

  • Comment number 15.

    that was the worst defensive performance i have ever seen from a united team. All 4 goals came directly from pathetic mistakes (aurelio's free-kick was the only moment of true quality in the game).

    Up until the first goal liverpool were no where. similar to the first game at Anfield. Credit where it is due, that moment sent a surge through the team and from then on you were far superior in terms of effort and commitment.

    Just before the sending off i was convinced we were going to equlaise and was sure Liverpool could not hold out for the entire half. Then Vidic has mental spasm #2 and its game over. The rest was inevitable and i thought it could and should have been 5 with Gerrard missing from close range.

    does this change much with regards to the league? No

    Im just praying we get Liverpool in the CL. Incidentaly you have scored 6 goals against us this season. Every single one has been a gift on the back of a terrible defensive mistake.

  • Comment number 16.

    oh yeah. where's all the liverpool fans criticising McNulty's journalism today. And the percieved Bias against Liverpool?

    when you do good stuff, you get credit.

  • Comment number 17.

    RampagingAlbatross - on a better day Reina would not have needlessly brought down that feather Park. On a better day we would not have lost Alonso and Arbeloa just before the match. On a better day, the fans would have put down their prawn sandwiches and got behind their team instead of heading for the M1 twenty minutes from the end.

    United were well beaten and it is all too easy for their 'fans' to blame defensive mistakes. When is ANY goal NOT down to a defensive mistake?

    It wasn't a lucky red card. As Phil said, it was the pressure from Torres that reduced Vidic to a poor performance.

    For a United fan to suggest we rely on red cards and refereeing decisions is rather a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    We've beaten you home and away this season - both games that mattered (Liverpool vs United games ALWAYS matter). We may well get drawn in the Champions League and I imagine the result will not be much different. Torres will make your defence look average and Ronaldo will be nowhere to be seen (as always against Liverpool). Rooney and Ferdinand will bluster and postulate before and during the game and, ultimately, Liverpool will emerge victorious. We will then hear more drivel from the ranting Scotsman - if he doesn't sulk and refuse to talk to journalists - about how they played better and were cheated. Undoubtedly the referee in both legs will be subject to the usual bullying tactics from United players, especially the aforementioned Rooney and Ferdinand, every time Ronaldo takes a tumble.

    This is what football is all about.

    Can't wait!

  • Comment number 18.

    Post 8 has got it spot on. The 4-1 scoreline flattered Liverpool as they never dominated the run of play. Even when United were a man down, Liverpool continued to sit back and never even tried to dictate the game.

  • Comment number 19.

    Liverpool made Man Utd look poor. No point looking for excuses. They shocked Madrid mid-week and did the same to Utd yesterday. Liverpool were the better side, simple as that. Actually the Utd back 4 and GK are not as big as they are hyped up to be. Utd has a good midfield. Take their midfield out of action plus you have a Torres up front and the Utd back 4 and GK look very ordinary, as we saw yesterday.

  • Comment number 20.

    If either Liverpool or Chelsea win all their remaining PL games then they could still win the title, but that is a huge ask of any side at this stage of the season, especially with CL involvement, and I can't see that happening.

  • Comment number 21.

    when you do good stuff, you get credit
    -------------------------------------
    Is that right? Only because even the most biased of journo could not have turned that round yesterday. All week we were hearing how bad Madrid are, incidently they won again yesterday.

    You seem to think every Utd goal is a faultless stream of quality passing, ripping defences apart. How many goals are you lot gifted. How many free kicks does Ronaldo stick away, the only goal you scored yesterday was from a penalty. Incidently, Liverpool have scored as many goals as Utd this season, from a defensive side that's not bad.

  • Comment number 22.

    Post #15
    Incidentaly you have scored 6 goals against us this season. Every single one has been a gift on the back of a terrible defensive mistake.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Funny how your 'impregnable' defence saves all it's mistakes for Liverpool - i like it! ;-)

  • Comment number 23.

    I'm a Liverpool Fan.

    All this talk of all four goals being the result of woeful defending is complete rubbish.

    Torres and Gerrard made them look poor. Fact. Vidic abhas been outstanding this season, but have you seen any other strikers in the league make him have the terrifed expression pinned too his face as they bare down on him...no. That's just how good they are.
    People may say that if we didn't have Gerrard and Torres, we would not be as good a team, talk about stating the obvious, the fact is...we have! As was mentioned earlier, United would not be anywhere near the team they are without Ronaldo and Rooney, but they do have those to fantastic players, therefore are top of the league. They do have more strength in depth that's obvious to see, but they have built this squad over quite a few years now so it comes with time. Liverpool only need a couple of signings to add that needed depth, coupled with the belief and confidence that will undoubtedly come from this season's great run, to turn those disappointing home draws into wins and injury weakened teams into more easily replaced teams.

    Who's to say we could even win the league this season, in my opinion United will probably win it, but it's still open and anoyone would be foolish to think Liveprool are out of it...

    ...I can wait till next season though.

  • Comment number 24.

    Torres and Gerrard have played together in a Premier League only eight times this season apparently. I wonder where Liverpool would have been if they had only been able to field them together more often. (This is a valid point as Man Utd were truly awful at the beginning of the season without Ronaldo. I wonder where they'd be if he had only been able to play eight games too).

    Vidic, the cornerstone of Utd's miserly defence is now suspended after his straight red, will be sorely missed. (Is his suspension 3 games?) Man Utd simply do not look as comfortable at the back without him. Which is a back handed compliment to a player who will eventually turn out to be one of the best in the world in years to come. The "invincible aura has dissipated and otther temas will now realise that they have a chance to get something out of a Man Utd game. I for one hope to see a close fought finish to the season. Utd are still favouritees and its still their title to lose. But to all intents and purposes, they have just taken the first step down that steep and rocky incline. It will be up to them how they respond.

    I also wonder where the "Rafa's cracking up" brigade have gone to now! No sign of a lost plot, at least not from the Liverpool manager.......

  • Comment number 25.

    I may be biased but I have to agree with Fergie. I made a similar comment on a blog before I saw his in the press. The way I saw the game like this:

    Twenty minutes in and we looked clearly on top. The stats showed 5 corners to zero. That tells you that you are applying pressure. Then Reina makes a reckless challenge when Park was going nowhere and Ronaldo puts us one up. I did't even bother cheering. Hardly against the run of play I thought.

    All of a sudden somebody hoofs the ball out of defence, Vidic hesitates and then slips and it's one all. Where did that come from? The next thing Evra (who hasn't looked the same since coming back from injury) gets overtaken by Gerard and makes a stupid challenge. I couldn't believe we were going in at half time losing.

    Then for 30 minutes of the second half we were camped in their half. My wife asked how it was going. "We are losing but it's just a matter of time. It will probably end 2-2", was my reply. Even though they had parked a bus in front of the goal. I remember thinking this is exactly what Benitez complains about when other teams defend against his team.

    Then another rare attack and Vidic gets a red. Some unknown guy scores a cracking free kick, probably his first of the season, and it's all gone wrong. Finally as everyone is pushing forward another hoof upfield and someone gets their foot to the ball before O'Shea to make it 4. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. They had 5 chances and got 4, 2 of them from the style of football we haven't seen since Wimbledon were in the top flight. The best chance they had is the one they missed when Gerard hit row Z.

    We had more possession, more shots, more corners but all the reports talk of a humiliation. I think it's just one of those days like when we beat Roma. A one-off where everything just seems to go well. How else can you explain the fact that this team lost 2-0 to Middlesborough?

  • Comment number 26.

    I missed the most important point, we have been without Gerrard ant Torres together for over two thirds of the season, yet are bearing down on united.

    As above states, if we had them for the whole season I think think it's clear that we would be closer to united, if not above them...not a mediocre 6th plaace side as some utter fool earlier suggested.

  • Comment number 27.

    United were poor, Liverpool bar Torres and gerrard were also pretty poor.

    The overall quality of the football was low, while liverpool will be jumping in elation at the scoreline it is by no means a reflection of the quality of how Liverpool played. Just how badly united defended.

    No change whatsoever in where the PL crown is going at the end of the season.

  • Comment number 28.

    You seem to think every Utd goal is a faultless stream of quality passing, ripping defences apart.

    sorry, who said that?

    How many free kicks does Ronaldo stick away?

    so far this season its 2

    I dont see who your argueing with, unless its yourself!

  • Comment number 29.

    For Evra and Evra Amen (post 15). We are obviously in agreement (see my post 25)

  • Comment number 30.

    My fellow United fans who are unwilling to give Liverpool credit are embarrassing us all. Real Madrid were terrible in midweek and when they got the ball never looked like doing anything. Man United yesterday did show some sign of life but Liverpool snuffed it out, and that should be applauded. Were Liverpool worth 4 goals? I'm not convinced. Were they the better team? Yes. By a country mile.

  • Comment number 31.

    Better to make 4 mistakes in one Premier League game than in a cup game or title decider.

    We have a week off to rest after a hectic schedule and hopefully some of our other defenders will come back.

    Liverpool and Chelsea will have to win all their games and we must lose 2 more and draw another. Highly unlikely

  • Comment number 32.

    what is wrong with the majority of you man.u fans??even fergie admitted they threw the game away and the performance was 'indefensible', but still you all manage to fill blog pages with 'lfc were lucky, only deserved to win by one goal at most'....bitter tripe!van der sar was rooted foe aurelio's fk, couldn't keep out gerrard's pen, was beaten by a good strike by torres and even was made to look a mug by a player that hasn't even been good enough in lfc eyes!!
    still believe man.u will(guttingly)win the PL, but next season we should put up a good fight, and our first double over M.U in years has helped as we have broken the 'big 4 curse' this year,hope to push you close tho to make it a more exciting finish!

  • Comment number 33.

    When United scored I thought we would cruise to victory. We were going for the second goal and it looked as if it wouldn't be long coming. Then Vidic handed Liverpool the equaliser on a plate.
    Don't panic, United fans. Rafa talks about winning the last nine games. Well, that ain't gonna happen. Liverpool will drop points, as sure as night follows day. Probably against the likes of Fulham and Blackburn over the next few weeks.
    Chelsea are still the biggest threat. Yesterday's result at OT was far more important to them. But we'll comfortably hold off Chelsea.
    I remember years ago when United lost 5-0 at Newcastle. The following week we went down to Southampton and got thumped 6-3. We also lost our next league game at home to Chelsea. The press were predicting United were finished. The defense appeared to be shot to pieces. Well, United went on to win the league by seven points.
    I take nothing away from Liverpool. Unlike Wayne Rooney, I don't hate them. They were magnificent, as they were on Tuesday. We should have seen yesterday's result coming. United were very lucky gainst Blackburn a couple of weeks ago, lucky against Inter on Wednesday; but the luck ran out on Saturday.
    It was the kick up the backside we needed, and we'll go on to win the title with ease. It won't 'go to the wire'.
    But we won't win everything. We can't anyway. Everyone seems to have forgotten that we lost the European SuperCup to Zenit St. Petersburg. The clean sweep is already out of the question.

  • Comment number 34.

    29.

    yeah - thats how the game went. But its the scoreline that matters.

    to be honest we have not been good at the back for the past 3 games. Maybe this is what we needed. we now have a week off to disect the games, refresh and re group and continue the charge.

    some reminders of the basics would do - dont let the ball bounce at the back. Dont dive in recklessly in the box.

    P.S did you see the smile on Gerrards face as he went down for the penalty (he was going down even before Evra touched him). It did make me laugh - it just shows how bad that was, Evra completely bought it.

  • Comment number 35.

    Liverpool made us look poor? What a load of trash. Vidic gifted your first goal, and the game would've been much much different if it wasn't for that blunder. And you lot barely managed to get out of your own half for much of the second half. I'll admit United deserved to lose yesterday but only because they shot themselves in the foot.

  • Comment number 36.

    Post #25

    We had more possession, more shots, more corners.....

    ------------------------------------------------------

    and LESS goals!!!

    We had all the above you talked about & more a season or two back when O'Shea grabbed that injury time winner [remember] or did you deserve to win that game too?

    The truth is, you looked toothless upfront & it could have been worse for you had a pen been given when Vidic clearly blocked Torres in the first half & Gerrard took that chance late in the 2nd half when there was no one within a country mile of him.....

  • Comment number 37.

    Fair play to Liverpool they beat us fair and square. If their defenders were blundering like ours on the day I'd have no complaints and take the goals on offer. Liverpool also did a good job at keeping us at bay during the opening period of the second half. I am absolutely convinced that the ENTIRE game changed after Torres's goal. You could sense that the mood changed. Liverpool's growing positive and United's on the wane. That was the spark that Liverpool needed and they grabbed the opportunity with both hands! I am also mindful of Sir Alex's comment after the Inter game. If I am correct he said that he didn't know whether he was watching a game of football or one of suicide, referring to his own team. How prophetic was that? Ironic as this may sound, the drubbing by Liverpool may be exactly what United needed at this stage of the campaign. Imo they HAVE been complacent far too often in the last 5-6 games. It may be subconsciously so but now the heat is really on. I also believe they will respond in the true United fashion, working hard and giving their all in the cause.

  • Comment number 38.

    United will still with the EPL, though I do think Liverpool will go on a run now to keep up the pressure till the very last game.

    Hopefully over the summer we can add some attacking guile to help break down stubborn teams and next year it should be in the bag ;P

  • Comment number 39.

    It was a great day for a Liverpool fan but I think we'd all swap the double over utd for the title. The result gives Liverpool fans hope for the future, but Liverpool did the double over utd in 2000/01 and won a treble that season under Houllier and it looked then like LFC might finally reassert themselves in the Premiership....all for it to crumble into dust. Benitez is a better manager than Houllier overall, but I'd still be very cautious about making predictions of a LFC win in the premiership this year or next. The most striking thing about yesterday's game is that it made a seemingly impregnable Utd defence look weak. I think Utd's defence do have a weakness against players with pace running at them. They've lost to LFC, Zenit St Petersburg and Arsenal because of this. It will be interesting to see what the gooners can do at Old Trafford. As for Utd if this should prove the start of a sticky patch in their season (I'd love to believe that but I'm not getting hopes up) then I think the biggest winners of yesterday's result may be Chelsea. They're playing well, have a better goal difference than LFC and are close to Utd's goal difference, and they have the easiest run in. Sad to think that all that effort might let Chelsea win a title, but it'd be preferable to another Utd win, surely?

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    It was there for all to see yesterday the influence Gerrard and Torres have for Liverpool. There is not a doubt in my mind that if we win this years champions league (a easier task than the pl) then either Gerrard or Torres will be awarded the Ballon D`or.
    The trouble; is how do Liverpool win games without those two? The answer is obvious and a certain Mr Ferguson will tell you the answer; Scrape to one league title invest in more better players. And in the background get your board to sell, sell, sell your brand globally. And thats what will take time, and unfortunatly that is what United have managed to do succusfully for more that the past decade.

  • Comment number 42.

    A little nostalgic irony. The last time Liverpool hammered ManU at Old Trafford was in 1936 the score was 5-2 and Matt Busby played as defender for...Liverpool

  • Comment number 43.

    Look everyone. (Espesh Man United fans) We got the win today. Face it. It doesn't matter if it's 1 goal or 6 goals. We won. All you can't face the fact is that we won 4-1. Vidic looked average. Torres looked superb again. Gerrard troubled Vidic lots. Torres did too. Just accept the fact you lost and move on. I don't understand Fergie being the better team. Because they weren't Manchester United looked average. And Liverpool looked like Liverpool.

    Amen..

  • Comment number 44.

    25. At 09:58am on 15 Mar 2009, AndYouCanPrintThat wrote:

    What you said is bang on the money.

    I can see exactly where SAF is coming from when he claimed United were the "better team" yesterday. The score-line dictates that we were NOT the better team but that score-line does NOT indicate the flow of play whatsoever.

    Liverpool deserved to WIN but that score-line is NO indication of how the two teams played their football at all.

    I mean, come on! Didn't anyone else see Reina time-wasting when only 2-1 up as early as 59 minutes into the game? That is the sign of a team parking the bus and desperately holding onto that one-goal lead. Time-wasting so early in the game! What kind of ambition is that?

    Liverpool did play well when they attacked and Torres did give Vidic a rough ride, no doubting it; but those two factors were not the primary contributors to the final score.

    Just as we did in the first match at Anfield, we gave far too much away to the kind of team that you'd be mad to give anything away to. Probably the best out and out striker in Europe (and probably the world) and we're there scoring own-goals, gifting possession to them in our own box, miss-timing simple long-balls and not cutting them out before they bounce, letting midfielders run past you into the box then blatantly fouling them, hauling down the same midfielder to get sent off and give away a dangerous free-kick and then totally going to sleep to almost give that midfielder an open-goal that he fluffed, followed by heads-down defending that allowed a lobbed goal that looked more difficult than it probably was.

    United have been exposed by Liverpool twice and on both occasions they played very badly in defence. Liverpool played BETTER at Anfield, by a long distance - at least they kept the ball for long periods in that game.

    Yesterday, all the meaningful and long-term possession was United's and most of it was in Liverpool's half. Our problem was we were woeful with the last ball and Liverpool's defence actually decided to turn up... when ours did not.

    Well done to Liverpool; credit is due, it always is when you win consistently(the Liverpool supporter that posted here earlier this week with the chip on his shoulder because no one gives Liverpool credit... where are you now? Waiting until Liverpool get some more bad press, are we?)

    The title just opened up a little more (lord knows how things would stand if United had actually won yesterday...) but it'll only have any significant impact if Chelsea win today and keep on winning, which they are far more likely to do than Liverpool.

    You will drop more points this season; the type of performances you put out this week were champagne performances, the kind you simply cannot manage every game (nor can every team, really). Yesterday was your cup final. Can you pull that off another 9 times, as well as at least two more in the ECL?

    We'll see.

    Chelsea are more threatening. Phil, Liverpool did NOT play better than United yesterday, they just played the perfect away game and punished our weaknesses at the back. That's the sign of a great team. But signs aren't enough.

    I will be surprised if Liverpool keep it up. I said this in October last year and they didn't let me down. Liverpool are predictable in the league.

    They will NOT win all 9 of their remaining games. Chelsea are more likely to do that, but even they will probably drop points.

    The basic premise now is will United respond to this humiliating score-line and put everyone back in place? We'll see next week.

    Game on? It's about time.

  • Comment number 45.

    The game yesterday was a lot closer yesterday than the scoreline shows. Think about it, United played a less than perfect 1st half and gifted away 2 goals, but from the start of the 2nd half to the time Vidic got sent off, United looked in complete control and their passes and movement were making them look like the United we have seen so far this season. If it were not for Tevez's woeful finishing, United could have been level, if not ahead by the time Vidic got the red. Furthermore, United had 3 strikers on the pitch and used up all their subs when the incident happened. Liverpool deserved to nick the win at best yesterday, but that only happened coz United tried to win at all costs and did not care how bad it could get on the scoresheet, along with some tired display from the midfield and Vidic in the 1st half.
    Does this change anything in the grand scheme of things? Only in the minds of the most biased on Liverpool fans. United have this ability of coming back stronger than before after any defeat, while Liverpool have been known to bottle it against smaller teams after winning the big battles. With a 4 point lead and a game in hand, if Ferguson can get the troops rallied again on Monday at Carrington(and you get the feeling he was going to do just that after the quick way he went straight into the dressing game after the final whistle), the title will stay at Old Trafford. The only trophy Liverpool can win is the Champions League, but they will NOT want to face an angry Man United or a very fluid Barcelona in the next leg.

  • Comment number 46.

    No one can deny that Liverpool hammered Man U yesterday and the back four looked like boys everytime Liverpool- especially Torres, Gerrard and Riera attacked them.

    But I do think this hammering of a team who have been on such a good run in the prem outlines the fact that The EPL has been poor this year!!

    All teams below Everton in the League have been poor and it annoys me that Liverpool have dropped points against them.

    But it looks like Man Utd will win the title again because of their consistancy- not because they are a great side- look at they're record against the top four... 4 points this season (all against chelsea's old boys)

    Consistant doesn't equal great.

    They won't win the Champs League or FA Cup.

  • Comment number 47.

    poltergeist23

    You are another deluded fool I'm afraid.

    You talk about gifting goals, how did you get your goal yesterday?
    A gift from Reina.
    If we barley managed to get out of our half in the 2nd half, How did we score twice and miss an open goal(Gerrard).
    and how did you NOT manage to make Reina make a save.

    You were rubbish yesterday because we made you look rubbish, and we scored 4 and you scored 1, end of.

  • Comment number 48.

    Vidic may have cleared that against any other striker, it was torres' blistering pace and desire that got him that goal.

  • Comment number 49.

    Now that this insignificant and meaningless game is out of the way, we can concentrate on REAL football

    Like the rest of the teams in England, instead of the game killing teams Man Utd/Chelsea/Arsenal/Liverpool

  • Comment number 50.

    Poster Number 25.

    I can only assume your are the typical jonny come lately southern based Utd fan. Didnt even cheer when you scored against your greatest rivals? Tell that to the Utd fans in Manchester and they will tell you were to stick your "support".

    I presume you only watched the MOTD highlights then? Torres, Gerrard and Mascherano were all one shin bobble from going one on one with Van Der Sar before the equaliser. You only looked in the game at 0-0 after the goal you sat back and attempted to soak it up. Anyone who thinks Utd were the better team needs to wake up. How many saves did Reina have to make? I counted two from Ronaldo free kicks, and one of those was a deflection. You had a couple of decent efforts first 20 minutes but after that looked utterlu toothless.

    It was a performance not untypical (I'm not sure that is even a word!) of Utd this season aside was the defensive mishaps. Grabbed a goal from a set play and not really looked like doing much else for the other 89 minutes. The only difference today was there were one or two defensive blunders and you came up against a team that hadnt admitted defeat in the tunnel before kick off.

    Give some credit were it is due. Twice you have played us this season and both times looked very much 2nd best. This win has been coming for a few seasons of park the bus "smash and grab" wins for Utd.

    Good to see a bit of credit for Liverpool for change Phil. No "Utd were having a bad day" blahdy blah either.

  • Comment number 51.

    43. At 10:40am on 15 Mar 2009, U13668588 wrote:
    Look everyone. (Espesh Man United fans) We got the win today.

    ------------------------------------

    No one here is saying otherwise. No one is saying Liverpool didn't deserve the win.


  • Comment number 52.

    Brilliant McNulty (not),

    Not a single mention of Chelsea having the same points as Liverpool and a better goal difference...

    And Liverpool as usual have only lost the chance to win the title because they haven't been able to field Torres and Gerard every game...

    Similarly, it would transpire that Chelsea lost their chance because they haven't been able to field Essien and Carvalho...

    But no, it will be because the squad, not the team wins the title and Utd have the strongest squad at present.

    So come on then Chelsea. As you obviously don't exist in this title race, do what everyone expects and sneak up unnoticed and take the title. Yeh, I know it isn't going to happen but even if you won it by 10 points it's obvious that journalists would report the title won by whoever comes out top of the Utd v Liverpool battle....

    Waffle? Maybe? But then I don't get paid for this! :-)

  • Comment number 53.

    I think the most worrying thing for United is that Liverpool were far from their best, add that to the fact that they were thrashed on their own patch and it could be tantamount to the collapse of the stock markets around the globe, worrying times for Man U fans....

  • Comment number 54.

    Wow, Some really sober and sensible responses today Comrades. Liked Nick's thoughts and as a Utd fan myself I did feel humiliated and embarrassed by the defeat. Yes, it could be a blessing in disguise (rarely L'pool give you anything) but as many are saying this Utd team will have to show real character if they are to win any more trophies and as Fergie as said its his best team or words to that effect.

    My worry is that Utd don't always seem to have a good run in - or am I wrong on that?

    My feeling is that a good result at Fulham and a draw at Chelsea and hope to get points from Arsenal and Aston Villa and we'll be there. I may be in a minority but I would like to see us as Champions of England than Europe, well this season I would.

    The league cup and premiership is good enough for me I ain't greedy. But please prove me wrong and give me the rest!!!!

  • Comment number 55.

    Some of you Man U fans just can't let it lie can you. ALL the media reports yesterday say that we were the better team and though it may have little impact on the title the fact is that even after falling behind we managed to turn the game around and produce a very solid performance, from front to back and were deserved winners. Going behind to a team that had won its last 12 home games and hadn't lost in ages; also with Ronaldo having won every game in which he's scored (at OT at least). To come back against that adversity is a mark of how far Liverpool have come under Rafael Benitez.

    I've read some comments about United being in control of the 2nd half? Rubbish. You had the ball in the last third but the final delivery was poor, and when Tevez had a chance he should have been ruled offside. I've also heard us criticised for sitting back after going 3-1 up? You guys obviously wouldn't make good football coaches would you? Even down to 10 men United are still very dangerous. We didn't need to attack - we just needed to be tight at the back and that we were.

    Apart from a couple of long range free-kicks Reina was not tested, and the World Footballer of the Year was over-shadowed by 2 in my opinion superior players. Ronaldo - overshadowed by Messi in CL last year and by Gerrard and Torres yesterday. Gerrard and Torres were immense and yeah maybe we do rely on them too much but every team relies on its best players. However, neither Gerrard nor Torres played in midfield yesterday and that's where the game was won - Lucas and Mascherano dominated an off-sorts Michael Carrick and Anderson. Also even after being forced into a late defensive change we had the games 3 best defensive players in Aurelio, Hyypia, Skrtel who were all immense. Liverpool aren't given enough credit in certain areas because I for one wouldn't swap the likes of Mascherano and Skrtel for the United versions. And on current form Aurelio is over-shadowing Evra however sadly the Brazillian is injury prone and Evra is a quality player of that there is no doubt.

    For now we'll bask in the relative glory of a very well deserved hard-fought win. I'm sure we've still too much to do to win the title but as for the talk of the "we'll beat Liverpool by the scoreline we beat Roma by in the CL"... erm... well maybe, but then again LFC is the number 1 ranked European team and a certain Madrid president was quoted as saying recently that they'd win 5-1 on aggregate so with that kind of attitude good luck.

  • Comment number 56.

    YouCanPrintThank poltergeist23 and RampagingAlbatross, just like your boss Fergie you cant accept defeat. your comments like 'on a good day vidic will have Torres in hia pocket; 'we controlled the game: 20 minute Manu was on top 4 corners to 0, we played with 10 men all sorts. Football last for 90minutes. This year Vidic panicks when he hears LIverpool. He held Torres 2x yesterday, panicked when to ball was played, but time he could hold him. Held Gerrard when he was the last man. He did that at Anfield. We are not playing rugby. the match was over when he was sent off (2-1) on both occassions (after 70min). His sending off was a directfree Goosh 3-1. Desperate Fergie threw in all strikers after 65 minutes. Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney, Berbatov plus auxillary Giggs. Still no way forward. ManU scored 10 man stoke, just 1-0. Some of your 1-0 win have been within the first 5 or last 5 minutes. Any fast and striker can beat Vidic. Van der Sar sometimes never saves a shot in 90 minutes because the opponent strikers are timid. That fact remains. 1992 ManU 1 QPR 4; 2009 Manu 1 Liverpool 4. 1936 Manu 1 Liverpool 4. football is counted or won by the goals you score. Sending off, freekicks and penalties are legal rules of the game

  • Comment number 57.

    If the league cosisted of the so-called 'top 4', liverpool would probably win it, followed by Arsenal. Throw Hull and Stoke into the mix and Utd wins it. Which is actually the best team in England? The one that beats Hull and Stoke, or the one that hammars the one that beat Hull and Stoke?

  • Comment number 58.

    As a dedicated Man Utd fan I have to say "Well done Liverpool". A great and deserved result. A three goal difference is probably a bit harsh on United but it's time they got a bit of a slap. Hopefully it will give them a wake up call. For the last 6-7 games Man Utd have passed the ball around, had more possession, more shots, more corners and have been very lucky to score more goals. Their lack of penetration is scary; I didn't see much yesterday. The previously excellent Vidic had a nightmare. I will always wonder what would have happened if he'd just headed the ball away instead of trying to be fancy. You don't try to be cute with players like Torres. From that moment you could see the confindence rolling away from the United side. It could be said that Vidic got sent off for doing exactly what Carragher did in the first half but it was deserved. It could be said that a giveaway, a penalty, a freekick and a goal against 10 men is nothing to really worry about. It's probably best to say that Liverpool had a good day, United had their usual mediocre day and for the first time they've been punished. If United don't take this as a warning and Liverpool don't let it go to their heads I can see this being the turning point of the season as much as Vidic not heading the ball was the defining moment of yesterday's match. To all the neutrals out there: We have an exciting end to the season after all. May the best team win!

  • Comment number 59.

    upsidedown fan, If Liverpool are completely reliant on Torres and Gerrard are a 'top 6' team without them, then how come Liverpool beat Utd at Anfield in September without either of them?

  • Comment number 60.

    Yes the scoreline flattered Liverpool, but Benitez got his tactics spot-on;the movement, pace and power of Torres and Gerrard had Fergie's team rattled.

    As an Arsenal supporter, i was overjoyed to see Fergie's rare sulk, and his 'nobody puts baby in the corner' expression. He'll come back with cheeks redder than the Red Devils themselves, but will still insist that his side were the better team. I don't know why he has the title "sir", he's an arrogant individual who never credits other people's [team's] hard work.

  • Comment number 61.

    Liverpool deserved to win the game. Also, realize that they had to make some personnel changes before kickoff, with Arbeloa getting injured, resulting in Carragher being shifted into right back, and Hyypia coming into centre half. This was not ideal preparations, so it's credit to the defence for working so well together. Moreover, Xabi Alonso was injured, which was a big blow, as he is the best passer in the Liverpool team, and makes the connections all over the pitch. Despite these setbacks, they have won at OT, so hats off to them. I think some United fans aren't giving Liverpool the credit they deserve. Yes, it's frustrating and extremely shocking for them to lose 4-1 against their fiercest rivals, but people should still be a bit more gracious in defeat.

    You can quote possession statistics all you want, but United having more possession in not unsurprising, as they were chasing the game for the second half, and Liverpool allowed United to have the ball in the midfield, and tried winning it back only when they launched their attacks. It was an away game for Liverpool, so that tactic after going ahead is not surprising.
    Then there are those who bemoan the fact that Liverpool scored 80% of their shots on target. I fail to see how this is lucky, because that just shows clinical efficiency, and away from home, this sort of ratio is fantastic.
    Despite all this, I still believe the league is going to United, but title challenge is not dead yet, which may make for a few more interesting weeks. Despite the protestations of some Man Utd fans, the Liverpool performance was a great away display.

  • Comment number 62.

    Consistancy is the key and I believe that Liverpool will show that next year. This has been a time to get ready and for Gerrard and Torres to continue to build the way they play together. They remind me of Torres and Villa in the first stages of Euro 2008 although they are far better. When they gel of course they will make the opposing defence have a bad day,- that's what they are trying to do. Two great upfront players playing together will always be more effective than individual displays of brilliance, even if the individuals are actually more talented. I think it's early days to put Torres at Number 1, but I think the Torres/Gerrard combo is the best in the world.

  • Comment number 63.

    I love all the bitter United fans. Yes, you're still going to win the title, but for you to say it's our "cup final" is laughable. It's the biggest rivalry in the League, it was as important for you as it was for us.

  • Comment number 64.

    one thing i'd like to start off saying is that as long back as i can remember fergie has always been a bad loser, but particularly when it comes to a defeat to liverpool

    he must be watching some old game of utd winning on a monitor or he needs to change his optician cause from where i was sat liverpool totally dismantled utd yesterday.

    not once, i repeat not once did i feel utd were a threat throughout the game which is staggering given the talent they had on display. the 'half' chances they had through tevez and a couple of ronaldo shots were all they had.

    people will say vidic made a mistake and he did but who created that mistake in his mind - torres. the penalty was great build up play between torres n gerrard, the free kick by fabio was simply amazing and the final goal was beautifully executed by dossena. in fact after watching the game i can't believe it wasn't 5 or 6 - 1 given the two chances towards the end. on top of that their penalty was harsh although i can see why it was given.

    put simply utd bottled it. their big game players were simply not there.
    not one but all of them. what gives me more pleasure iss that fergie can't fall back on the old injuries excuse - he had everyone available bar hargreaves and he still couldn't do anything about it.

    as you say phil liverpool now have belief and to be honest it's gonna be a tough one but if they win all their games (why not after beating utd and madrid) then i'm sure there is going to be doubt in fergie's and especially the players minds now, which will mean they will drop points.

    all utd do is bully teams into submission. vidic and ferdinand control the back line cause other strikers don't apply the pressure like torres and gerrard did. a little harassing did no one no harm - i'm sure zamora and johnson could do that! honestly - van der saar is not that good it's just that his back line has been playing well. and how that was rammed down his throat yesterday!!

    the thing is that utd faced a team at the same level if not better than them in terms of preparation. we may not have the talent of utd, the money - £100m an counting on berba, rooney, ronaldo, nani, carrick!! etc, but what we showed is that with sound preparation and a good team mentality - anything is possible. (which begs another question - have utd been buying tiles cause they're buying all the best players? - legend has that they had to pay £7m more for berba as city had offered £32m instad of utd's £25m. talk about the pot calling the kettle black)

    will liverpool win th PL this season? it'll be tough but all they can do now is take one game at a time, win it and then see what happens.

    as i said to my sister after utd's goal, it only takes one chance or one corner and we're back in it and as god is my witness about 10 seconds after saying that we scored....you never know what could happen


  • Comment number 65.

    Phil its a shame you and no other pundits can dare predict anything but a united win when liverpool are clearly the team on form. It therefore comes as no surprise that your still predicting utd to win the league, when are you guys going to grow some balls and predict something that hasn't happened for the last 20. its a different season and a different and much better liverpool so heres a thought maybe you should stick your neck out instead of regurgitating the same old speal.

  • Comment number 66.

    Post 25: How else can you explain the fact that this team lost 2-0 to Middlesborough?


    How can you explain the fact that Inter lost to Man Utd 0-2?

  • Comment number 67.

    Remind me now, who is top of the league?

  • Comment number 68.

    hey "AndYouCanPrintThat" on post 25. I agree with you 99% but 'No matter how much you camp in the opponents half, how many chances and corners you create, it takes moment of genius combined with opponents defensive errors to win the game' , thats what exactly happened.

  • Comment number 69.

    Respect where respect is due. Yesterday Liverpool seized their chance to beat United. They took there goals, the created chances through defending with 6 players and breaking quickly. United where very poor. Form for united has dipped recently and this is probably the sharp end of that decline in form.

    However having a short sharp burst of good form and fortune doesn't win you a title. If we look at the achievements made by each club over the last 10 to 15 years (sorry liverpool fans, that rules out your glory days) it goes heavily in United's favour. Man City beat United at the same stage last year and if memory serves me right there wasn't a potential 7 point gap then. Who retained their title last year?

    Liverpool are lucky that Torres is truely a fan of the club and decided to go there.

  • Comment number 70.

    What a frustrating day. Losing 4-1 to anyone is bad bt to them- sickening! What I find most galling is we've lost twice to them this season and conceded six goals in spite of the fact that they haven't created a single opportunity against us in 180 minutes. Every goal was created by United for Liverpool which is ridiculous. We had more shots and more possession. Problem is, we don't have prolific forwards. Tevez tried his heart out and United fans love him but 3 goals in 21 league appearances is not good enough for any striker at premier league level, let alone for United. If we spend 30 million on a striker who doesn't score unless it's a cup tie, it would be a huge mistake.

  • Comment number 71.

    UNITED FAN HERE - Well done Liverpool for your performances this week. You were as awesome this week as we and Madrid were poor. Lucky to stay in the Champions League and lucky to only lose 4-1 against you. We have had all of our bad performances rolled into one terrible week.

    I agree with some other comments though, i think this result might be a blessing in disguise for us. A kick up the backside when it was needed as our performances have been getting worse. I honestly dont think Liverpool blew us away yesterday, a couple of rare mistakes by our two best defenders was the difference. I would rather all those mistakes come in one match rather than spread across a few.

    Credit to Liverpool though, you have to be clinical when you have these opportunites against underperforming sides, and you dispatched two of the worlds best teams this week with relative ease. I hope you do go on a good run in the league as that will help us keep up our game quality.

    On another note, it's very flattering to Man Utd that there is more hype around this result than there is when we recently beat Chelsea 3-0 and Liverpool last season 3-0. A sure sign that we are still the top team in England and the ones that everyone wants to beat - its a sign of being the best.



  • Comment number 72.

    I couldn't help thinking back to Liverpool v Arsenal at Anfield in 1989. Man Utd were as apprehensive and uncertain of themselves as Liverpool were on that occasion. While this result will not be as decisive at that one, it has raised several points.

    Those who point to the regular absences of Torres and Gerrard are simply
    re-iterating the weakness of Liverpool's squad in comparison with United. If you take Man Utd's best two attacking players away (Ronaldo and Rooney) they still have an abundance of options.

    Having seen almost every single game played by the two teams this season, I have to say there is little to choose between them when both are on top form. And that is the crux of the matter. While United have snatched victories when not on top of their game, Liverpool look incapable of doing that, with or without their deadly duo.

    Finally, watching Torres dismantle Vidic highlighted another area of contention - how strong really is the Premier League, even allowing for the recent success of its teams in the Champions League? Vidic is a quality defender, one of the very best no doubt, but how often has United's defence really been tested this season? Apart from Torres and Drogba, who do you think Vidic dreads facing? Inter Milan were at nowhere near their best in the two games but exposed several chinks in that armour....

    Man United are deserving winners of the title. Benitez will have plenty of regrets, but any real cause for complaint? I don't think so.

  • Comment number 73.

    Post 25 spot on. I thought it was just a matter of time, Giggsy and Scholes and Berbs came on we were poised to pull it back and maybe sneak a last min winner and then, bang we've used our subs, Vidic is off, they score a wonder freekick and game over, then they seal it with another counter attack, simple united were beaten it'll be a good reminder and hopefully we'll bounce back, it hurt like the double from city last year, actually maybe a bit more but we'll go on and now Fergie will get them going.

    Quintuple here we come!

  • Comment number 74.

    There're some United fans on here and elsewhere who keep going on about how retaining the ball and passing it about for long periods of time is some sort of sign of superior football, but the truth is by that definition every one of the Italian and Spanish leagues, not to mention the various leagues of the rest of Europe, leave the Premiership dead in the water.

    All the bugg*rs do is pass the ball, perform fancy shuffles, dazzle and weave - the Champions League is ripped to the t*ts with sides that know how to retain the ball for hours on end!

    What makes a team superior is, first, that they score goals, (which is why so many of those fancy dan sides go out in the earlier stages), and, secondly, and more importantly, that they WIN!

    United, by their own reputed standards, have been cr*p all season, (and the fact they needed John Terry to bail them out in the CL final is confirmation they weren't as good as they were supposed to've been last season!), but it wasn't all the fluent passing that made them champions, it was they knew how to do just enough to win, especially during those games when they were otherwise actually hammered, (viz the Inter game).

    Knowing how to win, not fancy foot shuffles, is the definitive standard of greatness. Ronaldo is a great player IN SPITE of his fancy feints, not BECAUSE of them!

    What'll make United outstanding is not if they now play a load of fancy fluent games, but if they win in spite of clearly being dead on their legs!

  • Comment number 75.

    As a united fan and a keen follower of the premier league in general, I was really quite shocked by what I had just witness in the previous 90 minutes. There were some very unexpected occurences at the 'Theatre of Dream'; Vidic has a nightmare, United concede four goals at home, united sloppy in possession. There were also some not so unexpected incidences; Torres on fire, Gerard influentual. On that brief summary, which by no means covers the full drama that unfolded, one would suggest that it was simply a bad day for United and good one for Liverpool. However, the 4-1 scoreline, in favour of the visitors, suggests more. United were crushed by Liverpool and anybody assosiated with the red of manchester will have been left with an acute humiliation but, more influentially, a feeling of unease. The second half of the season has gone almost too much to script for a united fan, as their club have been steadily increasing the possibility of an unpresidented quintruple. The nature of this emphatic defeat induces the question; How are united going the perform in the remaining 10 matches of this premier league season? They are still four points clear and have a game in hand, so there is no crisis. But in the current environment of a potentially wounded United and a hungry chasing pack of a supremely confident Liverpool and not to forget, a winning Chelsea under Hiddink, United's chance of a third consequtive title seems just that more fagile. In summary, the story of the season's Premier League title race is not over yet as many had previously expected.

  • Comment number 76.

    It does amaze me that some fans just cannot give praise when its due. "It was just aweful defending, not liverpool." Well who forced this? Preasure from liverpool and particulary torres who you could just not handle. We were rock solid at the back and nailed you when we got the chance. We played as a team, and beat you convincingly.
    Fair play to those who do recognise this.
    Prem is still man u's to lose, but torres is back on form so we should at least put some pressure on.
    YNWA.

  • Comment number 77.

    I have to say the amount of comments on here describing it being down to Man U's failures rather than Liverpools dominance are astounding. I think it must be something inbred in the majority of their supporters which will not accept defeat. Arguments about Man U having more possession and such are fails. Yes in the facts they did, but did they do anything with this posession? No. And before anyone says anything this was not just Man U's failure, it was down to Liverpool crushing their creativity.

    It's also true that Liverpool got 2 'gifts' but why did they? Because the defence of Man U could not deal with the blatant threats that were posed to them. It should also be noted that Dossena's goal was a result of the defence again failing to deal with a long ball, Van der Saar was a spectator and that shows how badly Man U played and how well Liverpool applied themselves. For too long Man U have scraped their wins, and yesterday they were shown that scraping a win just doesnt cut it against the best teams. The score line did not flatter Liverpool, anyone who says this is digging for an excuse at the loss by a better team on the day.

    Liverpool probably won't win the PL this season, alot of Liverpool fans will be resigned to this by now but to me beating Man U in such a way almost makes up for it. And as for Fergie's excuse making and talk of Man U being the better team there's really only one response. Ha.. now who's clutching at straws?

  • Comment number 78.

    As a Liverpool fan, I would say that United are still certain to win the league. It is almost impossible to make up a further seven or eight points on them. United are best equipped to beat the majority of teams in the league, because they have the most options in attack.

    The Champions League is a different matter altogether. All the remaining teams (apart from Porto) have the defensive and tactical ability to nullify the opposition's threat, whilst posing one of their own. And I think any of the remaining teams could go on and get to the final.

    As for the people saying United would have won if Vidic and Evra hadn't played poorly, there is a simple reason why they played poorly - they couldn't handle Torres and Gerrard. Accept defeat with some grace, because there can be no excuses.

  • Comment number 79.

    I think the players will try and not be arrogant?

    dude, ur talkin about players like rio, rooney n ronaldo, they ARE THE MOST ARROGANT, n its great to c them fall

    its great to c rooneys rant hit him square in the face, after all the talk of rafa's little rant, ronneys backfired brilliantly.

    greatest club in the world? u are no wer near the greatest club in the world, u gotta have class to b that.. united certainly do not have class.. good side, but not classy

  • Comment number 80.

    Everyone seems to forget the number of games that MU has been playing and traveling. Wait till they have this rest next week and you will see the revitalised real MU. They have played about 10 games more than others. For the past 3 months practically twice a week.

  • Comment number 81.

    i still believe that united will win the title but as mentioned above, next season might offer liverpool the best chance now that they are actively involved in the title race.
    next season actually looks exciting already: there is united of course, a liverpool team who now know what it takes to win the title, an arsenal team whom dare i say it are starting to produce beautiful football once more with the big guns returning from injury and a chelsea team who have refound their character under hiddink. should be interesting...!

  • Comment number 82.

    Phil,

    I dont often criticise you but this part makes no sense.

    "At Old Trafford, Liverpool showed everything admirable about their nature. They proved they are good enough to win the title - they just have not proved it often enough."

    If they are good enough to win the title then they will win the title. That is the proof. They will find consistency if they are good enough. Yesterday they proved they could beat United at Old Trafford.

  • Comment number 83.

    Whilst Torres and Gerrard are undoubtedly the 'Matchwinners' for my Team Liverpool, I think a lot of attention and praise has been detracted from a certain Mr. Mascherano. He is what I would call a 'Gamebreaker'.
    He has had two outstanding performances this week and for those of you on this page who actually play the game and can appreciate his talent, you must surely tip your hat to a man who is possibly the best in the game in this position/role. He gets in people faces, closes down quickly, distributes the ball simply and effectively and is a master in the art of tackling.

    My point is this, that Football is not just about skilful/flair players attacking aimlessly, it is also about grit, determination, passion and the ability to nullify the opponents attacking threats through man marking and aggressive tackling.

    Sadly this is an element of the game that is frowned upon by the Prawn Sandwhich brigade who only attend games for 'entertainment'.

    It frustrates me to read comments from fans of some Teams who try to point out that Liverpooladopt a ,negative', 'boring',defensive', etc. stlyle of play. In my opinion we do struggle to breakdown so called weaker Teams who adopt a more defensive approach, (and that is something we have to improve on if we are to win the League), but we also have to use this tactic against some of the more attacking Teams to nullify their threat, so we have no cause for complaint.

    To some of the armchair Man Utd. fans on here I would say you need to start to understand that you need to stop expecting to win every game easily with attacking flair alone. Your arrogance and lack of respect could be your undoing. You need to appreciate that some Teams can beat you and will beat you in the future, and so you need to look at the attacking threats of those Teams in order to nullify them.
    Lucky for us you do not have a Mascherano type player to break things up in Midfield and Fergie may not be tactically astute enough to play this way.

    Nevertheless well done to Liverpool yesterday!! We showed what passion and belief can achieve when a Team plays collectively.

  • Comment number 84.

    Being an ardent United supporter it is always a nasty shock to be beaten, and fair play to Liverpool they did a job on us yesterday. However I think that has been a while coming and they got us at the right time having played eight games in four weeks. We lacked the energy and power to keep up and has only affirmed the majority of journo's suspicions that challenging for silverware on all fronts is quite astounding. I think after a little break and this drubbing you will see the calm efficiency return that has led itself to that United challenge.

    Liverpool will be there or there abouts next season but it will depend on the players that Rafa brings in, it is unlikey to be another Torres or Gerrard and the question will be can they impact a game in the same way. United have been building for a while and I can only see the current squad getting stronger with the likes of the brazilian boys getting some more experience and everyone getting use to each other.

    As for the EPL being week, if thats the case what does it say about the rest of Europe that we make up 50% of the remaining champions league?

  • Comment number 85.

    Thats a touch harsh on Fergie. He did admit that Liverpool deserved the plaudits. I thought we controlled the game and Liverpool got their goals against the run of play. I don't remember Liverpool keeping hold of the ball and pressurising us, so your assertion in your match-report that they 'dominated for long spells' seems dubious. Its really hard to play any kind of imaginative football against this Liverpool team, they're awfully good at parking the bus. Still, this result changes nothing. United will win their 18th league title and Liverpool will remain a second-rate team with two worldclass players, who'll win nothing this year. I don't mind the scouse lot milking this for all its worth. I mean after all miracles like these won't happen very often... especially if that clown Benitez signs a new contract.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WOW, that post is total nonsense... liverpool didnt park the bus at any 1 point, to take phils last blog about liverpool having to 'go for it;, they didnt, they took it completely in their stide. united had marginally n im talkin 2-3% more possesion, they had 10 corners to liverpools 2 n apart from that they wer batter all over the pitch, pepe reina had nothing to do all the second half really, think back he really didnt actually make a save in the second half.

    talk about sour grapes m8. ur right, i dont think it will decide the fate of the title, i think that was decided a while bk, but look at it this way... liverpool are totally capable of winning their last 9 games, proved it b4 n we can prove it again, u will now b without vidic, who without a shadow of doubt has been ur best player (n i wont hear any nonsense about giggs being the player of the year for ya) and u will b without him now for 3 games. u do still have to play city, again anything can happen in that game, last season proved it comprehensively. Arsenal still have to play u n they WILL NEED to win every game to get that CL place. Villa.. same goes for these 2 as arsenal. n then we have spurs who WILL b fighting for their survival n every point counts. Jose, even tho his side failed to beat united did something brilliant that shows how good he actually is, with a team barely as good as the madrid side, infact id put my house on madrid stuffin inter they are that bad really, but with that inter side he still managed to point out flaws in the manchester united side that other managers had come around to, liverpool played just as inter did, difference being that we have more class than inter n u got made to pay... n pay hard u did, just as u should have in mid week against shockin opposition that u could only stutter past

    so, call it clutching at straws if u want, but altho i cant c united loosing any of these.. i can certainly see them drawing these.. n that my friends is sqeeky bum time.. id b worried if i wer a manc... thank god i aint. bring on the CL draw n bring on the title run in.

    oh n did any1 else notice uniteds new money maker yeasterday? moon experience, just like the moon there is no atmostphere.........

  • Comment number 86.

    Yes, some of Manchester United's defending was poor yesterday, but it was induced by Liverpool's quality at key moments - and the brilliance of Torres in particular.

    In two successive matches Torres has terrified Real Madrid and got to Nemanja Vidic, the man many believe is the Premier League's finest defender.

    Is he currently the world's best striker? I'd be very interested in your views. I think he is.

    As many of you say, it is hardly panic time for United and if I was a gambling man my money would still be on them for the title.

    But Liverpool's win, and their performance, has rightly got them believing they still have a chance.

    And, in the shadows and seemingly away from all the attention, what about Guus Hiddink and Chelsea?

  • Comment number 87.

    All well & fine re Liverpool having suffered injuries to Torres & Gerrard.

    What about Utd's injuries-Ronaldo,Scholes,Ferdinand,Rooney all missed 5 or 6 games off the reel for starters?

    O'Shea is out 4TH choice right-back, for God's sake!!

    And, what no-one else mentions-in 11 midweeks since Boxing Day, we've played 9, Liverpool 6. Tired-I should think so!

    Why wasn't this on at 4 pm today & Chelsea/Man City at 12:45 pm Sat?

    And, I've just looked it up to be sure, there's no one else like Torres playing for any of our remaining 10 League opponents, so a repeat of yesterday's defensive calamaties is open to question.

    Finally, for Liverpool fans, what happens if you win nothing this year? Will Rafa be sacked in the summer and take yout title hopes for next season with him?

  • Comment number 88.

    Liverpool gave a masterclass in how to play away from home against the big clubs in the Premier League. I disagree with anyone who would claim that they "dominated" anything but the scoreline really yesterday, but they didn't need to and they had no desire to. Instead, they defended as (apparently) only Liverpool know how, methodically shutting down anything Utd could throw at them. Top players like Rooney and Ronaldo looked decidedly average when denied the space and time to operate.

    On the other side, Liverpool were brilliant in counter-attack, though I think giving Torres credit for Vidic's mistake that led to the first goal is a bit generous - the Serb simply had a bad day at the office. Terrific finish though.

    In all, 4-1 flattered Liverpool a little, but they were much the better side, proving that possession and territory is meaningless in the face of resolute defending and sharp finishing. Reckon the title is still going to OT, but if Liverpool can build on this team and keep Torres and Gerrard fit for the majority of next season, they'll be genuine challengers.

  • Comment number 89.

    Liverpool continued to sit back and never even tried to dictate the game.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    nope they just took it in their stride, no point playing united at their game, let united dictate the play of the game, liverpool cant do that, n thats been our failings against smaller teams when we have had to, expecially at home, dictate the play.

    seriosly, u can try n put what ever spin u want on it, just sit bk, look at it without blinkers on n if u have just a slight bit of football knowledge u concede most of the points that have been spewed up on here

    as for the CL, bring united on, they ARE poor in europe, they realy do get lucky with buys into the next round, always get the simplest of draws, u mark my words, united will b keot apart from the english draws, they WILL get porto.

  • Comment number 90.

    If Vidic had been given a WELL DESERVED rest and Fergie had started with Johnny Evans in defence, would it have been the same scoreline? I doubt it very much. It would have been a draw a least, if not a Utd win, seen as we did have more chances (even though there were not many) and most the possession.

    Liverpool were as poor as Utd, hardly any chances on goal from either side and should appreciate their luck. Vidic will never perform like that again in a million years, however somehow Liverpool managed to play us when he did. If anyone fails to see the fortune in that, then they are either blinded by their 'hatred' of Utd or demented.

  • Comment number 91.

    Liverpool were imense, united were poor. Even with 11 men we didn't look likley to score a 2nd.

    However hopeful this was the wake up call the fans, the team (and maybe SAF) needed to remind us that we can't just walk into games and win. A wake call that will spur us on to a domestic treble and maybe even a Quad, Quint... whatever you want to call.

  • Comment number 92.

    It was a dreadful performance by United yesterday, they looked leggy and were simply not at the races. Liverpool played quite well took their chances, well done to them. The result and United performance was an embarrasment. I don't buy this theory that Liverpool have an outstanding team but it is squad strength that lets them down (hence so many points dropped against smaller teams). This seasons double over United are the first league wins since Benitez took charge and neither squad is too different (in terms of ability or personnel) to previous seasons, they were just hungrier for the win yesterday and got what they deserved.

    However, please spare us these posts implying the only reason Liverpool aren't going to win the league is because the number of games Torres & Gerrard have played together has been limited. Every team has sufferred injuries and believe it or not this will continue to happen, United have been without Hargreaves all season, Ronaldo was out for months and are down to their 4th choice right back, etc. Chelsea have missed Essien all season & Carvalho, Arsenal have missed Walcott, Fabregas, Rosicky. It's not just Liverpool that have to contend with injuries, what number of points would each of these teams have if they hadn't been without these players? (and yes I'm aware Torres & Gerrard are Liverpools 2 most important players). I don't think United have been anywhere near last season's level which I though was the most impressive United team I have ever seen but they have grinded out results and will probably still win the league.

    Although looking at the post match celebrations yesteday I am starting to get the impression that Liverpool have already won it along with the European Cup they won on Tuesday.



  • Comment number 93.

    Post 57:-

    If the league cosisted of the so-called 'top 4', liverpool would probably win it, followed by Arsenal. Throw Hull and Stoke into the mix and Utd wins it. Which is actually the best team in England? The one that beats Hull and Stoke, or the one that hammars the one that beat Hull and Stoke?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    The one that finishes with the most points at the end of the season. Do you think Liverpool deserves to win the league having failed to beat the likes of Stoke, Fulham, West Ham and Hull at Anfield? Do you think a team that loses 0-2 to Middlesbrough - on current form the worst team in the league - deserves to win the title? If we take your argument to its logical conclusion then Derby County deserves to finish above United in the league... and Boro and Spurs should be ahead of Liverpool.
    Man City did the double over us last season so I suppose that makes them world champions, right?
    Someone else here criticised United for all the 1-0 wins. I suggest you look closely at the league table. We still have the best goal difference and are joint top scorers (with a game in hand). Clearly, we aren't winning all our games 1-0. We beat Chelsea 3-0 for a start! We beat Stoke 5-0. Liverpool failed to score against Stoke in two games.
    Liverpool deserve a lot of praise for their two performances this week, but don't get too cocky. The first two goals against Madrid were a joke. A clear foul by Torres for the first goal followed by a ridiculous penalty decision. Game over. As for yesterday, that was the worst defensive performance by a ManU team for many a year. It was bound to happen after going so long without conceding. It's like waiting an hour for a bus and then four come along at once.
    Liverpool will always have a team capable of beating anyone on their day and will always have a shot at the Champions' League and the domestic cups;, but you won't win the title this year, next year or the year after.
    All you did yesterday was open the door for Chelsea.

  • Comment number 94.

    People saying the mistakes were due to pressure from Liverpool. I see where you're coming from but it doesn't really apply to what happened yesterday.

    The 1st goal, Vidic could've simply headed it, would've done it on any other occasion. Where did Torres play his part in Vidic making that decision?

    3rd goal from the free kick, Vidic decides to take a touch instead of booting it away. Where did Gerrard play his part in that?

    4th goal, Rio leans his head down to avoid the clearing header from Reina's goalkick. Where did Dossena play his part in that?

    I think it's pretty clear that the decisions made by Vidic and Rio for the goals were all wrong and not pressured on by any Liverpool players, they just weren't up to it yesterday.

    Liverpool fans, players and manager (something he never confesses to, at least Fergie does as he did with Inter on Wednesday) face it, you were lucky. Unless you can tell me otherwise or how Liverpool did play there part in making those decisions I will gladly accept that Liverpool deserved that victory.

    Even Gerrard said himself that the scoreline was emphatic based on what happened in the game.

  • Comment number 95.

    I remember years ago when United lost 5-0 at Newcastle. The following week we went down to Southampton and got thumped 6-3. We also lost our next league game at home to Chelsea.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ill take that then, all 3 while vidic is out. al that did was prove to every1 els e on the boards that united can, n have lost 3 games b3, they also lost a 13 point lead at this stage of the season n threw the title away to arsenal... n im sure all the mancs remember that if not the arsenal fans.

    trust me, this is actually bk on, if united had lost 1-0 to a team parked infront of them n got a jammy goal in the last minutes (united v liverpool in 4 of the last seasons at anfield spring to mind.. o'shea, rio, brown) then it probably wouldnt have changed anything, united have push enough of their luck this season to warrent a slip like that. but to b demoralized, at home, infront of all those 'fans' AND have the best player they have had all season now missing 3 games, n very important games too is better than both liverpool n chelsea could have hoped for.

  • Comment number 96.

    Its aways nice to read these blogs after we have won a big game, then drawn a small on, thats for sure!
    I have a couple of points Phil.
    1. Torres is unquestionably one of the best strikers in the world. I cant say that he is the best when David Villa seems to be more important to the Spanish team than him, and players like Ronaldo and Messi, though thought of as midfielders perhaps, are scoring as many goals as they do. If he can stay fit, and put in a full season, then his skills become sufficiently valuable to have an impact beyond the odd game.

    2. A few of my fell\low Liverpool fans believe that "next season" will be the turning point. I am curious about why they beleive that Benitez will successfully bridge the gap and solve Liverpools goalscoring (ouside of Gerrard and Torres, who else can contribute?) failings. This seasons draws could all have been convincing wins. I watched them all, and with better finishing all the games could have been out of sight. Indeed the defeat to Spurs also. Only the defeat at Middlesborough stands out as a result that we thoroughly deserved. Now I am not blindly saying the team is good enough and unlucky, I am saying that they are not good enough because the vital conversion of chances into goals is a real weakness. I dont trust Benitez to solve this.

    3.I was very happy to see your comments about Hyypia, and what a servant he has been to Liverpool. I should also point out that his heading ability really strengthened us from set-plays yesterday. We are typically weak and often shambolic defending corners, but not with Hyypia in the side. And although we didnt see it much yesterday, he offers a genuine goal threat from our corners. I hope he has a few years left in him, and he hangs around!

  • Comment number 97.

    Thank you Liverpool for waking us up! Hopefully, SAF will have given the entire team (except maybe Park) the hairdryer treatment after the game, and United will come back and win their next 4 or 5 games in a row, if I were in Fergie's shoes, I'd expect nothing less. After all, Liverpool (and Chelsea) are waiting to pounce on any more dropped points. I doubt this is the beginning of the end for United, it's more a rather resounding wake up call - we are not immortal.
    On the subject of who will win the League, United are not out of it (we're still 4 points clear with a game in hand, which some liverpool fans seem to be forgetting) and Liverpool are in pretty much the same place as they were on Friday - behind United. Liverpool, on their day are a great side, results against United and Chelsea this year have proved that. However, until they stop dropping stupid points to Boro and Stoke, they won't win the league again.
    I'm pretty sure every Liverpool fan would rather their team won the title than beat United twice.

  • Comment number 98.

    Is it on again, err no. Stupid article

  • Comment number 99.

    As a neutral:
    Man Utd actually played the better football.
    Liverpool scored more goals, 4 from 6 attempts.
    The red card for Vidic was justified as even though Ferdinand was behind him he would not have covered. However by the same token Carragher's deliberate trip on Tevez should therefore have also been a red card as no covering defender could have reached him.
    Ronaldo was quiet, he appeared to be kicked out of the game.
    Anderson had a very poor match as did the rest of the Man Utd midfield.
    Torres and Gerrard can never be penalized. It takes 734 fouls before Mascherano can be booked and Carragher is immune from red cards.

    So all in all the score was very flattering to Liverpool, at 1-2 the only team that looked like scoring was Utd, they had the pressure and the chances which on another day would have dropped for them.

  • Comment number 100.

    Great result for Liverpool, and an hysterically funny one for everyone else, but the title is still Man U's to lose and I for one can't see them doing that. Let's face it, Liverpool will have to rest Gerrard and Torres at some point and will more than likely drop points when they do. Hopefully it will make next seasons competition a little more interesting though as this year has been spectacularly dull, the only vague interest being whether Villa could snatch 4th place and even that seems to be going pear shaped.. Yawn..

 

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