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Liverpool must go for broke

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BBC Sport blog editor | 09:15 GMT, Friday, 13 March 2009

Liverpool's players only just stopped short of forming an orderly queue to talk up their chances of rekindling the flames of a flickering title challenge at Manchester United on Saturday.

And who could blame them? This was Liverpool basking in the warm afterglow of a blistering execution of Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.

All delivered the same message as they prowled the corridors of Anfield, optimism shaped by a power surge of confidence and adrenalin following a performance Real found impossible to live with.

Liverpool and manager Rafael Benitez will need to hold every one of those positive thoughts as they visit Old Trafford for what now represents the defining moment of their Premier League season.

And if they needed a dry run to demonstrate exactly what is required to fashion the win that is their only option at Manchester United, the display against Real provided it.

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This fixture is never anything other than compelling - but this one comes with so many added extras and sub-plots to give it even more needle than normal.

It is the first meeting of Benitez and Sir Alex Ferguson since the Liverpool manager's ill-timed decision to pour a bucket of verbal caustic soda over his Old Trafford counterpart's head in January.

It was an attack wide-ranging enough to take in Ferguson's attitude to fixture lists, the FA's Respect campaign and referees, so this is a day of reckoning in more ways than one.

Benitez's outburst co-incided with Liverpool faltering badly in the league and United hitting a roll that has put them seven points clear at the top with a game in hand.

But the relative simplicity of Liverpool's task - win or bust - makes both them and Benitez dangerous opponents because he has proved a master of producing results to match specific occasions.

The template to follow was on show at Anfield on Tuesday.

Liverpool played at a relentlessly high-tempo and with an untamed positive approach that they have either been unwilling or unable to produce with regularity this season.

The opposition was suffocated in possession and put to the test in all parts of the pitch - and on the rare occasions they were probed at the back, Liverpool were resolute.

Liverpool proved they had all this in them. After watching several sterile Liverpool performances this season, it almost came as a shock to the system to see such a transformation - the freedom of expression was almost unrecognisable.

Now Liverpool need to prove it all again at Old Trafford because if they drape the cloak of caution over their game again the credits can start rolling on their title chances.

Benitez will not cast conservatism aside completely because it is not in his psyche, and to do so is suicidal against Manchester United. He needs, however, to re-create Liverpool's Tuesday mood.

The default option for Benitez on these occasions is invariably containment followed by frustration for the opposition - with the brilliance of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard providing potency further forward.

And make no mistake, in that pair Liverpool have world-class talent capable of giving them the result they crave.

Under normal circumstances Liverpool might be content with a draw at Old Trafford, but this would only be a marginal improvement on useless to their title hopes given United's current advantage.

Liverpool's cause will be helped by being up against a manager in Ferguson who never allows a negative thought to cross his mind. And much as United might shy away from the notion, there will be extra pleasure for them in finishing off Benitez's Premier League campaign after he chose to take them to task so publicly.

After watching both teams in Champions League action this week, it was Liverpool who provided the more impressive performance. They barely misplaced a pass at Anfield while United were gripped by uncharacteristic uncertainty for a portion of their win against Inter Milan.

The change in mood around the Liverpool camp was almost tangible, but it is easier said than done to back up bold words with actions at Old Trafford. One thing is certain though - if Liverpool are not confident after Tuesday they never will be.

United were in more subdued mood, but there is a growing sense of destiny about their season and the sight of Liverpool alone will fire up the mood in Ferguson's camp.

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Ferguson will hope Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic do a better job on Torres than Real's pairing of an ageing Fabio Cannavaro and the hapless Pepe. It will also be intriguing to see if United draft in the enegy of Darren Fletcher and Ji-Sung Park, favourites of Ferguson when industry is need to go alongside artistry.

United know a win will leave Liverpool too far off the pace and deliver another blow to Chelsea's hopes. It would be out of character for Ferguson to place his team on the back foot, and why should he with Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Dimitar Berbatov at his disposal.

Logic suggests United must be favourites with home advantage and an all-round greater strength of squad at their disposal.

But Benitez and Liverpool have defied logic before - all of which adds to the potent cocktail that makes up the most important Premier League match of the season.

Comments

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  • 1. At 09:21am on 13 Mar 2009, philtoon82 wrote:

    I Can see it being a 0-0 bore draw personally.

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  • 2. At 09:25am on 13 Mar 2009, bobbieflowers wrote:

    feeble attempt to add tension to a what is an unspiring title race. "win or bust" hardly, man u won't be worried even if they do lose as their opponents (or rather their manager) has already thrown away any realistic challenge by not adopting a win or bust attitude earlier in the season - when it mattered!

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  • 3. At 09:25am on 13 Mar 2009, Redmatrix wrote:

    Liverpool should just go for broke. Play the same 11 that defeated Real Madrid and go out with a bang. They have nothing to lose as a draw would not really be good enough. As long as we avoid defeat than the players will still keep going.

    But i expect caution as in the Premier League Rafa consistently lets us down with his tactics, team selections and cautious approach.

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  • 4. At 09:34am on 13 Mar 2009, Roman Philosopher wrote:

    After 11 straight PL wins, the odds probably favour United dropping some points in this game, but I think it has draw written all over it.

    Irrespective of the difference in quality of the two midweek performances, both sets of players will be equaly tired.

    There is a big difference playing at Old Trafford on a saturday lunchtime, than playing in front of an Anfield midweek home crowd on a European football night, and Gerrard and Torres are up agianst Vidic and Ferdinand.



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  • 5. At 09:42am on 13 Mar 2009, YNWA68 wrote:

    It would be great to do the double over man u...they are a great side. and will be a great game to watch. Loads of goals please.. and hopefully a Liverpool victory.

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  • 6. At 09:51am on 13 Mar 2009, whatbill wrote:

    This season Liverpool have been generally disappointing after big victories, both in the champions league and in the premiership. The club mood seems to swing from euphoria to dispair based on each result. That doesn't bode well for the incredible consistency they will need to have any chance of winning the league.

    As a United fan I'm hoping and expecting at least a draw this weekend. But even if we lose, are liverpool really going to gain another eight points on us?

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  • 7. At 09:51am on 13 Mar 2009, lawros_kit_bag wrote:

    To call this a "must win" game for Liverpool is somewhat naive. The title race is over, regardless of the score tomorrow.

    You just can't see Manchester United dropping that many points in their remaining fixtures. Especially in the form that they're in.

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  • 8. At 09:53am on 13 Mar 2009, chillingbrother1 wrote:

    Liverpool can only win if Rafa plays a more serious starting 11. The moment I see Lucas, Ngog and El Zhar in the line up, I will concede a ManU win. Rafa needs to play a wining team and stop the inconsistency. Stop trying to please or give chances to players we know are non performers. KOp will win if the play the squad that beat Real. This time Reira can play, or operate from the bench. Lucas can only play from the 88th minute. Now 30 points are stake for liverpool, if we can get at least 26 we win the title. ManU has 33 points at stake. So far they have straight 11 games. I cant see them losing more than 10 points that easily. Even against lowly placed teams they dont experiment like Rafa, that same goes for Chelsea. About 13 players are always in the fray

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  • 9. At 09:55am on 13 Mar 2009, kevthered83 wrote:

    As a man utd fan I dont think I have ever been as confident before a game against Liverpool as I am now.

    I seriously believe the fact that Liverpool must win, coupled with both european results in midweek will play in to our hands.

    Utd will NOT misplace any passes like they did against Inter...>Ferguson will have made sure to that. Liverpool will be full of confidence, and will believe they can attack us and score.....something I personally doubt. From that I think we will destroy them on the counter attack.

    With regards to PArk and Fletcher playing....I personally think they will. Fletcher always plays in the big games, and usually does a great job. Add to that Giggs and Scholes played in midweek and it looks inevitable

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  • 10. At 10:00am on 13 Mar 2009, sixty8ninety9zero8 wrote:

    I really hope that this doesn't end up with the same old same old negative game. There is far too much riding on this for Liverpool to be negative but also Uniteds fan's won't accept their team sitrting back and hitting Liverpool on the counter attack on their own turf.

    Bentiez finally has the chance to prove he can go all out for a win in the Premier League and be a little brave in his selection and formation.

    United know this will completely extinguish Liverpools title dreams this season. I'd imagine had it been any other team, Ferguson would have rested Berbatov. I can see Anderson coming in for Scholes or Park for Giggs but the rest will probably remain the same as Weds.

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  • 11. At 10:04am on 13 Mar 2009, mavericklfc wrote:

    Totally endorse everything post #3 says.
    Liverpool need to take the game to United from the first whistle and try to dictate the tempo rather than the other way round which is usually the case at Old Trafford.
    Yes, play the same team as Wednesday, any injuries permitting,and most importantly, shoot on sight with the same accuracy as Wednesday. One of Liverpool's biggest downfalls this season compared to others has been the lamentable shots on target ratio but for some unknown reason, that was turned on its head against Real.
    You have to give United credit for getting into the position they have got themselves in to but is it asking too much of them not to drop points before the end of the season? Why not tomorrow?
    It would create a small element of doubt phsycologically and might make the run in more interesting.
    More importantly, I think it is inevitable these two are finally going to be drawn together in Europe and I believe that it would give Liverpool the edge going into such a tie knowing they had done the double over their rivals. That said, United are class and will be up for this after their poor showing at Anfield in September.
    I just hope Benitez has the courage to send them out with the freedom and not the restrictions he normally does, but I'm not banking on it.

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  • 12. At 10:11am on 13 Mar 2009, Footyfan wrote:

    This has MANU win written all over it, Tevez, Fletcher, Nani, Park will all be back in the team, having a good rest on wednesday, and as a matter of fact Liverpools season was over a long time back, but, they will play for a win, which will make them lose 2-0......

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  • 13. At 10:16am on 13 Mar 2009, LFC_Its_Only_A_Game wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 14. At 10:17am on 13 Mar 2009, ljsalter wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 15. At 10:18am on 13 Mar 2009, whatbill wrote:

    I think United will mix up the team after midweek. Carrick, Scholes and Berbatov were poor and may be rested, I think Tevez will be the suprise selection as he has been on excellent form and has a good record against Liverpool. Park and Fletcher may well come in, Ronaldo will play, Rooney may be on the bench, I think the back 5 will stay the same. Despite playing in midweek, Giggs might get included has he has been excellent form recently. Although Fergie may want to save him for Europe now.

    Poor Fergie, so many decisions...

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  • 16. At 10:29am on 13 Mar 2009, Roberama wrote:

    Hmmm... as a die-hard Liverpool fan it pains me to say that i think tomorrow's game is somewhat irrelevant! We have already conceded the title and it wasn't down to our performances against the big teams. Benitez's negativity at home to small teams is what has cost us the title this season and even if we went out and beat Utd 4-0 on their patch, i'd still be happy enough to see Benitez move on and replace him with someone who's prepared to pick our strongest team and play more attacking football on a regular basis! Would love it if we beat them tho... love it!

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  • 17. At 10:34am on 13 Mar 2009, MrT wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 18. At 10:36am on 13 Mar 2009, mape_ventura wrote:

    Pretty meaningless game in the grand scheme of things, even all your posturing on it Phil won't make me think otherwise about the destination of the trophy at the end of the season.

    What will be interesting about this fixture is that neither team will want to lose to the other (this is the biggest rivalary in the english game) or lose any psychological edge before a potential CL meeting.

    Will be even more interesting if they draw each other out of the hat at 11AM today in Nyon.

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  • 19. At 10:37am on 13 Mar 2009, sixty8ninety9zero8 wrote:

    13. At 10:16am on 13 Mar 2009, LFC_Its_Only_A_Game wrote:
    Its nice to read Mr Rooney's comments based on how he hates liverpool FC due to him been an everton fan he still feels this way about LFC. I am wondering when will this boy grow up and become a man... hopefully never as we will get to see more of this baby attitude on the pitch... i know scum fans will be buoyist about his comments but come on, is there a man among the united fans out there that thinks his comments are so immature? Mature replies appreciated.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    I think Utd quickly realised their error in publishing the article on their website. Utd fans will be buoyed by Rooney feeling this, but there is enough animosity between the fans without this kind of comment being stated.
    Hopefully Rooney will discover his goalscoring touch and do his talking on the pitch.
    I am sure the Giggs, Scholes, Carraghers and Gerrards have exactly the same feelings towards the opposition but manage to keep their emotions in check when interviewed in the build up to high profile matches.

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  • 20. At 10:42am on 13 Mar 2009, Liverpool_DSY wrote:

    well 4-0 against realmadrid is very good for a club like liverpool. the fact that cannavaro and pepe typified the r'madrid performance was completely unjust to say phil. without these 2 (and casillas) the result would have been 10-0. overral, i expect another massive performance from liverpool, with 3-0 given the current mood at the club.

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  • 21. At 10:42am on 13 Mar 2009, Count Berbatov wrote:

    i recon itll be a 0-0
    Tempting fate for a 3-0 win for united xD

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  • 22. At 10:44am on 13 Mar 2009, AndyBell4 wrote:

    Liverpool 1-0 Torres.
    We must win and we will. We broke an 86 game record at Chelsea and we will do the double over United.
    Its just a shame that this may still be too little too late. It makes me sick to recall the game at Stoke when Torres and Keane were on the bench. Away to Wigan when Gerrard was taken off at 1-1. Home to Everton, Fulham, West Ham and Hull - all games which United would have won. Then the pathetic defeat to Boro.
    We may have only lost 2 games all season but if Rafa continues to chop and change on a weekly basis (infuriatingly so when you're winning) then we will continue to be second best in the league.
    I live in hope. If Rafa keeps the same team that beat Real and keeps the team stable in the run-in, and United slip up (which the law of averages states they will), then we have a chance.
    Let's at least give United a decent run in, lets keep their minds on the league until the last weekend, that way they may slip up in their pursuit of the quintuple. Let's do it for all the long-suffering fans of every other team except United.
    Please Rafa, make us dream.

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  • 23. At 10:44am on 13 Mar 2009, r3minder wrote:

    The Real and the United games are quite different - in terms of the venue being palyed at, quality of the opposition and the midfield!

    So, this blog almost errs on the very basic level.

    Sorry, but Liverpool can never re-play the game against Real, quite
    obviously, because of the above!

    Uninspired writing.

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  • 24. At 10:52am on 13 Mar 2009, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    liverpool will choke up & end the season 3rd, behind utd 2nd & chelsea 1st.

    The only interesting thing is whether villa will hold onto 4th.

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  • 25. At 10:52am on 13 Mar 2009, Elleo wrote:

    A little 0-0 will suit Chelsea nicely and thats probably what's gonna happen.

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  • 26. At 10:57am on 13 Mar 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    Why do we have to have another blog? Just put a link to a proper 606 article so we can debate things properly without these continual delays.

    It doesn't need a journalist to give us his thoughts. Just link to an article with the heading 'What do you think of this match?'. Simples.

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  • 27. At 10:59am on 13 Mar 2009, thetrickykid wrote:

    "Liverpool's cause will be helped by being up against a manager in Ferguson who never allows a negative thought to cross his mind."

    I guess you haven't watched Manchester United very often this season then Phil.

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  • 28. At 10:59am on 13 Mar 2009, lightother1 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 29. At 11:01am on 13 Mar 2009, DADMIRALANDPRESIDENT wrote:

    Walk off walk off, with your heads in your hands cos u ll never win the league, u ll never win the league

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  • 30. At 11:03am on 13 Mar 2009, Digsy866 wrote:

    I dont care if Rooney does hate us, in-fact I hope he does!!!! I certainly feel the same about UTD and without that hatred and rivalry, this blog wouldn't exist!
    lets stop being politically correct about these fixtures - whilst i dont wish injury to UTD I certainly dont wish them any pleasure - likewise they dont us. Ask 'model-pro' gary bum-fluff neville how he feels about Liverpool and the answer will be blunt.
    Lets enjoy the game and enjoy the passion that comes with it. This is the biggest rivalry in the country - i hope the players remember this when they go out to do battle

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  • 31. At 11:03am on 13 Mar 2009, mape_ventura wrote:

    18. At 10:36am on 13 Mar 2009, mape_ventura

    Apologies draw is next week, but either way the point stands, this game is more about rivalary than the destination of the Premier League.

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  • 32. At 11:04am on 13 Mar 2009, Vox Populi wrote:

    If Liverpool attack from the start against Manchester United, they will get absolutely pummelled at Old Trafford.

    Their best chance of getting a result at OT is to do it the way they've always done it, get men behind the ball, frustrate United, wait for a mistake and grind out a 1-0 win.

    There is a big difference between playing and thrashing a Real Madrid side at home who had only played in their Madrid derby 3 days before while Liverpool had the week off, and going to Old Trafford and expecting to demolish Manchester United.

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  • 33. At 11:06am on 13 Mar 2009, GerrardTheKing wrote:

    Good article Phil.

    Except for "Liverpool's cause will be helped by being up against a manager in Ferguson who never allows a negative thought to cross his mind".

    I remember the 1996 FA Cup Final where going into the game, we were the form team - the best we ever played under Roy Evans. Ferguson is foremost a winner, and his United side played a stifling, containing game, which frustrated us and ultimately they won a scrappy game with Cantona's goal through a crowded penalty area.

    I think Feguson will be aiming not to lose and will play that way.

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  • 34. At 11:07am on 13 Mar 2009, NIreland1-0England wrote:

    Will be even more interesting if they draw each other out of the hat at 11AM today in Nyon.

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

    They having a trial run on the draw for next week? Not sure how that will make tomoro more interesting! Anyways, title is over regardless of result, which should allow Utd to play with some freedom. 3-0 to Utd

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  • 35. At 11:07am on 13 Mar 2009, kbh2005 wrote:

    Liverpool have got nothing to lose now. Rafa has no excuse for caution, it is too late. If we had won our 'draw' matches, then a draw here wouldnt be a bad thing. As it stands, seven points behind, we must win. Anything less, and it confirms that our season in the league is over, and second place would be our best.

    With the next round of the champions league a few weeks away, resting players is not an option. The 11 that started midweek were awesome. A display that I havent seen from us in many years. We took apart Madrid piece by piece. The confidence that our team took from that match was very important. We need to take that into old trafford, and do the same to them. I admit that a 4-0 win is being rather optimistic. But united and madrid had both been on similar winning streaks respectively. As Ferdinand said today, its not over until mathematically impossible.

    No excuses Rafa, no need to rest players, play our best 11 for the remainder of the season.

    Let us never forget the 96 - YNWA

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  • 36. At 11:13am on 13 Mar 2009, heedtheba wrote:

    Phil your comparisons of the midweek European fixtures miss an understanding of where the two team stood before kick-off. Liverpool had an away goal to boost their confidence and tactics, ManU did not and were playing against a wily manager. Clearly Liverpool hit their stride while ManU showed a little tension and nerves. On Saturday the roles are reversed ManU have a huge upper hand and Liverpool have everything to loose, a relaxed ManU and a tense Liverpool will not produce a dominating Liverpool performance, indeed it is highly likely to be ManU who find their form against a familiar opposition.

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  • 37. At 11:16am on 13 Mar 2009, Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) wrote:

    Phil. Well done.
    Credit where credit is due - a balanced view from the outset. I think that you are completely correct to say that Liverpool’s title hopes will indeed be over if they come away with anything less than a win and it would be a major disappointment if Benitez’s team does not approach this game with the same mentality as they displayed against Real Madrid.

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  • 38. At 11:20am on 13 Mar 2009, TommyO wrote:

    Rafa will treat it like a European away match - play 451, sit back, try and soak up pressure and hit Utd on the break. To go all out and attack like they did at home on Tuesday is not Rafa's style and will play right into Utd's hands. Expect a boring game and a 0-1 win to Liverpool. The media will go into a frenzy about what a great tactical manager Rafa is and the title race being back on, then Liverpool will lose next week and the media will go into a frenzy about what a crap manager Rafa is, who doesn't 'get' the Premier League and the title race will be over again.

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  • 39. At 11:24am on 13 Mar 2009, rchrdav wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 40. At 11:24am on 13 Mar 2009, sixty8ninety9zero8 wrote:

    Chelseasaffer.. I love your blind optimism. I think that unfortunately Chelsea will finish 2nd or 3rd. Thay have already lost too much ground when playing their rivals and don't have any chance to influence Liverpool or Man Utds result. They probably will go on a good run under Hiddink as the unity seems to be back but it seems to me to be too little too late.

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  • 41. At 11:29am on 13 Mar 2009, whatbill wrote:

    The Rooney comments are unfortunate in their timing, although all he has done is said what a lot of players and fans of both sides feel anyway. Gerrard, Carragher, Neville and others have all said the same in the past.

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  • 42. At 11:31am on 13 Mar 2009, Kneeclicker wrote:

    Whilst I understand the L'pool fan trying to take the moral high ground over Rooney's regrettable admission of still feeling hatred towards them, perhaps I should remind him that the great Gerrard no less happily professes in his autobiography that he dreams of Old Trafford being raised from the face of the earth - (no wonder he isn't England captain).
    If L'pool, who should have the fresher legs, really attack Utd then tomorrow could make for a very difficult game for the Old Trafford faithful though hopefully not precipitate a wholesale collapse for the rest of the campaign

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  • 43. At 11:32am on 13 Mar 2009, imperialStevat wrote:

    Difficult game to approach for Liverpool, they have to go for it but I personally don't think any team, maybe Barcelona, would be able to live with Man Utd in an open game. So incisive and quick on the break. Even a win for Liverpool probably won't make any difference in the title run in but it would at least make it slightly more interesting. If they play anything like as well as they did on Tuesday it will be a great game.

    http://www.worldfootballcolumns.com/

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  • 44. At 11:39am on 13 Mar 2009, Keef87 wrote:

    Just wondering why all BBC articles seem to be written from a Liverpool point of view? Is everyone at the BBC Liverpool fans?

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  • 45. At 11:39am on 13 Mar 2009, wrongshapeballs wrote:

    "a manager in Ferguson who never allows a negative thought to cross his mind"

    "if United draft in the enegy (sic) of Darren Fletcher and Ji-Sung Park, favourites of Ferguson when industry is need (sic) to go alongside artistry"

    Surely a contradiction...

    Just more evidence of the difference in media perception between Liverpool and United! If Carrick and fletcher play together then it is guile and industry but if Alonso and Mascherano play together it is a defensive set-up!

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  • 46. At 11:44am on 13 Mar 2009, Zippymk13 wrote:

    Liverpool will not get the same time and space as they did against Madrid, they will not play as well as they did Tuesday and United will not play as bad, Scholes and Giggs will not start, it will be between Park, Fletcher, Anderson and Nani who partners Carrick and Ronaldo, I expect either a draw or a narrow United win.

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  • 47. At 11:49am on 13 Mar 2009, berbawillawaken wrote:

    Liverpool will need a huge slice of luck to come out of this game with a win. The plain fact is that they are outclassed in every dept.
    Benitez has brought enough players in over his reign to completely change the side 4 times over and only one of those would be good enough for the current utd squad (Torres)and possibly Reina as a back up keeper.

    I think utd have done enough to secure the prem this season and look forward to the next where I am certain of another farsical Liverpool collapse.

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  • 48. At 11:52am on 13 Mar 2009, superGuru79 wrote:

    As a M.U fan i really would love to see Liverpool go for broke so we can catch them on the counter and slaughter them! We are not Real which never made any attempt on the Liverpool goal! Its gonna be great watching Carregher tracking back to try and stop the M.U counter attack this is gonna be fun i tell you

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  • 49. At 11:56am on 13 Mar 2009, Chris Harper wrote:

    Having one way or another watched almost every game Utd have played this season I can think of one game in all of those matches where we 'clicked'.. Utd 3 - Chelski 0.. ohh sorry maybe the 5-0 against West Brom.. but does that really count??
    All the rest we may have played ok, but the razz and zip of last season's counter attacking wasn't there, not really ... in the Chelsea game it was.
    Big Game, top 4 team, at home - so I kind of think tomorrow could easily be the same. It won;t be 0-0, and if Utd get ahead early it could be a drumming.. and even if it isn't.. the title's still ours!

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  • 50. At 11:59am on 13 Mar 2009, MGUK82 wrote:

    Chelsea boy's getting a little cocky methinkinks. As a United fan I congratulate the Scousers on seeing off Real with class midweek and I expect a tough match at OT. The Premiership title's still in the bank one way or another for us though.

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  • 51. At 12:04pm on 13 Mar 2009, lomoro2 wrote:

    Liverpool has really played well this season. But they defeated Man Utd early in the season because they (United) had not yet acqired their sharpness infront of the keeper. It will be a tough game, but I can see Man Utd coming out victoriously with a 2:0 win over their rivals. Remember how we talked about the Chelsea game and what it turned out to be. Man Utd 2:0 Liverpool will surely be the score tomorrow.

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  • 52. At 12:09pm on 13 Mar 2009, kingeric1997 wrote:

    no.27 thetrickykid

    while I would agree United have scrapped through more than their fair share of league fixtures this seasons, you cannot say they were negative in their approach to these games. there have been a substantial no. of 1 nils, however these have been down to poor performances / poor finishing rather than any predetermined tactics to be 'negative' or to defend.

    I expect to see a 'big' response at OT tomorrow, the players will have been thinking about this one more than the Inter tie to be honest. They know how much it will mean to put Liverpool out of the race.

    That said, if Liverpool are positive you can upset United if you go at them. It leaves you open, however if Rafa sets them up to defend and try to nick a goal, I think it will suit United down to the ground.

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  • 53. At 12:10pm on 13 Mar 2009, jack halford wrote:

    Tevez , Park and Fletcher are the key players and fresh !!

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  • 54. At 12:11pm on 13 Mar 2009, ljsalter wrote:

    A few facts to digest prior to Saturday.....

    United have won 18 of the 33 premiership meetings with Liverpool, whom have won only eight.

    Liverpool have lost the last four games at Old Trafford scoring only one goal (which was a John O'Shea own goal I'm hasten to add). In those four defeats they have conceded eight goals.

    In fact, Looserpool have not scored more than one goal in a league game at Old Trafford in their last 12 visits, scoring only six goals in those twelve.

    The so called 'infamous win' earlier this season means Liverpool have the opportunity to do the double over United, which would be the first since the 2001/02 season, which I'm guessing would result in an open top bus parade through the streets of Liverpool.

    Since the premier league began, Liverpool have done the double twice over United (2000/01 & 2001/02). Of course Uniteds tally over Liverpool stands at 5 (96/97, 02/03, 04/05, 06/07 & 07/08).

    Please note that I am fully aware that football did begin well before the premier league, though unfortunately (really gutted) I only have statistics for this period.

    Roll on Saturday. I shall most certainly be beltin out "he's half a ?, he's half a girl, torres, torres....." from the lap of the gods at the theatre of dreams on Saturday boys.

    Keep your chin up scousers.

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  • 55. At 12:22pm on 13 Mar 2009, ControlledMagic wrote:

    13. At 10:16am on 13 Mar 2009, LFC_Its_Only_A_Game wrote:
    ... i know scum fans will be buoyist about his comments but come on, is there a man among the united fans out there that thinks his comments are so immature? Mature replies appreciated.

    You call us 'scum fans' and ask for maturity?! Jog on fella.

    For the record, the only thing he said wrong was the post script 'nothing's changed', as he said 'I grew up as an Everton fan hating LFC'. You are right, it shows an immaturity but that's hardly unique amongst footballers. Steven Gerrard - 'I want to see Utd die'.


    For my own opinion on that (which isn't the subject of this blog, by the way):
    I bring my kids up to not hate anyone or anything. You can 'not give a toss' about something but why hate? As a United fan I have 'given myself away' in the old North Bank at Highbury on several occasions and at other grounds....although not in an Elland Rd season ticket holders seat, I didn't! My personal view was that 'it's only bloody football so if they don't like me being here, their problem'. I didn't rub anyone's nose in it, just had a laugh.

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  • 56. At 12:29pm on 13 Mar 2009, englandcomeon wrote:

    The BBC trying to talk up the last halfways "important" fixture of the season. Liverpool's title challenge ended when they botched a number of transfers in the summer and didn't replace Keane.
    The only reason they were at the top for so long was down to the others faltering and the catastrophic start to the ManU season.
    Benitez will be as conservative as ever and field some odd combination, but even if the miracle does happen and Liverpool win, there bound to draw or loose some of the remaining fixtures and to be honest I can't see ManU dropping 12 points between now and the end of the season. No, the title's long gone, it might be a nice boost to have soundly beaten Real but the problem with RB is not the odd CL game, (which LFC don't always master either) but his constant chopping and changing of the squad and odd player buying policy coupled with too much defence and not enough attack brings down Liverpool's title challenge sooner or later.
    Last season it just didn't take as long to end their hopes.

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  • 57. At 12:29pm on 13 Mar 2009, redhalger wrote:

    Judging by player's morale Liverpool will def win at old traford on Saturday. I rate this season as an excellent one for Liverpool club no matter what people say about finishing second. Should Rafa remain in the club next season and should he manage to sign the 3 or 4 players he has on mind, Ferguson will certainly explore the idea of retiring this summer though I doubt he'll do it. This season will be Man Utd's last premiership trophy for many years to come and everybody knows it..

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  • 58. At 12:33pm on 13 Mar 2009, Kapnag wrote:

    rchrdav, are you forgetting Gerrard and Carragher in their autobiographies have chapters about their hatred for United?? How about they grow up as well then?

    There's nothing wrong with players coming out with this, developing a healthy rivalry with the neighbours.

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  • 59. At 12:35pm on 13 Mar 2009, jimmynick53 wrote:

    certainly both Liverpool and Chelsea look better at the moment than they did a month ago, but United know that if they can win against Liverpool they would only have 10 games left in the league and could afford to drop at least 9 points .... meaning they would have a bit more flexibility about choice of personnel in league games when the CL and FA cup games are on. Bear in mind that next Wednesday is one of the very few times this season that MU have not played in midweek and it is a testament to how strong the squad is and how flexible the personnel are - that they can maintain the same style of play while rotating. I would be surprised to see MU try so many flicks and tricks as against Inter - SAF will put the kybosh on that I am sure, and I think they will win, but even if they don't I really can not see the title going elsewhere this season.
    I think the quintuple will be much more likely if MU win this weekend and so can prioritise the CL and FA cup fixtures for the rest of the season

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  • 60. At 12:35pm on 13 Mar 2009, nicklhughes07 wrote:

    United will win comfortably if Liverpool go all out to do what they have to. . .win the game.

    No one comes to Old Trafford and goes toe-to-toe with United for fear of being picked off by the counter attack (which admittedly was rather more devastating with Saha in the side as opposed to Berbatov).

    Fully expect Benitez to be more cowardly (and intelligent) and play tight and try and nick a goal. If so could be bore draw, or 1-0 to someone. . .if not. . .could be a big win for United.

    A win for either side would be simply a mental boost for a possible later meeting in the CL. It won't be a title decider; that was over weeks ago.

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  • 61. At 12:37pm on 13 Mar 2009, skwiddlyranx wrote:

    hello all!

    I'm an LFC fan of 30yrs so i'm undoubtedly biaised.
    If we retain the ball and play the short game we are capable of then i believe we will win an exciting game tomorrow. Unfortunately we've only played this game on 2.5 occasions this season (newcastle, RM and against the gooners in patches) If we don't i think Utd will give us a beat n teach.

    Enjoy your weekend!

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  • 62. At 12:40pm on 13 Mar 2009, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    United have played below-par recently and I sense a win for Liverpool tomorrow. It started with the Blackburn game and continued on wednesday. In between they were not great against Tottenham and Newcastle. If Liverpool continue where they finished on Tuesday and United play below-par again, it's a Liverpool win, which will make the outcome of the title a little bit more exciting.

    At least the fight for 4th place is interesting :)))

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  • 63. At 12:47pm on 13 Mar 2009, essiens_magic_smile wrote:

    as much as it pains me to say it, united will win the league. they've only lost 2 league games all season and now liverpool and chelsea are praying they drop 10 points in 11 matches - not possible, especially with the way they're playing!
    liverpool must realise they are now contesting for 2nd. you make think i'm biased (i probably am) but chelsea are now favourites to end the season as runners-up, given the fact they can now grind out results, a trait that was lacking under Scolari.
    as mentioned before this match, unfortunately, is inevitable. liverpool can come out like they did against real but it wont make any difference. COMPLETELY different scenario, playing away, against arguably the best team on the planet, in the premier league.
    2-0 united, tevez and ronaldo pen.

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  • 64. At 12:56pm on 13 Mar 2009, ya_dafty wrote:

    "Liverpool's cause will be helped by being up against a manager in Ferguson who never allows a negative thought to cross his mind. "

    Really?

    I know what the article is trying to say but it's a short point and in trying to make a story out of it you have undermined your entire article.

    If you define negative as being cautious, strong in defence, compact and tight then Fergy has played like this many times against Rafa and many times this season. So there exists an inonsistency in either the way you apply the term negative or how you treat Liverpool and Man Uts.

    It is true that United are an attacking team but don't get confused with suggesting they don't play like Liverpool at times.

    And are you really suggesting Liverpool go to Old Trafford and take United on as if they were at home. Come on Phil? When was the last time an English team did this at Old Trafford? You don't go away and play open.

    I would advocate Rafa playing it tight and looking to beat United on the break with good spells of possession. And there is a difference in playing like this and being negative.

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  • 65. At 1:08pm on 13 Mar 2009, Sevenseaman wrote:

    Just as I foresaw.

    How naive to contemplate there is a default option for Rafa. Why should United not just love a gratis draw. It doesn't hurt at all. On the contrary it helps their cause. Where is the cause for frustration? ManU are a quality team, and should be glad to bide their time.

    Well if it is beyond Rafa to go all out, Liverpool will only be losing what they never deserved in the first place, and of their own volition.

    Seeing the way Liverpool showed the exit door to Real, I know only one thing; that it is within Liverpool's reach to make or break their PL fortunes.

    No matter what extravagant riches ManU have at their disposal, or that they can put on the pitch 5 to 6 equally good combinations with the same devastating effect, or even that they could loan out a couple of their strikers and still retain the same cutting edge; Rafa has at his disposal a combination that can produce eclat on a given day, the team to make it a special occasion. Liverpool are a sword that, on their day, can cut through all swords.

    If Liverpool still fall short of their objective, it will only be because they made that choice themselves, doubting their own ability.

    I will not lose heart if Liverpool lost, but I will be disappointed if they failed to try.

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  • 66. At 1:12pm on 13 Mar 2009, blathering_on wrote:

    I think this result will entirely depend on whether Rafa plays positive or not.

    If he and Liverpool go for it, as they did against an allbeit limp Real Madrid, they can spring a surprise here. From now on in It's all about momentum and Liverpool must be positive and try to carry that on. Tomorrows result may not decide the league but mentally for both sides, its a massive game.

    If Liverpool sit back and try to grind a result similar to the Madrid performance, then they will not a get the result. However, go to old trafford and dictate the tempo and its a different ballgame, pardon the pun.

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  • 67. At 1:16pm on 13 Mar 2009, Karthick Arvinth wrote:

    Liverpool can't come out and play like they did at Real, simply because Old Trafford has a much bigger pitch than Anfield, and it would mean a lot of running around chasing United. Liverpool's best bet I would imagine is if Gerrard or Torres can ignite themselves which, so far, they haven't managed to do against Man Utd. Without a doubt United will be fired up for this, after Rafa's pathetic attempt to play mindgames with Fergie. I hope United just blow them away like last year. Rafa Benitez deserves it.

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  • 68. At 1:17pm on 13 Mar 2009, tenakira wrote:

    This blog shldn't be exist in the first place, cos the title was long lost before this game even started. IMO when a team or players only come out on big occasion, u MIGHT win the game but u ll nvr ever win the league...Not a chance.

    Liverpoor vs ManUtd = Title Decider? NOPE...It just merely a same old same old rivalry game with not much at stake or not at all.

    ManUtd will "Westham" Liverpoor...Hmm...5-0 and put them back in REALity.

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  • 69. At 1:18pm on 13 Mar 2009, Virtuet wrote:

    I will be quite happy to be proven wrong by seeing Liverpool rip Man U apart. But having seen the frenetic Madrid Derby the weekend with Real desperate to get points to close the gap on Barcelona I think Liverpool beat a tired Real Madrid with only cassillas playing to his normal standard.

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  • 70. At 1:25pm on 13 Mar 2009, c_or10 wrote:

    I can see this game being decided by a controversial refereeing decision, and with it being Old Trafford it wouldn't be too far fetched to say it will go in United's favour.. Let's hope Masch can keep his temper in check for 90 mintues this time! Even so, we don't have alot to lose as I still think we're pretty much out of it and Arsenal/Aston Villa aren't in any danger of catching us... So maybe with the pressure off we can finally come out and play the game the way all the fans wish we would!

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  • 71. At 1:29pm on 13 Mar 2009, F1delusion wrote:

    Totally agree with the comments that the game has nothing to do with the title race, as it's already over.
    Where it was lost for Liverpool (results against teams currently in the bottom 3rd of the table)
    (19) Middlesbrough 2-0 Liverpool
    (16) Stoke 0-0 Liverpool
    (16) Liverpool 0-0 Stoke
    (14) Liverpool 2-2 Hull
    Why it was lost
    Selling Keane without a replacement. Leaving only 1 crock striker in attack
    Bizarre team selections and substitutions
    need I go on

    The game is however vitally important to clinch 2nd spot from Chelsea and I will certainly be watching. however title contender please..

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  • 72. At 1:30pm on 13 Mar 2009, TommyO wrote:

    As a slight aside - it's good to see Man Utd pull those stupid Rooney comments from their website. Be nice too if they put out a message to their fans telling them to try and support their team for 90 minutes instead of singing songs about Hillsborough and Heysel attempting to goad Liverpool fans into singing about Munich as they've done for the past few years. Win, lose or draw, it's only football at the end of the day. The deaths in all 3 of those tragedies should bring that into sharper focus more than anything. No need for any 'hate' in it all.

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  • 73. At 1:33pm on 13 Mar 2009, Kamana wrote:

    Liverpool will at least provide Man Utd a challenge on Saturday. Far too often this season we've seen the abysmal sight of gutless teams surrendering to United right from kick off. Too many teams have been scared into submission by the mere thought of playing mighty Man U.
    Liverpool won't be intimidated and if they take the fight to United, I'm sure Liverpool will prevail.

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  • 74. At 1:34pm on 13 Mar 2009, rchrdav wrote:

    kapnag
    You seem to be misunderstanding me. I think you believe that I am sticking up for Liverpool, You couldnt be further from the truth. I am qouting what lfconlyagame wrote and stating that if he wants mature responses then he should start with a mature post.

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  • 75. At 1:39pm on 13 Mar 2009, Karthick Arvinth wrote:

    57. At 12:29pm on 13 Mar 2009, redhalger wrote

    Should Rafa remain in the club next season and should he manage to sign the 3 or 4 players he has on mind, Ferguson will certainly explore the idea of retiring this summer though I doubt he'll do it. This season will be Man Utd's last premiership trophy for many years to come and everybody knows it..

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

    LOL. Who are these 3 or 4 players he has on his mind? For the record, Benitez has spent more than Fergie in these last five years and your squad is still rubbish. As for your last comment, Liverpool will never win the league under Benitez - FACT. And Chelsea won't be able to buy a league title again... not in the current economic climate, so they're out. That leaves Arsenal who probably have the best chance, as they're buliding a team gradually and could hit the heights in a few years like United. Better keep your delusional mumblings to yourself eh

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  • 76. At 1:40pm on 13 Mar 2009, TheDeluded wrote:

    Juande Ramos is not Alex Ferguson. hahaha. why not start a rant by stating the bleedin' obvious? but good ol' JR wasn't exactly successful against premiership opposition last season, so it wasn't exactly shocking that he was out-manoeuvred by a good Liverpool performance.
    I think it was at a tactical level that the CL game was won.
    but Ferguson is a different prospect, and Benitez bottles it every time!

    by the way, Phil, I can't remember if you're a Liverpool supporter, but your blogs do tend to centre around that particular (terminally dull) team.

    where CC might make apologies and put in a reference to his team of choice, you blog incessantly on Liverpool. or teams that Liverpool are due to play. or games that Liverpool will be featuring in.

    can the BBC give us all a representative headline blogger each for our chosen team? it's not as if Liverpool have actually won anything. they're not even second in the league any more. so why do we have yet another article about what most 'neutrals' (ie people who support teams outside the top three) would dismiss as one of the most boring teams of the century so far.

    I remember a Liverpool match in europe where the Anfield Massive, including coach, players, fans and media all celebrated a nil - nil as if it were a fabulous win. just because it got Liverpool to the next stage of a cup competition. a competition they went on to lose because they failed to actually win a subsequent game.

    so of all the teams to be deemed deserving of their own BBC-paid blogger, why would that team have to be the dullest team in the league? about a game that probably won't make any difference to the league's outcome? really. c'mon, it's true isn't it.

    sorry, rant over. not particularly upset at Phil, more peed off with hearing about Liverpool, whilst 19 other clubs go completely un-represented, and all are fighting for something - blimey, some are fighting for their very survival! but one way or the other, report on it as much as you like, but LIVERPOOL WILL NOT WIN THE LEAGUE - no matter what the score is at the weekend.

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  • 77. At 1:42pm on 13 Mar 2009, iang1972 wrote:

    I know Liverpool must win this game if they harbor any hopes of winning the title. However i imagine Rafa wont allow Liverpool to open up that much, as I think he'll not want to drop all three points when considering the battle for second place with Chelsea.

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  • 78. At 1:49pm on 13 Mar 2009, redforever wrote:

    Phil, I dont think you can simply apply tactics from a previous game, played under very different circumstances against a different team, and state that to be the best option.
    Liverpools all out attack, throwing numbers into the box and leaving seperation between midfield and defence on the flanks, would play into Manchester Uniteds strengths. They are devastating on the counter attack, and such a strategy will result in defeat 99 times out of 100.
    Liverpool, and Benitez in particular have struggled to get results at Old Trafford with defensive and attacking strategies, but throwing the kitchen sink in is not really an intelligent option.
    Here is the best plan.
    1.Work very hard, chase everything down, but stay on your feet, because referees will penalise visiting players more easily at Old Trafford than elsewhere.
    2. When you get the ball realise it quickly and try to take advantage of Gerrard and Torres running, but do not over commit midfielders to attack. Mascherano and Alonso, will not get within 15 yards of the penalty box.
    3. Get 10 men behind the ball as soon as we give up possession, get close to Rooney when he is on the ball, and double up on Ronaldo.
    4. Hope that this stops them from scoring and that we sneak one, preferably in the 93rd minute!

    Lets be honest Utds players will be up for this game having been beaten at Anfield. They are confident and know that even in defeat they have a clear run at the prem, so they can play without tension.
    I am a Liverpool fan and I will be smiling for a month if we wib, but its only going to happen 1 time in 4 at best.

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  • 79. At 1:50pm on 13 Mar 2009, Michael Laurence wrote:

    The game at Old Trafford tomorrow is vital for one team... and that's Chelsea. If Liverpool win at OT, so what? They'll lose to Villa next weekend and drop points to teams like Fulham and Blackburn over the next few weeks.
    Liverpool won't win the league this year, next year or the year after. Chelsea are the only team that can catch ManU this season. If United win tomorrow and Chelsea slip up against the new world's richest club on Sunday, the title race will be all over; and it's only the middle of March!

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  • 80. At 1:55pm on 13 Mar 2009, Teiam - problem solved wrote:

    Liverpool need Anfield if they're going to play well enough to secure a win and sadly for them, it's at Old Trafford, I can't see them getting a win or even putting in a great performance.

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  • 81. At 1:58pm on 13 Mar 2009, MoneyTalks wrote:

    To be honest. I don't particularly expect a win tomorrow.
    A draw maybe, but thats no good for Liverpool.

    I actually conceded the title to United after the draw against Wigan. The reason for this is that I could see Utd gaining momentum and knew our chances had faded to mere insignificance. Barring a massive break-down, United weren't gonna lose many games and being the realist that I am, I knew too many draws cost us.

    Anyway, back on the topic of the game. I expect Rafa to take a defensive approach like against Chelsea and try to nick an eary goal where he can sit back and defend. However I fully expect a United win if they score first.

    Also, probabilities of this are probably rather slim. But does anyone want to see a Liverpool-Utd CL final. Would really piss off Platini and Blatter and even most United fans have to admit it would be a good contest, as in the CL we're a completely different team

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  • 82. At 1:59pm on 13 Mar 2009, jnisbet wrote:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Please donate its for a good cause.

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  • 83. At 2:03pm on 13 Mar 2009, Long 'n Short Of It wrote:

    You must bore yourself silly sometimes eh McNulty?

    Who pays your wage? - oh it's us, some of it, no doubt...What a world. Great.

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  • 84. At 2:12pm on 13 Mar 2009, timwebber wrote:

    If Rooney is an Everton fan why does he kiss his Utd badge and deliberately goad EFC supporters every time the two teams meet? And why did he leave Everton at the first available opportunity, without even giving them one fantastic season (which I'm sure he was capable of). Is it because he is a terrible fan or just an idiot?

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  • 85. At 2:21pm on 13 Mar 2009, whatbill wrote:

    a manager in Ferguson who never allows a negative thought to cross his mind"

    "if United draft in the enegy (sic) of Darren Fletcher and Ji-Sung Park, favourites of Ferguson when industry is need (sic) to go alongside artistry"

    Surely a contradiction...

    Just more evidence of the difference in media perception between Liverpool and United! If Carrick and fletcher play together then it is guile and industry but if Alonso and Mascherano play together it is a defensive set-up!

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

    The media perception of united and liverpool tends to be based upon results. United win far more games than liverpool, simple as that.

    And Phil's comment about negativity is based on Fergie's focus on winning games, compared to Rafa who seems to initially set out not to lose. Yes, United have a tight defence and a balance between hard work and artistry but that is to ensure the best chance of victory. And there is nothing negative about winning...

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  • 86. At 2:22pm on 13 Mar 2009, Virtuet wrote:

    Why does moderation takes so long it could be done automatically by checking against a list of offensive words.

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  • 87. At 2:23pm on 13 Mar 2009, haydenzenny wrote:

    How can people compare the two teams! since 1999, head to head: manu 13 wins liverpool 3 wins 4 draws in league. I think West Ham and portsmouth have better records against UTD than Liverpool. If this is a measure of a great Liverpool squad, then getting dumped out of the FA cup by everton, 10 points behind league leaders and beating an old aged Real Madrid team, than UTD have a long time for domination!

    Oh...one last point!! haha where sthose liverpool fans a decade ago said their league wins will never be reached!!! It's history and Utd and best team in England history

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  • 88. At 2:24pm on 13 Mar 2009, Ji-Sung Parks cousin - 19 wrote:

    re: Post 3
    "After 11 straight PL wins, the odds probably favour United dropping some points in this game"

    I wish you were my bookie mate!

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  • 89. At 2:29pm on 13 Mar 2009, digispoonerta wrote:

    (before we start i'm not a liverpool fan)

    It's not often that i agree with Phil but i think that Liverpool have to go for broke against ManU. It might not be the best idea but a draw is no use to Liverpool.

    They have 2 good attacking players (Torres and Gerrard) a pretty good defence (not conceeded loads)if they can get some quick passing together with Mascerano (forgive the spelling) winning the ball and Alonso with his passing (a la Spain v England) they have a chance to win the game.

    Anyway surely any neutral football supporter wouls prefer Liverpool to come out and make the game exciting rather than sit back.

    My prediction would be a fast paced/ hectic 2 - 2 draw :-)

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  • 90. At 2:30pm on 13 Mar 2009, Daggers wrote:

    I believe Fletcher and Park will start on Saturday but I think United will ultimately fail to break through the Liverpool 11 that will sit in its own half for most of the game and rely on a breakaway goal. I can see that happening actually. What United should do is sit back as well. It'll make Benitez moan about negativity but only because it'll stifle Liverpool's only realistic means of winning.

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  • 91. At 2:36pm on 13 Mar 2009, Bergysdeftflicks wrote:

    Please, do me a favour Phil. Its a bold attempt to create the 2nd Alamo, but it wont happen and Liverpool certainly wont go at Man U. They dont 'go at' anybody. This is Utd, not the worst Madrid side in living memory. Utd have the title as good as done. A draw will do them almost as well as a win. They will get it too.

    This seasons title race (i use the word sparingly) has been a let down due to the ineptitude of the usual challengers. The title run in wont improve it either.

    0-0

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  • 92. At 2:47pm on 13 Mar 2009, rjaggar wrote:

    This will either be a really boring sterile affair, with Liverpool going for a classic 1-0 away from home, or it will be an absolute ding-dong. If Liverpool go for it, then Utd will be catching them on the break and with their attack, they must fancy their chances.

    To me, the key will be Liverpool's mind-set. Are they still stroking their manes after all the admiration from the girls this week? Or has their mindblowing night of passion against Real set their pulling juices into overdrive? Fergie's the world's greatest at giving teams the eye, then kicking them in the nuts when they try to pull them onto the dance floor, after all.......

    We all await with interest tomorrow......

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  • 93. At 3:12pm on 13 Mar 2009, c_or10 wrote:

    Season 04/05

    Scott Carson - £1,000,000, Fernando Morientes - £6,300,000, Mauricio Pellegrino - Free, Antonio Nunez - Swap, Xabi Alonso - £10,500,000, Luis Garcia - £6,000,000, Josemi - £2,000,000, Djibril Cisse - £14,000,000

    Season 05/06

    Craig Bellamy - £6,000,000, Robbie Fowler - Free, Daniel Agger - £5,800,000, David Martin - Signed, Nabil El Zhar - signed, Jan Kromkamp - Swap, Paul Anderson - Signed, Jack Hobbs - Signed, Godwin Antwi - Signed, Peter Crouch - £7,000,000, Mohamed Sissoko - £5,600,000, Antonio Barragan - £240,000, Boudewijn Zenden - Free, Mark Gonzalez - £4,500,000, Jose Reina - £6,000,000

    Season 06/07

    Lucas Leiva - £6,000,000, Francisco Manuel Duran - Signed, Javier Mascherano - £1,500,000, Alvaro Arbeloa - £2,600,000, Nabil El Zhar - £200,000, Dirk Kuyt - £9,000,000, Jermaine Pennant - £6,700,000, Fabiano Aurelio - Free, Gabriel Paletta - £2,000,000

    Season 07/08

    Javier Mascherano - £17,100,000, Martin Skrtel - £6,000,000, Damien Plessis - Signed, Emiliano Insua - £1,300,000, Ryan Babel - £11,500,000, Yossi Benayoun - £5,000,000, Sebastian Leto - £1,850,000, Fernando Torres - £26,500,000, Charles-Hubert Itandje - Signed, Andrei Voronin - Free

    Season 08/09

    Philipp Degen - Free, Andrea Dossena - £7,000,000, Diego Cavalieri - £3,500,000, Robbie Keane - £20,300,000, Vitor Flora - Signed, Alberto Riera - £8,000,000, David Ngog - £1,500,000

    Liverpool transfer/loan spend last 5 years - £212.49 million

    Season 04/05

    Florent N'Galula - £0, Wayne Rooney - £27,000,000

    Season 05/06

    Patrice Evra - £5,500,000, Nemanja Vidic - £7,000,000, Ben Foster - £1,000,000, Ji-Sung Park - £4,000,000, Edwin Van Der Sar - £2,500,000

    Season 06/07

    Michael Carrick - £18,600,000

    Season 07/08

    Manucho - Signed, Carlos Tevez - £10,000,000, Nani - £13,500,000, Tomasz Kuszczak - £2,500,000, Anderson - £15,000,000, Owen Hargreaves - £17,000,000, Raphael De Silva - £2,500,000, Fabio De Silva - £2,600,000, Rodrigo Possebon - Signed

    Season 08/09

    Dimitar Berbatov - £30,750,000, Zoran Tosic - £5,000,000, Adem Ljajic - £5,000,000, Ritchie De Laet - Undisclosed

    Manchester United transfer/loan spend last 5 years - £174.85 million

    As a Liverpool fan this makes grim reading...

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  • 94. At 3:14pm on 13 Mar 2009, ostevo wrote:

    Another thoughtfully written blog.I'm an Arsenal fan and therefore neutral.I think Liverpool could well beat United if they treat this match like would a knockout contest.And for Liverpool ,at this stage, it is just that.I don't think Man U will win everything this season.Arsenal beat them earlier and could do so again.Any of the 4 English clubs are capable of winning the Champions League and i think Liverpool must be co- favourites along with United.

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  • 95. At 3:22pm on 13 Mar 2009, LFC_Its_Only_A_Game wrote:

    I just want to say one thing... lovely words coming from Rio's mouth and Waynes mouth regarding there thoughts for liverpool... they sound like a typical manu fan if you ask me... disliking and not caring about other professional footballers... thats really a lovely team you support there lads... all we need now is another cantona kick to happen... poor manu, they tend to attract the really good but mad players... enjoy the game tomorrow lads...

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  • 96. At 3:24pm on 13 Mar 2009, LFC_Its_Only_A_Game wrote:

    as long as united dont win it and chelsea take there oppurtunity to win it... bring it on... :-)

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  • 97. At 3:24pm on 13 Mar 2009, pagallim wrote:

    Yes, Liverpool will take some confidence having the result they did against RM on Tuesday. However, they, and everyone else knows, that this was not a potent RM they played against. Enjoy the evening, sing to your hearts content, and bask in the knowledge that you have defeated a team who have never looked like they are happy being in the Champions League in the first place, (SAF went for experience AKA Giggs/Scholes), and in spite of the lack of control and sometimes potentially 'game over' mistakes that they made, there was enough skill and experience in the team to produce a win. Inter Milan are a strong team, Real Madrid (at the moment) are not.

    For me, this Saturday is always going to be about the will to win. Liverpool have energy, but lack skill (in the absence of Gerrard and Torres at least). The atmosphere at OT will cause a lot of nerves on the part of Liverpool's players, and I seriously think that SAF will not want to take any prisoners on this occasion.

    Previously, I had a lot of respect for RB, but his comments about MU, and in particular SAF, shows what a jealous individual he is, and as such, I really, really want he gets his ass kicked. Benitez has no class, no integrity, and I think at the end of the season, no silverware either.

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  • 98. At 3:25pm on 13 Mar 2009, dandolinho wrote:

    well the 'must win attitude' is something that the media like to put on it, honestly, as far as i can tell, a win willnot make an iota of difference to the title push, all it will do is make sure we stay in and around 2nd place. with the above statement, it assumes that united can loose another 8 points, the goal difference meaning they may as well have an extra point coz going level with them will still keep them top. n that liverpool will win all their remaning games.. all of them. which aint gonna happen as enthusiastic as i m about a win tomorrow, i want to beat united coz its united, not coz i think its will put us bk into the race, it really wont now

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  • 99. At 4:04pm on 13 Mar 2009, Bury are Fantastic wrote:

    re: #95 LFC_Its_Only_A_Game, get a life. You'd love it if Gerard or Carragher came out and said how much he hates Man United. And as for 'thats really a lovely team you support there lads', well its a lovely team you support too with Gerard ending up in fights in restaurants with his scally scouse mates. Face it, they're all as bad as each other. They're not polititicians, they're footballers they can say what they want and from a fans' point of view its great when the players themselves stir it up a bit.

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  • 100. At 4:15pm on 13 Mar 2009, Karthick Arvinth wrote:

    Season 04/05

    Scott Carson - ?1,000,000, Fernando Morientes - ?6,300,000, Mauricio Pellegrino - Free, Antonio Nunez - Swap, Xabi Alonso - ?10,500,000, Luis Garcia - ?6,000,000, Josemi - ?2,000,000, Djibril Cisse - ?14,000,000

    Season 05/06

    Craig Bellamy - ?6,000,000, Robbie Fowler - Free, Daniel Agger - ?5,800,000, David Martin - Signed, Nabil El Zhar - signed, Jan Kromkamp - Swap, Paul Anderson - Signed, Jack Hobbs - Signed, Godwin Antwi - Signed, Peter Crouch - ?7,000,000, Mohamed Sissoko - ?5,600,000, Antonio Barragan - ?240,000, Boudewijn Zenden - Free, Mark Gonzalez - ?4,500,000, Jose Reina - ?6,000,000

    Season 06/07

    Lucas Leiva - ?6,000,000, Francisco Manuel Duran - Signed, Javier Mascherano - ?1,500,000, Alvaro Arbeloa - ?2,600,000, Nabil El Zhar - ?200,000, Dirk Kuyt - ?9,000,000, Jermaine Pennant - ?6,700,000, Fabiano Aurelio - Free, Gabriel Paletta - ?2,000,000

    Season 07/08

    Javier Mascherano - ?17,100,000, Martin Skrtel - ?6,000,000, Damien Plessis - Signed, Emiliano Insua - ?1,300,000, Ryan Babel - ?11,500,000, Yossi Benayoun - ?5,000,000, Sebastian Leto - ?1,850,000, Fernando Torres - ?26,500,000, Charles-Hubert Itandje - Signed, Andrei Voronin - Free

    Season 08/09

    Philipp Degen - Free, Andrea Dossena - ?7,000,000, Diego Cavalieri - ?3,500,000, Robbie Keane - ?20,300,000, Vitor Flora - Signed, Alberto Riera - ?8,000,000, David Ngog - ?1,500,000

    Liverpool transfer/loan spend last 5 years - ?212.49 million

    Season 04/05

    Florent N'Galula - ?0, Wayne Rooney - ?27,000,000

    Season 05/06

    Patrice Evra - ?5,500,000, Nemanja Vidic - ?7,000,000, Ben Foster - ?1,000,000, Ji-Sung Park - ?4,000,000, Edwin Van Der Sar - ?2,500,000

    Season 06/07

    Michael Carrick - ?18,600,000

    Season 07/08

    Manucho - Signed, Carlos Tevez - ?10,000,000, Nani - ?13,500,000, Tomasz Kuszczak - ?2,500,000, Anderson - ?15,000,000, Owen Hargreaves - ?17,000,000, Raphael De Silva - ?2,500,000, Fabio De Silva - ?2,600,000, Rodrigo Possebon - Signed

    Season 08/09

    Dimitar Berbatov - ?30,750,000, Zoran Tosic - ?5,000,000, Adem Ljajic - ?5,000,000, Ritchie De Laet - Undisclosed

    Manchester United transfer/loan spend last 5 years - ?174.85 million

    As a Liverpool fan this makes grim reading...

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

    Thats all nice to point out but have a look at the number of players Benitez has signed - close to 60. And how many have come good? Its not that Liverpool can't compete with United financially, its just that your Raffa is incapable of building a team with any sort of stability. He's turned your club into kind of a Spanish armada that if he leaves now, you pretty much have to shake up your whole squad as its hard to see the Spanish contingent sticking around after he goes. Compare that to United who have are strong, stable and have a solid platform to dominate for years to come.

    Its bemusing to most of the neutrals to see the unconditional backing Rafa receives from pool fans. I'll admit, he's the master of planning for a two-legged tie, but really is that enough for you lot?

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  • 101. At 4:18pm on 13 Mar 2009, bringbacktraore wrote:

    Liverpool will not win tomorrow and i predict will finish at least 14 points behind Utd. I would be willing to bet anyone who thinks i'm a slightly mad Liverpool supporter. I am not like some fans living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

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  • 102. At 4:28pm on 13 Mar 2009, IdRatherWalkAlonethx wrote:

    Does anybody actually remember the last time liverpool played 8 straight games and didnt drop any points? United can afford to lose to liverpool, arsenal and city and still not worry about losing the title. Any liverpool fans who think other wise are in dream land.

    I'll hold my hands up and say liverpool played well against madrid, but nothing more than that, as madrid quite frankly didnt even know what they were doing at anfield. This does NOT mean the title race is back on, far from it. United's game in hand is pompy and you have to say really we are already 10 points clear. Its over scousers!

    I find it hard to believe liverpool fans genuinly believe liverpool deserve to win the title. ANY club that relies souly on 2 players doesnt deserve the title, let alone europe.

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  • 103. At 4:31pm on 13 Mar 2009, dandolinho wrote:

    The atmosphere at OT?

    what atmostphere, there is one n never has been, there is a difference between atmostphere and just plain random noise that interupts the majority of silence that infects the coutries biggest stadium, trust, it doesnt sound like it.. ever

    plus, scared? they have playedin it many a time b4, won in it many a time b4 n have played in bigger, better more intimidating atmostpheres than OT

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  • 104. At 4:42pm on 13 Mar 2009, kevethan wrote:

    Re: No. 93. You've obviously done your homework but what you have failed to comprehend is the squad Benitez inherited when he joined Liverpool.

    Rafa has a certain amount of money to spend each season, normally a net of € 20m, and therefore has to trade alot more. Your total spend of € 212m may be correct but Liverpools net spend in that time is only € 97m -v- Man United net spend of € 93m, hardly much difference there.

    Where the main difference comes in is that ferguson is able to spend close to € 20-30m on one proven player...(the likes of Berbatov, Rooney, Carrick, Hargreaves, possibly Tevez in the summer).. Benitez cannot do this as of yet because he needs to build a squad first and then a quality player or two at a time, ala Ferguson.

    Benitez' squad players and young players for the future generally cost a couple of million, with one or two each season for 5-10m (Lucas, Babel etc) wheras ferguson has spent 15m on Anderson, nearly the same on Nani, 36m for Hargraeves and Carrick. Liverpool will not be able to compete in the premiership for these reasons for another season or two.

    As a Liverpool fan i'm content with our progress on this front, we are building for the future and gaining on United most seasons over the last 5yrs. We still need a couple more players of the 20-30m calibre and then i think we'll be able to compete with United.

    Do you honestly think if Liverpool had € 90m to spend on three strikers we'd struggle to score goals as we sometimes do against the 'lesser' teams??

    We've proved this season that we have one of the best starting 11 in the premiership, results back this theory up, but can't compete squad wise. The media get on Benitez' case when he rotates because the results normally go against us but he has no choice for now, you cannot play the same 13/14 players and not have injuries/burn-outs. Ferguson makes changes for nearly every match and doesn't get ridiculed, and why should he be, he has the squad to make changes and still win.. Soon Liverpool will too, then it will be an interested race!

    Just a side note, Liverpool's current squad has 2 players purchased at over 15m..Torres and The Monster Masch. Manchester United have 7, (My count anyway)...Rooney, Berbatov, Anderson, Carrick, Hargreaves, Ferdinand and Tevez(!). Nani is nearly there too..

    First post was never meant to be this long...he irked me though!

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  • 105. At 5:02pm on 13 Mar 2009, GenesisRed wrote:

    "Just more evidence of the difference in media perception between Liverpool and United! If Carrick and fletcher play together then it is guile and industry but if Alonso and Mascherano play together it is a defensive set-up!"

    Well, Fletcher is loosly "similar" to Alonso in that he's a creative passer who gets forwards, but comparing a holding player like Mascherano to Park who is a winger...? Your point, as would be expected, is a pile of balls.

    United will suck up the intermittent Liverpool pressure, while putting them under near constant siege. United will go 2-0 up (Vidic header) and then coast and concede a late goal to make the end 'interesting'.

    Cry on, cry on...

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  • 106. At 5:14pm on 13 Mar 2009, daveski25 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 107. At 5:28pm on 13 Mar 2009, fat_mark1989 wrote:

    Why do all Liverpool fans think that playing the same way as they did against Real is going to win them the game. Man Utd have made themselves the team they are with their counter attacking.... if Liverpool attack from the off Ferdinand and Vidic will absorb everything and United will ruin them on the counter attack....

    As they won't play like they did against Real it will be boring 0-0 or 1-1.....

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  • 108. At 5:40pm on 13 Mar 2009, superadders wrote:

    Ive been saying all along the title race is over because of liverpool drawing way too many matches at home and man u having an unmatchable squad. But after seeing what happened on tuesday, i have restored faith and if they win tomorrow, they will still have a chance, allbeit a slim one. If they draw or lose, man u win the title. simple as that.

    Rafa needs to put out a strong 11. If anything, the same team he put out vs madrid would'nt go amiss.

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  • 109. At 5:47pm on 13 Mar 2009, kenya2oldtrafford wrote:

    as a man u fan, 2moros tie presents some "squeky-bum" experience. i have no problem with our attacking form, its this new defensive form that is scaring me. van der sar doesnt look that assured any more and i think LFC will score;which brings a problem to MAn U because we have to match their pace and ultimately win the game. looks like a nervy 2-1 win for man utd and the usual red card 4 mascherano for over-indulging the referee in Spanish or Spanglish!!!!!!!!!

    go MUFC!! i will certainly be cheering you on!

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  • 110. At 5:52pm on 13 Mar 2009, madeiraman57 wrote:

    SAF what you like and their strength in depth will again tell.
    Liverpool played great will bring in some excellent rested players, 2nd choice, call it what you like but they have quality that the opposition don't have available to them, bad buys etc.
    I believe the fixture will either be a United win or end in a drawn game , ok for my OT boys.
    Liverpool can talk it up as much as they like, fatigued players abound, Gerrard and Torres will burn out and where else is their threat ??

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  • 111. At 5:57pm on 13 Mar 2009, iknowwhatilike wrote:

    Neither manager will go for broke as they both realise each side would punish those tactics and match officials at Old Trafford rarely allow teams to pressure United by liberal application of the rules to United tackling particularly Scholes.
    Both managers would settle for a draw as they will gain little from a victory in the long run.
    Everyone seems to forget that Liverpool do better in Europe because they don't have to suffer the inadequacies of English match officials probably because of their reluctance to swarm all over referees at every decision.
    United will win the title because they are a very good side and also because the FA does not have the backbone to stand up to their crude manipulation and pressuring of referees.

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  • 112. At 6:26pm on 13 Mar 2009, Karthick Arvinth wrote:

    104. At 4:42pm on 13 Mar 2009, kevethan wrote:

    Re: No. 93. You've obviously done your homework but what you have failed to comprehend is the squad Benitez inherited when he joined Liverpool.

    Rafa has a certain amount of money to spend each season, normally a net of ? 20m, and therefore has to trade alot more. Your total spend of ? 212m may be correct but Liverpools net spend in that time is only ? 97m -v- Man United net spend of ? 93m, hardly much difference there.

    Where the main difference comes in is that ferguson is able to spend close to ? 20-30m on one proven player...(the likes of Berbatov, Rooney, Carrick, Hargreaves, possibly Tevez in the summer).. Benitez cannot do this as of yet because he needs to build a squad first and then a quality player or two at a time, ala Ferguson.

    Benitez' squad players and young players for the future generally cost a couple of million, with one or two each season for 5-10m (Lucas, Babel etc) wheras ferguson has spent 15m on Anderson, nearly the same on Nani, 36m for Hargraeves and Carrick. Liverpool will not be able to compete in the premiership for these reasons for another season or two.

    As a Liverpool fan i'm content with our progress on this front, we are building for the future and gaining on United most seasons over the last 5yrs. We still need a couple more players of the 20-30m calibre and then i think we'll be able to compete with United.

    Do you honestly think if Liverpool had ? 90m to spend on three strikers we'd struggle to score goals as we sometimes do against the 'lesser' teams??

    We've proved this season that we have one of the best starting 11 in the premiership, results back this theory up, but can't compete squad wise. The media get on Benitez' case when he rotates because the results normally go against us but he has no choice for now, you cannot play the same 13/14 players and not have injuries/burn-outs. Ferguson makes changes for nearly every match and doesn't get ridiculed, and why should he be, he has the squad to make changes and still win.. Soon Liverpool will too, then it will be an interested race!

    Just a side note, Liverpool's current squad has 2 players purchased at over 15m..Torres and The Monster Masch. Manchester United have 7, (My count anyway)...Rooney, Berbatov, Anderson, Carrick, Hargreaves, Ferdinand and Tevez(!). Nani is nearly there too..

    First post was never meant to be this long...he irked me though!

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

    You say Benitez cannot spend big on one player because he needs to build a squad first. So where is this 'squad' then? I'll admit Liverpool's first eleven are stronger now but you take that away, and what have you got? Nothing. You can make all sorts of ambiguous excuses like those, but the reality is Benitez doesn't cut it when it comes to spotting talent and getting the best out of his players. I remember right after Liverpool's defeat to Milan in Athens, the first thing Benitez had to say was the need to spend "big money". He had his wish and Liverpool's squad is still meager and thats a FACT.

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  • 113. At 6:49pm on 13 Mar 2009, Danshevik wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 114. At 7:31pm on 13 Mar 2009, GeoffWright1982 wrote:

    A win for Liverpool tomorrow would be good for the Premiership, and not just this season. The league is in danger of getting boring, and Man Utd must not be allowed to get too far ahead of everyone else.

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  • 115. At 8:12pm on 13 Mar 2009, FA_Equals_Fergusons_Alliance wrote:

    even my mam knows Liverpool can't have too great performances in a row.Unless we are very lucky,dont expect much.

    The title race is over.I just pray they dont win the quadruple(world club championship means nothing,it doesnt count.why not count the community shield and euro super cup(which they lost)to the list of trophies)

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  • 116. At 8:23pm on 13 Mar 2009, chrisox wrote:

    So, Liverpool will go for it will they??? Dont make me laugh! They will be torn to shreds if they try that and Benitez knows it. He will try to frustrate United and nick a goal.

    The result is meaningless, United will win the league regardless.

    United will win an 18th title and we are in pole position to win #19 next season. The Scousers know this and they cant stand it.

    So the Scousers can talk this game up all they want. Your manager lost the title for you in January and you will never win a league title as long as he is manager..... PLEASE sign a new contract Rafa. hahahahaha

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  • 117. At 8:43pm on 13 Mar 2009, RedraM wrote:

    Comment 104 Kevethan:

    "Re: No. 93. You've obviously done your homework but what you have failed to comprehend is the squad Benitez inherited when he joined Liverpool.

    Where the main difference comes in is that ferguson is able to spend close to ? 20-30m on one proven player...(the likes of Berbatov, Rooney, Carrick, Hargreaves, possibly Tevez in the summer).. Benitez cannot do this as of yet because he needs to build a squad first and then a quality player or two at a time, ala Ferguson."
    _________________________________________________________________________________


    Your arguement falls flat for 2 reasons

    1. Much of the squad he won the CL with was the side he inherited

    2. Despite the figures you're presented with and have commented upon you have still failed to grasp that Benitez HAS spent 20-30M on individual proven players: Torres, 26.5M (one proven player); Keane, 20M (one proven player); Masch, 17M (one proven player).

    As has been pointed out Benitez has bought a lot of players that just have not worked. Just check Poltergeist23's list out and see how many signings have actaully added anything to the side. Leto, Pauletta, Kromkamp, Zenden, Gonzalez, Voronin to name just a few that have failed to impress, while Benitez insists on sticking with our brazilian 'wonderkid' Leiva who seems intent on throwing away any advantage gained in any game he plays in. I would rather have Anderson in the side!

    Benitez will forever be an enigma until he wins the Premiership

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  • 118. At 9:46pm on 13 Mar 2009, strictlyLFC wrote:

    I don't think tomorrows result will have any bearing on the title race. It would take a collapse of Devon Loch proportions for Man U to lose the Premiership title now. However as a Liverpool fan it would still be nice to win at the Prawn Sandwich Palace.

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  • 119. At 10:59pm on 13 Mar 2009, The Trawler wrote:

    basically anj entire blog saying that Liverpool can beat the European champions on their own pitch because they dismantled a makeshift Madrid team who are a shadow of their former selves and who'd played a full pelt local derby 3 nights earlier when Liverpool had had their feet up for over a week

    get real Phil

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  • 120. At 11:22pm on 13 Mar 2009, redforever wrote:

    So many United fans that always look for an excuse when any of their competitors have a good game. You would think Liverpool had beaten United on Wednesday, not Real, with the amount of excuses they come up with.
    So far we are told Real are a "shadow of their former selves", are "makeshift", the "wrost incarnation of Real ever", were exhausted from "playing a local derby three nights earlier".
    We won, a lot of people, and a lot of United supporters were sure we wouldnt. I thought it would be harder than it was. No question the Galacticos that dismantled United a few years ago were a far better team. There, feel better? When they were a better team they gave you a hiding....mmmm.
    Tomorrow, I just hope that Mascherano or Leiva, and I have a feeling that muppet will play, doesnt get sent off and ruin the game. United are clearly very difficult to score against, and even when you do create clear cut openings (as Inter did this week), the ball has a habit of staying out of the net, call it luck if you want.
    I predict Liverpool will score first and United will equalise late.

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  • 121. At 11:40pm on 13 Mar 2009, dhimmi wrote:

    "all of which adds to the potent cocktail that makes up the most important Premier League match of the season."

    Rubbish

    There are teams in the Premier League, and England that have far more important matches

    But then they are teams other than Liverpool/Man Utd/Chelsea/Arsenal so you probably haven't heard of them.

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  • 122. At 00:03am on 14 Mar 2009, alrubie86 wrote:

    United to sit back and defend. They've played poorly for the first 20min+ of the last couple games so im expecting Liverpool to really up the tempo during this time and if liverpool nick a goal it could lead to more and i'd even be tempted to predict a 3-1 win. However, if liverpool do not concede, they will put pressure on the ball and try get gerrard and torres to link up and produce something special. If united score, lets just say Liverpool are comeback kings if they keep the patience otherwise if they don't they'll just capichilate and lose miserably. Watch out for KUYT though, as much as people critisize him, he always puts in a performance in the big games. Kuyt to score a STUNNER, mark my words....

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  • 123. At 02:10am on 14 Mar 2009, cerealkiller7 wrote:

    no matter the result, manchester united have surely already grasped the league. As much as it pains me to say, being a fan of liverpool, manchester are more than likey going to win at old trafford. Manchester united boast great depth and creativity, which liverpool lack, especially if our key men are off the field.

    Manchester united have plenty of attacking options, whereas, if torres and gerrard are taken out of the picture, have few to none.
    This game will demonstrate manchesters greater attacking depth and creativity, and lverpools apparent lack of ability to gain a break through, as we have seen so many times this season, drawing twice to stoke of all teams. The game will do nothing but consolodate manchesters league superiority. If, somehow, liverpool do manage to pull of a win, it will do little but aid the consolodation of second place, that is a more realistic target at this stage in the season.

    The key men for liverpool to win this game will be alonso and gerrard, as they are the heart of our creativity, they will need to be at there best to spark decisive attacks and do all they can to hinder manchesters fluid attacking movement. If these two fail to perform we will see a a slow, clumbsy performance by liverpool, with little complex movement, and a manchester united dominance will be impossible to overcome.

    That bein said, good luck liverpool, at least a win would give good darby boasting rights..

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  • 124. At 09:15am on 14 Mar 2009, sparklingRAFALUTION wrote:

    Liverpool will win dis 1-2 a goal by torres in the 38th minute and a goal by rooney in the 57th kuyt will score from a corner

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  • 125. At 09:17am on 14 Mar 2009, DrCajetanCoelho wrote:

    Liverpool and Manchester United are playing top class football at the moment. With their never-say-die-spirit, they are sure to entertain their legion of admirers worldwide. Let us look forward to the ninety minutes of action and counter action. Best wishes to the players.



    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

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  • 126. At 09:37am on 14 Mar 2009, devilish7 wrote:

    When it comes to one off games Rafa certainly knows how to get his team to perform, but as he and his team have shown over the last few seasons, consistency is not one of their strong points. United on the other hand, have been the epitome of consistncy this season, in all competitions. I think United will win 3 - 1 and the Liverpool fans will have a long walk home, even if they are not alone!!!

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  • 127. At 11:00am on 14 Mar 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Come on get the facts right, "Benitez's outburst co-incided with Liverpool faltering badly in the league and United hitting a roll that has put them seven points clear at the top with a game in hand.........."
    Come off it, Liverpool started faltering as early as November, beaten by Spurs, Drew with Fulham WestHam Hull and Arsenal all before Christmas. It was this that lead to Bennytez outburst. He knew at Xmas he was in the Mire, and United have been on a Roll Since at least November 15th beating stoke 5:0.
    If United win today it will finally put paid to the blind loyalty of a lot of liverpool fans and wake them up. If Liverpool win they will go on as if they had won the league and talk about the ifs and buts for years to come. If it's a draw no one will be really very happy. The reality is United could loose 10:0 today and still go on and win the league, but they could and should stuff Livperpool and instill fear into them in case they meet in the champions league.

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  • 128. At 11:12am on 14 Mar 2009, ericseyebrows wrote:

    The atmosphere at OT?

    what atmostphere, there is one n never has been, there is a difference between atmostphere and just plain random noise that interupts the majority of silence that infects the coutries biggest stadium, trust, it doesnt sound like it.. ever

    plus, scared? they have playedin it many a time b4, won in it many a time b4 n have played in bigger, better more intimidating atmostpheres than OT
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What utter nonsense you spout. Stop believeing the media hype and unless you have been to OT for a massive game against the likes of Liverpool, City, Barcelona then you are in no position to judge. United fans know that playing Liverpool is the biggest domestic fixture there is and they will be up for it. Judging by your last 4 years results against United at OT, your team clearly can't handle the atmosphere at United.
    Talking about atmospheres, have you ever heard Anfield when you are playing the likes of Hull, Stoke, Fulham you constantly get outsong by the away fans.
    The media build up this "special" atmosphere at Anfield but this is only for the big teams, it is not prevalent in all your games.

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  • 129. At 2:50pm on 14 Mar 2009, oke2008 [RIP #15] wrote:

    Well, Well Well!!! i think everybody in the counrty (i include Man U fans here) has to admit that Man U based on todays performance are very far from the best team in the Top Four (maybe 6) and will only win the league due to their ability to beat the smaller clubs

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  • 130. At 4:24pm on 14 Mar 2009, timwebber wrote:

    Utd fans! Still relishing the prospect of facing L'pool in the Champion's League?

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  • 131. At 4:38pm on 14 Mar 2009, wengitari wrote:

    So.... all done and dusted. Who's the master of the mindgames now?? All this talk of "Rafa's rant" blah! blah! Oh, it's cost him the league! Oh what a fool! Oh how dare he think he can say such things against Ferguson! Oh how Ferguson has turned on the heat since those comments!

    Hahaha. Man U 1 - Liverpool 4

    There it is. Fact.

    Man U were humiliated. Poor throughout - and again down to Liverpool being the better team and outplaying them (just like Real Madrid). Fact.

    Which Manager had the dour, moody face? I'd love to watch another interview with Rooney now. The whole Man U team are laughable... and as for Vidic - completely outclassed and given the justice when he tried to prevent the inevitable... another goal to Liverpool.

    This is a good day indeed! This was nothing of luck.. nothing of the other team being off form... no excuses. Liverpool produced another fantastic scoreline with attacking football - this time at Old Trafford.

    Best Team in europe - Liverpool.

    Fact.

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  • 132. At 4:43pm on 14 Mar 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Wow, I got the red card and the change of team right. I am actually stunned at the Capitulation of Man United. Even if I did mention they might loose 10:0 there is some serious work to be done now at old trafford and Ferguson obviously put out the wrong team. Vidic must have been on the beer and girlies last night. Van Der Sar can now be dropped and be replaced.

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  • 133. At 5:58pm on 14 Mar 2009, mavericklfc wrote:

    On the 6th of December 1969, I was at Goodison Park watching my beloved Reds, then a team in transition, beat the mighty axis of Ball, Harvey and Kendal et al 3-0 who were to go on and win the league that season. A week later with puffed up chests, we took on our next biggest rivals at Anfield, the United side of Best,Law and Charlton.
    They humbled us 4-1!
    I've waited 40 years and 3 months to the day to avenge that defeat and boy, it feels great!!!
    Now its squeaky bum time and the mind games will start in earnest.
    Will United win the title?, probably, but thanks to that performance today, Liverpool have maintained the interest in the title race more than a little longer than we all first thought.
    And to everyone who dumbed down their performance against RM on Tuesday saying how poor the Spaniards were, where does that place United now we've done it to them 5 days later on their own midden?

    YNWA

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  • 134. At 6:13pm on 14 Mar 2009, dandolinho wrote:

    well, they didnt go for broke, they took it all in their stride, was quite easy, lucky then even got a penalty, n there is absolutly no denying any of liverpools goals, play or passion.

    gerrard is right, if liverpool, looking nothing like their best can bang 4 goals in at the toilet then pretty much every other team should b able to have a right go.

    well done boys, well worth it. looking forward to the next blog now, hope u highlight the ease with which liverpool picked united apart. said it above yeasterday, the 2-0 scoreline on wednesday papered over the cracks that every1 that aint blinkered could c.. united wer prime for the taking, fortunate to get away with big decisions n the relative lack in class upfront, once a team got even remotely at em they capitulated. gawd, even dossena a much maligned player at liverpool, n a highlight in the arguement of squad depth managed to put the final nail in the coffin of yet another european giant, showing class in one way o another.

    come on fulham, come on vill, come on arsenal.... any1 else that has to play united now, evidence is there, 2 have great hopes of CL football, n fulham still aint safe, fight for the places, dont fold...

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  • 135. At 6:16pm on 14 Mar 2009, dandolinho wrote:

    ericseyebrows2, The Quad Squad 2009!

    well the crowed proved me right today eh?

    team proved me right today eh?

    get it into ur head pal, OT is a shockingly bad stadium for atmostphere, i have been to plenty of games there, plenty of big games n at no point was i blown away, n neither was the team.

    u wants an atmostphere u can go to quite a few stadiums n have a better experience than OT anfield being top of the list... FACKT

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  • 136. At 7:28pm on 14 Mar 2009, kEITH wrote:

    I think they did go for broke!!!

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  • 137. At 8:12pm on 14 Mar 2009, lazypool2002 wrote:

    its not over till the red nosed jock says it is...or the fat spanish waiter steals it.

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