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United Gave Away The Three Points, Gift-Wrapped

United Gave Away The Three Points, Gift-Wrapped

I've seen lots of Liverpool v United games but I can think of only two which rivals this in terms of being infuriating. First would be their sickening comeback from 0-3 in 1994, the other was when David Elleray salvaged a draw for them in 1999.

But it all started well. Weather was fine, Gerrard and Torres were on the bench, our starting line-up looked solid and included Berbatov. And it got better: within 3 minutes, the Bulgarian latched onto Scholes' through ball, took it to the byline then cut back for Tevez who hammered home from just inside the box.

It looked set to be another happy Anfield afternoon. We were the better team, looked more dangerous and defended solidly. It looked like we could actually increase our lead when disaster struck.

It felt like being at Stamford Bridge as usually Chelsea are who score these type of goals. The ball deflected off Evra towards goal but Van der Sar was comfortably first to the it and he should have got it easily - instead he opted to punch it too early, the ball hit Brown and rolled into the empty net. You may notice that I did not mention the name of a single Liverpool player while describing their equaliser - well, no surprise as they really had nothing to do with it.

Now, we are the English and European champions, I thought. This temporary setback should be no problem really, we're capable of scoring again. And I was almost proved right immediately as Tevez missed a great chance to put us back in front.

However, the worrying signs began to accumulate. Liverpool tackled, harassed, hassled and were generally inconvenient. Benayoun kicked Carrick off the park and Scholes was simply off the pace, such a frantic game is not for his old legs anymore. Still, we made it till the break without major problems.

Carrick had to be brought off and we assumed that either Hargreaves or Fletcher would come in to replace him. Instead Fergie opted for another veteran whose legs are no longer capable of that extra mile: Ryan Giggs. In such a game it was suicide.

Liverpool's physical superiority became absolutely crystal clear and though their footballing skills are mediocre at best they just bombed forward, sent crosses in constantly and hoped that we would commit a mistake. Not very sophisticated, this approach and they did not have a really fine attack until the 92nd minute but it was enough to cause us serious problems. Which is an obvious concern as teams with limited skill but endless stamina should not unsettle us so easily...

Still, Giggs, despite being almost invisible, was inches away of scoring and as Liverpool had no real chances we looked set for a draw which wasn't very good but still acceptable. However, the wearers of the white shirt decided that they should not escape with a point.

Mascherano's dribble on the right was brilliant, one of the rare moments of pure skill from a Liverpool player. But Giggs got the ball and had it covered. Losing it there, in that position - astonishing and incredible. Seasoned veterans should really know better. And that's how we gave away another goal, another one where we should have easily cleared the ball.

The rest of the game was pure horror. It was obvious that we had neither the mental nor the physical strength - another worrying sign - to scrape an equaliser though Rooney could have done it but totally mishit his shot. Summed up his afternoon really. And as for Berbatov... started well then the total disintegration of our midfield resulted in the isolation of our strikers, Tevez and Berbatov.

Liverpool deserved to win, simply because they kept bombing forward and because it would be the Premier League's embarassment if we had got away with the mistakes we had made. This way it's only our own embarassment.

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Date:Saturday September 13 2008
Time: 11:04PM


Gracious in defeat as always... putting it alot fairer The Pool after the first ten minutes pulled their socks up and played man utd off the park...utd were *****e.
14/09/2008 00:02:00
I can see you've tried to be gracious in defeat, but really, insulting an opponant's skills and ablility right after we've just played you off the park is either you trying to comfort yourselves that you just had an off day, or just being petulant because you lost. In the second half I saw absolutely nothing from any player in white to suggest that we are inferior technically. Admittedly we weren't as clinical in finishing as we'd like, but with our 'two-man-team' on the bench we were always going to be a bit less sharp than usual. Anyway, I might even stretch to hoping you grab a point at Stamford Bridge, we up at the top need Chelsea to drop a few now ;)
14/09/2008 02:22:00
more often then not United are not so good after International breaks. They also missed Ronaldo alot, reguardless of what the new Ronaldo haters say.
14/09/2008 02:48:00
What a joke!! 1-1 vs Newcastle 1-0 vs Portsmouth 2-1 vs Liverpool How are you going to say Liverpool's "footballing skills are mediocre?" when you can't even beat Newcastle at home? without Ronaldo you guys are *****. Rooney is the most overrated player in the world. last season you guys played like ***** until Ronaldo came back from injury and again this season you guys are playing like ***** with out him. Liverpool might be a 'two-man-team' but Ronaldo is MAN U and with out you guys are no better then Newcastle.
14/09/2008 03:50:00
Better team won !
Tiny T
14/09/2008 07:51:00
without ronaldo last season you would have finished 5th this seasons looks like it could be worse but over the years i have learnt not right you guys off...... the best team won on the day.....
14/09/2008 11:31:00
time for ben foster to get fit and retire van der sars old ass
14/09/2008 15:38:00
ps. rooneyisgod - show VDS some respect, remember last may? some fans have such short memories...
14/09/2008 15:51:00
Alright guys, whatever peopel like Naoise and the like say, our team should have been able to beat Liverpool. I place no blame on Fergie, but instead those of the players. Barring Teves and Fletcher, the rest of the tewam simply havent turned up for the new season yet. However, lets remember, this is undoubtedly our toughest run of games in the entrire season, so a positive result in the champions league followed by somethign simialr at Stamford Bridge could re-instate the confidence back in to our team. As Paulinho also said, the return of Ronaldo will undoubtedly be a huge boost. Personally, i feel that we look alot weaker from set peices, Van Der Sar has become very "flappy" to use the word, and our rock solid defence has already shipped 6 5 goals against Newcastle, Pool and Zenit. But alas, we have the complete squad ans I am hopeful we can get out of thisa tough run of games less scathed than we are now, and then we can push on.
14/09/2008 15:51:00
You guys have bad problem with your defence in this season. As united4life says, you already shipped 5 goals in 3 games. And also, I would agree with the most of you, that you have really good strikers, but when Ronaldo is out from the team, all they (Tevez, Rooney, Berbatov) looks "anaemic". It's easy to made a conclude that they are strong and dangerous (dangerous - looks scary in front of opposite defence) only when Ronaldo is playing alongside them. And I must say: you have had really good luck in the last few season, and obviosly, the time of this luckyness is over.
14/09/2008 17:28:00
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