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Liverpool's Route One Football Was Very Effective

Rafa Benitez claims that his team have exposed United's weaknesses and that other teams must take note and do the same. The papers sing the songs of Benitez's tactical mastery - but isn't this view a tad lopsided?

Well of course it is. Here's Benitez's guide on how to beat United.

'Maybe this is a message for the rest of the Premier League that they can be beaten here.'

'United have weaknesses. They have a lot of quality in attack. They are strong in defence because they have plenty of possession. But when they don't have the ball and you move the ball quickly and play behind the defenders you know you can beat them.'


Well... it sounds good, yeah. The truth, however, is that United, albeit playing well below their usual high standards, were firmly in control after taking the lead with Ronaldo's coolly taken penalty. Benitez's Liverpool aimed to kill our game, to take the life out of our midfield and front line by having Mascherano and Lucas snapping at the ankles of Tevez and Rooney while Aurelio and Riera doubled up on Ronaldo.

United struggled to create chances, that's right but after 1-0 we could and should have won the game despite Benitez's perceived master tactics. It was a hopeless punt upfields which brought about the equaliser and if Benitez hopes that Vidic (or his replacement Jonny Evans who'll surely play in the next three games) is going to commit such atrocious mistakes regularly - well good luck, hope springs eternal.

Yeah, Liverpool's route one football rattled our backline because they had a bad day and because they weren't protected by the midfield as Anderson was having the day off. However, the rest of the Premier League sides do not have a Fernando Torres in their ranks and surely won't encounter such a shaky United defence again.

Evra won't commit needless fouls every game - hopefully. He's not prone to stupid mistakes, he's the world's most consistent left-back and off-days such as Saturday are incredibly rare in his case.

And how did the third goal come about? Yeah, an aimless punt, flicked on by Kuyt and another DREADFUL Vidic error. Liverpool had one chance: they equalised. During their next concerted attack Evra gave away a penalty, 1-2. With their third real attack came Vidic's sending off and the free-kick.

They punished our schoolboy errors, that's right. Tactical masterplan it wasn't: they sat back, hoping for mistakes and relying on Torres' pace. It worked this time - but the exact same tactics a year ago brought a heavy 3-0 defeat for Liverpool, simply because United did not commit these mistakes. We beat ourselves - we won't do that often.




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 16 2009

Time: 9:24AM

Your Comments

"We beat ourselves" - You don't beat yourselves 4-1. You got battered, absolutely battered. You were just lucky it wasn't more!!
Rocky7
"We beat ourselves" - You don't beat yourselves 4-1. You got battered, absolutely battered. You were just lucky it wasn't more!!
Rocky7
Biased in the extreme. You were only 1-0 up from an error on our part. No mention of this though. Your big players didn't turn up, ours did.
KB1
Biased in the extreme. You were only 1-0 up from an error on our part. No mention of this though. Your big players didn't turn up, ours did.
KB1
I cant believe these guys are so blind... they only see what they want... pathetic really... Hey wheres FU? his words; "please please give Rafa a new contract" and "Madrid were poor and never showed up and utd wont make the same mistakes" or something like that... I kinda just wanna throw that back in his face...
Smilezzz
I cant believe these guys are so blind... they only see what they want... pathetic really... Hey wheres FU? his words; "please please give Rafa a new contract" and "Madrid were poor and never showed up and utd wont make the same mistakes" or something like that... I kinda just wanna throw that back in his face...
Smilezzz
Liverpool capitalised on every error our defence made and in the tight games at the top you need to do that to win. But my definition of battered would be that liverpool had possession of the football in our half for long periods of the game, worked our goal keeper and provided the type of sustained pressure which our backline struggled to deal with. That didnt happen. We lost 4-1, but the score does not reflect liverpools dominance, just their ruthless efficiency on the day.
tuscan3000
Liverpool capitalised on every error our defence made and in the tight games at the top you need to do that to win. But my definition of battered would be that liverpool had possession of the football in our half for long periods of the game, worked our goal keeper and provided the type of sustained pressure which our backline struggled to deal with. That didnt happen. We lost 4-1, but the score does not reflect liverpools dominance, just their ruthless efficiency on the day.
tuscan3000
we are pathetic? look at you, one minute you are hating on benitez the next you are praising his ass coz he brings u a few good wins. come the end of the season when youve won sweet fa again, ull be back on the get benitez out bandwagon. good fun being a scouser isnt it? liverpool were the better team saturday true, but i dont think any body watched the game and thought wow liverpool were outstanding. you just took your chances courtesy of our defence playing like a bunch of retards. it was hardly a master plan, it was no different an approach to any other big game you adopt or what fergy was expecting, so congratulations and good luck for the rest of the season. *chuckle*
ryu00
we are pathetic? look at you, one minute you are hating on benitez the next you are praising his ass coz he brings u a few good wins. come the end of the season when youve won sweet fa again, ull be back on the get benitez out bandwagon. good fun being a scouser isnt it? liverpool were the better team saturday true, but i dont think any body watched the game and thought wow liverpool were outstanding. you just took your chances courtesy of our defence playing like a bunch of retards. it was hardly a master plan, it was no different an approach to any other big game you adopt or what fergy was expecting, so congratulations and good luck for the rest of the season. *chuckle*
ryu00
The better team on the day end of subject without the ifs and buts
denno4
The better team on the day end of subject without the ifs and buts
denno4
ryu00. When do you ever beat us without errors on our part? Does that take away from the legitimacy of your wins? The 2 recent ones at Anfield spring to mind, Dudek errors 3 years in a row etc. These things happen and it is now your turn to suffer. Maybe, just maybe if all your fans weren't giving it the big 'i am' then there wouldn't be a mass outbreak of hilarity at your defeat.
KB1
ryu00. When do you ever beat us without errors on our part? Does that take away from the legitimacy of your wins? The 2 recent ones at Anfield spring to mind, Dudek errors 3 years in a row etc. These things happen and it is now your turn to suffer. Maybe, just maybe if all your fans weren't giving it the big 'i am' then there wouldn't be a mass outbreak of hilarity at your defeat.
KB1
indeed KB1 i don't disagree, i just dislike niaivity, i prefer to look at the bigger picture and stay realistic. i guess its just the product of football rivalry. when manutd win i dont get overly excited, coz any team can have an off day just like what happened on saturday. im not gonna hate on liverpool, but the fact remains that nothing was spectacular about your victory, it was just routine benitez. he's well organised and has probably turned you into a 3rd place team from a 4th placed team.
ryu00
indeed KB1 i don't disagree, i just dislike niaivity, i prefer to look at the bigger picture and stay realistic. i guess its just the product of football rivalry. when manutd win i dont get overly excited, coz any team can have an off day just like what happened on saturday. im not gonna hate on liverpool, but the fact remains that nothing was spectacular about your victory, it was just routine benitez. he's well organised and has probably turned you into a 3rd place team from a 4th placed team.
ryu00
your bubble has burst lads :-)
merlin
your bubble has burst lads :-)
merlin
ryu00 - But our performance was described as spectacular and outstanding throughout the media. Find me a single independent pundit that considered it as routine and a victory earned as a result of simply 'taking our chances'. You're just as deluded as that cock of a boss of yours.
Howard
ryu00 - But our performance was described as spectacular and outstanding throughout the media. Find me a single independent pundit that considered it as routine and a victory earned as a result of simply 'taking our chances'. You're just as deluded as that cock of a boss of yours.
Howard
If Liverpool won by route 1 football and Vidic and Ferdinand cant defend route 1 stuff then Ferdinand and Vidic are ovehyped and aaverage at best, That is all you Mancs have proven by writing this article. Any cant defend route 1 are a joke.Ferdinand and Vidic cant handle the pressure. Get used to it.
I Bling Red
If Liverpool won by route 1 football and Vidic and Ferdinand cant defend route 1 stuff then Ferdinand and Vidic are ovehyped and aaverage at best, That is all you Mancs have proven by writing this article. Any cant defend route 1 are a joke.Ferdinand and Vidic cant handle the pressure. Get used to it.
I Bling Red
Where is that motor mouth ForeverUnited?
I Bling Red
Where is that motor mouth ForeverUnited?
I Bling Red
ryu - nothing was outstanding about our victory on saturday? if you'd actualy watched the game then you would find each of our goals were outstanding. watch the replay and you will see that your so called invincible defence was torn to pieces by the average team you(utd fans as a whole) would so often label us with.
chopstah
ryu - nothing was outstanding about our victory on saturday? if you'd actualy watched the game then you would find each of our goals were outstanding. watch the replay and you will see that your so called invincible defence was torn to pieces by the average team you(utd fans as a whole) would so often label us with.
chopstah
Ahh the expected arrogance from Manure as usual, still trying to have the last laugh at our style of play. The two bald donkeys couldnt deal with Gerrard and Torres. Aurellio owned Ronaldo
JonLFC
Ahh the expected arrogance from Manure as usual, still trying to have the last laugh at our style of play. The two bald donkeys couldnt deal with Gerrard and Torres. Aurellio owned Ronaldo
JonLFC
 

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