Manchester United - Liverpool 1 United 1
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Liverpool 1 United 1

The honours were shared in a pulsating clash between two of the finest clubs in the country.

Team News - Sir Alex Ferguson extracted a few gasps of surprise form the Manchester United faithful when he decided to stick Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Nani all on the substitutes bench. Rio Ferdinand, as the morning press suspected, was recalled to the centre of defence whilst it was left to young Danny Welbeck to lead the attack.

For Liverpool, Steven Gerrard, as we`d suggested all week, returned to the starting eleven for the first time this season.

United - De Gea, Evra, Ferdinand, Jones, Evans, Smalling, Giggs, Park, Young, Fletcher, Welbeck

Subs - Lindegaard, Anderson, Carrick, Nani, Valencia, Rooney, Hernandez

Explaining his team selection, Sir Alex had this to say to the media before kick-off,

'We felt we've been far too open recently. Bringing Phil Jones in midfield gives us more security. Wayne Rooney's had a bad week. He was devastated at the suspension. I just felt he'd be better starting on the bench. Ji-Sung Park's very fresh. Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling missed the internationals, while Chicharito played a full 90 minutes against Brazil and didn't come back until Thursday.'

First Half - United got the action underway attacking the Kop End but it was to be a first forty-five minutes with very few clear cut chances.

Liverpool edge the first five minutes but without threatening De Gea in the United goal. With ten minutes on the clock, United`s best move of the half so far so Smalling and Park combine to fee Welbeck but his shot was weak and easily saved by Reina.

Liverpool pushed forward and Evra did well to head clear a dangerous Gerrard free kick. Young whipped in a dangerous looking free kick after being fouled by Kelly but Reina dealt with it comfortably, before with sixteen minutes on the clock, United created their first chance of the half.

Evra delivered a great ball into the area but Jones, at the far post, chose to direct a header towards goal instead of back across it, and it hit the side-netting.

Suarez, from forty-five yards out, tried a cheeky chip but it flew wide before De Gea was forced to make a good save from the same player. Adam burst forward and when his shot was deflected it fell to Suarez but, despite beating his marker, his shot was straight at De Gea who stood up well.

Fetcher and Park, on separate occasions, drove forward but both drilled shots wide. As the half approached it`s conclusion De Gea was forced to punch away, in a crowded six-yard box, a free kick from Adam, before an accidental collision between Lucas and Jones left the United player struggling as the half ended.

Half Time - Liverpool 0 United 0

Second Half - The second forty-five minutes were to prove infinitely better than the first. United started well and Young dragged a shot wide before earning a free kick twenty-five yards out. From the free kick Young`s curling shot forced Reina into a save, it was United`s first shot on target of the game.

Syarez won a corner off Smalling and from the resulting free kick Kuyt saw his header strike the arm of Evans, but no penalty kick was given. The game was swinging from end to end and Suarez just failed to reach a free kick driven in by Adam.

De Gea was forced into two saves, the first, low down, keeping out a Suarez effort from outside the area and the second from Gerrard from a very acute angle.

But with sixty-seven minutes gone Liverpool went ahead. Ferdinand was penalised for a trip on Adam and from the free kick, the United wall broke up allowing Gerrard to drive his shot home.

Liverpool 1 United 0 (Gerrard - 68 minutes)

Sir Alex responded by immediately introducing Rooney and Nani for Young and Park. Nani`s first contribution was a shot that went high and wide. Minutes later, Sir Alex made his third change, bringing off Jones and introducing Herandez, it was a move that was to have the desired effect.

Eighty minutes were on the clock when the second of two corners in quick succession was nodded on by Welbeck for Hernandez to head powerfully home, from close range.

Liverpool 1 United 1 (Hernandez - 80 minutes)

Both sides went for the win but it was Liverpool that looked the most likely to achieve it. Downing fired a long range shot wide before De Gea was forced to stretch to turn away a lob from Henderson, from outside the box. As the three minutes of stoppage time ebbed away, Skrtel fired hastily wide and Henderson, with a free header, saw his effort land on the roof of the net.

United had comeback from a goal down and ended that run of three consecutive defeats, in the Premier League, at Anfield.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red Boy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday October 15 2011

Time: 2:47PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
A draw against Liverpool at Anfield is a good result but I still feel a bit p155ed off. With Fergie saying it's the biggest fixture in English football rivalling that of Ranger-Celtic and blah as well as the fact that we should be going out to win every game I was really not happy with the starting line-up. You can't go to Anfield looking for a draw, it's tactical suicide in a sense to even invite pressure on yourselves against anyside let alone Liverpool at Anfield. The Liverpool squad for all its graft really does lack quality par 2 players and I thought we would've went out to exploit that. Not many of the players made me feel better either, normally the second squad is raring to go and full of energy but our attack play was lathargic and half-arsed. Charlie Adam's dive was as clear as daylight and fu(k knows how the ref didn't see it. After years of being in the game you would've thought Giggs would know better than to break away from the wall, De Gea didn't set it up the wall for the sake of it ffs! Ferdinand wasn't with it at all. The fact that our side being under immense pressure and playing some pretty turd football was crying out for a sub to be made yet Fergie just wasn't having it really began to frustrate me and it didn't make me feel much better when Fergie finally did make the sub we needed because it was all a little bit too late, we had already conceded. Evans for all his heart, commitment and loyalty isn't United quality, he's a good team player but I really do think we should consider buying another CB. A positive I suppose is the fact that De Gea, Jones and Smalling are class acts whilst Evra has began to defend and get back again.
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15/10/2011 15:22:00

Adam went down easily but he was touched by Ferdinand. Even so, If it was the other way around I'd be calling it a dive also. We still can't beat the smaller teams when they come to Anfield looking for a draw, damn.
Report Abuse
15/10/2011 15:34:00

Whats concerning is the fact that you could only muster a draw against our reserve side at Anfield with the help of a goal which should've never stood. What's your thoughts on that John? ;) :P
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15/10/2011 17:19:00

My thoughts are that if it wasn't for De Gea, and poor finishing, it would've been a win by three or more goals for us. Poor selection by Ferguson for this game, he was lucky you didn't lose.
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15/10/2011 17:50:00

Couldn't agree more with that John. I can't think of a rational explanation for why Fergie in his right mind would select that team. I firmly believe that if Fergie had picked a proper starting eleven we would've walked away with all 3 points and a more convincing performance.
Report Abuse
15/10/2011 18:07:00

Oh, but Johnny Evans IS united quality - at least that's as good as it's going to get. Bet I'm looking forward to the derby more than any of you lot are! :P
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15/10/2011 18:43:00

I doubt that No7, we had our best chances when Rooney, Nani, and Hernandez came in the game. If you started with them it would've been a more open game, and being at home, I'd like our chance.
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15/10/2011 18:54:00

JohnDoe when we were pushing for the goals we dominated possession and only once we scored and had the scoreline Fergie wanted we sat back again and invited pressure onto ourselves, if we had that throughout the game rather than just between the 70-80th minutes i'm certain we would've won. fcb, i'm looking forward to playing you off the park again only this time i'm sure we won't leave you with a scoreline that flatters your performance. Last minute heartbreak again?
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15/10/2011 21:49:00

I'm sorry, you played us off the park!!!!!! What game were you watching?You had only two shots on target, hardly created any chances from open play, lost the possession battle, and were lucky that you ended up with a point. If your basing your argument on just a ten minuet period in the game, a time when Liverpool sat back after we scored, then in the time after you scored till the end of the game we totally dominated you, and that with Rooney, Nani, and Hernandez on the pitch. So, by your reasoning, that makes us so much better than you. You were lucky you ended up with a point, and, as Benitez says, that's a fact.
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16/10/2011 09:24:00

The second half was very entertaining. Although contact on Adam looked non-existent to me, Ferdinand admitted in his interview after the game there might have been some “minimal” contact. Surprising therefore that after awarding a freekick there wasn’t a second yellow from the ref in truth. I think we (Liverpool) had the better chances but I’m content with a point especially because of the way we reacted to your equaliser... Vital Liverpool match report.
The Bagman
Report Abuse
16/10/2011 10:20:00

You could only muster a draw with what was largely a 2nd string side lacking any real ability to score goals and even then your point came through a freekick which was never a freekick (if that warrants a freekick then a lot more should be awarded in every game). I'm fairly certain that had we fielded our strongest side throughout we would've won. You had the most possession because Fergies team selection invited pressure onto ourselves, Fletcher and Jones can't keep the possession and create the same sort of pressure Cleverley and Anderson can, instead they just made up the defensive numbers. We went for a defensive game, I wanted us to take a Tottenham route and go for an attacking one, pin you back, make you make mistakes, pick up cards, have players weary about going forward because of the counter-attack threat and the defensive side we played was never going to cause any of that and it didn't. Obviously you think differently but I really can't help but believe that if we had went out to win that game and the side reflected that mentality, we would've won it.
Report Abuse
16/10/2011 10:55:00

TF7 - off in cloud cuckoo land again I see.
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16/10/2011 11:03:00

We only mustered a draw because you played ten players behind the ball and stifled the game. If you played Anderson and Cleverley in midfield it would've been a more wide open game, yes you might have created more chances but so would we, and playing at home, I fancy our chance more.
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16/10/2011 11:29:00

By the way, Adam went down easily I agree but so did Ashley Young on a couple of occasions, winning a free kick both times. I don't condone what Adam did, but all clubs have players that do this. Sadly, it's a part of the modern game.
Report Abuse
16/10/2011 11:34:00

I think we'll have to agree to disagree JohnDoe, it's all if's but's and maybe's and neither of us are ever going to be right.
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16/10/2011 13:03:00


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