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Benitez's Single Point

It couldn't have been sweeter than this. Yet another 1-0 win over Liverpool, with the second half spent with watching them pumping the ball upfields without a hint of a goal threat. Amazing.

It was all predictable really. Fergie knows he needs no subtlety to take the spoils from Anfield: set out to defend and score a goal somehow. That is always enough here as we have demonstrated time and time again. Yesterday Rio and Vida once again showed why they are the best defensive partnership in the world, Evra reassured his claim to be the world's best left-back and Anderson have underlined his credentials as the brightest talent in the Premiership.

Having said that, the dippers could have taken the lead due to uncharacteristic clangers from Van der Sar. Two harmless balls into the box were completely missed by the Dutchman but first Anderson then Evra cleared off the line. However, Gillet and Hicks, knowing little about football, will take note that despite Benitez's usual blabbering that 'we had chances', Liverpool actually threatened only due to two gifts from Edwin. And at one of these instances he was fouled.

Then of course came the winning goal. For all our possession and good midfield play we created nothing that has to be said but waiting for the opportunity and then seizing it always works at Anfield and this time was no different. It would have been the greatest corner combination of all time had Rooney's pass been intentional. I'm sure it wasn't, only a bad shot but I still went mad with me mates when Tevez turned it in, from more or less the same place where O'Shea won the game last season. His first ever away goal for United: could it have come at a better place?

The second half was desperately, utterly predictable. The highlight of it was Fernando Torres making a fool of himself early in the second half. The Spanish striker risked a glance out of Rio's pocket where he spent the whole game about every ten minutes or so and at one of these rare occasions he was again muscled off the ball with embarassing ease and, for reasons known only by himself, he set off in pursuit of Rio, who gave him a pat on the cheek and pushed him off as he would have done with an over-enthusiastic schoolboy. Brilliant!

Otherwise, United conceded the majority of space and possession but in turn took the life out of the game. Liverpool resorted to punting long ball upfields which the anonymous Kuyt and the poor Torres tried to chase down. The wingers, Kewell and Benayoun hit in a number of awful crosses and only Babel's introduction offered any kind of threat from Liverpool but their only dangerous chance came when Brown headed the ball in said winger's path and he fired wide from a good position. Otherwise they were in the defense's pocket, Hargreaves and Anderson excelling while Rio and Vidic surpassing themselves again.

United were far from their usual fluency in attack but should have scored two. First, Rooney's cross found Brown on the right of the penalty area but his shot lacked power as he did not hit it properly so it was easy for Reina.

The biggest chance of the game was Rooney's and I was terrified that we might regret not finishing them off. Evra took the ball of Benayoun on the edge of our box, set out on a great run then hit an expert pass towards Ronaldo who beat Hyypia and sent a perfect low cross to Rooney who, unmarked and six yards out, failed to hit the back of the net and sent the ball wide. It would have been the coup de grace but this way we managed to maximize the suffering of the Anfield faithful... who turned out to be not so faithful, leaving early despite their team's efforts to conjure a goal out of nothing.

So, seven league games against each other, six wins for Fergie and one 0-0 draw. Does any of us want Rafa to be fired?




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 17 2007

Time: 10:19AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Oh, sweet and brilliant. Benitez should stay, no question and Fernando Torres confirmed he is the latest in the long lines of Liverpool's forwards who just can't cut it against us. Is Kuyt a footballer?
midlothian99
Report Abuse
17/12/2007 10:27:00

borin match but i think every1 expected that. liverpool are miles away from winnin the league. i think arsenal will win the league
stephen mchugh
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17/12/2007 11:42:00

it wasnt a boring match it was a typical english game with tackles and was a thrill to watch yet it wasnt a flash game but never the less i enjoyed it and just to top it off carlos tevez popped up with a great strikers goal
Jakk-United-2007
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17/12/2007 12:37:00

do u support leeds or manchester
stephen mchugh
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17/12/2007 12:42:00

manchester united all the way what made yhoo think i supported leeds mate ?
Jakk-United-2007
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17/12/2007 12:57:00

you were on a spurs site recently agreein wit wat loyal leeds was sayin. jus wasnt sure who u supported
stephen mchugh
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17/12/2007 13:03:00

i though we were a bit disjointed at times and it might have been a mistake to play the liverpool way instead of our own but it worked so i can't complain. i'm surprised that the scousers's title challenge survived until mid-december, it must be a record.
Vidicinho
Report Abuse
17/12/2007 16:34:00

'Fernando Torres confirmed he is the latest in the long lines of Liverpool's forwards who just can't cut it against us.'................While you lot may have put your reserves out midweek and given ur strikers a rest,Torres was busy bangin the goals in Marseille.He was knackered.Trust me do not underestimate him and to be fair it can be difficult at times when u lot throw ten men behind the ball,defend on the edge of your box and have Hargreaves(canadian?) doubling up on him.Not saying that it was the wrong thing to do tactically but have some respect.
El-Nino-9
Report Abuse
17/12/2007 16:49:00

the bottom line is he could not cut it... and don't get me wrong but the marseillw game was over as a contest after 12 minutes, surely it couldn't have been so exhausting? after all the rotation and his injuries, little fernando should be fit and ready
Vidicinho
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17/12/2007 17:15:00

Don't think that in a player can claim to be knackered four days after an easy game in December...
Zae
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17/12/2007 19:17:00

"after all the rotation and his injuries, little fernando should be fit and ready." He's played the last 5 or so games.
Aamir
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17/12/2007 21:15:00

fernando torres is a brilliant player and now he is liverpool every1 is tlkin bwt him and a player of that calibure should be fit and sharp whenever they play !
Jakk-United-2007
Report Abuse
17/12/2007 22:10:00

torres is good bt ronaldo iz mint
loyalleeds
Report Abuse
18/12/2007 12:58:00

And you're really a Man Utd fan.
Aamir
Report Abuse
18/12/2007 15:57:00

Jakk..Calibures A Big Word For You Lol..Torres Is A Quality Act But E Shud Of Cum United..Miite Of Won Somet Afterall.
H4RL3Y-MUFCRON4LDO
Report Abuse
19/12/2007 19:02:00

Little Fernando?!hes 6 foot 2 and hard as nails mate....while some other Iberian footballer from down the East Lancs might roll around in 'agony' after a challenge,Torres squares up to John Terry and gets on with the game.Haha 'little Fernando'-you mindless Mancs,what about hunchback Tevez?
El-Nino-9
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20/12/2007 16:07:00

 

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