Vital Football

Latest Manchester United News

Fergie's Got It Right At Anfield

Fergie's Got It Right At Anfield

Time and time again I criticised Fergie for his tactics away from home in big games so it's time for some praise after the win at Anfield.

United were often dire, unimaginative and vulnerable at the back in away games in the past few years. We were often overrun in central midfield and even the likes of Fenerbahce and Lille found it easy to get a win against United.

Not anymore though. Wins at Sporting and Dynamo and a draw using the second-string at Rome underlined that we are a much tougher nut to crack. United bossed the proceedings at the Emirates and should have won while yesterday once again got their tactics right at Anfield and took the spoils.

We set out in a 4-2-3-1 that was meant to be flexible, at times changing into classic 4-3-3, with Giggs given something of a free role. Our captain did not really make the most of it but it wasn't necessary as other parts worked.

At the back, it was vital that we squeeze everything and force Liverpool to play through the middle. Brown, despite the inadequacies of his display, did a good job on Kewell in this sense and the other full-back, Evra accomplished this task perfectly and thanks to his domination over Benayoun, at times he could act as a third central defender which left Liverpool no chance of breaking through.

Of course we still needed a slice of luck to avoid conceding but only due to Edwin's silly mistakes. Liverpool would have created nothing at all had our keeper not made two rash decisions. The alert defenders, fortunately, were on hand to clear on both occasions.

Hargreaves and Anderson did a tremendous job on shielding the back four and it was clear that their job wasn't to unsettle Liverpool at the halfway line: they had to deny them space in front of our own box. As it was Liverpool so Mascherano hardly came forward, it also meant that our counter-attacks were nowhere near as dangerous as against Arsenal and we needed a set-piece to get the winner.

But I think Fergie was sure it would come. He probably though that one of our lightning counters would result in a goal and that's why we don't need to create much. We only saw them in the second half but that was not the managers' fault: with such tactics, it's imperative that everyone of the attacking section is alert, focused and has a good game. This time Ronaldo did not turn up so Tevez's and Rooney's exertions were not enough.

But the key was that Fergie knew Liverpool were unlikely to offer much attacking threat and a clever defensive set-up would at least prevent them scoring. It worked and in the second half, the tactics were worked in perfection: shame that we failed to score from one of our counter-attacks to put the game beyond their reach.

The bite of Hargreaves and Anderson, the brilliance of Vidic and Rio and most importantly, Fergie's new-found knack to find the right tactics even away from home bodes well, I think.

Date:Monday December 17 2007
Time: 2:06PM


'Liverpool would have created nothing at all had our keeper not made two rash decisions.'It doesnt work like that mate.In that case if rooney didnt scuff his shot you'd have created nothing at all.Literally.
17/12/2007 16:43:00
but we did create... you know, rooney's sitter and brown's chance... and it's perfectly reasonable to say that apart from edwin's mistakes, we weren't seriously threatened. you were toothless in attack, let's face it.
17/12/2007 17:00:00
We did create but not alot ... Van der Sar new he had a poor game and that he made mistakes ... did u see Rio shouting at him lol ! If it wasn't 4 anderson they would of eequalised !!
17/12/2007 17:57:00
yeah, rio acted as a real leader, and it was clear that edwin accepted he made mistake and deserved to be lambasted
17/12/2007 19:12:00
Agreed, it was good to say Rio giving a few words of friendly advice to Edwin :-) It should be no problem between experienced professionals and it was clear that vdS was concentrating as hell during the whole second half.
17/12/2007 19:14:00
i thought rio ferdinand were very influenchal on united victory and acted as a captain fighure throughout !
17/12/2007 22:00:00
Not very hard its only liverpool after all.
17/12/2007 23:17:00
yeahh itrs not as if liverpool are ever gonna win the leauge haha
18/12/2007 12:08:00
man u r ***** ***** eds
18/12/2007 12:56:00
I love people like loyalleeds, with their massive contribution to these kind of sites :-)
18/12/2007 21:42:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Recent Manchester United Articles

Herrera's Love For United

Jose Mourinho has already praised the impact Ander Herrera had for Man United, as part of the three-man midfield against Manchester City, with him expressing his love for the club.

Mourinho Charged For Liverpool Referee Comments

The Football Association has charged Jose Mourinho for his comments made about Anthony Taylor before the match against Liverpool earlier in the month, which ended in a goalless draw.

United Watching Celtic Forward?

Dembele has caught the eye at Celtic since his summer move from Fulham with Man United reportedly joining Bayern Munich, Barcelona & Real Madrid in having an interest in the Frenchman.

Rojo And Midfield Trio Earn Jose's Praise

Rojo hasn't had much involvement since Mourinho arrived at Man United with the former Sporting Lisbon defender linked with an exit. His performance against Man City has been praised.

Archived Vital United Articles

Vital United articles from

Site Journalists

Red Boy
Editor email
Charlie Bacchus
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

MOTM v Manchester City (h)
Suggested By:
de Gea2%
Ander Herrera56%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Man City 9 6 2 1 20 11
2 Arsenal 9 6 2 1 20 10
3 Liverpool 9 6 2 1 20 9
4 Chelsea 9 6 1 2 19 10
5 Spurs 9 5 4 0 19 9
6 Everton 9 4 3 2 15 5
7 Man Utd 9 4 2 3 14 1
8 Southampton 9 3 4 2 13 3
9 Watford 9 3 3 3 12 0
10 AFC Bournemouth 9 3 3 3 12 0
11 Crystal Palace 9 3 2 4 11 0
12 Leicester City 9 3 2 4 11 -4
13 WBA 9 2 4 3 10 0
14 Burnley 9 3 1 5 10 -5
15 West Ham 9 3 1 5 10 -7
16 Stoke 9 2 3 4 9 -7
17 Middlesbrough 9 1 4 4 7 -4
18 Hull City 9 2 1 6 7 -14
19 Swansea 9 1 2 6 5 -7
20 Sunderland 9 0 2 7 2 -10
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Manchester United Results (view all)

Manchester United Fixtures (view all)

Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Burnley (H)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 6 2016 3:00PM : Swansea City (a)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 19 2016 12:30PM : Arsenal (H)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 27 2016 4:30PM : West Ham United (H)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 3 2016 3:00PM : Everton (a)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 11 2016 3:00PM : Tottenham Hotspur (H)
Barclays Premier League
The Vital Football Members League