EPL: Liverpool v Man Utd, 12.45 BST, 15/10/11 (1-1)

After recent consecutive home wins against the Mancs, and our side looking stronger than it has – and with Steven Gerrard making his first start of the season, there were reasonable hopes, if not expectations that this would continue, but it was not to be.

A tight first half generated few chances, but we were looking the more likely. The best of those was when a speculative Charlie Adam effort rebounded to Suarez, who quickly shuffled into a shooting position, but his snap-shot was too close to keeper De Gea.

The second-half saw us continue to threaten without really testing the keeper. Suarez was a constant thorn in the Man Utd defence as on several occasions he nicked the ball away from a defender and made his way into the penalty area, but was not able to fully capitalise. It was then that Suarez appeared to catch Evra on the thigh, when going for the ball, although no foul was given. Evra rolled around as though he was in agony, but unless he happened to hurt himself when he went to ground, this did not seem to be consistent with the nature of the tackle and any injury it may have caused. This led to a protracted spat between the two, with both players spoken to by the Ref. Evra was booked. Suarez was not.

Charlie Adam, roughly half way through the second half, then came charging through the midfield and just outside the box was tripped by Ferdinand and won a free-kick. After the game, Ferdinand claimed that any contact was insufficient to bring the player down – but as Dalglish pointed out, Ferdinand admitted to making contact. What I would add is that it doesn’t take that much contact to trip someone who is running by you.

Another post-match comment was made by Steven Gerrard about the subsequent free-kick that he took. He admitted that he had attempted to lift it over the wall and into the goal. Perhaps if he had made a better hash of that, he wouldn’t have scored – but seeing as he instead hit the ball too low, it went into the gap that for some reason Ryan Giggs had made by moving to his left. The ball therefore went through the wall and into the unguarded side of the goal, leaving us celebrating, and Man Utd players wondering what Ryan Giggs thought he was doing.

Pitch side, Rooney, Nani and Hernandez were waiting to come on as we scored. Their appearance did lead to a slightly more open game, but to our chagrin, from a corner, Smalling flicked-on the ball for Hernandez to head-in from very close range.

This led to a frantic last ten minutes as we searched for a winner. Almost immediately, we broke down the left and a cross into Dirk Kuyt arriving at full pace saw him make good contact, but again shot too close to the keeper. It was a decent save, but it was a disappointing failure to convert.

Henderson then hit a dipping effort towards goal, forcing a better save. A goal mouth scramble didn’t quite lead to a red shirt being able to poke the ball home, but Martin Skrtel should have done better than skying the ball over the bar – before Henderson again rose in the box to head the ball, but the effort was high, and United held on.

We can take from the game the observation that United were barely holding-on for a point, and that we were the better side, but to actually be the better side, you need to score more goals than your opponent, and for the amount of possession and the number of shots on goal, we should have won the game. The margin between drawing and winning was small, but we were on the wrong side of that.

As for the post-match complaint by Evra that he was racially abused by Suarez, we will have to see how that pans out, but whilst I haven’t been a fan of some of Luis’s antics, I’d be surprised if he was guilty this time, given Evra’s own behaviour.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: