United 2 - 1 Liverpool
Rafael Rio Vidic(Smalling) Evra
Young(Valencia) Carrick Cleverley Kagawa(Jones)
So we've done the double over our bitterest of rivals. If I'm not mistaken, the last time we won both seasonal fixtures vs. Liverpool was in the 07/08 season when we won 3-0 at home and 1-0 at Anfield. The first half was simply a joy to watch. Our players were almost perfect and if it wasn't for some erratic finishes, we could have easily scored a goal or two more by half time. What happened during the second half was a total collapse but overall, I think we deserved our win.
RVP opened the score with a well taken shot while Vidic, without knowing how, scored the winner. Evra should be given great credit for his role in both goals. This was the first time our Frenchman got two assists in a PL game. He's been an improved player this year.
|Man of the Match|
Carrick was my man of the match. He made United tick. He's class. Cleverley did quite well too! This is our best central midfield combination. Unless it is an absolute necessity, Fergie shouldn't play around with our central players. Having said that, it was a tad worrying that we found it very tough when Liverpool put Suarez in midfield. After the hour mark, we lost the midfield battle and Fergie's intentions looked solely on seeing out the game. His substitutions definitely suggest so.
RVP faded in and out of the game but scored a goal, had one shot cleared off the line and forced Reina into a good save late in the game. World class player. Welbeck ran his socks off but is still a tad hesitant when in front of goal. I still need to be convinced by Kagawa. He never gave the ball away, true, but he wasn't what I'd call effective. Young didn't have the best of starts and had to be subbed off because of injury. Valencia continued his stinking form this year. Let's hope Nani's return helps us be more effective on the wing. It's been a while since I've seen a good United wingman performance. Young did have a couple of good games this season but Valencia has been rubbish. I like Valencia but truth needs to be told. He hasn't been at the races this season.
Our defence was excellent. Rafael, although caught ball watching when Sturridge scored, had a very good game. Rio and Vida were solid while Evra ran the show on the left. The game's commentators said that our goalie should have done better in the action that lead to Pool's goal. I'm not too sure about that though. Anyway, apart from that shot, DDG wasn't really tested. On the other side, Liverpool cleared two shots off the line and had their goalie perform two good saves to keep us within sight. So it was a deserved victory. I'm just a tad disappointed about our decline after the 60 minute mark.
I expected us to be at least 9 points clear by the end of the day. However, my expectations were based on the assumptions that City were going to play Arsenal 11v11. Arsenal were justly decreased to 10 men barely 10 minutes into the game and there was only going to be one winner from then on, even though Kompany was sent off late in the game for City. It was too late for Arsenal. A 7 point advantage is a good advantage but after next weekend's game away to Tottenham, I fear we could have our lead cut to 4 points. City's upcoming games are all very winnable. West Ham next.