Well well well… Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that this this fixture would have ended up like this. Manchester United’s seasons lay in ruins while Liverpool fights for the top spot and a chance to win the Premier League title, a feat they haven’t seen since the 1989-1990 season.
Liverpool continued their strong form even after taking a 15 day long break in between league games. Manchester United had their chances – one including a Rooney strike then volley, but inarguably it was Liverpool that dominated play. Their first penalty was a result of a little luck and a poor handball by Rafael.
I felt the second penalty call was pretty clear, as Phil Jones pushed Joe Allen from behind. Gerrard converted, and gave Liverpool a 2-0 lead.
The third penalty call featured a little more controversy. Nemanja Vidić was sent off for committing a foul on Sturridge, which replays showed was actually a dive. I don’t condone diving since it ruins the game but regardless it is something that referees still have to deal with. Some feel that despite Sturridge’s dive, it was still a foul:
Clattenburg was wrong for sending Vidić off and he knew it too. There were multiple pleas for Liverpool penalties that came in the last ten minutes of the game, but none were going to come after his big mistake.
The soccer gods may have sent some justice Manchester United’s way, after Gerrard missed his third attempt by hitting the post. Regardless a few minutes later, it was none other that Suarez that put in his 25th league goal of the season.
What does this win mean for Liverpool? Everything. This Liverpool win was crucial for the race to the title. Liverpool still have some mega matches coming their way before the end of the season, with both Chelsea and Manchester City coming to Anfield. This win shows that Liverpool can realistically win the title. It won’t be easy but this team is fully capable of doing it. As for Manchester United, their season has been in shambles. They looked to be a team of individuals today. Moyes has been the blame for all of this abuse but having watched the game it’s almost as if the players don’t care. I’ll give credit to Wayne Rooney though, he played hard and fought for chances but was rather unlucky for most. Besides him there are only a couple of players who showed any true grit – Mata being one in my eyes. Time to clean house next season!
Final Score: 3-0 Liverpool
Man of the match: Steven Gerrard. The captain shined once again, this time scoring two crucial penalty kicks while providing key defensive support from his holding midfield position. Gerrard truly embodies what it means to be a leader on the field, and today he led his team into Old Trafford and came out with glory.
Honorable Mention: Jon Flanagan. I felt that Flanagan played a brilliant game. The youngster has been played in a pressure role for a good part of the season and today he did everything right. He was physical, confident, and wasn’t afraid to make the risky tackles needed to shut down the likes of Van Persie and Rafael. Even with the yellow he received in the first half, Flanagan still had the confidence to keep his left side on lock down, as well as have the ability to take his space with the ball.