Let’s get one thing straight: there is no way Manchester United deserved to win the game. Hell, they probably didn’t even deserve to tie it.
What happened today at Anfield was a magnificent display by Liverpool, especially by midfielders Javier Mascherano and Lucas. In short, they controlled just about everything. Add to that the stunning quickness with which the rest of the squad got on the United players – everyone was closed down almost immediately, a truly impressive feat because it lasted all 96 minutes – and you have a recipe for a win. It was only a matter of time.
A lot of times you’ll see sports analysts say that a team lost a game rather than the other team won; it’s a common trope used to slyly say that the winning team was outplayed by the losing team. Surely that happens. Not today. From the opening kickoff, Liverpool looked energetic. Their energy translated into chances, especially in the first half (United played better in the second half, but still not good enough, obviously). All of their energy was rewarded when Fernando Torres put away an impressive goal in the 64th minute. It’s worth noting that he beat Rio Ferdinand and that if he hadn’t scored, a penalty had to be called. It was the first of two times that Ferdinand was embarrassed.
I hate to say this but it appears true: Rio Ferdinand cannot keep up with quick strikers anymore. Sir Alex has to remedy that by going out and getting another center back to partner with Nemanja Vidić (who, it should be noted, was red carded for the THIRD STRAIGHT TIME AGAINST LIVERPOOL!) in January. It has to be done, for the present and for the future (that latter appears to be coming sooner than expected). Neither Peanut Head nor John O’Shea is the answer. Done, too, is Paul Scholes. Unlike ageless wonder Ryan Giggs, he couldn’t keep up with the quicker wings and seemed lost at times. It says here that Ferdinand and Scholes should only play in Europe and against lesser Premiership competition because they’ll be slower games.
The win puts Liverpool 4 points behind United, who currently sit second. Again, I must re-iterate like I did after the Burnley game: don’t panic. Take the 3 points back on the return leg at Old Trafford and things will be fine. Chelsea’s win puts them at the top of the table; that’s okay. United seem to function a bit better when they’re the “underdogs” (they’re never really underdogs, of course, but teams like to say they are; it’s the disrespect card).
Highlights and a picture when I find them.