Sunday, March 21, 2010


There was never a dull moment from the first kick to the final whistle.

As usual, Man U and Liverpool encounters have always been anything but explosive and combative.   

Howard Webb, the referee in charge of the game between Manchester United and Liverpool on Saturday handled the game efficiently despite not showing a red card to Mascherano for the foul committed on Valencia inside the box. 

The game has hardly warmed up when Fernando Torres struck early. From a floated cross by Dirk Kuyt, Torres who was lurking in the penalty box out jumped Vidic and Rio Ferdinand to head home Liverpool first goal in the fifth minute. What a shocker that was...

To the credit of the team, Man U players regrouped and launched counter attacks.

From one of the attacks, Valencia accelerated from the left only to be pulled down by Mascherano dragging him from outside the box into the penalty area. With no hesitation, the referee pointed to the spot and yellow carded Mascherano.  Riena, the Liverpool keeper, did well to block the first kick only to see Rooney converting the rebound for his 33rd goal of the season.

With the score level at one all, the game’s tempo increased tremendously. Manchester United’s five midfielders of Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Ji Sung Park and Nani began to exert their authorities. While Fletcher and JS Park were commanding in the centre, Nani and Valencia were menacing on the flanks. Gerard and Mascherano simply had no answer.

Minute 22 saw Vidic sending the ball up the field picking Rooney who floated to Valencia. A beautiful cross by Valencia reached Park who headed just wide to the left. What a golden opportunity missed.

Minute 28 saw Nani sending in a stiff grounder only to be pushed out by the alert Riena.

The pulsating 45 minutes of the first half ended with Manchester United dominating though Torres continued to be menacing at times.

The fast pace of the game continued in the second half. Both teams reappeared with the same line up.

With Vidic and Ferdinand back to their best form and Evra supporting Nani very well on the left, Manchester United looked good for another goal. Gary Neville, the MU captain playing at right back ran endlessly feeding good balls to Valencia. Liverpool was pinned in their own half for most of the time. Several Liverpool seemed frustrated with the situation and started to vent their anger at MU players. Torres and Jimmy Carragher were cautioned.

MU kept mounting the pressure with Nani and Fletcher excelled. On the 59th minute, Park Ji Sung sent in a diving header for MU’s second goal. It was such a memorable moment for the 75,216 fans who packed the Old Trafford stadium.

The sweet moment was momentarily spoilt by a caution to Valencia apparently for time wasting. Liverpool with their never die attitude tried very hard to come back.

With the introduction of Aquilani and Benayoun replacing Kuyt and Lucas, Liverpool gained a slight control.

Benayoun could have salvaged a point for the visitor with minutes ticking away but his soft header went straight into the gleeful arm of Van der Sar, the MU’s keeper who was just superb throughout the game.

The disappointment was clearly registered on the face of Rafa Benitez, the Liverpool manager.

Just like Spring started to blossom in United Kingdom, Manchester United and their loyal fans were not to be denied the sweet aroma of success.

With the score at 2-1 to Man U, Howard Webb blew the final whistle after exactly 95 minutes and 40 seconds of play sending Manchester United back to the top of the English Barclays Premier League.

Well done MU...

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...