English Premier League – Manchester United vs Liverpool

It was a great game of football last Sunday, when Manchester United played against Liverpool. The encounters between these two big clubs are always expected to be full of action, and this match was no different. Liverpool were going into the game knowing for a fact that they need to win all their remaining games this season, in order to have a chance to qualify for the next season’s UEFA Champions League; while Manchester United needed to win the game if they were to go on top of the League table, ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea.

The match had an explosive start when in the 5th minute Fernando Torres put Liverpool in lead with a header. Nobody would have imagined Liverpool to go in front so early on in the game, especially when they were playing against ManU who have so far conceded the least number of goals in the Premier League this season. It was a good move, started by Gerrard in midfield who found Dirk Kuyt in space with a through ball down the right flank. Kuyt crossed the ball in for Torres who was waiting in the 6 yard box to head the ball in the net. Manchester United however bounced back with an equaliser in the 12th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Valencia was brought down by Liverpool centre back Jamie Carragher in the box. It was a controversial decision from the referee to award Manchester the penalty! Wayne Rooney stepped up to take the kick. But his shot on goal was stopped by Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina with an excellent diving save, but unluckily for him the ball bounced back straight to Rooney, who made no mistake in putting the ball in Liverpool goal the second time. Score 1-1. The game was on fire! It was moving pretty fast, and it was Liverpool who were making most of the attacks. In the 19th minute Gerrard put in a teasing ball for Torres in the box, but it was Manchester keeper Van Der Sar who was first to the ball.

Park (ManU) probably had the easiest chance of the game in the 23rd minute when he won a free header from Valencia’s cross but he put the ball over the bar. Manchester United were beginning to gain momentum, and in 29th minute Reina made a good save form Nani’s shot from outside the box to keep the scores level. In the 33rd minute Gerrard had a good chance to take a shot on goal, but Valencia challenged him just in time and prevented him from taking the shot. With the first half nearing the end, Manchester United made a series of attacks on Liverpool goal; the closest one being when they were awarded a free kick just outside the box in the 1st half extra time. It was Rooney who took it, but his shot went straight into the keeper’s hands. Half time. Score 1-1.

2nd half started with good tempo, and in 52nd minute Park showed good skill to find space for a shot, but it was saved by Liverpool keeper. In 60th minute, Fletcher (ManU) put in a good cross form the right flank which was met by a diving header from Park, who made no mistake this time to put Manchester in lead. The game was on! Liverpool tried to somehow find an equaliser but chances were rare for them, and ManU continued to attack more and more after getting the 2nd goal. Liverpool found an opening in Manchester defence when Gerrard put in a low cross to find Torres inside 6 yard box, but he fumbled and could not convert from a very good chance. As Liverpool were pressing forward in search of an equaliser, Rooney found an opening, and was straight on to Liverpool goal, but he was given offside form the linesman in the 76th minute. Liverpool desperately need a goal, and it was quite shocking to see that their manager did not bring in their best option on bench – Benayoun until 83rd minute. But it was too late for Liverpool! In the 85th minute Rooney again found gap in Liverpool defence, but his shot was wide off goal. The game was coming to a close, and Liverpool had a great chance to equalise with Torres in the 90th minute. It was a great low pass from Gerrard to Torres in the box, but his first touch was very poor, and it gave the ManU defenders time to clear the ball. A very easy chance indeed and everyone would have expected Torres to score the goal, but he failed again this time. A few minutes of extra time, but nothing happened that would change the score line anymore.

It was a great game to watch, and last year’s champions Manchester United came out on top at the end of this classic clash, and with this win went ahead of Arsenal to the top of the table. The referee had made a few controversial decisions in the game, and most of them favoured Manchester United. But nonetheless it is the final score line that matters.