Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0
Daniel Sturridge struck in the opening three minutes to deliver a win at Anfield in a match that never really got going. United’s Giggs and Carrick in midfield lost out to hard tackling by Gerrard and Lucas. Liverpool have now had the best start to the season since 1994 with 3 wins in a row despite the absence of Luis Suarez.
David Moyes chose to start with Wellbeck and Van Persie upfront at the expense of Rooney who had a head injury which also means he will miss the next two England games. Giggs was looking tired whilst Cleverley and Young barely turned up. The speed of Kagawa, who never even made the bench, was missed and Wilfried Saha who had been so promising in pre-season didn’t even make the bench. Wellbeck also had an off day. United seemed to lack speed and determination in the middle of the pitch with Liverpool often first to the ball. United seemed to create more chances than Liverpool with more corners, but seemed to lack that killer instinct in the last 10 minutes of the game. David Moyes has still not won at Anfield, having never having won their with Everton. His teams have turned up on 13 previous occassions at Anfield without a win.
Liverpool did enough in the first half with Sturridge heading in a goal off a flick from Agger to get Liverpool off and running. United seemed to have got back into the game after another 15 minutes, but couldn’t seem to penetrate the Livepool midfield with Giggs ending up second in challenges. The almost not existent Ashley Young finally got replaced by Nani on the 62nd minute and had a few decent runs whilst Giggs was replaced by Hernandez in the 73rd, but neither had much effect on the game. The rivalry between the two sides began to intensify as the game reached the hour mark, with referee Andre Marriner issuing five yellow cards of which four of them were awarded to United players. Glen Johnson limped off down the tunnel shortly afterwards to be replaced by Andre Wisdom. Coutinho then made way for Luis Alberto in the 82nd minute.
Liverpool will look to make it four wins out of four when they travel to Swansea after the international break whilst Manchester United will look to get back to winning ways at home to Crystal Palace.
Interestingly, the three players Liverpool are said to be signing prior to tomorrow’s transfer deadline, Chelsea’s Victor Moses, Sporting Lisbon’s Thiago Ilori, and Paris Saint-Germain’s Mamadou Sakho, were all sitting in the main stand at Anfield. With Chelsea, City, Tottenham and Liverpool all bolstering their teams this season, United desperately need a creative midfielder or a steely midfielder in the vein of Roy Keane.
After the game, Moyes said that United had the main possession and chances with Wellbeck deserving a penalty. Liverpool will look to make it four wins out of four when they travel to Swansea after the international break whilst Manchester United will look to get back to winning ways at home to Crystal Palace.
“I could see why we were champions today,” David Moyes said, fixing his eyes on his audience as if daring anyone to disagree. “I thought we played really well.” But, it sounded hollow and this early on as manager of United, it may bot have been the right ploy to gloss it over. The loss shows just how vital it is that United have not relinquished Wanyed Rooney yet and the need to boost the midfield as Usain Bolt calls for in the amusing video above.
In the end, this was a lacklustre display by both teams early in the season and not too much can be read from it, although this was a very promising start from a Liverpool who now have more depth to their squad. Let’s see if they can install the belief.
How the Teams Lined Up
Man Utd: De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Young, Cleverley, Carrick, Giggs; Welbeck, Van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Smalling, Buttner, Anderson, Nani, Valencia, Hernandez.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique; Lucas, Henderson; Gerrard, Coutinho, Aspas; Sturridge.
Subs: Jones, Sterling, Wisdom, Kelly, Ibe, Flanagan, Alberto.