14 March 2009

Liverpool 4-1 United

Carragher Hyypia Skrtel Aurelio
Lucas Mascherano
Kuyt Gerrard Riera

Ronaldo 23’ (pen)
Torres 28’
Gerrard 44’ (pen)
Aurelio 77’
Dossena 90+1’

Hands up if you saw that coming. Yeah, right.

The double over United. That hasn’t happened since 01/02. With four goals. At Old Trafford. Four goals against both United and Real Madrid in the same week.

Let me say that again. The double over United. Scoring four at the Theater of Nightmares. Mmmm. It gets sweeter every time.

Fernando Torres has become death, the destroyer of worlds. That Gerrard fellow’s not too shabby either. But credit goes to every player on the field. The two key men set the tone, Mascherano was his usual self while Lucas played well beyond his age, and the defense was simply strangling.

It sure didn’t look like it was going to be Liverpool’s day at the start. It took about five minutes for the visitors to get a hold of the ball as United, especially through Rooney running at Carragher (who was at right back because Arbeloa was injured in the warm-up), looked rampant.

And just as Liverpool was settling, Tevez’s beautifully weighted throughball found Park, who Reina brought down. Ronaldo stepped up to hammer it in, and it looked like it would be a long afternoon. Ha.

Torres made sure that wasn’t the case. Defenders seeing him running at them one-on-one must shit their pants – and Vidic proved that to be the case. He’s been the Premiership’s best defender for most of the season, but Torres beat the Serbian to a ball over the top, and beat Van der Sar to the bottom corner. Just like in the match at Anfield: United score early, Liverpool equalize thanks to a mistake. But Torres is one of few center forwards who can both cause and take advantage of those mistakes. Game on.

The goal took the stuffing out of United, and they struggled to regroup. And with the both sides even, Liverpool took the lead thanks to a penalty. I didn’t think Ferguson allowed penalties to be given at Old Trafford. But Evra took Gerrard out after Torres found him on the right, and the captain made no mistake from the spot. 2-1 at Old Trafford at the break. Deep breaths...

United spent the first 30 minutes of the second half turning the screws, but found few cracks in Liverpool’s defense. The pressure was constant, but the end product was lacking, and it’s nice to see Liverpool do that to the opposition rather than vice versa. Reina had to be ready for balls coming into the box from all angles and was, while Skrtel and Hyypia were imperious in the center.

In the 74th, United sent on Giggs, Scholes, and Berbatov in one fell swoop to try and change the game. Unfortunately for Ferguson, the game didn’t change as he hoped.

Three minutes later, on one of the few Liverpool forays into United’s half, Gerrard’s storming run on the right forced Vidic into a rash challenge for which he saw a straight red. Yes, there was a man behind him (I think it was O’Shea), but he was on the opposite side of the field, and that was a clear goal scoring opportunity. It was the right call, and losing Vidic for the next three games is as much of a blow for United as losing three points.

On the resulting free kick, Aurelio sealed the result with a spectacular curler that nestled inside the near post. Van der Sar was rooted to the spot, unable to do anything about it, and you could hear all the air go out of the stadium. It was a wonderful, unexpected feeling.

Gerrard could have added a second in the 85th, set up by Babel after another mistake from Evra, but the skipper skied over. However, Liverpool got the 4th for the second-straight game, and again it was Dossena. Another defensive mistake, another bouncing ball, and Dossena sumptuously chipped the keeper. Second game he’s played at left midfield as a sub, second goal. Maybe we’ve found the Italian’s position. Who wants to wager he'll be sold in the summer now?

I can’t say enough about the performance. Once again, Liverpool goes behind to United, once again Liverpool leaves the winner. And not only that, they scored four goals at Old Trafford. That in and of itself leaves me speechless. I can’t remember the last time United let in four at home.

I hate to harsh the buzz after that, but I can’t help but think of the much-referenced disappointing draws. That’s the double over United. Liverpool’s now 4-1-0 against the big four this season, with a home match against Arsenal left. That’s championship form, but it was canceled out by being unable to beat 10 men behind the ball on too many occasions.

The media will have a field day, and admittedly, it’s much more in play now, but I still have trouble believing the title race is back on. Four points with a game in hand still looks pretty secure given United’s form. But this re-opens the door. It’s about how United responds.

But I’ve made my peace with that already. Right now, it’s about enjoying the immaculate performance Liverpool delivered, and one of the best weeks in recent Liverpool history.

Well done.


Anonymous said...

If it's possible to be sexually attracted to a soccer match, then I am very aroused.

Anonymous said...

Can we make this January?

Ben Teague said...

Savior the moment. How often does any team put 4 past Real and United in the same week?! The double over united will be a decent consolation if the prem race has not been reignited.

Abhiram said...

Savor the moment :)!!! What a performance!

I am not able stop smiling. My friends must be thinking i've gone senile.

What are our chances if we win our next 9 games? Thats good enuf for me.

Anonymous said...

We've got the best midfield in the world,
the best midfield in the world,
Dossena, Alonso,
Javier Mascherano,
Lucas and Steven Gerrard.

Anonymous said...

A+B = C

A: Rooney comes out yesterday on MUTV and says he "hates" liverpool

B: Liverpool come into Old Trafford and embarass Rooney's team

C: Rooney's fucking heated and liverpool fans around the world couldn't be happier!!!!!!!!LMAO


Abhiram said...

This should surely give some teams confidence to attack ManU at Old Trafford. Atleast i hope it does. Possible dangers for ManU as i see are Arsenal at OT, Aston Villa donno where and Middlesbro at Riverside.

I wont jinx it by saying it.

Anonymous said...

Not that it matters a whole lot, but did anybody catch the commentary on Setanta? No doubt I am biased, but they certainly didn't sound too neutral to me. The "color" commentator lauded Rooney as the type to never go down (which is fair, I think) but only after he said Torres went down too easily (which is unfair); claimed that Carrick was the best holding midfielder in the world (!) with Masch on the pitch; attributed all the 'Pool goals to sloppy play (the second and third were created by sharp passing, not to mention that their goal was madness from Pepe); and gushed early about how great Vidic and Ferdinand are together (fair, of course), but chalked Hyypia's and Skrtel's dominance to "lucky bounces". Come on, damn it. Some of those statements have grains of truth in them, but we fucking trounced them. Let's give some credit to the team instead of attributing it to luck.
Also, as pointed out on RAWK, the commentators refused to acknowledge any causal relationship between the triple substitution and an almost immediate look at goal (which led to Vidic's red and Aurelio's sublime curler). Instead, they decided to lament that the subs didn't have enough time to make an impact. Hey, guys, do you think it could be because SAF just took "the best holding midfielder in the world" off the pitch? Worthless commentary.
Anyway, that game was awesome.

nate said...

The color commentator was Iain Dowie (I forget who the announcer was).

Iain Dowie is an even worse commentator than he was a manager.

Iain Dowie is also a prat.

iskoppa said...

My jaw hurts from hitting the floor after the 3rd goal, what an "Outstanding" week its been!

BackBergtt said...

I overslept and woke up at halftime, dreamed that it was a 5-4 victory. Couldn't believe that we were winning after the first twenty minutes of the second half, it just seemed like a matter of time. But man oh man did Vidic fuck that up. Wish Stevie would have buried the sitter he had near the end though, would've been perfect.

Glad to see Sami get a game, gonna be so sad to see him go.

Ben Teague said...

Scott, your spot on about the commentary. It was almost sereal every time Livepool scored, as each goal was met without no excitment at all.

Anyway, who cares we won 4-1 get in there.

acbleach said...

Well-said, Scott. I had to squint my ears when Dowie gave Carrick the title he did; I seem to remember, too, that he said that Gerrard went missing in games like this. Ugh.

At any rate, I'm still in shock from this fantastic win.

Anonymous said...

Iain Dowie...not to be trusted.


Ace Cowboy said...

Take that, Rooney.

It's amazing to me that Liverpool is at least four, likely seven, points off the pace. The double over United. The double over Chelsea. Thirteen of a possible 15 points against the other Big Four clubs (with one against the Arse to go) -- that's CHAMPIONSHIP FORM! What the fuck happened?

Three straight draws in January, including Stoke and Wigan. In February, a draw at home to reeling Man City. A LOSS to Boro. That's your season right there. The early draws at Anfield (Stoke, Hull, West Ham, Fulham) were awful, but Liverpool went into the new year atop the table. It was those five matches in January and February that ultimately derailed what has been championship form against the big boys. And, man, that's just inexcusable.

Alright, back to the positives...Torres is a MONSTER again. He is just wreaking havoc on some of the better defenses in the world. The way he turned Cannavarro earlier in the week, the way he made Vidic look silly. Awesome stuff. Gerrard's been immense again. The passing has been crisp. From almost everybody. If this club can stay healthy, good lord, they can make it interesting in the CL and the league. Three points against Villa and steamroll it from there.

Anonymous said...

i absolutely astounded by the commentary .. i was watching a YES stream and the amount of verbal blowjobs United got would make Ron Jeremy envious ..


Abhiram said...

A pre - '4final draw day' post would be good for a good chat nate :) !
A point to crib about:

Why was Agbonlahor’s booing by the AV fans on the field made into a headline news and not that of Lucas’s? Because he’s English? If Agbonlahor’s performance this year is really good and hence,is not worth a booing, so was Lucas’s last year. He did not get much time to play this year. He had a Olympics to contend with in the middle. Why did this biased media not highlight it as should have done?

I am telling this because, it will teach some of our own plastic fans a lesson had he media given this much hype. Had it come on all the media that booing Lucas is bad when he’s playing for the team, for us, on the field, probably they would have deterred from doing it again. He’s a good lad. He’ll come good.