Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1

The derby match of Manchester United and Liverpool has often been the one fixture eagerly awaited by both the Red Merseyside fans and the red half of Manchester. This is one match that has so much history associated with it, along with the various emotions of the fans and the players. Winning this derby gives the fans as much joy as winning the Premier League, and there is no better sight than seeing the fans go wild, celebrating after winning the match. The match at Old Trafford on 13th January, 2013, the first in 2013, was no different - with noisy supporters making it difficult for Liverpool to control the tempo of the match.

Evra, Ferdinand, Van Persie, Welback
                                                                                Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1                      

The first half saw Manchester United completely dominate Liverpool, with Liverpool having almost no chances and David De Gea having to do absolutely nothing. It was Manchester United who drew first blood when Robin Van Persie scored in the "19th" minute (a great time to score against Liverpool) with a clinical finish, meeting the cross of Patrice Evra, who lashed the ball in the box. Again, Van Persie showed how important he has become to this Manchester United team, after making the finish look so simple. It was a difficult ball to control, and Van Persie correctly decided to go for it, and producing a brilliant finish, leaving no chance for Pepe Reina. The first half could have seen more goals from Manchester United, after Welback missed an opportunity to score, when he intercepted the pass between the two Liverpool defenders. However, Skertel was there to block his shot, and the chance went begging. In another instance, Van Persie's back flip shot was cleared off the line to clearance, otherwise, Manchester United would have finished the half with a deserved two goal lead. But it wasn't to be. The first half ended with Manchester United 1 Liverpool 0.
Man of the match
Man of the Match - Robin Van Persie
The second half again started positively for Manchester United, however, Liverpool were looking more determined and organized than they looked in the first half. Manchester United, with the home advantage, kept pressing forward, and when they won a free kick in a good position, Van Persie took the kick, and again, astonishingly, Patrice Evra, the smallest player in the box, met the ball with his head. The ball already looked to beat Pepe Reina, but, Vidic's slightest deflection made it absolutely impossible for Pepe Reina to have a chance of saving the goal. Manchester United led the match 2-0, and a comeback by Liverpool looked bleak. However, with the introduction of Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool certainly looked more bright, and the game suddenly became wide open. Liverpool started to create more chances, and Manchester United players looked to be under pressure and lost concentration. Then suddenly out of blue, Gerrard got the ball after a poor pass from Carrick, and he took a shot at the goal from outside the box. Once again, David De Gea failed to clear the ball out of the danger zone, and as he parried the ball away, unfortunately it came to the path of Daniel Sturridge, who finished it with ease. As soon as Liverpool got their goal, Manchester United players started to look tired and were giving the ball away more often than not. Liverpool were now in control of the ball and the game. Chances were created, but, to the defense of Manchester United, none of the chances looked dangerous and there wasn't even a clear cut opportunity created, which looked certain to be scored, thanks to the disciplined defending by the Manchester United back four. The match ended 2-0 in favor of Manchester United, who temporarily went 10 points clear of City, only to be reduced again to 7, after City defeated Arsenal at the Emirates. Although Manchester United had plenty of positives to take from the match, at a sour note, Ashley Young picked up a knock on his knee and was substituted at the start of the second half, and Nemanja Vidic was also seen hobbling off the ground late in the second half, being substituted by Smalling. 

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