Saturday, March 14, 2009

Manchester United fall to Liverpool at Old Trafford


It's down to four points now in the Premier League as Liverpool beat 10-man Manchester United at Old Trafford 4-1. Given the amount of coverage surrounding Rafa Benitez's comments about Sir Alex Ferguson getting all the advantages in the title race, as well as Ferguson's dismissal of the Spaniard's words, this was another banana peel for Liverpool.

Throw in a relatively awful performance from United's monster in the middle, Nemanja Vidic, a few breaks going the Reds' way, and now we've got the perception of a race for the top spot. Most of us imagine Manchester United lifting the trophy, as Liverpool's double over their traditional rival carries little meaning in the grand scheme of things; it is of course, all those dropped points to middling teams outside of the top four that will ultimately decide who takes the championship.

As surprising as Vidic's performance was (getting beat by Fernando Torres on Liverpool's first goal, and giving up the free kick leading to the third goal and a red card), as much can be said of Andrea Dossena's well-taken goal that finished it for United. How someone who can be so incapable of crossing the ball as a left-back can score such a classy goal escapes me.

How quickly teams fall apart when under pressure, and Liverpool did little to exert much against the Red Devils, as much of today's defeat was a result of their own undoing. Edwin van der Sar, who looks to be at the top of his game, can be easily made foolish with a few well-taken opportunities. The prevailing difference between the two teams is that Liverpool raised their game enough today against everyone's top target, which is as rare as the complete meltdown of Manchester United.

Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool

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