Liverpool are far out of the Champions League places, let alone the title race, but they have, after Chelsea last weekend, landed a second successive blow to Manchester United’s title chances.
Actually, that would be sugar-coating it. They’ve spat in United’s faces, and told them to come back when they’re capable of winning.
It was by no means a great footballing performance by Liverpool, but as United have clearly shown in the last two seasons, determination and desire are as important as ability, and in bouts like these, the deciding factors. Liverpool were average in quality (barring Suarez) but overflowing in confidence and determination. Manchester United were average in all departments. The final scoreline flattered no-one.
The biggest talking for Manchester United fans from the game – apart from certain players not showing up – would be that Carragher challenge. You can’t seriously expect Carragher, Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher, to be sent off at Anfield against Manchester United, of all the teams? It would be like Gary Neville being sent off at Old Trafford against Liverpool or Arsenal. Plus you can also argue that the referee preferred to let the game flow, not that it did United any good with Rafael following up with a card-worthy foul of his own, and both sides squaring up and berating the referee.
The post-mortem will continue back at Manchester United’s training ground when the support staff analyse what went wrong and figure out how to change things around. United have played one game more, are three points ahead and have a +3 goal difference to Arsenal. Marginal, and easily erased in the space of 90 minutes. Manchester United’s trip to the Emirates, and Arsenal’s trip to White Hart Lane, will be pivotal.
As for Liverpool, they will justly celebrate a good win, and even though they are just 2 points clear of Bolton (7th) and 6 points behind Chelsea (4th), they have played 29 games to Chelsea’s 27, and Europa League may be all that’s left to play for them. At least they have Dalglish, a renewed faith in their abilities, and 5 European Cups to boast about.
Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United
Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United
Liverpool 3-0 Manchester United
Before the game: