Dalglish start sunk by a red card and a 'joke' penalty

Man Utd 1-0 Liverpool

Man Utd 1-0 Liverpool

FA Cup 3rd Round
Old Trafford
Sunday 09 January 2011 1:30 pm

Dalglish's start sunk by a red card and a 'joke' penalty

A first minute Ryan Giggs penalty ensured Man Utd progressed in the FA Cup against 10 man Liverpool’s expense at Old Trafford.

Kenny Dalglish’s first game in charge showed some promising signs and a much more determined looking team than recent weeks, albeit with the new manager only having spent a short while with the players.

Dalglish arrived late last night from his overseas holiday to take up his second tenure as Liverpool FC boss – an interim appointment until the summer.

The uninspiring 4-4-2 was removed and replaced by a more similar approach to that of recent years, with Gerrard and Meireles allowed more creative freedom in the centre, and Lucas behind the pair of them.

Liverpool looked stronger in the centre of the park than they have in recent months.

Alas, the game got off to a bad start when Daniel Agger’s challenge was met with a dive from Dimitar Berbatov.  The assistant referee was clearly unimpressed, but Howard Webb 25 yards away decided a penalty was what United deserved.  Ryan Giggs placed the ball well in to the corner, although Reina guessed correctly, to put United 1 up.

Liverpool continued to dominate much of the possession, although chances for either side were limited.

On the half hour, Gerrard was sent off for a two footed challenge, some may say harshly.  More to the point was the inconsistency as moments earlier Rafael had attempted to burst the ball with a two footed jump.

Despite the sending off the reds equipped themselves well for the next 60 minutes, and a late arrival probably wouldn’t have known which side were playing with the disadvantage.

Martin Kelly had an assured game at right back, nullifying Giggs for most of the game – forcing United to explore options on the left – from which they got a little more joy against Fabio Aurelio.

Dalglish made a sensible double substitution early in the second half, removing a fading Rodriguez and Meireles, who had a poor game littered with over-exhuberant passes to nobody in particular.

In the 75th minute Torres was removed after spending most of the game chasing down defenders.

Liverpool had chances to score a dramatic equaliser.  An Aurelio free-kick was saved in the top corner being one of them.

Gerrard will now miss the first three Premier League games of Dalglish’s reign, which include next weekend’s visit from Everton, Kenny’s first Anfield game.

The reds look ahead to Blackpool in mid-week.

The result was not the one we hoped for, but given the botched job we made with 11 men at Old Trafford earlier this season – there were several promising signs, both tactically and in application.

  • super man united

    Anfield Army ????? what a joke,,,,,more like Dads army as they are a bunch of misfits,anyway I suppose you could win the Championship next season and join the Leeds sumbags back in the sewer,,,,

  • Imran

    Although Berbatov clearly dived it has to be said that Torres or anyone else would have done the same at the other end.The sending off was also a 50/50 decision that went against us today.The boys clearly looked better still we created very little in terms of attack that is our biggest problem.
    Apart from Torres and Gerard we offer no threat to the opposition…the likes of Babel,Kuyt,Lucas and Maxi are not Liverpool class rather a complete waste of money by Benitez.

    There is no quick fix to the massive problems that we face interms of squad building that will take years, we are far behind the likes of Spurs nevermind Man Utd, Arsenal or Chelsea.We need wingers and forwards with pace and flair that will create chances making Anfield a fortress again though i am not questioning the work ethic of our players today but they can’t give want they don’t have which is talent, pace and skill.I’ve had enough of defensive signings and holding midfielders so lets sign a few that will get us long suffering fans out of ours seats with excitement!!

  • shayrul

    Nice report. Lots of points here that I totally agree with.
    I feared when we were down to 10, it would turn ugly for us, and it didn’t. I thought Kelly played with a lot of heart and great effort. I also thought Kuyt played good defense.
    There have been over-exhuberant passes to nobody in particular for months!!! And I’ve been saying, if I can see that, why can’t THEY????
    And Torres spending most of the game chasing down defenders – This too has been going on all season!!!
    I feel, we lost the game, but we were not “defeated.” All things considered, I think a good start to recovering the season.

  • glen gaffney

    the referee won the game how many red cards and diving we see whenever we play them, but in spite of that united held to 1 goal and that speaks loud and clear we have improved. good tactics by kenny to adapt to worst case scenario.

  • Wildepuzzles

    To all those who consider Webb an United supporter, you haven’t seen some of his decisions when officiating between United and Chelsea!

    Berbatov is not a diver, but because he’s European it goes without saying that he must have – hell, one of the disgracefully biased commentators even had the gall later in the game to state that the Bulgarian had been considering taking another dive! I’ve watched the reply time and time again, and it’s pretty clear that contact was made to Berbatov’s left leg in mid stride, (you can see the limb flick towards the other leg) and that it caused him to stumble sideways before falling to the ground. Had Rooney done something similar you can guarantee that no one would have questioned it.

    As for Gerrard being sent off, my initial feeling was that he had been hard done by, especially as Carrick came in from behind and to one side of him. But the more you look at the replay, the more you wonder what the hell Gerrard was attempting to do, because he clearly didn’t look as if he was trying to do anything constructive with the ball, feet up and studs towards the ball. It looked like he knew Carrick was bearing down, and made a very bad attempt to deny the oncoming midfielder the ball, catching him on the leg instead.

    And for all the cries of bias, the usual post penalty and sending off behaviour kicked in from the referee, because two definite penalty chances for United were not given – the nasty shot across the shins that brought Giggs down, and the appalling way Johnny Evans got taken out by two Liverpool defenders that left him pole-axed on the ground – how the latter was not given is unfathomable – except that one penalty had already been given.

    And for all the cries of bias, need I remind Liverpool supporters how well their team did by the match officials a couple of seasons ago, when something like 10 of their games were played out against teams who had at least one player sent off during the course of the match?

    All in all I think Liverpool has a lot of positives to take out of the match, other than the ongoing poor play and body language of Fernando Torres. The team dominated play up until the Gerrard got sent off, and still managed to acquit themselves well, particularly when United began to increase the pressure later in the second half.

    As for United, I can only stare in wonder at a team that has played like crap for most of the season yet miraculously finds itself atop the EPL table. I have watched United play for over forty years, and I have never seen the team put in such a string of mediocre performances while somehow contriving to not only remain competitive, but lead the charge. It’s the weirdest season of football I’ve ever seen, and if United somehow go on to win the title while putting in these kind of substandard performances I’ll be walking around wondering if the team and my fellow supporters should apologize for taking the title under such brazenly false pretenses. If not for the inconsistency and crazy results that the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and City are putting up, United would have been left behind long ago.

  • super man united

    You scouse scumbags deserve to be fucked out of the cup as Man United are a fab team unlike the scouse scum and child molesters of anfield

    • Andrewmassey1963

      F*ck off you pathetic plastic fucking manc.

  • Jay

    We got robbed! The same ref who gave out yellows on the World Cup final game to the dutch team who were playing kung fu and not playing football gives a red card! Howard Webb is a Man u supporter pure and simple.

  • Digger

    Felt the team gave us something to be proud of again today. At best, the 2 key decisions were real ‘on the fence’ jobs that could have gone either way. Typical that both should go Utd’s way, despite neither being easily judged. Martin Kelly was excellent today. I’d like to see him playing at full back on a more permanent basis with Johno pushed up ahead of him on the flank. Defensively we looked strong too and I was especially pleased to see Agger back in the line-up ahead of Kyriakos. Apart from the penalty, they didn’t register a shot at goal first half and this only bodes well. Personally, I don’t subscribe to the myth that are squad is bereft of talent. With greater togetherness, a more positive approach and the best players picked and playing in their best positions, our strongest 11 at least would given anyone of the top 4 a game.

  • DAVE

    THE ANFIELD ARMY IS ON THE MOVE AGAIN