Liverpool knocked out of the League Cup by Man Utd

League Cup 3rd Round
Wednesday 25 September 2013 - 7:45 pm
Old Trafford
Man Utd1
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' Toure
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Liverpool lost 1-0 at Old Trafford to exit the League Cup in the 4th Round.

It's been a disappointing few days for the reds.  Defeated at home by Southampton and knocked off top spot in the League, and undone by another set-piece against a weakened Man Utd side.

The reds did pick one of their strongest sides of the season, as they welcomed back Luis Suarez to replace Iago Aspas.

Jose Enrique also returned to the line up - and Rodgers elected to experiment with 3 centre backs - Toure, Skrtel and the £16M Sakho.  Jose Enrique and Jordan Henderson were used as wing-backs.

Man Utd started strongly but the reds quickly settled and were arguably the better side in the first half.

Enrique had a solid first half - sending plenty of crosses in to the box.

Suarez' lack of first team action could be blamed when he took a poor first touch on an Enrique cross.  Better control would have almost certainly seen Liverpool take the lead.

Both Suarez and Sturridge were the front two in the 3-5-2 formation, but were often guilty of not playing far enough up the pitch - Victor Moses often drifting to be the player furthest forward.

Sturridge, who is understood to not be fully fit, looked tired and lethargic for large parts of the game.  This may have been a game too many for him, but even he was kept on till the final whistle.

United scored within the first minute of the second half.  Liverpool conceded a needless corner and Rooney sent in a great corner, finding an unmarked Hernandez to fire in.

Liverpool's best chances of the half fell to Victor Moses (a diving header at De Gea) and a free kick from Luis Suarez - deflected by Phil Jones onto the United crossbar.

Suarez and Phil Jones exchange gurns

Suarez and Phil Jones exchange gurns

But United too had their chances to increase the lead.  Wayne Rooney being denied twice in quick succession by solid saves from Simon Mignolet - a man who has been, sadly, very busy in the Liverpool goal since his £10M arrival.

United saw the game out in relative comfort, as a lethargic Liverpool failed to sparkle in the final moments of the game.

Liverpool are now without a win in three games and have no cup competitions until January.  There can be little room for excuses of tiredness as Liverpool look to get back on track with their league form.

Man Utd are rewarded for their victory with a home clash to Norwich in the next round.  Oh how Suarez would have enjoyed facing them.

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