Sunday 16th December 2007 @ 1.30 pm
A familiar story at Anfield as Liverpool dominated a crucial top of the table clash only to see United take all three points with a goal from their only significant attack in the game.
The first half was a nervous affair. Defensive clearances were the order of the day. As United looked to control the ball from midfield the reds were keen to bring Torres and Kuyt in to action as quickly as possible. Arbeloa in particular stopping a number of United attacks.
The reds were unlucky with a couple of goalline clearances from United. First from a corner that Kewell fired a shot in only to see it kicked off the line – a reflex Torres header went narrowly wide.
Shortly after Van der Saar again took his own player out but Patrice Evra managed to get a last ditch clearance in as the ball appeared goal bound.
As the minutes ticked down United landed themselves a corner. From the set piece the ball was hit at Tevez who managed to get a foot to it and United had scored.
Who would have guessed it? Another against the run of play goal.
Half time: 0-1
Liverpool came out of the blocks quickest with the Mancs expectant of a fightback. Torres had an early shot that failed to trouble Van der Saar. Pressure was building but the reds lacked the killer touch. A free kick in Gerrard range was handed to John Arne Riise who wasted the opportunity.
Mascherano received a yellow card for petulantly throwing the ball away after a Ronaldo dive.
In the 65th minute Ryan Babel replaced the ineffective Harry Kewell. This change appeared to bring immediate impact with Babel looking amongst Liverpool’s most dangerous players. He had a great shot towards the end which narrowly went wide.
As Liverpool pressed Rooney should have made it 2-0 but in the end it was the same old story and Liverpool, yet again, will be scratching their heads. United’s defence held up well – Liverpool remain outside the top four.
Post Match Reaction:
“We had our chances and didn’t take them. They had just one and that was the difference.
“In the second half we saw they were compact, working hard in defence, trying to play the counter. In the second half we had two or three chances and for me, that was the difference.
“When you play United you know you cannot create a lot. We knew we needed to win this game if we wanted to be closer. There is a long way, we just have to keep going.”
“It wasn’t a smash and grab victory at all. We played the better stuff. It was very frenetic, a typical Liverpool v Manchester United game. The crowd creates such a fervour, it is very difficult for the referee to handle.”
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise (Aurelio 80), Benayoun, Gerrard, Mascherano, Kewell (Babel 65), Torres, Kuyt (Crouch 73).
Subs Not Used: Itandje, Lucas.
Booked: Gerrard, Mascherano.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Hargreaves, Anderson (O’Shea 90), Giggs, Rooney, Tevez (Carrick 83).
Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Saha, Fletcher.
Booked: Evra, Anderson, Brown.
Goals: Tevez 43.
Ref: M Halsey (Lancashire).