Editorials, News — January 14, 2013 19:14

Man Utd v Liverpool : Putting It Into Perspective

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Defeat against the Old Enemy is one which is always hard to take. I’d rather be starting the week with that special feeling that comes with beating Manchester United – that ‘Happy New Year’ feeling. This season, it wasn’t to be, unless we were to meet Man Utd  in the FA Cup, we might get another opportunity to finish off what we started  in the second half.  Man Utd were rattled and rocked by the end of the game and couldn’t wait for the final whistle. And that’s what provided encouragement- Liverpool’s performance in the second half.

Going two goals down at Old Trafford, teams could expect to be swept aside and be on the receiving end of a mauling, maybe 4, 5 or 6 goals? The way Liverpool played their way back into the game ensured there was no such scoreline for the Redmen to endure.

Debutants

There were debutants in Liverpool’s ranks who were playing at Old Trafford for the very first time, namely Raheem Sterling and Andre Wisdom. Alongside the debutants were players who were also experiencing their first game at Old Trafford in a Liverpool shirt. The likes of Joe Allen, Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini all got that experience of what a Man Utd game is all about. But given this almighty backdrop, Liverpool’s fresh faces held their own, and played like seasoned professionals.

Yes, there were errors made, and we all saw misplaced passes during the game, but putting a context to it, Liverpool is a team in progress and Man Utd is a team seven points clear at the top of the table.

Coming through a game of this magnitude will not only keep the players in good stead but will enhance their Liverpool journey as each player will know what to expect when this fixture is repeated.

The Positives

Character

There is very little to talk about when it comes to the first half performance, we all know Liverpool came to the party in the second half. The second half display provided much encouragement and a sense of optimism.  Whilst teams could have crumbled and frozen going two goals down, especially when most of the second half was still to be played, the Reds showed a fighting spirit which all great teams have in their DNA and the Reds took the game to the League leaders.

Sturridge, Suarez and Borini

It was surprise to see all three names so soon but the attacking threat these players displayed was what we were all hoping. The link up play between them showed real potential.  With Sturridge and Borini’s movement The Reds began to move the ball around the League leaders through patient build up play and were able to open up Man Utd with ease. After Sturridge got Liverpool’s goal, Man Utd were rocking, they knew the game was back on. It remained that way and Man Utd were on the back foot until the final whistle.

Suarez finally has someone he can bounce off and play in the safe knowledge that he will be supported upfront. Having the pressure slightly taken off him, Suarez was able to develop the play and think about creating chances for his team mates and there was one moment that was reminiscent of his mazy run at Anfield for Dirk Kuyt’s first of his hat-trick a couple of years ago. Suarez picked up the ball and decided to take on the Man Utd defence. As the ball ricochet of Man Utd players, it found it’s way to Sturridge, who saw his shot go over the goal. Had that goal gone in, we would have been eulogising about Liverpool’s new number 15 and a fantastic comeback at Old Trafford.

Final Thoughts

Man Utd were rocking and they decided to close the game out by making defensive substitutions and parked the bus for the final 10 mins with Alex Ferguson remaining at the touchline to oversee his team over the finishing line. A home team, happy to sit in front of their goal demonstrated how threatened they felt.

They had no answer for what seemed to be a resurgent Liverpool. Man Utd appeared more anxious and nervous and couldn’t wait for the final whistle. LFC took the game to them and they knew about it. Damage had been done earlier in the game, but had the game carried on for another half, the outcome would have been different.

Based on a second half performance Liverpool showed that there is still much to be optimistic about. It’s always a tough one to take losing to Man Utd as Brendan Rodgers said after the match ‘..we take great hope from the second half performance’.

The direction we take ourselves in is a positive one. The signing of Sturridge is an exciting one, he was game changer when he came on and will certainly offer confidence to all the players around him. Once Sturridge is match fit, I’m sure things will click even further. We are by no means the finished article yet, and after each game those final pieces in the jigsaw will surely come together.

Keep Calm – Support Liverpool -In Brendan we Trust.

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