Sunday, March 6, 2011

Derby Day: Liverpool v Manchester United

Liverpool v Manchester United is one of the most intense footballing rivalries in the UK. This year, The Red Devils are looking for a 19th Premier League championship, and in doing so, would over take Liverpool, who are also on 18 championships. But on this day, United's weakened back line wasn't able to contain the charging Dirk Kuyt.

After Dimitar Berbatov of the Red Devils hit the post early on, Dirk Kuyt opened up the scoring for Liverpool in the 34th minute, having an easy tap-in from a fantastic move by Luis Suarez. Soon after, the day of Manchester's Luis Nani began to take a quick turn for the worst. Trying to clear a cross from Luis Suarez, Nani mistakenly headed the ball straight back to a waiting Kuyt, who then headed the ball in Manchester's goal, making the score 2-0. Towards the end of the first half, Jamie Carragher went in with a very rough slide tackle on Nani, receiving a yellow card, and injuring the Portuguese midfielder in the process, who was subbed off for Chicharito.

The second half began with Manchester having their best spell of play, being on attack for long periods of time. United had many chances to try to comeback into the game, even forcing midfielder Raul Meireles to clear the ball off of the goal line.  However, against the flow of the game, Liverpool put the ball into the back of the net for a 3rd goal. Luis Suarez curled a free-kick in towards Edwin Van Der Sar, who then let the ball slip right into the feet of a waiting Dirk Kuyt, who scored to complete his first hat-trick for Liverpool. By the 65th minute, it was 3-0 for the Reds.

Being the most expensive Englishman ever being bought on the transfer market, Andy Carroll returned from injury to make his debut for the 'Pool in the 74th minute. He didn't have much work to do, as the game was already finished off, a clear 3 points for Liverpool. As a consolation, substitute Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored with a header from Ryan Giggs' cross towards the end of full time. After the match, Sir Alex Ferguson refused to talk to reporters about the game, "protesting" against the press.

With his injury, Nani will most likely miss the FA Cup quarterfinal home game at Old Trafford against Arsenal on March 12. The win puts Liverpool in 6th place with 42 points, while Manchester United maintains a 3 point game above Arsenal, but they have a game in hand.

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