Man Utd vs Liverpool: Live Report
- Published: 13/01/2013 at 08:45 PM
- Online news:
AFP IS NOW CLOSING THIS LIVE REPORT after Manchester United held off a ferocious fightback from Liverpool to sneak a 2-1 victory in their English Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
Manchester United's Robin van Persie (left) and Liverpool's Martin Skrtel compete during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 13, 2013.
The win takes United 10 points clear at the top of the table and lays down a marker for league champions Manchester City who will soon be playing Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in north London
United will reflect on how goals from Van Persie and Vidic gave them a well-deserved 2-0 lead before Sturridge pulled one back for the visitors.
Liverpool pressed forward looking for an equaliser but United held on for a victory that gave them a league double over their bitter rivals.
Liverpool fans will not sit comfortably when they look at the league table which shows them languishing 24 points behind United in eighth place.
Read on to find out how all the action unfolded at Old Trafford:
Ferguson seems pretty chuffed with his side's performance.
"We played well. It was as good a performance as we've produced for a while. When you play Liverpool you have to be at your best form to win and we were," he says.
His Liverpool counterpart Rodgers was pleased with the character shown by his players, if not the result.
"After we conceded the goal, we could have given up the fight but in the end, I thought we maybe deserved something from the game," he says.
1529 GMT: United were in complete control until the introduction of Sturridge led to a ferocious second-half fight back by Liverpool.
90 + 4 mins: FULL TIME: Huge roar from United supporters as the referee blows for the final whistle.
90 + 3 mins: YELLOW CARD! Agger goes into the book for a rash challenge on Cleverley.
90 + 2 mins: Flash of inspiration from Van Persie as he tries to back-heel a cross from Valencia. Reina has to be alert to prevent United extending their lead.
90 + 1 mins: Liverpool have really taken the fight to United in the last 30 minutes, but do they enough time to get an equaliser against a suddenly nervy United?
90 mins: The official signals there will be four minutes of added time.
89 mins: Downing finds Suarez on the edge of the penalty area. The Uruguay forward shields a defender before rolling the ball into the path of Johnson but his goal-bound shot is blocked.
85 mins: Suarez tries to find a yard of space on the edge of the box but Rafael snuffs out the danger
81 mins: United have been on the ropes for the past 15 minutes, but against the run of play Welbeck picks up the ball and races past Wisdom before firing the ball to Van Persie.
The Dutch striker looks to cut inside the defender but loses his balance and falls over the ball. Lucky escape for Liverpool...
80 mins: Not to be outdone by his United counterpart, Rodgers makes his final change and sends Henderson on for the largely ineffective Allen.
79 mins: United make their third and final change as they look to see out the last ten minutes, and Smalling replaces Vidic.
77 mins: Ferguson makes his second change and Kagawa makes way for Jones. Are United are looking to batten down the hatches?
75 mins: YELLOW CARD! Evra looks to exploit a gap in the Liverpool defence but Johnson cynically pulls him down to earn himself a booking.
73 mins: YELLOW CARD! Evra is booked for upending Downing.
71 mins: Liverpool fans are on their feet thinking Borini has scored an equaliser, but his fearsomely hit volley flies just wide of De Gea's post.
68 mins: Liverpool are really clicking into life now! Suarez and Sturridge link up nicely to carve open the United rearguard but the Uruguayan striker cannot control a return pass and the dangers passes for the Red Devils.
64 mins: Fantastic save from Reina as he has to be at full-stretch to palm Kagawa's fizzing shot round the post.
63 mins: The Liverpool manager rolls the dice and sends on Italian striker Borini for Sterling, who has had a disappointing game.
60 mins: United earn a free-kick just outside the area after Gerrard was alleged to have blocked Van Persie.
The Dutchman takes an age in lining up his shot, but it doesn't trouble Reina. Gerrard was lucky he wasn't booked for that challenge.
57 mins: GOAL!
Sturrige makes a dream league start for Liverpool!
Gerrard drives forward and wallops a low goal-bound shot which De Gea can only manage to palm into the path of Sturridge, who makes no mistake with his close-range effort.
54 mins: GOAL! Van Persie whips in a dangerous cross and Evra and Vidic are all alone at the back-post and the Serb plants a powerful header past Reina.
It looked like Evra got the last touch but they award the goal to the big Serb
Poor marking by Liverpool's Johnson, who didn't pick-up either player. Liverpool face an uphill task now.
53 mins: YELLOW CARD! United fans scream for a red card as Skrtel hauls down Welbeck. The referee consults his linesman and books the defender.
52 mins: Nice interchange between Suarez and Wisdom. The Uruguay star lays the ball into the path of the teenage defender but he cannot control his shot and it doesn't trouble De Gea.
50 mins: Liverpool make a rare foray into the United half, and Sterling twists and turns inside the box looking to create an opening before he is dispossessed by Rafael.
48 mins: Kagawa seems to have recovered from his collision with Reina and charges into the box, his shot is blocked and falls to Van Persie who blasts high over the bar.
47 mins: Sturridge is looking to make an immediate impact on the match and snatches at the ball when he should be crossed it back for Suarez.
46 mins: Liverpool get the second-half under way.
1432 GMT: Each team makes a half-time substitution, Sturridge comes on for Lucas and Valencia comes on for Young, who limped off the pitch after he was sent tumbling by Lucas at the end of the first-half.
1430 GMT: Liverpool haven't offered much of an attacking threat in the first half so it might be time for Rodgers to throw on Sturridge or Borini to give some support to Suarez, who is cutting an isolated figure up front.
HALF-TIME: Van Persie takes the set piece but it comes to nothing and the referee calls time and the players head off the pitch.
45 + 1 mins: YELLOW CARD! The referee shows no hesitation in booking Lucas after he chops down Young.
44 mins: The fourth official signals there will be two minutes of added time.
44 mins: Rafael crosses for Van Persie whose backheel beats Reina but Agger manages a goal-line clearance as Kagawa looked ready to pounce.
The Japanese midfielder is flattened by Reina as he was ready to strike.
Both Reina and Kagawa need treatment after that goalmouth scramble.
41 mins: Terrific effort from Cleverly, who capitalises on Allen's poor clearance to smash a volley just wide of the upright.
37 mins: Liverpool might be looking for a counter-attack but it just seems to be inviting trouble as their rearguard is really struggling to cope with the pace and movement of Welbeck and Van Persie.
35 mins: Welbeck sprints past Skrtel but the England marksman cannot steady himself and his shot goes well over the bar.
33 mins: Liverpool fans must be scratching their heads in disbelief as a woeful backpass from Allen nearly gifts Welbeck a goal...
The United striker charges into a yawning gap at the heart of the Liverpool defence but his shot is blocked by Agger, who covered a lot of ground to try to make up for his teammate's error.
30 mins: Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is at Old Trafford, obviously on a scouting mission ahead of his side's Champions League clash with the Red Devils on February 13.
He must be impressed with what he has seen from Van Persie, with is a constant threat.
29 mins: Suarez is lurking on the edge of the area looking for the equaliser but Allen cannot control his pass and a posse of defenders usher the ball out of play.
27 mins: Van Persie nearly doubles United's lead as he wriggles clear of his marker on the edge of the area, but his fizzing shot whistles over the crossbar.
Good chance wasted by van Persie - lovely ball from Young to the Dutchman on the edge of the box but his first time side-footed shot is over, should have done better
23 mins: The goal has really rattled Liverpool, and Gerrard is forced into a last-ditch tackle to deny Van Persie another goal-scoring opportunity.
20 mins: The pound sterling24 million United paid Arsenal for Van Persie seems like a good investment, as that was his 21st goal (17 in the league) for the Red Devils this season
19 mins: GOAL!
United break the deadlock with a flash of brilliance from Van Persie, who else could it have been?
Evra goes on a swashbuckling run down the left and crosses to the Dutch striker who evades his marker before firing a first-time shot past Reina. Great piece of skill from Van Persie.
16 mins: Vidic holds his ground and snatches the ball from Suarez just as the Uruguay striker was lining up a shot on the edge of the United box
12 mins: Reina is called into action as he is forced to clear his lines after Skrtel scuffs a header.
10 mins: Liverpool fans breath a huge sigh of relief as a nervy Reina shanks a routine backpass and it presents United with a real goal-scoring opportunity, but Carrick's shot is blocked and the ball rolls gently back towards the Spanish keeper.
9 mins: United earn the game's first corner, but the chance goes begging as Skrtel clears Young's tame effort
6 mins: Suarez builds up a head of steam and attacks the United rearguard but Carrick comes to his defenders rescue with a perfectly timed tackle on the edge of the penalty area.
4 mins: First real opening for United as Evra charges down the wing but overhits a cross and Reina gratefully scoops up the ball.
2 mins: A cagey opening but Suarez brings the game into life with a mazy run down the left but Evra hoofs the ball clear to snuff out the danger.
1330 GMT: The referee blows his whistle and United (in their traditional red and white strip) get the match under way.
1325 GMT: The teams appear on the pitch and there is no hint of controversy as Suarez shakes hands with Evra.
The Uruguay striker was banned by the Football Association for eight matches for racially abusing the United defender during a game at Anfield in October 2011.
Suarez was criticised for failing to shake the Frenchman's hand prior to a match in February last year, but he isn't too keen to stoke up the home supporters this time.
1320 GMT: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been forced to make a few changes to his starting line-up as Wayne Rooney is still sidelined with a knee injury.
The wily Scot opts for the raw speed of Welbeck instead of the trickery offered by Hernandez to complement Van Persie up front.
United have already conceded 28 goals so far in the Premier League so Ferguson will be happy to reunite Ferdinand and Vidic at the heart of his defence for the first time since September.
Ferguson hopes his defensive stalwarts can thwart the threat posed by Liverpool's Suarez.
Liverpool's new pound sterling12 million striker Daniel Sturridge remains on the subs bench despite scoring on debut in last weekend's FA Cup win at Mansfield.
Sturridge will be chomping at the bit to make his first league appearance for his new side after Ferguson played his usual mind games in the build up to the match and questioned the signing.
1310 GMT: Here are the line-ups:
Manchester United: De Gea, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley, Young, Kagawa, Welbeck, van Persie.
Subs: Amos, Jones, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez.
Liverpool: Reina, Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Lucas, Downing, Gerrard, Allen, Sterling, Suarez.
Subs: Jones, Henderson, Sturridge, Carragher, Borini, Shelvey, Robinson.
Referee: Howard Webb
WELCOME TO AFP'S LIVE REPORT on the English Premier League clash between league leaders Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford.
The match is due to kick off at 1:30 pm local time (1330 GMT) so stay with us for all the action as it unfolds.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency