Manchester U 3 Liverpool 0

David De Gea

Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Liver­pool 0, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Dec­ember 14, 2014. Man­chester Uni­ted col­lec­ted their sixth Pre­miership win in a row as they be­at Liver­pool 3-0 at Old Traf­ford. Way­ne Roo­ney put Uni­ted ahead on twelve min­utes be­fore Ju­an Ma­ta and Robin van Per­sie sco­red a goal each in the 40th and 71st min­utes respectively.

Man­chester Uni­ted, who had over­taken Liv­er­pool’s re­cord of eight­een Eng­lish Lea­gue titles in the 2010-11 sea­son, had ma­naged to win four of their pre­vi­ous five ho­me fix­tures ag­ainst The An­field­ers. And even tho­ugh The Man­chester Reds had suf­fered a heavy 3-0 de­feat ag­ainst Liver­pool at Old Traf­ford in the cor­res­pond­ing Pre­mier Lea­gue meet­ing of the 2013-14 cam­paign, Uni­ted were re­garded as fa­vour­ites to over­come their North West rivals. In their pre­vi­ous five Pre­miership en­coun­ters, Man­chester Uni­ted had ma­naged to over­come Crys­tal Pal­ace, Hull City, and Sto­ke City on their ho­me gro­und, and Ar­senal and South­ampton on away soil, and Louis van Gaal´s si­de were brim­ming wi­th self-con­fid­ence. On the med­ic­al front, the for­mer Neth­er­lands head coach had to make do with­out the phys­ic­al pres­ence of de­fenders Lu­ke Shaw and Chris Small­ing, plus mid­field­ers Da­ley Bli­nd and An­gel di Mar­ia, who were all side­lined wi­th dif­fer­ent in­jury prob­lems, but cent­ral de­fender Phil Jones and right full­back Ra­fael da Silva were bo­th back from long­time injuries.

As the mat­ch turned out, Man­chester Uni­ted, had no prob­lems what­soever in de­feat­ing Fen­way Sports Group owned Liver­pool at Old Traf­ford. The Man­cuni­ans, who played like a sym­phon­ic or­ches­tra, were two goals up at the in­ter­val, and the ho­me out­fit ad­ded one more goal in the sec­ond ha­lf of the heavy­weight Pre­mier Lea­gue fix­ture be­tween the two gi­ant te­ams of Eng­lish foot­ball. The Mer­sey­siders star­ted off the ga­me well enough and Three Li­ons in­ter­na­tion­al Ra­heem Ster­ling came clo­se to giv­ing Liver­pool the lead in the el­ev­enth min­ute of the tussle as he for­ced Uni­ted goal­keeper Da­vid de Gea in­to a quick block. But it was Man­chester Uni­ted who went in front when rock­et-heeled wing back An­tonio Va­lencia out­man­euvered two op­pon­ents be­fore cross­ing low to Old Traf­ford cap­tain Way­ne Roo­ney who fou­nd the back of the net wi­th a well pla­ced shot from in­side the eight­een-yard area on­ly a min­ute la­ter. As the fir­st pe­riod wore on, Uni­ted kept on launch­ing at­tacks and Span­ish in­ter­na­tion­al Ju­an Ma­ta ul­ti­mately doubled the ad­vant­age for the hosts as the for­ward think­ing mid­field con­duct­or nod­ded the ball ho­me from an off­side po­s­i­tion five min­utes ahead of the sound of the ha­lf-time whistle. Fol­low­ing the re­sump­tion of the con­test, Man­chester Uni­ted con­tin­ued to dom­in­ate pro­ceed­ings, but the vis­it­ors were nev­er­the­less clo­se to re­du­cing the de­fi­cit on sev­er­al oc­ca­sions dur­ing the sec­ond frame of the clash. How­ever, wi­th the score­board clock tick­ing down, Uni­ted stret­ched their ad­vant­age fur­ther cour­tesy of in­form Neth­er­lands in­ter­na­tion­al marks­man Robin van Per­sie who ma­naged to find the tar­get for The Reds at the end of a mag­ni­fi­cent counter-at­tack in the 71st min­ute of the Sunday encounter.

Be­ing one of the main prot­ag­on­ists at The Theatre of Dreams, Da­vid de Gea was noth­ing but out­stand­ing in goal for Man­chester Uni­ted ag­ainst Liver­pool and the twenty-four-year-old shot stop­per pro­duced a string of phe­nom­en­al saves dur­ing The North West Der­by. Af­ter com­fort­ably beat­ing the Liv­er­pudli­ans 3-0, Louis van Gaal´s title chasers were now third in the Pre­mier Lea­gue wi­th thirty-one points gain­ed from six­teen mat­ches played, five points adrift of oil money fuelled cross­town ad­versar­ies Man­chester City in sec­ond place, and eight points be­hind Ro­man Abramovich´s ta­ble top­ping Chel­sea. As for Liver­pool, Brendan Rodgers´s boys had won twenty-one points from the same amount of ga­mes played and fou­nd them­selves tenth in the top-flight ta­ble. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Da­vid de Gea, Phil Jones, Mi­chael Car­rick, Jon­ny Evans, An­tonio Va­lencia, Mar­ou­ane Fel­laini, Way­ne Roo­ney, Ash­ley Young, Ju­an Ma­ta, Robin van Per­sie, Ja­mes Wil­son. Sub­stitutes: Tyler Black­ett, Pad­dy McNair, An­der Her­rera, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Ad­nan Janu­zaj, Ra­damel Fal­cao, An­ders Linde­gaard. Liver­pool Te­am: Brad Jones, De­jan Lovren, Al­berto Moreno, Mar­tin Skr­tel, Glen John­son, Ad­am Lal­lana, Ste­ven Ger­rard, Joe Al­len, Jor­dan Hen­derson, Phil­ippe Cou­tinho, Ra­heem Ster­ling. Sub­stitutes: Emre Can, Lu­cas Leiva, Kolo Tou­re, Rick­ie Lam­bert, Laz­ar Markovic, Mario Balo­telli, Si­mon Mignolet.

 

David de Gea Quickfacts

Da­vid de Gea was han­ded his Bar­clays Pre­mier Lea­gue de­but for Man­chester Uni­ted by Sir Al­ex Fer­guson in a 2-1 win over West Brom­wich Al­bion at The Haw­thorns on the open­ing day of the 2011-12 cam­paign and pro­ceeded to play 39 mat­ches for the club dur­ing his in­aug­ur­al sea­son at Old Trafford. 

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