Manchester U 1 Liverpool 0
Manchester United 1 Liverpool 0, Old Trafford, English FA Cup Third Round, January 9, 2011. An early penalty goal by Ryan Giggs was adequate to overcome North West rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup Third Round. The Merseysiders, who were managed by former boss Kenny Dalglish, tried their best to score an equaliser as the derby match progressed, but the hosts held on for a deserved home victory.
Manchester United welcomed rivals Liverpool to Old Trafford in the FA Cup Third Round, which was the ninth post-war meeting between the two teams in the competition, with the Manchester club victorious in seven of the previous eight. Manchester United and Liverpool both had a rich tradition and the two giant clubs had won the FA Cup eighteen times between them. In the most recent meeting between the two sides in the FA Cup on the eighteenth of February 2006, Liverpool had recorded their first FA Cup triumph against Manchester United in eighty-five years with a close one-nil win at Anfield. As for unavailable players, Sir Alex Ferguson was without the services of Owen Hargreaves, Wayne Rooney, Edwin van der Sar, Paul Scholes, John O’Shea, Antonio Valencia, and Nemanja Vidic, who were all sidelined with various illnesses or injuries. Kenny Dalglish, for his part, had to manage without Jamie Carragher and Paul Konchesky, who were both injured. Manchester United still had the better team on paper and looked a safe bet to win The North West Derby.
Manchester United had dropped just two points at Old Trafford in the Premier League thus far in the season, while Liverpool had lost four of their last five fixtures away from Anfield, and Ferguson´s cavaliers once again proved the quality of their play, this time by eliminating Dalglish´s struggling players from the FA Cup. King Kenny had been expected to give The Anfielders a much needed boost against The Manchester Reds at The Theatre of Dreams, but the newly appointed interim manager could only sit and watch as a brilliantly executed penalty-kick from former Welsh international Ryan Giggs put the hosts into an early lead. The FA Cup Third Round fixture still lived up to its billing as a tightly contested battle, and the game was wide open for the majority of the ninety minutes. In the opening minute of the clash, Liverpool defender Daniel Agger made a somewhat clumsy challenge on Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov in the eighteen-yard area, and match official Howard Webb showed no hesitation in awarding the home side a penalty. A seasoned campaigner with plenty of experience, Giggs made no mistake whatsoever from the spot as he put United ahead in the contest with an expertly taken penalty-kick. And if that wasn´t hurtful enough, there was more to come for the travelling Liverpool supporters when Steven Gerrard was handed his marching orders by Webb two minutes past the half-hour mark for a mindless tackle on Michael Carrick just as the visitors looked like they were getting into their stride. From there the pendulum swung to and fro, with goal scoring opportunities going astray at both ends. And much to the great pleasure of the Manchester United fans, ex-Liverpool forward Michael Owen came off the substitute’s bench to replace Javier Hernandez with sixteen minutes left on the referee´s clock. Not even acclaimed novelist Dick Francis could have scripted more thrills or improbabilities.
Elsewhere in the FA Cup, Stevenage overcame Newcastle United by three goals to one at Broadhall Way, Norwich City suffered a one-nil loss to Leyton Orient at Carrow Road, Spurs defeated Charlton Athletic three-nil at White Hart Lane, Wolverhampton Wanderers were held to a two-all draw by Doncaster Rovers at Keepmoat Stadium, Manchester City drew by the exact same scoreline with Leicester City at Walkers Stadium, Arsenal and Leeds United played out a one-all draw at Emirates Stadium, Derby County lost by a two-one margin to Crawley Town at Broadfield Stadium, Middlesbrough were defeated by an identical score by Burton Albion at Pirelli Stadium, and Chelsea won seven-nil against Ipswich Town at Stamford Bridge. Having beaten Liverpool, Manchester United would now face League One Southampton at St Mary´s Stadium in the next round of the competition. Sir Alex Ferguson: “It is amazing it was only one-nil. But sometimes, when a team is down to ten men, you get that kind of resilient attitude. We should have put it to bed in the second half and it could have been three or four.” Manchester United Team: Tomasz Kuszczak, Rio Ferdinand, Rafael da Silva, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Luis Nani, Ryan Giggs, Javier Hernandez, Darren Fletcher, Dimitar Berbatov. Substitutes: Gabriel Obertan, Chris Smalling, Michael Owen, Oliveira Anderson, Darron Gibson, Fabio da Silva, Anders Lindegaard. Liverpool Team: Pepe Reina, Daniel Agger, Fabio Aurelio, Martin Kelly, Martin Skrtel, Raul Meireles, Steven Gerrard, Maxi Rodríguez, Lucas Leiva, Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt. Substitutes: Jonjo Shelvey, Ryan Babel, David N’Gog, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Danny Wilson, Christian Poulsen, Peter Gulacsi.
Ryan Giggs Quickfacts
Ryan Giggs registered his first competitive goal for Manchester United in a 1-0 League Division One win over neighbouring rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford on the fourth of May 1991.