Manchester U 1 Liverpool 0

Ryan Giggs

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.


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