Manchester U 2 Liverpool 1
Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1, Old Trafford, English Premier League, March 21, 2010. Manchester United came from behind to beat Liverpool to go to the top of the table. Despite a nerve wracking ending, United managed to hold on to their lead and they eventually overcame The Anfielders by 2-1 courtesy of one goals from Wayne Rooney and Ji-Sung Park.
After trashing mid-tablers Fulham 3-0 at Old Trafford seven days earlier, Manchester United prepared to play host to Rafael Benitez´s Liverpool. The Merseysiders had managed to beat United by 2-0 at Anfield thanks to second half goals from striking partners Fernando Torres and David Ngog in the last meeting between the two clubs, and The Manchester Reds were out for revenge in this one. Due to injuries, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was without several players for the game against Liverpool, including defenders Wes Brown and John O’Shea; midfielders Owen Hargreaves and Oliveria Anderson; and forwards Michael Owen and Federico Macheda. Ferguson´s provisional squad contained goalkeepers Edwin van der Sar and Tomasz Kuszczak: defenders Fabio da Silva, Gary Neville, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, and Antonio Valencia; midfielders Michael Carrick, Darron Gibson, Paul Scholes, Ji-sung Park, Ryan Giggs, Gabriel Obertan, and Luis Nani; and forwards Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen, Danny Welbeck, and Mame Biram Diouf.
As expected before the game no quarter was given by either side during the classic North West Derby between Manchester United and Liverpool. In the fifth minute of action, Liverpool forward Fernando Torres continued his remarkable scoring record against United when he made it one goal up for the visitors with an astonishing header. But five minutes later, match official Howard Webb awarded Manchester United a penalty as Antonio Valenica was brought down by fellow South American Javier Mascherano inside the eighteen-yard box. Wayne Rooney’s subsequent spot-kick was superbly saved by Liverpool shot stopper Pepe Reina, only for the inform striker to score his thirty-third goal of the 2009-10 Premier League campaign from the rebound. As the pendulum swung one way and then the other, Manchester United eventually went into the lead for the first time during the derby encounter with a truly breathtaking display when Rooney found hard running playmaker Darren Fletcher who managed to cross the ball perfectly for South Korean midfield engineer Ji-Sung Park to score the winning goal with a flying text-book header in the fourteenth minute of second period play.
Following the win over Liverpool, Manchester United were now topping the Premiership table with sixty-nine points from thirty-one matches, two points clear of second placed Arsenal, and four ahead of Chelsea in third spot. Sir Alex Ferguson: “A game like that, it has always been feisty. Both Manchester United and Liverpool, with their pride and history, are going to compete. And I do not think that it got to a serious point at any stage.” Manchester United Team: Edwin van der Sar, Patrice Evra, Gary Neville, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Antonio Valencia, Luis Nani, Darren Fletcher, Ji-Sung Park, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney. Substitutes: Rafael da Silva, Jonny Evans, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gabriel Obertan, Dimitar Berbatov, Tomasz Kuszczak. Liverpool Team: Pepe Reina, Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson, Jamie Carragher, Lucas Leiva, Emiliano Insua, Javier Mascherano, Steven Gerrard, Maxi Rodriguez, Dirk Kuyt, Fernando Torres. Substitutes: Martin Kelly, Sotiris Kyrgiakos, Alberto Aquilani, Yossi Benayoun, Ryan Babel, David N’Gog, Diego Cavalieri.
Manchester United Quickfacts
Manchester United trashed Liverpool 4-0 at Old Trafford on the 5th of April 2003 through two penalty goals from Ruud Van Nistelrooy and a goal each from Ryan Giggs and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.