Manchester U 2 Liverpool 1
Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1, Old Trafford, English Premier League, February 11, 2012. A brace from Wayne Rooney gave Manchester United a 2-1 win over Liverpool at home. Luis Suarez managed to score a close range goal in the 81st minute, but United were able to keep the visiting team at bay for the remainder of the match to secure the victory.
The Reds of Manchester were looking to extract revenge on North West enemies Liverpool at Old Trafford after suffering an evenly contested 2-1 defeat against Kenny Dalglish´s men at Anfield in the fourth round of the FA Cup only two weeks earlier. Manchester United gaffer Sir Alex Ferguson had to make do without without the services of goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard; defenders Phil Jones, Ritchie De Laet, Chris Smalling, and Nemanja Vidic: midfielder Darren Fletcher: and forwards Luis Nani and Michael Owen because of various injury problems, but midfielder Tom Cleverley returned for the Premier League clash with the Merseysiders. Manchester United´s provisional squad for the fixture included goalkeepers David de Gea and Ben Amos; defenders Fabio da Silva, Rafael da Silva, Chris Smalling, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Jonathan Evans, and Antonio Valencia; midfielders Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Paul Pogba, Tom Cleverley, and Ryan Giggs; and forwards Danny Welbeck, Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez, Ashley Young, and Wayne Rooney.
Although Manchester United dominated possession of the ball for long spells during the first half, the home outfit failed to find the back of the net before the sound of the half time whistle. Smooth passing midfield playmaker Paul Scholes, who once again enjoyed a splendid game with his excellent distribution of the ball, almost scored the opening goal for United in the 31st minute, but his ferocious close range header was miraculously saved by the agile and acrobatic Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal. It was Wayne Rooney who would open the scoring, however, when the Liverpudlian hammered home an accurate right-hand side flag-kick from evergreen midfield stalwart Ryan Giggs after 47 minutes. And only a couple of minutes later, the England player scored one more time as he received a defence splitting pass from spring-heeled wideman Antonio Valencia and slotted the ball under Reina to net his second goal of the afternoon. Then, with just minutes left of the fixture, none other than Luis Suarez eventually scored for the Merseysiders with a powerful effort from inside the six-yard area which gave David de Gea no chance to save whatsoever. The Liverpool Reds pressed hard for the equalising goal once they halved the deficit, but Manchester United kept their cool during the closing stages to collect all three points. Manchester United Team: David de Gea, Jonny Evans, Rafael da Silva, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia, Danny Welbeck. Substitutes: Fabio da Silva, Tom Cleverley, Ji-Sung Park, Paul Pogba, Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez, Ben Amos. Liverpool Team: Pepe Reina, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Glen Johnson, Jose Enrique, Stewart Downing, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Jay Spearing, Dirk Kuyt, Luis Suarez. Substitutes: Martin Kelly, Jamie Carragher, Charlie Adam, Jonjo Shelvey, Craig Bellamy, Andy Carroll, Doni.