It took little more than two minutes for Manchester United to score on Kenny Dalglish’s return as Liverpool manager; just over half an hour for the visitor’s season to end. An early Ryan Giggs penalty handed United the lead before a wild two-footed lunge from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard earned a deserved red card and effectively ended the tie.
In the end this was no vintage United performance despite a numerical advantage for around an hour, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side rarely improving on the mundane. With Liverpool unambitious, and United in no mood to go for the kill, the Reds sealed passage through to an FA Cup fourth round tie with Southampton with some ease.
In the opposition dugout, Dalglish took charge of the visitors’ for the first time in nigh on 20 years. When the 59-year-old Scot from walked away from Anfield in 1991 few expected a return. That Dalglish hasn’t taken charge of a team anywhere for a decade focuses the spotlight even more intensely on Liverpool’s unexpected move.
Yet, in the worse Liverpool side for a generation, Dalglish’s players let him down whatever the post-match bleating from Liverpool’s returning legend and players. First Daniel Agger committed a needless challenge on Dimitar Berbatov with barely 30 seconds gone gifting an, albeit soft, penalty to the home side. Then captain Gerrard, who should be leading from the front, committed a dangerous two-footed tackle on Michael Carrick with just half an hour gone to gain referee Howard Webb’s ire.
“It was a penalty, Dimitar says he was definitely clipped,” said United boss Ferguson
“The replay shows he slightly touched him but the momentum is enough to bring the player down. There is no reason for him to go down anyway. He is not that kind of player. He is on the by-line, he is in the penalty box. I think it was right.
“As for the sending off, there was no doubt. It was two-footed and he was off the ground. Steven Gerrard is not that type of player but it was a reckless challenge. I don’t think he left the referee with any option.”
United began without Nemanja Vidic, whose has a minor thigh problem, and Wayne Rooney, who has not yet recovered from the ankle problem picked up against West Bromwich Albion. With Paul Scholes still on the sidelines, Ferguson opted for a conservative-looking midfield duo of Carrick alongside Darren Fletcher.
It hardly mattered though, with Liverpool committing hari kari seconds into the match. As Berbatov brought down a long ball in the opposition area, Agger needlessly clipped the Bulgarian’s heels. The Dane protested long and hard but contact, although minimal, was enough for World Cup referee Webb to justify the spot kick. Veteran Giggs, who missed his last penalty for United, made no mistake to hand United the lead after barely two minutes.
Liverpool responded with more heart than the players had ever shown under Roy Hodgson. Indeed, the Englishman will have reason to feel results this season may have been different had the Merseysiders done so under his watch.
The visitors rarely threatened Tomasz Kuszack’s goal though, with Fernando Torres ineffective and Gerrard cocooned on the right wing, although Max Rodriguez forced a save from the Pole before the Liverpool captain needlessly saw Red on 30 minutes.
With a man advantage, United enjoyed plenty of possession without showing a killer instinct. Javier Hernández flashed a header wide and then Jonny Evans, on his return to the United side, hit Pepe Reina’s right-hand post just before the interval.
There was more of the same after the break with Rafael da Silva, Patrice Evra and Berbatov all forcing Reina to make smart saves before substitute Michael Owen failed to take two sharp chances as United failed to increase the lead.
“It is amazing it was only 1-0,” added Ferguson, who has not led his side to FA Cup glory since 2004.
“But sometimes, when a team is down to 10 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.
“But anything can happen at 1-0. The FA Cup is riddled with it. Fortunately, we didn’t do anything stupid today that would have caused us embarrassment.”
In the end United did enough – just enough – to seal a comfortable win. But for the third match in a row Ferguson’s outfit failed to rise above the average, even against mediocre opposition. It’s a worrying trend that will be tested sternly when United visit White Hart Lane next week.
United – 442 – Kuszczak; Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans (Smalling 84), Evra; Nani, Carrick, Fletcher (Anderson 62), Giggs; Berbatov, Hernandez (Owen 75).
Stoke – 451 – Reina; Kelly, Agger, Skrtel, Aurelio; Gerrard, Raul Meireles (Shelvey 60), Maxi (Babel 60), Lucas, Kuyt, Torres (Ngog 77).
Attendance – 74,727
Man of the Match – Berbatov
Possession: United 58% – 42% Stoke
Attempts: 16 – 13
On Target: 10 – 5
Corners: 11 – 3
Fouls: 11 – 7
17 thoughts on “United ease to win over 10 man Pool”
I want Liver/celt fans banned from Old Trafford, they have smashed up the ground twice, enough is enough.
Mate you mean Rangers right? Sellick supporters are the best in the World, for fun humility and knowledge of fitbae.
Not that I biased/ bigoted. Only towards United.
I thought we did enough just to scrape past a weak and lost Liverpool team.Team being the keyword! Like Citeh even King Kenny could not galvanise them and create that seige mentality at their(Historical)challengers.
It was a great day to be a United supporter, not firing yet but still capable on all fronts apart from the Mickey mouse cup.
We have a great chance to make it 12 FA cup wins, its only Southampton in the 4th, round. THE Ties are falling kindly for us.
Someone is looking down on United and wishing we can do this?I believe in God and I believe in Sir Alex.I just dont believe in Yanks, Cappessh
The cameras caught quite a few Munich chants and a few airplane gestures from the greatest fans in the world
In fact the coverage was shite – it was the ‘lets feel sorry for the scouse cunts’ show
Totally agree. Scum. If United fans were caught on camera
chanting about Hillsborough the TV would have been full of it even
on the programme itself but United fans don’t chant that. These lot
have been since the 70’s but in true scouse fashion demand nothing
but respect for their tragedy at Hillsborough which when people die
should be the case. The same “best fans in the world” were throwing
cups of shit a couple of years ago at OT – they should ban them
from Old Trafford for definate.
Dalglish will not save Liverpool; those players have gotten 2 managers sacked in 8 months; with the exception of Pepe Reina none of them want to play for the club anymore; it’s going to be a long time before they challenge for anything again!
Ed, the stats refer to Liverpool as “Stoke”; copy & paste error I think!
By the way… that was a definite penalty.
They’re all saying it was soft, and he went down easy… blah, blah…
Watch it again… Agger clips Berbs foot, and Berbs isn’t able to put that foot down flat… instead his foot comes down twisted under… he has to go down or he puts all his weight on a folded ankle and probably breaks it.
You’re right Sid… this was all about the Dalglish show, and because of that, the Verrrmin cunts could do no wrong.
Even if crimes were commintted by the fuckers, it’ll probably be attributed to just “high spirits” from the plucky scouse faithful… who were just over excited by the return of “King Kenny”.
“Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”
TBF, Stoke are a better team and gave us a better game
United were average at best, but if that’s supposed to be a spirited performance from Liverpool then they really are in danger of going down. Hero Gerrard out for three games too now.
Evans looked good but Torres was utter shite. Funny thing is, Liverpool fans still try to defend him despite him making absolutely no effort.
Nani was anonymous, Berba was good and Rafael excellent (particularly that tough tackle on Meireles which obviously riled Gerrard and led to his two footed lunge on Carrick).
It was a penalty, a soft one, but it was a penalty. Even Lawro admitted that. Clearly Beglin’s emotions got the better of him today, his commentary was hilarious.
The “Munich, Munich” scouse fans caught on camera should be banned from all grounds and neutered.
Aye, the commentry was shite
They reinforced ITVs ‘lets all sypathise with Liverpool’ narrative
On Gerrard’s lunge, the co-commentator cunt said a yellow would have sufficed
And then spouted the usual “in today’s game you can’t even jump off the ground with both feet – studs showing – for fear of landing on a players leg and breaking it – it’s political correctness gone mad” kind of bollocks
Clear red card. Gerrard dint wanna play, neither did Torres. Was like Mascherano all over again.
Another match were I can not understand the reason for Berbatov. I am sorry this guy just annoys me and I think he is such a waste of money it is untrue. Why can’t he ever make the simple pass FIRST and get the game moving?? Why? Great touches and all but to progress a game with that important quick pass he utterly refuses!!
As for the commentary, to hell and beyond with Jim Beglin. The former Liverpool full-back was a disgrace and I just never want to hear his voice again if it was possible. He was so biased and his comments regarding Gerrard’s shocking, leg-breaking lunge should cause him to be relieved of his job.
Evans was very good while it seems like we are getting Rio back to his imperious best. Spurs will be a proper test. Rafael is going to be awesome!! Carrick was really good while it looks like Fletcher is having a crisis of confidence. He should play more games and he should start along Carrick and Anderson at the Lane.
We move on.
//Another match were I can not understand the reason for Berbatov. //
Most people would agree he played pretty well, even if we only scored the one pen. Funny thing to say. He even got MOTM (shoulda been Giggs to be fair).
Another game where we seemed happy to sit on a 1-0 lead without creating a huge amount of opportunities. We did have the odd decent effort on goal but we needed to do more. As for Evans, he did OK but, let’s be honest, the Liverpool attack was so toothless that he didn’t have a huge amount to do and he nearly fucked up not long after we took the lead by giving the ball away. Luckily the Scousers failed to capitalise.
We can’t play like that vs Tottenham and expect to win. If we don’t start getting our act together, we will get turned over.
regardless of how bad the Liverpool attacks were, it’s a great confidence boost for Evans at exactly the right time. Had he had another shocker he might have been in a whole world of trouble. He also looked good with the ball at his feet yesterday, coming out of defence a la Rio 10 years ago
berbatov was ok. I thought carrick of all people had a decent game.
When are we going to hit top gear this season?
yeah another game where you think whats the point of berbatov?!?!
yeah, what is the point of a player who is the leagues top goalscorer, just won us the penalty whcih helped knock our biggest rivals out the FA cup
the point of berbatov is he is technically our most gifted player. we have literally just started to get somewhere near the best out of him but he is still only at best 70%, more to come from him. watch.