By Lee Savery.
Daniel Sturridge scored the only goal of the game as Liverpool beat Manchester United at Anfield.
The England international’s goal came after just four minutes when Steven Gerrard’s in-swinging corner found Daniel Agger whose header towards goal was nodded into the net by Sturridge. It was the perfect start for the home side who were buoyed up by their celebrations on the eve of what would have been Bill Shankly’s 100th birthday.
For the rest of the game, Liverpool were happy to sit on that lead and counter attack where possible and David Moyes’ men were just unable to break down the solid home defence. United lacked any real quality with creativity left somewhere other than on the pitch as poor individual performances coupled with too much reliance on Michael Carrick left the team with very few clear chances at goal. Because of this, van Persie, Welbeck and, later on, Hernandez were restricted to just half chances.
Any chance of winning was also hindered before the game with the news Wayne Rooney had picked up a head injury in training which will see him miss the upcoming international games.
For much of the game, United dominated possession but were frustrated time and time again. This evidenced by the careless fouls and bookings collected for much of the game with silly little mistakes that littered the performance as a whole. From the few chances created, van Persie and substitute Nani had the best of them, both in the second half.
Nani’s surging run inside from the wing saw an opportunity to shoot from 30 yards but this power shot was saved comfortably by Liverpool keeper Mignolet. Van Persie’s best chance came in the dying minutes as Hernandez played the Dutchman into the box but saw his close range effort go wide.
Moyes cut a frustrated figure on the bench, as he saw another team he has managed at Anfield fail to win again in his career so far. There will be some who will want the chequebook to be opened with the transfer deadline closing on Monday. The manager, of course, is the one who knows his squad best and knows what he feels they need.
Today was a frustrating afternoon and despite their domination it just was not their day but there are little mistakes that need to be cut out of performances in the future. The first competitive defeat of the Moyes era will be one everyone will be quick to forget.
Manchester United team: De Gea; Jones (Valencia – 37′ ), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Giggs (Hernandez – 73′ ), Carrick, Cleverley, Young (Nani – 63′), Welbeck, van Persie.
Unused substitutes: Lindegaard, Smalling, Buttner, Anderson.