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A Tale of Two Sides

Liverpool's Win Over United Betrays Problems

Posted Mar 08, 2011 by Shaun Edwards

Dalglish is producing a superb recovery

Whilst Liverpool v Manchester United is rarely a dull match, there have been few fixtures between the sides that have been quite as revealing as this victory for Kenny Dalglish’s rejuvenated team over Six Alex Ferguson’s dismal Manchester United.  Whilst they have never been at their best this season, it is the first time they have been so roundly embarrassed.

Ferguson has on a few occasions revealed that whatever the league table standings of the two sides, he considers the match against Liverpool to be the biggest fixture of the domestic calendar.  The many United fans watching the display at Anfield will hope that means this defeat will do more to wake Sir Alex to the fact that his current side has serious flaws than a capitulation against a lesser side would.

Already suffering from the loss of both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand – probably the strongest central defensive pairing in the division – United simply looked utterly bereft of ideas, with not a single player really stepping up to the plate.  Wayne Rooney was once again invisible, Ryan Giggs was lacking the killer final ball and Paul Scholes is beginning to finally look his age in terms of stamina and energy.  As for Michael Carrick, the fact that his new contract was greeted with a wave of indifference should give some indication as to exactly how much impact the midfielder has had since he signed way back in 2006.

For their part, Liverpool are looking more and more like a team that Anfield can once again be proud of.  Luis Suarez is rapidly turning into an absolute steal at half the price that Chelsea paid for a still under-performing Fernando Torres, utterly tormenting the United central defense throughout this game.  This was the first time in the last couple of seasons that the atmosphere inside Anfield resembled the days of the mid-nineties and the seven goal thrillers against Newcastle.  If Liverpool have indeed woken from their slumber, it’s to the benefit of English football to have them back.

As for United, the fact that Ferguson and his assistant chose not to talk to the media following the 3-1 result could indicate many things.  United will likely indicate that this is as a result of Ferguson’s fury against what he would have seen as another shocking referee decision after Jamie Carragher avoided dismissal after an appalling challenge that opened up Nani’s shin.  United’s PR team will not have trusted Sir Alex to keep his opinions to himself: understandably so given his previous outburst against Martin Atkinson.

It could be said that this 3-1 result was a tale of two sides: one on the way up, and one on the way down.  

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