English Premier League: United win at emotional Anfield

Published: September 24, 2012
Liverpool manager Rodgers is yet to win a match in the Premier League this season with his side drawing two and losing three of the five opening matches. PHOTO: REUTERS

Liverpool manager Rodgers is yet to win a match in the Premier League this season with his side drawing two and losing three of the five opening matches. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON: Ten-man Liverpool were left searching for their first Premier League win under new manager Brendan Rodgers as archrivals Manchester United came from behind to win 2-1 at an emotional Anfield yesterday.

This was Liverpool’s first home match since an independent report cleared their fans of any responsibility for the 1989 Hillsborough disaster where 96 of the Merseysiders’ supporters were crushed to death during an FA Cup semi-final.

Liverpool played more than half the match a man down after Jonjo Shelvey was sent off in the 39th minute for a two-footed challenge on Jonny Evans. But they still took a 46th-minute lead when captain Steven Gerrard volleyed home from near the penalty spot.

However, United only had to wait five minutes for an equaliser when Rafael curled in a superb shot from the right-hand side of the Liverpool area. And with 15 minutes to go United were awarded a spot-kick when Liverpool defender Glen Johnson brought down Antonio Valencia. There was a delay of several minutes as Liverpool defender Daniel Agger received treatment for an injury before Dutch striker Robin van Persie beat goal-keeper Pepe Reina.

Victory saw United move to within a point of leaders Chelsea, while defeat left Liverpool languishing in the bottom three.

“It is a great result for us but we did not play well,” said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. “In the first-half Liverpool dominated us, in the second-half we had better possession but they had 10 men, we can’t take great credit for that.” Rodgers hailed his ‘heroic’ side and said decisions had gone against them.

“I thought the players were heroic in terms of performance and the spirit,” he said. “They were brilliant and didn’t get what they deserved. Jonjo, if he gets sent off then Jonny Evans has to go as well. I think both players’ feet are off the floor.

“I’m sure it’s never a penalty, and then obviously Luis Suarez goes up the other end and gets a toe to the ball and the defender doesn’t touch the ball, and he goes down and it looks a penalty.”

Before kick-off, the Hillsborough victims were remembered in a series of pre-match ceremonies. United legend Bobby Charlton presented former Liverpool striker Ian Rush with a bouquet of red roses, and United captain Ryan Giggs released 96 red balloons, one for each of the dead.

“Liverpool did a fantastic job today, the fans were terrific and I don’t think there can be any complaint on that part,” said Ferguson. “There was ferocity and it was intense and it has been a good day for football.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2012.


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Reader Comments (5)

  • Felix Tembo
    Sep 24, 2012 - 2:43AM

    It was a good game to watch but the referee spoiled the game. Man U should be ashamed of their tricks with referees.


  • Sep 24, 2012 - 11:16PM

    the referee was unfair on the way he reacted on vanpersie yellow card because that was supposed to be a red card as well. if you all remember the between QPR and Chelsea last season drogba was given a red card just like the way van did yesterdayRecommend

  • Sep 24, 2012 - 11:25PM

    the referee was unfair and it was like he was given something from the man u manager and they have to be careful on what they are doing okRecommend

  • nelson gounder
    Sep 25, 2012 - 5:19PM

    this was very unfair to liverpool manager and players as the team played very well


  • Koro Kemoko
    Sep 26, 2012 - 2:03AM

    Instead of complaining non stop, Liverpool Manager should try to better prepare his team for the next game. The red card to Shelvey was not accidental, the referee was close to the play enough to know that his charge was dangerous for the player of ManU. Also, Johnson is simply trying to exploit the situation here. His tackle from behind is what gave a penalty to the club of Manchester, and he’s trying to deflect the critics on Valencia.


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