Sunday, 1 September 2013

Liverpool v Manchester United: live -

The wait for an Anfield win for David Moyes goes on - 13 games and counting.

15.30 Not a happy day for Roy Hodgson. Controversially turfed out of the directors' box before the game, he then sat among the scouts and watched two of his right back options - Phil Jones and Glen Johnson - pick up injuries. Daniel Sturridge's form is encouraging, but even he complained of a thigh injury before the game and then mentioned it again in the post-match interviews which rather smacks of an imminent early withdrawal. Wayne Rooney wasn't involved at all because of a head injury that David Moyes says will give him "no chance" of playing against either Moldova or Ukraine.

Full time - Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0
Three games, three 1-0 wins, three Daniel Sturridge goals.

90 + 4 min Carrick almost plays Sturridge in for a second but recovers. United attempt to counter but Liverpool have the ball back and Sterling unleashes a shot at goal after running Ferdinand to the edge of the box. De Gea makes his first serious save of the second half. We've played the five minutes and are now at the mercy of Andre Marriner.

90 + 3 min You'll Never Walk Alone ringing out, soon to be replaced as the club anthem by '1-0 to the Liverpool.'

90 + 1 min Sterling dribbles downfield and, with no support around, collapses under minimal contact from Carrick. It's such a prime example of buying a free kick that Andre Marriner is printing out a receipt for him.

90 min Five minutes of stoppage time about as welcome as football tourist in a Manchester United replica shirt on the Kop.

89 min A final chance in normal time, another yellow card. Cleverley gets away from Lucas who chops him down wide right. It's in exactly the same position as the Nani delivery a moment ago and this time Van Persie has come across to take it himself. Vidic delivers some last minute instructions and unless they were "play it low straight onto Enrique's head at the near post so he can clear easily" they went unheeded.

87 min Finally, finally United are able to pull Liverpool out of their rigid shape and get in behind the defence. Van Persie races in and although the angle is acute, and the ball on his unfavoured right foot, it's still a surprise to see him miss the target altogether.

85 min Look away West Brom fans, you're now 2-0 down to Swansea and looking set to go into week four without a win or a goal to your name. Long, hard winter ahead. Pablo Hernandez scores the second goal.

84 min A harsh handball decision against Sterling deep in Liverpool territory wide on the United right gives Nani (rather than left footed Van Persie) a chance to swing over a free kick, but he's picked the wrong club from the bag and it flies over everybody and into touch.

82 min Coutinho, impressive in the first half but rather starved of possession in the second, is the third Liverpool player to be substituted with Luis Alberto coming on.

81 min Hernandez tries his luck from the edge of the box but it's another routine save from Mignolet. Hardly any threat at all from Liverpool in this second half, but United have been restricted mainly to long range efforts and time is now their enemy.

77 min Well, it certainly was a reducer and it's sent Glen Johnson limping off down the tunnel to be replaced by Andre Wisdom. More bad news for Roy Hodgson, watching today over the top of an emergency exit gate while standing on a small stool. Phil Jones, Glen Johnson and Wayne Rooney now all doubts or definitely out of the forthcoming qualifiers.

76 min Nani cuts in field, rides one tackle, and unleashes a howitzer from 25 yards that Mignolet sees late and saves well in the bottom corner. The ball breaks to Valencia who hammers it into the six yard box but Liverpool have closed ranks and are able to survive.

74 min Evra seizes on a loose pass from Gerrard but Johnson comes across and executes what Ron Atkinson would surely have called a "reducer" which leaves both players struggling on the ground. Roar of approval from the Kop for that one.

73 min Giggs is replaced by Javier Hernandez (and that is his name, none of that Chicharito nonsense here thank you). Not a performance Giggs will look back on with any fondness.

71 min Vidic owes De Gea a pint of generic Spanish lager for that one. The keeper again shows his sharpness off his line to race out to the edge of the box and hook a dreadful back pass from his captain into the main stand.

69 min Here's what Gary Neville might describe as a "bizarre incident." Sterling and Valencia chase a bouncing ball into the Man Utd right back area. The United man gets there first and hooks the ball back over Sterling's head before catching it in two hands on the other side after being accidently poked in the eye. The outcome is a United free kick. Your guess is as good as mine.

67 min Van Persie, attacking in the left channel, feeds Evra who wins a corner from Johnson. It's floated into the near post by Nani, headed goalwards by Giggs, and Mignolet gathers. That's United's seventh corner of the game with no return. Liverpool have scored from their only one.

62 min Ashley Young, who's done so little it's almost unfair he didn't have to pay to get in, goes off and Nani replaces him.

60 min Perhaps concerned that Liverpool haven't been out of their half for sometime, Brendan Rodgers is bringing on Raheem Sterling. Aspas is withdrawn.

58 min That's three of the four United midfielders on yellow cards now with Young booked for pulling Henderson's shirt.

57 min Danny Welbeck has been growing increasingly frustrated since half time and now he's on the floor in the penalty area after a dive almost as embarrassing as Ashley Cole's at Old Trafford on Monday night. Welbeck is angry, all arms and tall hair. David Moyes is also fuming, but the furious appeals over what was a clear and obvious piece of play acting merely betray how worried the United manager is about how this game is going.

56 min All United now. Mignolet and Agger go for the same cross and the loose ball drops to Evra 30 yards out but his instinctive first time volley is blocked.

52 min Valencia speeds into the area and looks like he might be about to drop to the floor under contact from Enrique. Credit to him, he stays on his feet and has to settle for a corner which Mignolet punches clear.

50 min Finally a bit of concerted United pressure. Van Persie sees a volley deflected wide for a corner. From that set piece a defensive header Daniel Agger wouldn't have even tried in his school days sets Ashley Young up for a striker from 18 yards, dead centre of the goal, but it's deflected away.

47 min Picking up where we left off in the first half. Carrick, already booked, goes in hard on Aspas and is given a last, final, ultimate, serious this time, warning from Andre Marriner.

46 min No changes at the break - Valencia came on for the injured Phil Jones before half time.

14.20 Is the wait for David Moyes' first ever win at Anfield going to continue? On the evidence of the first half it's a strong possibility. Liverpool have looked vulnerable in defence when United have attacked, but that hasn't been often enough. Ashley Young has been completely anonymous, Ryan Giggs has conceded possession more in the last 45 minutes than he has in the last ten years put together.

One can't help but wonder what Shinji Kagawa has to do to get into this midfield. Somewhere in Germany, Jurgen Klopp is crying over a photograph of the Japanese international, rocking backwards and forwards repeating the names of Young and Danny Welbeck, stopping every now and again to throw back his head and shout "Why? Why? Nobody loved you like I did." Possibly.

Liverpool have worked harder, and tackled with greater ferocity. They have that extra bit of quality in the final third thanks to the presence of Coutinho.

Half time: Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0

45 + 2 min There's no love lost between Skrtl and Van Persie. An argument in the area sees the United striker, already on a booking, called across for a final warning by the referee. Presumably that was supposed to calm things down but Skrtl and Gerrard are quickly on the scene to see if they can wind the Dutchman up sufficiently to get him sent off. They can't - yet - and that's half time. Marriner is probably as grateful as anybody that time is up. Captains Gerrard and Vidic called in by the referee for a consultation before heading to the dressing rooms.

45 min Two minutes added to the end of the half.

42 min Just another line on that Roy Hodgson story Henry Winter was Tweeting about earlier (scroll down). Apparently while there isn't room in the Anfield directors' box for the England manager there is a seat for everybody's favourite actor James Corden. Broken Britain.

41 min And the cards just keep coming. Carrick the latest, interupting a Liverpool counter with a cynical pull on Aspas.

39 min Sensing a clampdown is in order, Marriner shows a yellow card to Van Persie for leaving a foot in on Agger.

37 min Jones isn't well at all, and he's going off to be replaced by Antonio Valencia.

34 min Tempers starting to fray a little. With Jones down injured Liverpool play on, Cleverley doesn't like it one bit and crunches into Coutinho on the edge of the box. That's an obvious free kick and the game's first yellow card. Aspas is also carded by Marriner for rushing over and gesturing that he thinks a card should be shown. Sound the cliché klaxon for "we don't like to see that sort of thing coming into the game."

32 min Liverpool too intricate for their own good on the edge of their own penalty area, but although possession is conceded by an ill-advised triangle of passes Phil Jones' cross goes straight to Mignolet. On the touchline Brendan Rodgers gently taps some finger cymbals together and mutters something about the "team, collective, unit, together, as one. Liverpool."

27 min Steven Gerrard lifts a free kick over a Man Utd wall, but it's too far out to trouble De Gea who sees it all the way and saves comfortably.

25 min The three players Liverpool are said to be signing prior to tomorrow's transfer deadline - Chelsea's Victor Moses, Sporting Lisbon's Thiago Ilori, and Paris Saint-Germain's Mamadou Sakho - are all sitting in the main stand. Jim White is clambering over people, microphone in hand, to get to them.

24 min In the other game taking place at the same time it's West Brom 0 Swansea 1 with Ben Davies scoring after 22 minutes. The Baggies' start to the season could be about to get a downgrade from 'uncomfortable' to 'deeply concerning'.

22 min Fine defensive header from referee Marriner interupts a United attack and sets Liverpool away, but De Gea is quickly out of his area and onto the through ball which he steers away from Sturridge.

E-mail Liverpool fan Marc Melander says: "About time we got some help from a referee v United but a bit obvious for Marriner to be heading the ball."

19 min First action of the afternoon for our referee Andre Marriner. Coutinho cuts in from the Liverpool left but finds himself chopped to the ground by Ryan Giggs. No yellow card, and the free kick from Gerrard is headed away by Vidic.

14 min Welbeck skips into the area and is blocked by Glen Johnson. The ball almost falls to Van Persie but Liverpool scramble it away. Wouldn't be surprised to see an equaliser going in here shortly.

11 min Ashley Young's low, inswinging corner flies all the way through the six yard box and is missed completely by, in this order, Michael Carrick, Danny Welbeck and Robin Van Persie. And the entire Liverpool defence as well. It bounces out for a goal kick.

8 min They may have fallen behind, but United look very threatening going forwards. Evra and Welbeck put together an intricate move on the edge of the box and the latter tries a shot that Mignolet saves comfortably.

5 min The frenetic start to the game continues. A deep cross from Giggs is headed down at the far post by Evra and Van Persie hooks a bicycle kick over the bar inside the six yard box. Straight down to the other end and Coutinho shoots wide from outside the box. Calm down lads, there's another 85 minutes to go yet.

Goal3 min GOAL! Liverpool 1 Man Utd 0 (Sturridge)
The resulting corner, Liverpool's first of the game, is met powerfully by Daniel Agger who gets in ahead of Rio Ferdinand. The header probably wouldn't have beaten a crowd on the line but is helped into the net by Sturridge, who keeps up his record of a goal in every game this season with a flicked back header into the net.

2 min Liverpool respond at the other end. Sturridge cuts into the area and sees a shot deflected wide by Ferdinand for a corner...

1 min Man Utd on the attack immediately, but Giggs' low cross is safely claimed at the near post by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

13.30 Underway at Anfield.

13.26 Here come the teams. Attempts by travelling United fans to drown out 'You'll Never Walk Alone' not going well. Tomorrow would have been Bill Shankly's 100th birthday, and there will be a minute of applause prior to kick off in his memory. A banner on The Kop reads "Bill Shankly 1913-1981, He Made People Happy".

E-mail Before we get underway, John Nee offers this on today's big question about Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney's directors' box small talk: "Luis to Wayne. Fancy a bite after the game?" E-mails and Tweets gratefully received.

Quote Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said: "It needs to be competitive and it needs to be fierce, but we went down to ten men in this game last year and it cost us. You need to retain the composure to enable you to play."

13.10 Liverpool haven't won their first three league matches of the season since 1994 when they started with a 6-1 win at Crystal Palace and followed it with a 3-0 home win against Arsenal and 2-0 success at Southampton. Their recent record against Manchester United on this ground is very decent: four wins and a draw from five meetings at Anfield prior to the 2-1 defeat here last season.

Quote David Moyes says Wayne Rooney has "no chance" of being fit for the forthcoming England games with Moldova and Ukraine: "He got a cut down the middle of his forehead; it was completely accidental but it's a bad cut. It will keep him out for a few weeks."

12.55 Danny Welbeck, sporting an increasingly impressive high-top, attempts to justify his record of just two goals in 40 gamesby saying he was mostly playing wide on the left. Carragher distinctly unimpressed with that.

12.42 So Kolo Toure is injured and out of the Liverpool team, Martin Skrtl comes in. No Rooney for Man Utd, and Antonio Valencia drops down to the bench as well. Ryan Giggs and Ashley Young come in from the start.

12.40 Two changes for Man Utd after the bore draw on Monday night...

Man Utd: De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Young, Cleverley, Carrick, Giggs; Welbeck, Van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Smalling, Buttner, Anderson, Nani, Valencia, Hernandez.

12.38 Jamie Carragher describes the Liverpool team he was part of last season as "flat track bullies" given their inability to beat teams in the top five. Graeme Sounness says Arsenal's group of players simply "aren't good enough". Bit grumpy in the studio today.

12.32 Liverpool very prompt with their team news...

Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique; Lucas, Henderson; Gerrard, Coutinho, Aspas; Sturridge.
Subs: Jones, Sterling, Wisdom, Kelly, Ibe, Flanagan, Alberto.

12.30 David Moyes was the Everton manager for 11 years, and never once did he cross Stanley Park and secure a victory at Anfield. Today, like the long suffering bullied schoolboy returning to the playground with his big brother in tow, he's back with a Manchester United team at his disposal. Moyes' appointment adds an extra edge to what was always a full-blooded and often controversial encounter anyway.

If the transfer rumours are to be believed then Moyes may have liked to play the game next week with several new recruits in place, but given that two of the players most likely to move to Old Trafford before 23.00 tomorrow evening are Everton pair Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines perhaps it's best that the deals haven't been completed in time for them to line up against Liverpool at Anfield.

For much of the summer it has seemed as though Luis Suarez would be moving on as well. Still at Anfield, and just about on speaking terms with the natives, he has to sit out today as he continues to tick off the ten-match ban he picked up for having a nibble on Chelsea's Branoslav Ivanovic last season. In the meantime, Daniel Sturridge and Coutinho are doing an admirable job of providing the goals and creativity.

An intriguing afternoon in store. Well, it can't be any worse than Manchester United v Chelsea was on Monday can it?

Kick off is at 13.30.


Sunday, September 1 2013

Liverpool v Manchester United
Kick-off: 13.30 BST.
TV: Live Sky Sports 1, Highlights BBC ONE Match of the Day2.

Liverpool (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Mignolet; Johnson, Agger, Touré, Enrique; Lucas, Gerrard; Henderson, Aspas, Coutinho; Sturridge.
Out: Coates (knee), Suárez (suspended).

Manchester United (Possible, 4-2-3-1): De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Era; Carrick, Cleverley; Valencia, Rooney, Young; Van Persie.
Out: Keane (knee), Rafael (hamstring), Nani (groin), Evans (ankle), Hernández (hamstring).
Test: Jones (back)

Referee: Andre Marriner. Matches: 2. R1 Y8.

Team News
Manchester United boss David Moyes could stick with the same starting line-up for Sunday's trip to Liverpool.

Defender Phil Jones is expected to recover from the blow to his back he sustained during Monday's goalless draw with Chelsea.

Rafael is still out injured, whilst Nani, Jonny Evans and Javier Hernández were not involved against Jose Mourinho's men.

Match Notes
David Moyes endured 11 years of Anfield misery during his reign as Everton manager, failing to win a single game across Stanley Park on derby day.

Ending that sorry sequence as Manchester United manager will be a necessity rather than an ambition, with the rivalry between the two clubs another level up on the more parochial squabbling between the Merseyside neighbours.

Liverpool, buoyed by a 100 per cent start, would love to inflict Moyes's first defeat in his new job, so a big game feels even more momentous this time.

Betting: Home 11-8, Away 19-10, Draw 12-5.

Stat of the game: Since March 2007, there have been eight red cards in Premier League games between these teams.

Mark Ogden's prediction: Liverpool 1 Manchester United 2.

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