March 14, 2009


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Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool (Premier League, 3/14/09)
Liverpool came from behind at Old Trafford to re-ignite the Barclays Premier League title race with a stunning victory.
Man Utd 1-4 Liverpool (Phil McNulty, 3/14/09, BBC)
Sir Alex Ferguson's side looked on course to stretch their advantage at the top of the table when Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty gave them an early lead after Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina fouled Ji-Sung Park.

But Fernando Torres hounded Nemanja Vidic into a mistake eight minutes later and raced through to coolly beat Edwin van der Sar.

And the transformation was complete a minute before the interval when Steven Gerrard scored from the spot after he had been upended by Patrice Evra.

United's day of misery was summed up 15 minutes from time when Vidic, who had a nightmare afternoon at the hands of Torres, was sent off for fouling Gerrard and Fabio Aurelio brilliantly curled home the resulting free-kick from 25 yards.

The day ended in humiliation for United when substitute Andrea Dossena lobbed a composed finish over Van der Sar after being allowed to race unchallenged on to Reina's goal-kick.

The big flaws of the purported best club in the world were all exposed today: their goaltender is shaky, their two great defenders rely on not having fouls called, they can't score from open play, and Berbatov is a stiff.

Liverpool performance shows how much Torres has been missed (Andy Hunter, 3/14/09, Guardian Sports Blog)

On a day like today it's easy to admire the Reds and wonder what might have been had injury not hampered Fernando Torres's season.

Fernando Torres's suspect hamstrings are not an excuse for Liverpool squandering the initiative in the title race. They are, as Rafael Benítez is so fond of stating, a fact. And Anfield would harbour more than an outside chance of becoming home to the Premier League title had they remained intact this season.

Liverpool thrash Manchester United as Steven Gerrard's title hopes live on
(Rory Smith, 14 Mar 2009, Daily Telegraph)
Just five minutes after Old Trafford exploded, Liverpool were level. Nemanja Vidic made almost his first mistake of the season, misjudging Martin Skrtel’s long punt, allowing Torres to rob him and coolly slot home. Just as against Real Madrid on Tuesday night, the Spaniard had that glint in his eye that suggested this was not a game he was prepared to lose.

It was Torres who was at the heart of the action again when his clever through ball enabled Gerrard to speed past Evra, the Frenchman tripping him as he burst into the box. The Liverpool captain duly stood up and scored from a penalty against United at Old Trafford, the first man to do so since Gary Speed for Bolton almost two years ago.

Half-time probably was not a pleasant time for United’s players. Ferguson reserves a special loathing for Liverpool, but that is as nothing when compared to his distaste for seeing his own players underperform.

Four-goal Liverpool crush United to keep title race alive (Paul Wilson, 3/14/09, The Guardian)
[L]iverpool, and Fernando Torres in particular, had no intention of following the usual script. When Nemanja Vidic made the mistake of letting a long clearance from Martin Skrtel bounce, Torres was through him in a flash, surprising the defender with his pace and coolly clipping the ball past the advancing Edwin van der Sar. Torres embarrassed Vidic on two or three more occasions as Liverpool grew in confidence and was unluckly not to be awarded a penalty at one stage when he headed the ball past the Serbian and was manhandled to the floor.

Undeterred, Torres helped win a penalty for Liverpoool on the stroke of the interval when his measured pass into the box for Steven Gerrard tempted Patrice Evra into a rash foul. This time there was even less doubt about the decision, and Gerrard himself stepped up to send his side in with a deserved half-time lead.

Liverpool held on to it surprisingly comfortably in the second half, with Wayne Rooney, Tevez and Ronaldo all proving ineffectual up front and United coming no nearer to an equaliser than a couple of handling mistakes by Reina. After 70 minutes Sir Alex Ferguson sent on the cavalry, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Dimitar Berbatov all coming on together in a rare triple substitution, but to no avail.

No sooner had United's reinforcements arrived than they went down to 10 men, Vidic completing a dismal afternoon by pulling back Gerrard to stop a clear run on goal.

Man United 1-4 Liverpool: Premier League Title Race Is Back On (The Gaffer, March 14, 2009, EPL Talk)
To me, the man of the match was Alan Wiley. The Premier League referee had the balls to award a penalty against Manchester United at Old Trafford. The last time that happened was two years ago when Bolton were awarded a penalty, which was converted by Gary Speed.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at March 14, 2009 9:55 AM
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