Cristiano Ronaldo News

Monday, October 23, 2006

Red Devils rule over Liverpool

By Andrew Scurr - Created on 22 Oct 2006

Paul Scholes marked his 500th appearance for the club with a goal as Manchester United ran out 2-0 winners over Liverpool in front of a record Premiership crowd at Old Trafford.

Scholes put United ahead on 39 minutes as he poked Ryan Giggs' ball across the face of goal home at the second attempt.

United were dominant for much of the game, with Liverpool very rarely troubling Edwin van der Sar, and Rio Ferdinand scored a superb second mid-way through the second half.

The England defender took advantage of a poor Jamie Carragher clearance to fire a first-time shot into the top corner from 12 yards and give Sir Alex Ferguson's men a lead they did not relinquish.

The game lived up to its billing right from the off, with both sides allowing for a lively and open affair and chances aplenty at both ends.

John Arne Riise tried to catch out Van der Sar early with a Xabi Alonso-type effort from just inside the Manchester United half, but the ball sailed comfortably over the Dutchman's crossbar.

United were soon into their stride and the Liverpool fans will have had their hearts in their mouths inside 10 minutes as a poor decision from Jose Reina almost let the hosts in for the opener.

Darren Fletcher beat Reina to a loose ball on the right wing but fortunately for the Spanish keeper, The Reds had enough defenders back to bail him out.

Giggs was causing untold problems for the Liverpool defence with his delivery from set pieces but the United attackers could not take advantage.

Liverpool's defence was struggling to cope with set pieces and Reina had to be quick to get down to Louis Saha's snap-shot from the corner of the six-yard box.

The Frenchman was again denied by Reina soon after as his ferocious attempt from 20 yards was kept out by the Liverpool keeper.

Wayne Rooney had a sniff of goal on two occasions just after the half hour mark as first he mis-controlled Michael Carrick's brilliant ball over the top, before being beaten to the ball by Reina after Saha's mis-timed header looked to have put him in.

In between Rooney's two openings, Liverpool created their best chance of the half and Dirk Kuyt should have done better than head straight at Van der Sar when Mark Gonzalez's perfect centre found the Dutch striker at the back post.

Gonzalez then spurned no less than three opportunities to give Liverpool the lead in the final ten minutes of the half as he saw a shot blocked on the break and twice shot wide from good positions.

Liverpool were certainly enjoying their best spell of the half but United made them pay for not taking their chances as Scholes popped up to send the home fans into raptures.

Rooney played in Giggs down the left and his first-time ball cross the six-yard box found an unmarked Scholes who poked home at the second attempt after Reina had saved the midfielder's initial effort well at his feet.

Saha was superbly denied United's second minutes later when his 25-yard shot looked like finding the bottom corner until Reina tipped the ball around the post.

Alonso went close in stoppage time with a shot from the edge of the area but United were full value for their lead going in at the break.

United started the second 45 in a similar manner to the way they ended the first half, with Saha and Scholes both shooting wide from the edge of the area.

Liverpool were continuing to struggle to trouble Van der Sar, with Luis Garcia's tame header from Steven Gerrard's dinked ball over the top the best they could muster in the early stages of the second half.

United, meanwhile, continued to bear down on Reina's goal and Saha saw a shot blocked before Ferdinand's magical strike doubled the hosts' advantage.

Carragher had earlier taken a knock to his ankle and his poor clearance went straight up in the air in the Liverpool penalty area. Ferdinand took the ball down exquisitely before sending a first-time shot with his left foot into the top right-hand corner of Reina's net for his first goal of the season.

United slowed the tempo after the second but Giggs was clearly keen to get himself on the scoresheet as he rolled back the years with a dazzling run from the left, but the veteran winger could not find the finish the run deserved.

Gerrard headed over and fired wide late on but The Reds' day was summed up when Luis Garcia sent a disappointing effort high and wide in the final embers of the match.

Liverpool's chances of challenging in The Premiership have taken a further dent with the result as they now find themselves 11 points behind United, who go back above Chelsea on goal difference.



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