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Five things we learned from Man Utd V Liverpool

  1. Alex Ferguson was very, very worried.
    For all his post-match talk of Utd threatening to score ten, the facts are these. United managed five shots on target. Three of them went in. To beat Pepe Reina you have to do something a bit special, and Berbatov executed his three goals brilliantly. The truth is Liverpool looked comfortable for long periods of the game. Wayne Rooney was anonymous throughout and while Liverpool didn’t offer anything going forward, the sole point Ferguson made that bears any credence, they scored two goals easily and Meireles could have even made it 3-2 had he managed to make proper contact with his header minutes after Gerrard’s free-kick.

    Berbatov had a red-letter day for United

  2. Torres did try and get O’Shea sent off, but the real theatrics came from Nani.
    Ferguson claimed after the game that Torres tried to cheat the referee into awarding a red card to John O’Shea. This is true, Torres clearly remonstrates with Howard Webb after the award of a yellow card as if to say it was the wrong decision. It wasn’t. Torres couldn’t get to the ball, was not denied a goalscoring chance, but it was a yellow card and a free-kick. That Gerrard scored made it even better that O’Shea hadn’t been sent off as we had an enthralling encounter on our hands.
    However the real theatrics came from Nani, something Ferguson failed to refer to after the game. The Portugese attempted one outrageous dive for which he had to be pulled away from a seething Daniel Agger. The game had to be stopped for another similar dive which Nani attempted to turn Konchesky’s challenge into some form of assault charge. Nani’s two crosses against Everton were perfect, but he’s a player no-one will miss when he starts hankering after a move abroad. As for trying to get a player sent off, perhaps Ferguson’s forgotten his berating of the officials for failing to give Nani a free-kick for a nothing challenge?
  3. Liverpool’s have had a tough start with the fixture list, but things won’t get much easier.
    Ok Northampton on Wednesday in the Carling Cup isn’t a bad way to get your mind  off a defeat at Old Trafford. But after that the fixture list looks easier, but not easy when you look at the lack of service Fernando Torres is receiving. Sunderland and Blackpool at home are winnable games, but Everton away is a tricky ask of any team and Liverpool’s performances will be put under a media microscope until they start winning again. Games against Blackburn and Bolton then beckon before Chelsea arrive on Merseyside.
  4. Ferguson and Hodgson may not be such good friends after all.
    Roy Hodgson fielded several questions about his friendship with Ferguson in the run-up to the game as supporters struggled to get to grips with the fact that not only is Hodgson a cockney, but a Ferguson buddy to boot. The friendship may be on the rocks this morning. Ferguson’s post-match analysis that Torres cheated, Liverpool offered nothing going forward, United could have been ten up before the penalty, all pointed to a man who is worried about his own team and feared a fourth draw in succession.
    Liverpool had 50% possession and looked reasonably comfortable with the ball. United had the right formation though and while Cole and Meireles looked good going forward, there was little end product.

  5. United need Wayne Rooney to return to his best, fast.
    Rooney struggled to do anything of note yesterday. Michael Owen must have been watching from the bench wondering did Ferguson just play a really cruel joke in signing him to irritate his rivals. Berbatov is in great form and finished his three goals with incredible precision. However the Bulgarian blows hot and cold. Ferguson is doing his best to boost the striker’s confidence but he has gone missing in games already this season and will do so again.
    Wayne Rooney offers a goal threat from all over the pitch but looked as though he was happier offering the responsibility to his teammates yesterday. Eager to pass rather than to shoot, Rooney has had three poor games since the tabloids blew the lid on his indiscretions. Ferguson’s team always have a star man, a Ronaldo, a Cantona, even a Keane to give them a lift when needed.They need Rooney to be back to his best soon or the title will be in London quicker than Ferguson can say boo.
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