An eventful Sunday it was!
It had begun oh so beautifully with 96 red balloons released by the captains. And then, the sense of astonishment slowly crept in.
Astonishment at the referee’s decisions that greatly influenced the course of the game, astonishment at how United’s players were treated to home advantage at Anfield and astonishment at Liverpool attacking even when down to ten men.
Of course, a referee’s influence on a game has become somewhat of a debatable topic in these times.
It is a widely known and understood situation that Alex Ferguson’s men receive favourable decisions even when on road. Nothing wrong in that as it is just a little incentive for having remained on top for such a long time.
However, the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United is too deep-rooted to permit either team from enjoying such privileges on either side’s home turf.
Sunday’s game quietly dispels that myth. It proved beyond doubt that Manchester United can have their way anywhere.
But, when faced with adversity, the admirable quality of this new look side under Brendan Rodgers came to the forefront. This young team showed that it takes an exceptionally executed goal (and the interference from a twelfth man) to crack them up.
Although the defeat was disheartening, the fact that it was a “young” Liverpool side that went down “fighting” against a full-strength Manchester United team is reason enough to carry on the hope.
That said, Liverpool’s goal scoring woes persisted throughout Sunday to the point that it bordered embarrassment.
If a right back (Rafael) is able to execute a curled shot after a brilliant run-off play to get in the opponent box, then what good are our “strikers” when they can’t match, if not outperform the Brazilian youngster’s efforts.
Anyway, here’s a rundown of potential winter window signings…