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When you look at the success that Sir Alex Ferguson has enjoyed at Manchester United down the years, several things come to mind: voodoo magic, human sacrifice, Gary Neville's ugly face and trophies. If the Red Devils are losing a game and the clock is ticking down to 90 minutes, they will usually score in "Sir Alex Ferguson time" (or injury time plus-five) to tie the game or win it.
Call it what you will, but there exists an underlying determination to win no matter what the cost, no matter who the opponent. United's players never stop gunning until the lights are off and the stadium is empty. This has allowed them to win many games over the years while playing quite badly.
This leads to one of my favourite soccer clichés: It is the mark of a champion to win while you are playing poorly. Turning 0-0 draws into 1-0 leads, getting those two extra points, climbing a little bit higher in the table. On Saturday, Liverpool were the better side, but a 2-0 scoreline was slightly flattering. With Arsenal down to 10 men, Dalglish would have been kicking himself if the Reds didn't secure three points and thankfully they did.
In the 2008/2009 season when Liverpool pushed United right to the end, it was down to those scrappy games against the likes of Wigan where somehow Dirk Kuyt popped up with a goal in the 85th minute. A number of factors contribute to a team's ability to win games, but that never-say-die spirit helps give the edge when snatching victory from a drab draw or defeat.
If Liverpool are going to get back into the Champions League, we need to be beating the big guns, but also we need to be winning games like this. Kenny Dalglish knows what it takes both as a player and a manager to win trophies, and he'll do everything in his power to bring European nights back to Anfield.
Three points were finally clinched away from home against Arsenal; now on to Bolton.