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Liverpool vs Manchester United: 3 Observations from 1-1 Draw

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool competes with Danny Welbeck of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on October 15, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Rashaad JordenContributor IIIOctober 15, 2011

Here are three observations from the Liverpool-Manchester United match:

It's stunning Wayne Rooney started the match on the bench

The Premier League's leading scorer was surely looking forward to putting the incident in Macedonia behind him. Supposedly, Sir Alex Ferguson kept him Rooney on the bench to start the match because he felt Rooney wouldn't be in the match mentally, which was quite bizarre considering Man U view their matches against Liverpool to be the biggest in the league every year.

Keeping Nani and Chicharito on the bench to start the match was also surprising, but a bit more understandable considering the two had played midweek international matches. The United attack seemed rather toothless in the first half, leaving many to wonder what Sir Alex was thinking by leaving so much firepower on the bench to the start the match.

When Rooney did enter the match, he had a relatively quiet time in attack, but he did make a crucial defensive header in stoppage time to possibly prevent Luis Suarez from scoring.


Was it a foul?

Steven Gerrard's stunning free kick goal was undoubtedly aided by Ryan Giggs jumping out of the wall, leaving a space for the ball to zoom by him and beat David De Gea at the near post. But should Gerrard have had the opportunity to take the free kick? It was set up by Rio Ferdinand "fouling" Charlie Adams. But having seen the replay several times, I'm not certain Ferdinand touched Adams. Even if he did, Adams seemed to have gone down awfully easy.


It was really a case of Liverpool dropping two points

On United's only real strong scoring opportunity, Martin Skrtel was asleep. He was beaten by Chicharito, who headed home to level the score in the 81st minute.

But even after the tying goal, Liverpool had great chances to snatch three points. Dirk Kuyt forced a brilliant save from De Gea after being fed by a Stewart Downing cross. Substitute Jordan Henderson also had two chances to give the Reds the victory—one of which was saved by De Gea, and the other a header over the bar on which he really should have scored.     

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