Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United – as it happened
Send your verbal volleys to Ethan through the power of email to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the hashtag business on Twitter: #FCFLive. Someone missed the full-stop when creating his email address, but this wasn’t meant as a dig.
Game over. The camera cuts to Luis Suarez celebrating and then to Evra. Yes, because this relates to that. Liverpool deserved the win today, because Ferguson has forgotten how to win at Anfield – hint: Liverpool aren’t good enough that you have to play it safe all game.
But the revelation here is that Kenny Dalglish did it today because he had the guts to change things. You wouldn’t call his changes today ‘brave’, but they were attacking and a real contrast to Fergie’s waiting around. Liverpool are in the fifth round, United are out.
90+1mins. United have seconds to score. This is over.
90mins. Berbatov on for Giggs. Sorry, Alex, it’s a bit late. Liverpool deserve this because they went for it where United didn’t. Dalglish made the right changes earlier than Ferguson dared, and since then Liverpool have been the better side.
Liverpool should make it three! Kuyt should make it three, but his finish goes wide. That finish for the goal was first time, by the way, hitting a bouncing ball. Expertly done.
GOAL! KUYT WITH WHAT IS SURELY THE WINNER! Evans loses the long ball from Reina in the sun, it bounces past him, and Kuyt is immediately onto it. Alone on the right hand side of the penalty area, he finishes low.
CHANCE! Reina has to come flying out again after Rafael’s long ball drops over Skrtel’s head. Hernandez is racing onto it but Reina gets there first, and Welbeck’s attempted finish from a way out is blocked.
80mins. Can we have a goal, please? Why didn’t both teams go for this after half time? Why wait until an arbitrary time to make substitutions? I think the only answer is that everyone involved in football is innately thick. And I don’t say it lightly – how do you think it makes me feel to be watching it? Bad, that’s how.
The atmosphere has remembered that it was supposed to be hanging around for the whole of this match and a few Liverpool fans try to sing something. No deal.
78mins. Free kick played in from the left from Giggs, bounces out to Carrick, whose shot is wide. Liverpool pile forward, Welbeck ends up clearing. Ooh, a bit of up and down.
77mins. Henderson is penalised for a foul. Funny word.
75mins. United have Hernandez on the bench, he scores against Liverpool y’know. Oh look, he’s coming on for Scholes. That might just mean 4-4-2 from both sides – crazy times. The state of things is that this is the only time when you might get this kind of match up between these two sides: a cup competition, where any kind of result is better than a replay.
69mins. Bellamy on, Gerrard off. As Liverpool’s impact on the game has grown, Gerrard has faded. Bellamy up front with Carroll in a 4-4-2, suggests that Liverpool might well fancy this. Good on them, for that – nothing yet from United.
67mins. Valencia has had nothing of the ball in this half. It’s a symptom of Liverpool not allowing United to dominate in anything like the same way. If they’d played the same game in the first half, they’d still be winning this.
65mins. Carrick’s left-footed shot flashes wide of the post. He’s brought that little shift of feet into his game in recent weeks and it’s looked useful – couple o’ goals from it.
63mins. There’s a small chance that Charlie Adam has come on and a large chance that Rafael has just got a deserved yellow card for barging Stewart Downing. The Gerrard special doesn’t arrive off the free kick – though it’s a very good save from De Gea.
Liverpool, since the substitutions, have looked closer to purposeful.
61mins. Kuyt on for Carragher. De Gea drops the ball out for a corner.
60mins. Time ticks on as we move towards death. The slow-burn of our lives will hit us all at some point and Stewart Downing – my theory – has just realised it quite early in his life, that’s why he’s lost interest in sending in a useful cross. I’m almost certain.
Wellbeck’s in the clear! Reina comes charging out as a perfectly timed run by Welbeck allows him to be set clear by Carrick. He tries to flick it around the goalkeeper, but as he goes to collect it, Skrtel intercepts. A difficult chance because Reina was out so quickly – excellent goalkeeping.
Liverpool scream for a penalty. Andy Carroll’s shot is blocked twice by Smalling. It might have hit his hand, but giving that would be madness.
53mins. Craig Bellamy is warming up. He’s an excellent option to change things up. We can only hope that he’s not coming on for anyone except Downing -
Saying that, De Gea has just failed under pressure from the Liverpool winger, passing the ball right to him. Downing plays the ball in and Evans, who, along with Smalling, is growing quietly into a Manchester United player.
Valencia begs for a penalty! He seems certain there’s been a handball as the ball is played to him at the back post (a la against Arsenal), something’s happened. On the second replay it seems like the referee was right to wave it on.
48mins. Welbeck works hard for Manchester United. Alone up front in his first full season in the United first team, he’s done everything well.
46mins. Smalling has to make an important headed interception early on. Liverpool then push on, and Andy Carroll finds room for a cross. Unfortunately, like a child learning to kick the ball still, he can’t get any lift on it. Better from the red ones.
So, what’s Dalglish got? Because I wrote this about him being a coward and I meant it. I think he’s going to play it safe here and lose.
Seeing Park’s goal again it looks even better. So many players would have skewed that wide or high trying to hit it hard. He timed it perfectly and knew that all he had to do was connect well. He and Valencia are consistently excellent when their team needs them most, which is admirable.
Summary of sorts. That half was a victory for United’s midfield and Liverpool’s cowardice. A goal up – from a freebie – Liverpool sat back and let Scholes and Carrick take control. United didn’t penetrate, but they had so much of the ball, they didn’t need to be clever.
Now ITV are saying that De Gea looks thin. Which is definitely a fair way to analyse someone.
Half-time. That half was fine. But it made a mockery of the passion talk. There wasn’t a single yellow card and the game has been played at a slow pace, as I predicted, because I know about football.
Back in 10. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh. These chocolate fingers won’t eat themselves.
43mins. Gerrard attempts a one-two with Downing on the edge of his area, it doesn’t come off. This has been a poor Liverpool performance, I fancy, after they were indulged by the early goal. What gas Dalglish got in him? Some well-worn cliches, maybe? A substitution at 60 minutes? Who can know?
42mins. Scholes, Giggs, Park, Valencia Reina. If United can keep working the ball to Valencia like this, they’ll some joy.
GOAL! Park! That’s a brilliantly cool finish. Rafael does brilliantly to dispossess Enrique and work a cross. It’s low, and Park’s run is timed perfectly; he sweeps the ball in knowingly. Liverpool will have to change things now.
32mins. United seem able to get to just outside of Liverpool’s penalty area, but nowhere dangerous. One of my housemates has just accused two of us – the two that clean up – of throwing away an important letter. Fuming. The lazy manage to take the moral high ground.
32mins. Gerrard has been good for Liverpool – he makes things happen. Well done, Steven, that’s very good.
29mins. Nice passing from United gives Rafael and Valencia room down the right, but Rafael’s cross is not as fabulous as his hair. United imposing themselves with Scholes and Carrick – if only Scholes wasn’t ancient, you might be able to call him a solution to midfield problems.
27mins. I’m being inconsistent with the spacing between numbers and minutes. I’ll sort that out, I promise. The game isn’t awful, but I’d back it to get worse as the emphasis shifts more and more on United to attack – they have Welbeck alone up front and nothing around him.
25 mins. Liverpool have dropped ten steps deeper since their goal. I wonder why they don’t score more. United are passing it better now, but what have they really got to break down such a solid team?
24 mins. The booing of Evra proves Liverpool fans right. It definitely does.
22mins. Another corner for Liverpool. This time a foul is given on De Gea. And United move forward, where Scholes find room for a shot. And then Liverpool come back, and Gerrard shoots. And I’m cold. And I’m hungry. And and and.
GOAL! Daniel Agger! Liverpool win a corner, it’s headed in by Agger. De Gea might well have been at fault – he was being blocked off, but not fouled. Lindegaard is warming up for United, worryingly.
18 mins. Tony V, United’s most direct player this season, an increasingly influential player, burst past two Liverpool players and finds himself in space on the edge of the area. Thwack, his shot hits the post. It looked in when he hit it. But apparently that counts for nothing.
16mins. The boos rain down on Evra because he is fouled down the left. Giggs’ free kick is not one of his best.
14mins. Foul by Carragher on Park. United pass it around in Liverpool’s half for the first time, but Scholes goes for a pass he shouldn’t and Liverpool get the throw in.
12mins. Nothing yet. I’ll tell you when.
8mins. Kelly, Liverpool’s right back, was highly rated last year. How did that happen? He’s oafish.
6mins. Chance for Gerrard passes him by as a ball is flashed across the United area and he can’t control it. No Bellamy, no Suarez, no Rooney, no Nani. This is what you get when you put those things together – all shouting, no fun.
5mins. Evra beats Andy Carroll to the ball. United have probably started the better, but it’s very early – I’m just summing up because I have nothing else to say. It’s a clever writing trick.
Volley by Giggs from the edge of the area is saved by Reina. He played in this fixture in 1991, which is madness.
3min. Maxi gets in a good shot from 25 yards. De Gea parries it away for a corner. Andy Carroll has looked like he’s fancied this early on (easy enough in the first five minutes), but Gerrard’s corner seems intent on not giving him an early chance, flying miles away as it does.
1min. Evra’s every touch is being booed. That’s a man who reported racism. Well done everyone, you’ve definitely got this right. I hate football fans: they’re always so sure that they’re right about everything, whilst I’m not sure about anything.
Kick-off. Tydsley, whose name I refuse to learn how to spell, says the atmosphere is special. It is quite good – and that really only ever means ‘it’s quite loud in the stadium’. In other news, the circulation in my hands has always been bad, it’s cold in here, so this is awful for me. Poor me.
The teams are in the tunnel. So I should talk about the game, as is convention. First of all, I hope not, but looking at those teams, I fear this will be a very dull game. United are rightly worried about their midfield and I reckon they’ll over-compensate and try to slow things down massively. Liverpool are the lowest scoring team in the top half of the Premier League.
ITV are going for the American style montages. It’s grim though. They’re using words like passion, rivalry and wanky wank. Finally, the two managers are here to bring some sense. Ferguson calls the game inspiring, and he’s wrong. Dalglish admits he’s an idiot! Well, that’s the subtext: he says some cliches.
Watching the adverts. I’ve not got the sound on the TV yet (some Bruce Springsteen, since you ask) but I can see that there is an advert for a car, some glasses and now for a job-finding website. They’re all linked – buy buy buy, get money, get money, get money. But let’s not let this take us into a sad-face zone. No, let’s just enjoy the football – that’s got nothing to do with the money.
Personal problems dep. I’m alone in the kitchen/living room and it’s freezing. One Lucozade down already today and I fear things could be downhill from here. Steven Gerrard has just explained to Dalglish doubters that the answer to those doubts is “just believe.” Sounds good.
As Jacob Steinberg has already pointed out on Twitter, this is a battle to see who is least mediocre. I hate the FA Cup and the act of running a minute-by-minute, so this should be awful. Manchester United vs Liverpool always is. It’s not, as the saying goes, more than a game, it’s less than one. Everyone turns up and shouts themselves silly, but that’s all that happens.
4-3 it will be, then.
Preamble. Hello hello hello. This is Ethan, filling in for Andrew, briefly, I hope. The lineups are in, now I will give them to you. Man United XI : De Gea, Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Park; Welbeck. Liverpool XI: Reina, Kelly, Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Carragher; Henderson, Gerrard, Downing, Maxi; Carroll.