On February 11 all it took was 90 minutes for Manchester United to knock off Liverpool and move to the top of the league table. Of course, Manchester City will have something to say about the two point lead United have in the standings when they face off against Ashton Villa at Villa Park on February 12.
Manchester United defeated Liverpool 2-1 with Wayne Rooney scoring both goals for the Red Devils, and Luis Suarez netted a late goal for Liverpool, as reported by ManUtd.com. I was particularly impressed with United's performance in the second half as the squad controlled play for long stretches after two quick goals, and 75,000 fans at Old Trafford, seemed to take the wind out the visitors. Of particular note should be the late save by often criticized goal keeper David De Gea, which preserved the United win.
Liverpool played for a long period down two goals and did not even seem eager to chase the ball, Manchester United often looked to be working a passing drill in the second half. However, Liverpool did keep United at bay in first half, and the team could have equalized a few times to salvage a point. Still, the visitors just did not have what it took to go into Old Trafford and come out victors.
I was a little disappointed that Chicarito Hernandez was absent from the lineup for United, as the Mexican International always seems to provide a spark, especially at Old Trafford. Still, Paul Scholes showed why he could be the key addition that gets the red half of Manchester to the top of the league. Also the inspired defensive play of Rio Ferdinand was something to behold as he helped fend serious runs from Liverpool forwards.
In the end though it was Number 10 with a few nifty finishes to break the match wide open and send the crowd home with smiles on their faces. When Wayne Rooney is scoring goals, United always seem to find a way to win, and on a Saturday morning (here in the U.S.) the squad did just that and did Sir Alex proud. The only blemish on United was a minor fight in the tunnel at the half, as the Guardian reported, between Suarez and a few United players.
Jason Gallagher is a long-time Manchester United fan, following the performances of the Red Devils since the days of Eric Cantona and David Beckham.