Full-time - 90'
2 - 1
13:30 +00:00, March 21, 2010
Old Trafford, England
Referee: Howard Webb
FULL-TIME. United 2-1 Liverpool. It was an unspectacular performance but it is the result that is all important at this stage of the season and United go top. Park's second-half diving header proved enough for Sir Alex Ferguson's side and for Liverpool it is a 10th defeat of the season as Rafa's gurantee of fourth place looks all the more difficult to achieve. Thanks for joining us and remember, we have live text commentary of Chelsea v Blackburn coming up at 1600GMT.
It's all over...
Just seconds left now as Van der Sar prepares to boot it long.
Reina smashes it upfield but it's a United free-kick as Babel fouls Ferdinand
United throw in deep in Liverpool territory and Benitez's side have won it back.
Neville sweeps the ball forward towards Valencia but Insua does well to shepherd him out.
Torres the only man in the middle and Agger's attempted cross is simply awful.
Aquilani looking to pull the strings in midfield as Agger maraudes forward.
Rooney furious with the assistant ref as he felt he was brought down while trying to keep the ball in the corner.
Great chance wasted there. But there's five minutes of added time for Liverpool to find an equaliser.
He pulls it back and Torres has completely scuuffed his shot unmarked in the box. Ironically it was scuffed on the same spot that Torres had interfered with before Rooney's penalty.
Babel tries to carve an opening and Gerrard has some space after a great through ball.
Rooney in some space and it's a confused effort from 20 yards out. Neither shot or cross, it drifts wide.
Scholes and Giggs just trying to slow the pace down and keep possession.
Wayne Rooney has scored 13 goals in his last eight league games at Old Trafford
A rapturous reception from the United fans as Park leaves the field. But will his goal prove to be the winner?
United sub: Scholes on for Park
Great chance for Rooney, he worked some space inside the left edge of the box but scuffed his shot wide when he should have searched for the far corner.
Park battles hard in midfield and wins a free-kick just outside the centre circle.
United keep giving the ball away and Liverpool happy to keep attacking. They're being invited forward by United's lacklustre passing.
Carragher with another great tackle on Rooney.
Babel trying to make an impact through the middle and he gives it to Aquilani whose through ball is too hard for Torres.
Liverpool sub: Benayoun on for Lucas
Mascherano's cross from the right is a bit of a shocker after some impressive build-up play. It's high and wide.
Babel sprinting down Liverpool's right wing, they're pressing hard now.
Benitez gesticulating frantically and it lookes like Benayoun might be coming on.
Good movemnt between Torres and Babel but the return pass form the Spanish striker is snuffed out by Evra on the edge of the box.
Torres collects the ball inside the area but Ferdinand makes the challenge successfully.
An early touch for the Welshman and he's won a throw-in in his first game back from a broken arm.
United sub: Giggs on for Nani.
Johnson gets there just ahead of Nani who would have had acres to run into.
Valencia chases him down and that's good defending. Park emerges with the ball and is fouled by Lucas in the middle of the pitch.
Ryan Giggs is warming up as Liverpool stream forward down the left with Insua.
He looks in a bit of discomfort, but he's up and running now.
Nani's on the deck after a challenge with Lucas.
Babel scored the winner against United at Anfield last season in a 2-1 win.
Elsewhere, Man City are 1-0 up against Fulham thanks to Roque Santa Cruz.
Liverpool sub: Babel on for Maxi
Park works hard for the ball and passes it to Rooney, who tries cheekily to chip Reina. But it's over.
Liverpool have hit the woodwork more times (14) than any other side this season
Rooney with some lovely touches in midfield and he spreads it right.
Maxi on the right now, but Nani has it back for United.
Kuyt looks disgusted at the decision, he's gutted to come off.
Liverpool sub: Aquilani on for Kuyt.
Vidic in the book. It was only a matter of time wasn't it. He takes out Torres and it was an easy decision for the ref.
Nani tracks down Johnson enthusiastically but it's a free-kick to the Liverpool right-back.
United break with Park and Nani and Maxi cynically takes out Park but the advantage is played. Not much success for United though as Johnson dispossesses Nani.
Gerrard with some space down the right but his low cross is weak and Ferdinand clears.
Now the Argentine left-back has the ball and he's switched it to the right.
Vidic looks for Valencia but Insusa heads it clear.
Good refereeing from Webb, he diffused the situation and even held Fletcher back himself!
Fletcher and Kuyt tangle after a tackle from the Dutchman and it's a bit of handbags.
Here come United with Carrick and Park. And it's all kicked off a bit.
Agger tries an outrageously speculative effort from 30 yards. It sails high over the crossbar and the defender is bemoaning the lack of movement from his team-mates.
United have had 61% of second half possession to Liverpool's 39%
Maxi has got a Butcher-style bandage on now and it's Kuyt going forward for Liverpool.
Torres has just smiled and put his arms around Neville, who is just not interested. Neville remains completely stoney faced.
Free-kick for Liverpool now after Neville launches with a kung fu style kick over Maxi's head. He did win the ball but it was a high boot.
The ball just sat up for him on the turf.
Great cross from Fletcher and Liverpool are now straight back on the attack. It's a half chance for Torres and he tries to tee himself up but Ferdinand is in to tackle.
United 2-1 Liverpool. After a great piece of build up play from Valencia and Rooney, the ball is spread to Fletcher who crosses a superb ball in to Park - it's a diving header and a great finish.
Liverpool look like they are sitting back a bit more in this half - will Benitez be happy with a point?
David Ngog's goal against United at Anfield last October is the latest to be scored in the Premier League this season. The Frenchman fired home after 95 minutes and 30 seconds.
Nani and Evra exchange passes down the left and now Valencia brings down Maxi.
Rooney searches for Valencia again who gives it to Park before the South Korean gets tackled by Insua.
Handball by Maxi as he tackles Fletcher and it's a United free-kick from the right of midfield.
Nani escapes the clutches of Johnson again and plays in Park who gives it to Rooney down the left. He tries to pick out Valencia but it's a poor cross.
Liverpool are without an away league win in their last five matches, and have lost two of the last three.
Carragher does very well to get a tackle in on Rooney who would have been away down the left.
Great play by Rooney to release Park who takes it through the middle. It opens up a little and he takes it onto his left before "unleashing" a weak left foot shot which fails to trouble Reina.
Before today only six goals had been scored in the opening 20 minutes of any of United's 30 league games to date, with the champions scoring just four of their 70 goals during this period.
Maxi and Mascherano combine well and Liverpool working it around well. Gerrard tries to dink it in but it's cleared up by Evra.
It's a disappointing ball but United have it back, until Insusa disposseses Park with an excellent challenge.
Nani to take the set-piece from the left wing.
Valencia and Neville interchange down the right but it's switched to Nani who wins the free-kick after being impeded by Johnson.
That's the first time United have really broken at pace in this match.
Nani accelerates down the left and he takes it pass Johnson before the Liverpool right back gets back in position to deflect the cross out of danger.
Gerrard to swing it in, but Ferdinand heads it away.
Carrick clips Torres and it's a Liverpool free-kick.
No changes at half-time.
United get us under way but it's Liverpool who have the ball early on here.
We're off for the second-half...
HALF-TIME. Liverpool 1-1 United. It threatened to be a really lively game after the frenetic opening but it disappointingly slowed down a bit. Torres gave Liverpool the lead with a tidy finish before Rooney netted a rebound after seeing his initial penalty effort saved by Reina. Grab yourself a cup of tea and join me again in 15 minutes when hopefully the two teams will play some better football!
He curls it goalwards but Reina holds onto this time - it was at a comfortable height.
Rooney to take.
Free-kick for United on the edge of the area after a good advantage played by the ref. There was no advantage to be taken so it's a free-kick in a very dangerous position. Carragher's foul on Fletcher.
Gerrard sprints forward now though looking dangerous but it's a terrible final ball.
The game has slowed right down now and it seems the players are just playing down the clock.
Torres really fancies his chances against Vidic but the defender is doing okay so far.
Torres runs at Vidic on the right side of the area and gets to the by-line but the Serbian does enought to put him off and the cross is handled by Van der Sar.
Neville goes in hard on Maxi and it was a bad tackle but no booking.
Played in short and United switch it to the left with Evra who tries to manufacture an opening but gets dispossesed.
Free-kick for United about 35 yards out after Mascherano fouled Park. Nani is standing over it.
Torres' goal was his fifth in the last week in all competitions.
Neville plays the ball into Rooney's feet and he spreads it to Nani. Great control to bring it down but he can't find a penetrating final ball.
Rooney and Valencia combine well and the Ecuadorian puts a good cross in after beating Insua down the left wing. It's headed away and Nani puts another cross in. It's met by Park, who amazingly outjumped Agger but could not direct his effort goalwards.
After threatening to get going the ball has just gone between the two goalkeepers twice, the two sides need to get the ball on the floor!
Kuyt looks to feed Torres in down the right hand side of the area, but Ferdinand is across to block him out and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
Wayne Rooney has only ever scored two Premier League goals in 15 attempts against Liverpool - the other was a winner at Anfield in January 2005.
Game starting to open up a little now, but no real chances since that Park header.
Vidic looked like he was about to play a hugely dangerous back pass with Kuyt waiting to pounce but on the advice of 70,000 screaming United fans, he changed his mind at the last minute.
Just before, Vidic went in with a crunching tackle on Lucas, winning the ball.
Great defedning by Insua. A dangerous left-wing cross came in from Evra and cool as you like he nodded the ball back to Reina.
Gerrard with some space to come forward but Valencia tracks back well to nick the ball off his foot just as he may have been eyeing up a shot.
He crosses it in but it's overhit and Reina grabs it out of the air with ease.
Neat play by Liverpool down the left but it's broken down and United can try to launch and attack. Nani has it on the left.
Mascherano feeds in kuyt who switches it to Maxi now on the right wing. The winger combines well with Johnson and looks to put the cross in. Blocked by Nani.
Long ball forward from Agger but it's tidied up by Vidic.
Rooney picks up the ball in midfield but it's a loose pass towards Park and Maxi intercepts.
This is Sir Alex Ferguson's 48th league match against Liverpool since his appointment in November 1986. He has won 20, lost 16 and drawn 11 to date
Poor ball and it's cleared away. Liverpool have escaped with the ball and it's Torres running at Vidic. The Serbian blocks him off with a good tackle and then Evra clears up the leftovers.
Shot from 20 yards and Reina strecthes to guide it out for a corner.
It's been a bit scrappy since United's equaliser but Nani's just had a great effort.
Nani crosses towards Rooney and he's close to getting a toe onto but it ends up in Reina's grateful grasp.
Vidic drops a shoulder to move past Torres and United come forward.
United work the ball well out of defence with liverpool snapping at their heels. Benitez's side are closing down well.
Liverpool are the only team in Premier League history to have beaten Manchester United in four successive matches (2000-02). Victory at Old Trafford would see Rafa Benitez's current side emulate this achievement.
Torres booked. No surprise there. He's looking wound up and it was a stupid tackle on Park - who was going nowhere.
Torres given offside and he doesn't look happy about the decision. He has looked a little bit on edge these past few minutes.
Valencia down the right and he's put in a great cross towards Park but the South Korean puts an unmarked header wide. Great chance.
Carragher on a foraging run forward down the left wing. Where's this come from? But his final ball is to put it bluntly, rubbish.
Gerrard takes it and Van der Sar as almost caught out by the presence of Kuyt but he just about holds on.
Kuyt turns Valencia with ease and Liverpool have a corner now.
Carrick penalised for a foul on Maxi and Liverpool have a free-kick in the middle of the park.
Park has the ball on the edge of the box but it was a poor first touch and Agger was in quickly to close him down.
Neville with a sliding challenge on Torres and wins the ball after seemingly getting a shove in the back. Torres is everywhere though.
Great ball from Gerrard - he carved open Ferdinand and Vidic there.
Gerrard plays Torres clean through with a fantastic pass but Van der Sar is out like a shot and collects at the feet of the striker.
Insua searches for Torres with a left-wing cross but Vidic beats him in the air and heads it clear.
Agger breaks up play and it's Liverpool's turn to try and engineer an attack again.
The ball is spread to Valencia and now play switches over to the left with Evra after a smart turn from Park.
Kuyt and Johnson work it well down the left but the move breaks down and it's a United throw.
The match has really sparked into life and Liverpool now accelerate forward with Maxi.
Carragher looked irate with mMscherano and gave him a little shove after he gave away the penalty.
United coming forward again now with Valencia but the ball is given away and Carragher is then fouled.
Wow, what a start to this game.
Mascherano is perhaps lucky to be on the pitch as Valencia looked to be clean through but then again, it should have been a free-kick.
It seems that Liverpool tried to scuff up the spot before Rooney took the penalty.
United 1-1 Liverpool. Rooney missed the penalty but he knocked in the rebound from what was an incredible save from Reina.
Mascherano booked and it's Rooney to take. He's scored four out of four from the spot this year.
Valencia brought down by Mascherano. Just outside the box I think but the ref has given it.
Torres was a menace against United last year and he looks sharp here so far.
Gerrard puts it in at the second time of asking but Kuyt is offside.
Kuyt down the right again for Liverpool. Torres chases down Vidic and wins a corner.
Rooney wins the ball and strikes it from 20 yards. It drifts wide.
A crunching tackle comes in from Carragher on Rooney. Free-kick United but the Liverpool defender escapes punishment.
That's the first goal United have conceded at home in the league since Villa beat them 1-0 before Christmas.
Nothing comes of it as Liverpool head it out with Ferdinand and Vidic lurking in the box.
United coming straight forward now and they have a free-kick.
United 0-1 Liverpool. Torres started the move, Gerrard drifted past Ferdinand and released Kuyt whose cross was met by the Spanish striker's head. Great finish but where was the marking?
Fletcher and Rooney combine well on the edge of the box and the Scotland captain tries to feed the cross into park but it's safely cleared.
United have the ball again now though as Neville and Ferdinand exchange passes.
Liverpool just keeping possession at the moment and I kid you not - there have been some nice early touches from Lucas.
Kuyt looks to switch it to Maxi Rodriguez but the ball is overhit.
Roooney brings United forward but he's marshalled well by Lucas.
Fletcher wins a free-kick and takes it quickly. He hasn't played in any of the last six games against Liverpool so he will be relishing this one.
It's a sunny day at Old trafford as Liverpool kick things off. Carragher beats Park to the ball early on. He's in for Berbatov and that's the only change from United's starting line-up agaainst Fulham last week.
And we're off...
The players are out on the pitch and the anticipation is building. A win for United would see them climb back to the top of the Premier League table, while a Liverpool victory would put them a point behind fourth place Spurs having played a game more.
Vidic has been sent off in the last three matches against Liverpool - a quite incredible record. And I'm led to believe that if he gets his marching orders again today he would become the first player in English football history to be sent off against the same team four times.
The battle I'm looking forward to the most is Torres on Vidic. Will the Serbian centre back be up to the challenge or will it be the same story as last year when the Spanish striker ran him ragged.
Just spotted a sign saying: MUFC Beachball appreciation society - made me chuckle!
The atmosphere is buzzing at Old Trafford for what is certainly one of the biggest matches in football between these two bitter rivals.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Insua, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Maxi, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani,
Benayoun, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Ngog, Kelly.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Carrick, Park, Nani, Rooney.
Subs: Kuszczak, Berbatov, Giggs, Scholes, Rafael Da Silva, Jonathan Evans, Obertan.
Right time for some team news...
This time last season Liverpool triumphed 4-1 at Old Trafford to re-ignite the title race. Fast forward 12 months and United are back in the hunt again while Liverpool have laboured through a campaign of inconsistency.
Hello all and welcome to live text commentary of Liverpool's visit to Old Trafford to face Manchester United. Can Rafa Benitez's side make it three-in-a-row against Sir Alex Ferguson's charges?
Edwin van der Sar