English FA Cup

January 28, 2012



2 - 1

Manchester United

English FA Cup

12:45 +00:00, January 28, 2012

Anfield, England

Referee: M Halsey


    Roy Keane: "The substitutions for Liverpool won them the game"


    Paul Ince: "It was schoolboy defending..."


    Roy Keane post-game: "In terms of possession and quality, United edged it, but they were poor goals to concede"


    Steven Gerrard post-game: "You have to give Utd credit they controlled large periods of the game today but we got there in the end...If it wasn't for [Andy] Carroll today we might not be in the [FA Cup} draw tomorrow"


    Though the tempo was high throughout, it wasn't a great game of football and it's difficult to make a real case for either side deserving to win. United certainly had the majority of the possession but were also short of ideas in the final third...


    This is a result that caps a great week for Liverpool who, in addition to reaching the Carling Cup final and a first fixture at Wembley since 1996, have knocked United out of the FA Cup and advance to the fifth round


    Full-time! Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United

  • 93'

    De Gea hits the ball long but it looks as though time's up for United...

  • 92'

    Henderson and Carroll both shielding the ball near United's corner flag...

  • 92'

    Liverpool now trying to run the clock down...

  • 91'

    Evans gifts Liverpool a throw-in following very poor control of the ball...

  • 90'

    Three minutes of added time to be played...

  • 90'

    Berbatov on, Giggs off

  • 89'

    Great tempo in this game now...

  • 88'

    Liverpool and Kuyt go close again! Carroll heads against the ball and the rebound comes to Kuyt, though the Dutchman fires wide. Poor effort with the game their to be won (if it isn't already)

  • 87'

    Carroll knocks Reina's long ball into Kuyt's path and the Dutchman finishes well with his first touch of the ball. Good knockdown from Carroll, and good finish from Kuyt.

  • 87'

    Goal! Liverpool 2-1 United! Kuyt scores!

  • 87'

    Poor effort from the striker when he had options there. Nice cross from Valencia, though, in the build-up...

  • 87'

    Welbeck fires high and wide...

  • 85'

    Liverpool again uncertain in the final third, unsure of what to do with the ball with United defending in numbers...

  • 84'

    Kuyt caught well offside, poor positioning from him

  • 83'

    And Welbeck shoots wide at the other end. It's been a tough game for him. Despite his obvious improvement as a player, he's been isolated for much of the afternoon

  • 82'

    Kuyt heads wide! He really needs a goal

  • 82'

    The game's certainly picking up in intensity again, either side could conceivably win and has plenty of time to do so

  • 82'

    Liverpool free-kick near the halfway line following Smalling's challenge on Bellamy...

  • 81'

    Kuyt's shot deflected; De Gea collects

  • 80'

    And Adam shoots again, though this time he fires wide. United goal-kick

  • 80'

    Adam shoots but the shot's blocked by Welbeck

  • 80'

    Liverpool break...

  • 79'

    From which Carrick gets a shooting opportunity but the midfielder has to stretch to reach the ball and fires wide

  • 79'

    And another by Agger. Free-kick now in a better position for United...

  • 78'

    Foul by Henderson. Free-kick to United near the halfway line

  • 77'

    Will United now play with two strikers? It's obvious both managers want to avoid a replay and making their schedules even busier by winning a today

  • 76'

    Potential change of shape here for United...

  • 75'

    Scholes off, Hernandez on

  • 74'

    Agger clears Evra's cross. It has to be said Evra's been in good form lately following a shocking (by his standards) start to the season

  • 73'

    De Gea again collects Kuyt's cross, though it wasn't the most dangerous of deliveries from the Dutchman

  • 72'

    Surprising that Dalglish removed Gerrard, even though bringing on Bellamy was an obvious call. Liverpool will hope for more energy in the final third

  • 71'

    Gerrard off, Bellamy on

  • 70'

    Good 'keeping from De Gea again, stopping Gerrard's goal bound cross despite the potential awkwardness involved...

  • 70'

    Liverpool now breaking, and again through Downing...

  • 69'

    United throw-in...

  • 68'

    Good 'keeping from De Gea. Kuyt sent in a dangerous cross that Evans failed to deal with, leaving the Spaniard exposed but he collected well. even with Carroll lurking

  • 67'

    Carrick shoots wide! Good effort though, one that Reina had to dive for

  • 66'

    Good save from De Gea after Gerrard curls the shoot into his near post

  • 66'

    Blatant foul by Rafael on Downing. Free-kick to Liverpool from shooting range...

  • 65'

    Adam's cross unsettles De Gea and win the corner...

  • 64'

    Maxi off, Adam on

  • 64'

    Rafael tackles well but Liverpool have the throw-in...

  • 64'

    Poor free-kick from Giggs, gives the ball away and Liverpoool break through Downing...

  • 63'

    Carragher off (on his birthday), Kuyt on

  • 62'

    Maxi booked for a two-footed challenge...

  • 61'

    Maxi gives the ball away in midfield following a poor touch when they had the chance to counter United. Very much seems to be the way the game's going for Liverpool

  • 60'

    United now with the ball back in defence...

  • 59'

    Drama at the other end! Welbeck takes the ball around Reina before Skrtel saves the goalkeeper. Poor from the 'keeper

  • 58'

    ...which comes to nothing as the referee blows for a foul

  • 57'

    Liverpool appeal for the penalty following an apparent handball from Smalling, but at best it's a clumsy slip. Carroll fails to capitalise on the loose ball and Liverpool win a corner

  • 56'

    De Gea still yet to settle in today's fixture, it seems, even though this writer believes the stick aimed at him has been over the top

  • 55'

    Uncertainty from De Gea gives Downing a crossing opportunity that United just clear

  • 54'

    Craig Bellamy currently warming up, which is actually just what Liverpool need...

  • 53'

    Corner comes to nothing, and though Kelly's mistake gifts Giggs plenty of space the midfielder is penalised for being offside. Liverpool escape

  • 52'

    Giggs' cross deflected out. United corner

  • 52'

    Liverpool's midfield currently looks so static

  • 50'

    United go close! Dangerous cross across the penalty box that Liverpool initially struggled to clear, but there's no one thereto convert it (Hernandez, currently on the bench, would have been of some use)

  • 49'

    Liverpool currently struggling to make any real progress, with United still looking as though they've an extra man

  • 48'

    Liverpool goal-kick...

  • 47'

    Aimed towards Carroll but it comes to nothing. Liverpool still have possession but there's currently no threat

  • 46'

    Liverpool free-kick following Carrick's challenge on Carroll

  • 46'

    Liverpool kick-off...


    Teams are back out for the second-half..


    United are currently very patient and showing their experience, and though Welbeck looks very isolated, they're looking far more likely to score


    Despite a positive start for Liverpool, United grew into the game and began to dominate possession. Unless something changes, it's difficult to see how they can score without a set piece. They need new ideas.

  • 45'

    Half-time: Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United

  • 45'

    United again in possession in midfield...

  • 44'

    Poor decision making from Enrique. Had Downing outside him in space, who could have crossed into the box, but instead chose to do so himself from an awkward position

  • 43'

    Reina collects the loose ball...

  • 42'

    United again enjoying possession in midfield, with Liverpool standing off and opting not to press

  • 41'

    Good catch from Reina, collecting Valencia's deflected cross with Welbeck lurking.

  • 40'

    United suddenly look like they've an extra man on the pitch. Liverpool optimistically aim for Andy Carroll in possession United are comfortable defending

  • 39'

    United again pushing forward...

  • 38'

    Rafael gets in behind Enrique and sends a low cross into the penalty area that Park finishes with a powerful effort. Very good goal.

  • 37'

    Goal! Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United! Very good equaliser from United!

  • 36'

    United still with the ball in midfield. Again, Liverpool remain deep and allow Scholes and Carrick as much possession they want, content to surround Welbeck and leave United with nothing to aim at

  • 35'

    Kelly again defending well against Giggs, but the veteran midfielder shows his experience by keeping posession instead of committing himself and losing the ball

  • 34'

    Liverpool now sitting deep, allowing United possession around the halfway line

  • 33'

    Both midfields very much cancelling the other out. Both sides tend to make progress down the wings but struggle to make space or ground through the middle.

  • 32'

    Liverpool free-kick on the edge of their own area. Reina to take.

  • 31'

    Scholes gradually plays a deeper role as his career progresses but he still looks like he has time on the ball and seems a calming influence on those around him. Such a composed player.

  • 30'

    Scholes, Carrick and Evans exchanging possession near the halfway line.

  • 29'

    Which is wasted. United back in possession...

  • 28'

    And another, deep in United's half...

  • 27'

    Liverpool with the throw-in

  • 26'

    Well defended there from Kelly. United were threatening and had players in the box but the defender prevented Giggs from shooting with a well timed tackle

  • 25'

    United now enjoying a spell of possession...

  • 24'

    Gerrard very wasteful there! Thanks to good work from Carroll, Gerrard manages to break and had plenty of support but instead decided to shoot and ultimately wasted what was a good opportunity. The shot wasn't even on target.

  • 23'

    This time De Gea clears...

  • 23'

    And it's another corner. United fail to clear the ball properly...

  • 22'

    Liverpool free-kick...

  • 21'

    Liverpool 1-0 United! Agger heads in the corner after Liverpool successfully crowd De Gea and prevent the 'keeper from punching the corner away.

  • 20'

    Downing attempts a similar run to Valencia's but cannot get his shot away before Enrique's effort is deflected out for a corner...

  • 19'

    Liverpool now progressing into United's half...

  • 18'

    United throw-in...

  • 17'

    Valencia hits the post! Great effort! Nice, individual run followed by a toe-poked shot that beat Reina but came back out off the post.

  • 16'

    Downing fouls Evra deep in Liverpool's half. Dangerous position; good crossing opportunity for United.

  • 15'

    Scholes looks more composed today; so far signs of his absence aren't showing

  • 15'

    Carragher fouls Park. United free-kick near the halfway line

  • 14'

    In contrast to what was suggested by the line-ups of each side, both are currently playing some nice, one-touch football

  • 13'

    United now with possession in midfield...

  • 12'

    Kelly looking lively so far. Clearly wants to make an impact after Johnson had taken his place in the side.

  • 11'

    The resultant cross is aimed at Carroll but he can't connect as he'd wish and instead lofts the ball harmlessly above De Gea for the Spaniard to catch.

  • 11'

    Liverpool throw-in deep in United's half

  • 10'

    Evra being booed by Liverpool's fans...

  • 9'

    Dangerous there from Liverpool. Henderson broke down the left wing and crossed for Gerrard but Liverpool's captain failed to control the ball as he'd wish and couldn't get the shot away.

  • 8'

    Giggs shoots! In a similar position to Maxi's but Reina saves. Early intent from both sides.

  • 7'

    Unsurprisingly, Gerrard's already very much the focal point for much of Liverpool's play.

  • 6'

    Liverpool escape a poor back pass from Downing. United briefly threatened but, in trying to supply Welbeck, lose possession and Agger clears.

  • 5'

    But the corner goes to waste. Gerrard's inswinging cross overhit and curls back out for a goal kick.

  • 5'

    Carroll crowding De Gea at the corner...

  • 4'

    Shot from Maxi on the edge of United's box! Decent save from De Gea with the ball swerving. Liverpool corner.

  • 3'

    Ryan Giggs is the current record holder for most appearances in fixtures between these two sides

  • 3'

    United with a throw-in deep into Liverpool's half...

  • 2'

    And the midfield is already looking congested, with both five-man midfields vying for possession.

  • 1'

    Unsurprisingly, the atmosphere is as loud as predicted and the tempois high. United instantly push forward...

  • 1'

    United kick-off...


    Both teams are in the Anfield tunnel. Kick-off is minutes away...


    Sir Alex Ferguson pre-kick off: "I never considered not playing [Patrice] Evra. "It won't be an easy game for either side. The atmosphere's always volatile; it can inspire either side."


    As for the crucial battles out on the pitch, how Jonny Evans copes with Carroll could decide much. Kelly and Enrique's ability to nullify support for Welbeck from Valencia and Park will also be important, as will Carragher's to provide additional defensive cover.


    As always, there are some good changers on both benches, with Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez and Craig Bellamy available.


    For Liverpool, it appears as though Jamie Carragher will be anchoring the midfield, with £35m Andy Carroll the lone frontman. He'll be supported by Steven Gerrard, Maxi Rodriguez and Stewart Downing in midfield. Martin Kelly returns for Glen Johnson, which suggests Kenny Dalglish is concerned about United's attacking threat.


    So David De Gea returns for United, with Danny Welbeck as the lone striker in the absence of the injured Wayne Rooney. Patrice Evra is captain.


    Manchester United line-up: De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Park; Welbeck


    Liverpool line-up: Reina; Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique; Carragher; Maxi Rodriguez, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing; Carroll


    The team news is in for today's fourth round FA Cup tie between Liverpool and Manchester United, and there are some big calls...