• FT

    Man Utd

    2

    Liverpool

    1

  • FT

    Arsenal

    0

    Man City

    2

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Old Trafford, England

Attendance: 75501

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Manchester United

  • Robin Van Persie 19'
  • Nemanja Vidic 54'

2 - 1

FT

Liverpool

  • Daniel Sturridge 57'
  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Right, bye!

  •  

    James Tyler: thanks for all your comments, wit, insight, puns and shared emotion. You're the bricks and mortar of the Boot Room. Amen.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Not because I'm suicidal, but because I love mixing breakfast and hygiene.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm off to take a bath with the toaster.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ravi Ubha will be live in 120 seconds... find him here.
    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/feature/_/id/1296499/the-boot-room?cc=5901

  •  

    James Tyler: It's ok. Like I said. NEXT TIME.

  •  

    James Tyler: Now, we segue to Arsenal v. Man City, a game in whi-zzzzzzz.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: ROCK ON JT. Sorry mate...

  •  

    James Tyler: Good as always, Rog. Thanks much!

  •  

    James Tyler: United controls an hour, looks awful for 30. Most weekends, that kind of ratio will be enough to win.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Follow us on Twitter

    @rogbennett (Brendan R.)

    @jamestylerespn (Sir Alex)

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    United Fan from Texas: Giving us TWO reasons not to like him since 2013

  •  

    [Comment from de Selby]
    Webb should have added at least 30 seconds for all the dallying on that last foul. Of course he didn't.

  •  

    [Comment from grant]
    American here, wishing for another suarez controversy

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    2nd half - great game

  •  

    James Tyler: Damp squib ending after LFC's subs unsettled United to a surprising degree.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Liverpool yet to beat any team who are above them in the table.

  •  

    James Tyler: FT: Man United 2, Liverpool 1.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    There's always next week. Next month. Next year. Or the one after. That one. Or the following season.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Patrick]
    Love the match Rog. Even being on the losing end, love the match. Love the game

  •  

    Roger Bennett: True. true.

  •  

    [Comment from United Fan from Texas]
    Roger -- It's been a great game. It would have been better with some Mr. Potato Crisps.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Squibbing out damply now

  •  

    [Comment from Archer]
    Brendan playing hard to get by not bringing on Jonjo.

  •  

    James Tyler: Less than 45 seconds left...

  •  

    James Tyler: Injury time has been rather soporific.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: What do you think of the game America? Hard to watch. quality of football poor. But the swing in dominance made it fascinating.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed, Rog. There is always hope. Just the hope is next week. Next season. That's the one. Next year is the year. Or the year after. That one instead, maybe. Yeah. Next time.

  •  

    [Comment from Logan]
    Rodgers time!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Win or lose... Liverpool have given their fans hope. They never need much. But Sturridge playing alongside Suarez will give them raptures

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Ferguson checks his watch.

  •  

    James Tyler: Looped cross in is nodded gently to De Gea by Borini when Suarez was better placed. Too many strikers spoil the broth, perhaps.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: RvP almost scores again! Insouciant flick from a mid-height cross, forcing Reina to dive at his near post to keep it out.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: RVP with the flick. Too early for him to score though.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Bizarre half-hour for Man United. Cautious and rattled at times.

  •  

    James Tyler: Into Fergie Time. Four extra minutes.

  •  

    James Tyler: LFC free kick is taken quickly. Sturridge gets it, one on one, inside the United box and opts to shoot -- into the side netting. Suarez despairs.

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    WHERE IS OWN GOAL?

  •  

    James Tyler: Gerrard bungles into Carrick, relieving the tension a touch. 89th minute...

  •  

    [Comment from Pedro]
    Honestly, sometimes I wish they played more like Stoke, just kick the damn ball forward!!

  •  

    James Tyler: This game needs (recently transferred player). (Other goalkeeper) could have saved that.

  •  

    James Tyler: Classic.

  •  

    [Comment from Scott]
    What this game needs is some Nuri Sahin.

  •  

    [Comment from rogbennett via Twitter]
    This game is akin to HBO's Girls. Hard to watch. But you can't tear your eyes off it

  •  

    James Tyler: Liverpool rather gentle in possession. It's the 88th minute. There's a goal needed.

  •  

    James Tyler: No -- Ravi Ubha is. Starts at 10.30a ET
    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/feature/_/id/1296499/the-boot-room?cc=5901

  •  

    [Comment from Geoff]
    are you guys live blogging the man city game?

  •  

    James Tyler: 87th minute. Liverpool not perhaps realizing they're a goal down.

  •  

    James Tyler: Never, El Rob. NEVER.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob]
    When will managers learn that more defenders does not necessarily equate to better defending???

  •  

    Roger Bennett: This commentator is not the brightest bulb in the box

  •  

    James Tyler: Valencia and Glen Johnson tangle, Webb says no booking.

  •  

    James Tyler: United scrambling under Henderson's lofted cross. Sturridge can't turn and shoot, Rafael eventually bundles it away.

  •  

    James Tyler: There. Now Sturridge is rubbish again.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Mourinho will like what he has seen of these two halves...

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Liverpool! Suarez almost gets free inside the box following some one-touch passing. Rafael sticks with it but clears it right to Sturridge, who promptly blasts over the top.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: That was a real chance. Suarez battles through. Sturridge blasts over

  •  

    [Comment from Stone]
    Barcelona's away shirt wins hands down.

  •  

    [Comment from Robert]
    Arsenal's away kit from last year was pretty... interesting... yeah, interesting is the word that I would like to use here...

  •  

    James Tyler: Good idea to angle a pass in for Borini at the top of the box but he slips, giving De Gea an easy smother.

  •  

    [Comment from Logan]
    The funny thing is, Liverpool's alternate/third choice is even worse than this wetsuit that they have on now.

  •  

    James Tyler: Liverpool too scared to force a mistake, United too scared to make one.

  •  

    [Comment from M]
    This game's bubble has popped. No further action besides maybe a RVP goal to cement things.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Fascinating, rapid, tactical exchange of subs between Fergie and Rodgers. Football as chess.

  •  

    [Comment from GunnerInJapan]
    I think Hotspur have a nasty jersey that tops this one.

  •  

    [Comment from Czuch Norris]
    USA jersey, circa 1990 takes issue with the idea that the 80's produced the worst jersey.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Is this game dying down or about to heat up? Is Ferguson being too cautious or totally sensible?

  •  

    James Tyler: Glen Johnson loses out to Valencia in the left corner. Much to be desired on the dribble today.

  •  

    James Tyler: Subs galore for both teams in the past few minutes. United comfortable for an hour, rattled for 20.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Not the worst. we lived through the 80s. but this season. Yes.

  •  

    [Comment from Pedro]
    Are liverpool's jerseys the worst you've ever seen?

  •  

    James Tyler: United 2, Liverpool 1.

  •  

    James Tyler: 81st minute.

  •  

    James Tyler: Welbeck does well to slip down the left flank and find RvP in the middle. The Dutchman immediately returns the pass with Sturridge and Wisdom beaten for pace, only Welbeck can't keep it in play.

  •  

    [Comment from Justin]
    Where the hell is Chicharito? Get Welbeck out, right?

  •  

    [Comment from Kirf]
    overcautious. this has 2-2 written all over it

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob]
    United may come to rue these changes, enforced or otherwise.

  •  

    James Tyler: Seems about right.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB, LIVERPOOL: Jordan Henderson on, Joe Allen off.

  •  

    James Tyler: Vidic seemed to have taken a knock a few minutes prior.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: It is not the 93rd min yet. saving his powder. relax.

  •  

    [Comment from Czuch Norris]
    Does RVP not realize that by not scoring every few minutes against 'Pool, that nerves get shredded for United fans who aren't watching the game?

  •  

    James Tyler: Too many subs? Fergie being over-cautious at home? Right moves to make?

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR UNITED: Chris Smalling on, Nemanja Vidic off.

  •  

    James Tyler: Suarez tackles Valencia inside the LFC half. Glen Johnson tries to get past Rafael but can't. Rafael's been great for United this season. Culpable on today's goal but good all year long.

  •  

    James Tyler: United corner. Cleverley swings it in, cleared comfortably enough.

  •  

    James Tyler: Liverpool won't dominate. They'll lose 2-1.

  •  

    [Comment from Michael]
    I feel like this substitution is a horrible mistake. Kagawa has been all over the place, making Liverpool think. I see Pool dominating possession with Jones in

  •  

    James Tyler: You'd have subbed off Joe Allen if it was a decision made on form. And yes, players get subbed after being booked. Especially in tense games. Nice troll though.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    by Tyler's logic Glen Johnson will be substituted because he got a yellow card

  •  

    James Tyler: Welbeck to drift to wide midfield, Phil Jones to help Carrick in central midfield.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB, MAN UNITED: Kagawa off, Phil Jones on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Van Persie gets it in the box but can't turn and shoot.

  •  

    James Tyler: Phil Jones readying to come on...

  •  

    James Tyler: Borini hasn't done anything really -- yet. Sturridge more impactful as he's giving Vidic and Ferdinand something to do.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    JT - who was the bigger impact sub; Borini or Sturridge

  •  

    [Comment from United Fan from Texas]
    Let me tell you how this will end: Liverpool scores, we talk about how United's defense stinks and this is the end of United's reign, RVP will score at the death, we forget about our lousy back four, and we all enjoy a bag of crisps.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD, LIVERPOOL: Glen Johnson with an attack-stopping lunge on Patrice Evra. Cynical but soft.

  •  

    [Comment from Chicharito]
    I have a funny feeling I'll have the final say in this

  •  

    [Comment from Logan]
    Vidic and Skrtel look like they could play two henchmen in James Bond.

  •  

    James Tyler: Swung in decently enough by Gerrard, meets Vidic in the box and out only Webb gives a goal kick, saying it came off Skrtel who actually didn't get near it.

  •  

    [Comment from Archer]
    Downing's first positive contribution - getting Evra a yellow.

  •  

    James Tyler: Rog, it reminds me how simply footy can be sometimes. Bring on one player and it's enough to shift momentum.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: United are rattled

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick wide right for Gerrard to hoof into the box.

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    Michael - in MERICA we call that swag. Sturridge has buckets of it.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD, UNITED: Evra booked for fouling Downing.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think he's just happy to finally be playing. Been sidelined for so long.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 17 minutes to go...

  •  

    [Comment from Michael]
    Sturridge has amazing confidence for someone who has hardly played this year. Still carries himself like he knows he will score every time he touches the ball

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Liverpool: United's passing is nervy and Sturridge intercepts an underhit back pass for Vidic. He finds Borini whose control is poor. Borini then volleys wide.

  •  

    [Comment from Logan]
    RVP anonymous then he'll do something insane.

  •  

    [Comment from mike]
    ....this begs the combo begs the question why wait so long to bring in Sturridge

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Sturridge has changed this game. United have something to think about. Less possession. less time on the ball.

  •  

    James Tyler: Man United do look a bit more harried at the back with Sturridge, Suarez to contend with. Still 2-1 though.

  •  

    James Tyler: LFC with another threatening sashay upfield. Suarez and Sturridge combine via Joe Allen. Sturridge goes wide of Ferdinand but has little room to shot, ends up smacking a shot off-target.

  •  

    James Tyler: Building up nicely for him to score in the 80th minute, Danny NC

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Prof. Get yourself to Manchester, you might get yourself a job.

  •  

    [Comment from Prof]
    Seriously, have anyone of you trained as a keeper? Heel of the hand has to push wide, you really don't know what you are talking about

  •  

    [Comment from Danny NC]
    rvp been quiet for too long here

  •  

    [Comment from Michael]
    Watching that passing between Suarez and Sturridge has to be one of the strangest things I've seen in a long time. Who knew they had it in em?

  •  

    James Tyler: These comments remind me why the Boot Room is such a wonderful place to pass the time.

  •  

    [Comment from GunnerInJapan]
    I thought the 1st rule of goalkeeping was to be the fattest kid on the playground.

  •  

    [Comment from Archer]
    First rule of goalkeeping is - Don't talk about goalkeeping.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan]
    Carrick should be an automatic pick for England

  •  

    James Tyler: Suarez and Sturridge combine down the left channel. The pair seem to work well enough. Sturridge's angled low pass just a bit too strong for Suarez to run onto and shoot.

  •  

    James Tyler: Carrick almost gets another Pirlo-esque pass through the Reds' backline. He's having a fine game in deep midfield.

  •  

    [Comment from Evan]
    I think the first rule of goalkeeping is to always criticize other goalkeepers, right?

  •  

    [Comment from Never played keeper]
    De Gea should have caught that, put the ball down, gone Maradona the length of the field, finished past Reina, then entered the stands to fight Peter Schmeichel

  •  

    James Tyler: Half-chance for Liverpool. A good spell of possession ends when Johnson steps inside from the left and shoots low on goal. It's well wide.

  •  

    James Tyler: 66th minute. United up 2-1, should be 5-0 based on dominance/possession/territory.

  •  

    James Tyler: But he will be, Rog. Because it's easy.

  •  

    [Comment from Kirf]
    Prof, you are insane. The first rule of goalkeeping is to keep the ball out of the net, which De Gea did. He can't place every save into a certain square yard of turf. Defense is a team effort.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I cannot see how De Gea could have done anything more. The angle on the shot. and how low down he had to drop to get to the ball... I do not think he is a reliable keeper, but he cannot be blamed for that goal...

  •  

    James Tyler: Vidic is helped off but looks just fine. Chris Smalling having a jog, presumably to keep warm.

  •  

    James Tyler: Debatable. Reina's shot much closer to the post gave him the advantage.

  •  

    [Comment from Michael]
    If Reina can push that wide, surely De Gea could have pushed the other one wide

  •  

    James Tyler: Wisdom's brave to square up to Vidic on that. The pair share a smile on the turf.

  •  

    James Tyler: RvP's inswinging corner isn't reached by Reina but Wisdom and Vidic are down. Clash of heads.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Not a liability, but...

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    is Gerrard now a liability.

  •  

    James Tyler: Welbeck threatened to ruin the move but his pass for RvP was deflected into Kagawa's path for that shot.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I enjoy his movement off the ball. he is pulling Liverpool's defenders apart.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    JT/Rog - what do you think of Kagawa's play today?

  •  

    James Tyler: Welbeck misreads RvP's run, sidefoots a pass to Agger. Won back from Gerrard by Rafael and then Kagawa's sidefooted shot is superbly saved by Reina. Palmed around the post.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Hell of a save by Pepe... still got it

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Chicharito time surely here...

  •  

    James Tyler: Three strikers for Liverpool now. Only one of them is bonafide menacing. Will this play into United's hands? 28 minutes left.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another sumptuous spot for a set piece shot.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: this is massive for Borini. So much to prove. Hollywood ending on offer here for LFC...

  •  

    [Comment from LFC-Red]
    Sterling was playing?

  •  

    James Tyler: Someone burst Jamie Carragher, hence the crimson mist.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR LIVERPOOL: Sterling off, Borini on.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: It is actually indigestion.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    How exactly did Liverpool fans manage to get a smoke bomb into Old Trafford? Not enjoying this red fog.

  •  

    [Comment from Prof]
    Joga, you are insane. I am united through and through but one of the first thing a goalkeeper is trained to do is parry wide not spill it into your own goalmouth

  •  

    Roger Bennett: undoubtedly. those crisps are a slice of heaven.

  •  

    [Comment from United Fan from Texas]
    Roger -- Do you think De Gea would have been more prepared if he wasn't reading a book and enjoying a bag of Mr. Potato Crisps?

  •  

    James Tyler: Shot pings through the wall but loses steam, Reina first to the loose ball.

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    Borini was a good signing that hasn't panned out yet, if he can rediscover his Roma form LFC fans will see something special

  •  

    Roger Bennett: as opposed to skinny jeans?

  •  

    James Tyler: Another sumptuous spot for a set piece shot.

  •  

    [Comment from Kipa]
    Why do soccer fans love flares so much?

  •  

    James Tyler: RvP dragged down by Gerrard at the edge of the box. Cue United's third goal, perhaps?

  •  

    James Tyler: Think De Gea's save was great but he was slow to record also.

  •  

    [Comment from Jogablognito]
    You're outside of your mind if you think de gea is to blame there, unsighted, great save, Rafael was asleep for what should have been a simple clearance

  •  

    James Tyler: Borini set to replace Raheem Sterling. Not sure what that will do, formation-wise, just yet. I hope it's not a 4-3-3 again.

  •  

    James Tyler: First LFC shot on target and De Gea assists Sturridge for a goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sturridge fouled by Vidic.

  •  

    [Comment from GunnerInJapan]
    JT, stay away from the false hope. It's better to think the worst and be surprised.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: United's response here is going to be fascinating. They have been challenged for the first time all game. Will they overreact?

  •  

    James Tyler: Enter Fabio Borini...

  •  

    James Tyler: So. A mild bit of excitement.

  •  

    [Comment from Zefa]
    Should've have given Sturridge a start

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Possibly game on, but I expect United will reassert themselves in the next five minutes and take control of the game again.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Scouting Report: shoot at De Gea, let him do the rest.

  •  

    [Comment from Archer]
    Sturridge is clearly the signing of the season.

  •  

    [Comment from GunnerInJapan]
    What did I say? 2-0 is the Worst lead ever!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Not a fault on De Gea there. Not pushing that past his post.

  •  

    [Comment from LFC-Red]
    THATS WHAT A NEED! A POACHER!!!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Gerrard's hopeful shot from the edge of the box is gently parried into Sturridge's path. Even he can't miss from there.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: I said a goal was needed! Sturridge gets one!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Game on...?

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL

  •  

    Roger Bennett: SHASS.

  •  

    James Tyler: One-way game, this. More fodder for Rog's theory about the rivalry no longer being much of one, too. That hurts more than the 2-0 scoreline.

  •  

    James Tyler: IF Liverpool is to have any hope at all, it could use a goal in the next 5-7 minutes. #Analysis

  •  

    [Comment from de Selby]
    Hope Glen Johnson enjoyed the nap he took there.

  •  

    [Comment from Jim from Reno]
    Zonal Marking, FTW.

  •  

    [Comment from KomZ]
    Mehn, i should have picked up Evra on my team this week, a goal and an assist

  •  

    James Tyler: Fair score on the balance of play. Evra's header skids off Vidic en route to goal. He won't care. Man United with deserved breathing room at last.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Three United players at the back post for that free kick. One Liverpool defender. #smart

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Shocking defending. Shocking.

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick lobbed to the back post and Patrice Evra calmly nods it under Reina. His fifth goal of the season. Unreal.

  •  

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Reina unprepared. Sorry JT

  •  

    James Tyler: That's that, then.

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR UNITED

  •  

    [Comment from Jogablognito]
    As a fan of the game, i was thinking yellow... but as an objective observer, I honestly thought red

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick in another menacing spot. 25 yards out to the left of goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh dear. Skrtel lets Welbeck in behind him as the long ball's lofted over the top. Fouls the striker but Reina was close enough that Skrtel's just booked.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: The reason Welbeck does not get there was because he was... yanked back.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: WEBBTIME

  •  

    James Tyler: Good overlapping run, that. But woeful effort. Should have put it to the back post but went for goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Wisdom!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wisdom slips as he shoots. Suarez is furious. But with Suarez dropping deep he can influence the game which is exactly what Liverpool need.

  •  

    James Tyler: Better from Liverpool as Allen steals possession in midfield and then Gerrard does the same moments later. Still no shot on goal, mind.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Lot more blood and thunder from Liverpool. More like it.

  •  

    James Tyler: LFC free kick is cleared with ease by United.

  •  

    James Tyler: Though Suarez did hoist one well into the stands at one point.

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    Lesson learned this season: Manchester United has better horse placenta than Arsenal

  •  

    Roger Bennett: America is suddenly hungry for some Mr Potato Crisps

  •  

    James Tyler: I think it's zero, actually.

  •  

    [Comment from United Fan from Texas]
    James -- Just saw a stat that said that Liverpool has only one shot on goal. Is that right?

  •  

    James Tyler: Nice long run-up though.

  •  

    James Tyler: Drills it over the bar.

  •  

    James Tyler: RvP lurking.

  •  

    James Tyler: Kagawa's running free on goal only to be nudged down by Allen, who'd lost the United midfielder moments earlier. Dangerous spot for a free kick, this.

  •  

    James Tyler: Suarez fouls in midfield.

  •  

    [Comment from de Selby]
    The one time in his life Sturridge should shoot and he passes!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Carrick to Van Persie to Welbeck to shot well wide of goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sturridge's first touch is a so-so one. Tries to slot Suarez through the middle. Cut out easily enough.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: With Sturridge you can never tell what is a pass and what is a shot

  •  

    James Tyler: Can ill-afford 10 men. Game's already bad enough.

  •  

    James Tyler: Think the booking for Lucas is what caused him to be pulled.

  •  

    James Tyler: Lucas withdrawn due to a yellow card. Would imagine it's a 4-4-2 now. Allen/Gerrard in CM, Sterling/Downing wide, Sturridge to give Suarez helping hand.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: THERE IS STILL HOPE LIVERPOOL FANS. Danny Sturridge has joined the game

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR LIVERPOOL: Lucas off, Sturridge on.

  •  

    James Tyler: You're so right. I clearly don't know that.

  •  

    [Comment from Pokhrel]
    JT needs to know that football is more than Liverpool. Just enjoy the game mate.

  •  

    James Tyler: LFC yet to fully emerge. Sturridge ready to enter.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR UNITED: Ashley Young off, Antonio Valencia on. Definition of going for the jugular.

  •  

    James Tyler: I could cry BIAS but I won't, ha ha.

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh, I see what you did there. Rivalries don't cease to be because you say they're no longer.

  •  

    James Tyler: EPIC SUNDAY

  •  

    Roger Bennett: USA v USSR still a rivalry JT?

  •  

    James Tyler: Rooney's injured. Nani's out of favor. Scholes clearly not needed.

  •  

    [Comment from Andy]
    why isnt rooney nani scholes not on the bench

  •  

    James Tyler: Sheffield United-Sheffield Wednesday is still a rivalry even though they are leagues apart in terms of quality. Rivalries don't hinge on two teams being great. Look at Boca vs. River. One was recently relegated for first time ever. Games still pack a punch and always will.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Fallen under the ice etc.

  •  

    James Tyler: I would expect you to say that, Rog.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT. I don't think this is much of a rivalry. I think it was a passing of the baton. Two teams going in different directions. Liverpool are in danger of being lapped by modern football.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: John Oliver, crazed Liverpool fan, on last week's Men In Blazers: "I don't need trophies, I don't need top four finishes, I just need some nice passing sequences that make me say, that was lovely."

  •  

    James Tyler: Rivalries are always big games, Pokhrel. Don't be so rigid about the league table.

  •  

    [Comment from Pokhrel]
    Still can't believe lot of people view this as a big game. Liverpool needs to be on the top 4 for this game to get all the hype.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Rodgers thinks the world about Jonjo. He will, at least, offer crazed commitment and a big of fight.

  •  

    [Comment from Archer]
    When you're down a goal, you need to bring on a goal scoarer, and Jonjo is a goal scorer.

  •  

    [Comment from LFC-Red]
    Its still hilarious to think the money we spent on Downing could've been spent on Mata, money on Carroll could've been spent anywhere and money just spent terribly!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I have to believe Liverpool will come out with more guile. What is going on in Steven Gerrard's head right now? a sense of anger and a need to step it up? Or the realization that this may after all be a young man's game?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Follow us on Twitter

    @rogbennett (Joe Allen)

    @jamestylerespn (RvP)

  •  

    [Comment from Cutter in Chicago]
    This reminds me of WWI trench warfare. Or maybe trench foot. Or both. #sigh

  •  

    James Tyler: There's a fresh boot room for Arsenal v. City. Ravi Ubha, 10.30a ET
    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/feature/_/id/1296499/the-boot-room?cc=5901

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Annoys Arsenal fans that their club did not have the brains to keep him close. makes City look like a gracious club. He is an ambassador and a brand builder. smart move by City.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Rog - what does Viera do for Man City (**off topic)

  •  

    [Comment from Zefa]
    Is the bootroom going to continue for Arsenal vs City?

  •  

    James Tyler: Always felt the 4-3-3 would play to United's midfield strength. It clearly has.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Going into this game we heard all about his sudden glut of striking options. But the challenge is in midfield where Liverpool are ceding so much space to Carrick they are making him look Man of the Match Good. Sturridge will come on for Downing. But Rodger's headache is Allen and Gerrard. Unless they can feed Suarez plus one...

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Rog - what changes do you think BR needs to do?

  •  

    James Tyler: Before I take a quick breather, I think Sturridge is a no-brainer sub. Would also like to see Shelvey. Yes, he's liable to get sent off, but the LFC midfield needs some mustard. Someone to disrupt Carrick and Cleverley's careful orchestrations. Swap to a 4-4-2, even. Works fine for United. Sturridge/Suarez to give Vidic/Rio more work to do. Shelvey in the middle to cause a ruckus.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 26 touches for Suarez. 15 in the final 3rd.

  •  

    [Comment from FOOTY]
    Any idea how many touches Suarez has in first half? Thanks

  •  

    James Tyler: Be right back, folks. Gripe amongst yourselves. Ask Roger some questions.

  •  

    [Comment from Archer]
    Brendan's only hope is that Sturridge's shassing thoroughly confuses the United defense.

  •  

    James Tyler: This isn't the NFL, after all. Head injuries do generally get attention in footy.

  •  

    James Tyler: If he has a head injury, he's in immediate danger when it happen. Brain's a sensitive thing. Doesn't matter if he doesn't have to make a save or not, Kipa.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Cometh the hour. Cometh the Sturridge

  •  

    [Comment from Kipa]
    Maybe because Reina was in no immediate danger until United got possession?

  •  

    James Tyler: So, Liverpool should be 4-0 down, but aren't. Will that be a point of positivity at half-time? One would hope. Despite being rather dominated and useless in the first 45, it's only a one-goal game. Rodgers must get his subs and tactics right. The game's not over yet.

  •  

    James Tyler: Webb was there when Reina initially went down. If you have doubt, blow the whistle. Hindsight isn't the issue here.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    maybe he was alerted by his 4th official at that time. maybe he wasnt aware of the injury the moment it happens.you dont know .simple

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Reina's gutsy goalkeeping must serve as a rallying point. That and Rodgers doing some actual managing.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Tough spectacle for Liverpool fans to stomach. Epic Sunday. Yet to record a shot on goal. Good news? Just one goal down. If Brendan Rodgers has any of the tactical acumen that has been attributed to him... the second half will be very different.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Man United has never lost in 211 Premier League home games when leading at halftime (199 wins, 12 draws).

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: HT: Man United 1, Liverpool 0, Pepe Reina headaches 10

  •  

    James Tyler: It's about the timing. There is rightful umbrage taken with Webb's timing. ANYWAY...

  •  

    James Tyler: So why not stop the play immediately, then? Why allow Liverpool to be in possession upfield for over a minute? Especially for an apparent head injury.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    James Tyler you need to learn the rules of football.the ref can stop play anytime for any injury since no one including you know the seriousness of the injury

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD, LIVERPOOL: Lucas booked for stepping in on Ashley Young.

  •  

    James Tyler: Go back to sleep, Orr.

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    Which is worse, waking up to see LFC down one goal or waking up to see Howard Webb officiating?

  •  

    James Tyler: It's been extensively documented.

  •  

    James Tyler: That said, we all know of Howard Webb's obvious Liverpool bias.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's not about that fact, it's about the timing. He appeared to let Liverpool attack up the other end, only choosing to stop play when Man United was countering.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob]
    Come on guys, the ref can stop play in case of a suspected serious injury, we don't know what information the assistants may have been providing the Webb-slinger.

  •  

    James Tyler: Not Wisdom's fault entirely. Glen Johnson allowed Rafael past rather easily.

  •  

    [Comment from KomZ]
    All Wisdom's fault there, don't you agree?

  •  

    James Tyler: Wait a sec. Some smelling salts and Lucozade seems to be enough for Pepe. He's a tough lad.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Maybe Brad Jones will be the impact sub Liverpool needs.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Reina got truly clattered there. Kagawa ran into him as if he was a catcher blocking home plate

  •  

    James Tyler: And Reina's knee appears to be ruined. Stretcher's on.

  •  

    [Comment from Zefa]
    Since when did Webb become a Liverpool fan?

  •  

    James Tyler: It's up to the teams to knock it out of play should they choose to.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Awful. Liverpool can't attack with Reina injured and Webb blows once United threaten.

  •  

    James Tyler: Or shouldn't have done.

  •  

    James Tyler: Finally Webb stops play, which he didn't really need to do.

  •  

    James Tyler: LFC attack without realizing (or caring) that Reina is seriously hurt.

  •  

    James Tyler: Should have been 2-0! Rafael found superbly by Carrick down the right. He gets behind Johnson and centers for RvP. The backheel is destined to dribble in only to be cleared. Then Reina is smashed by Kagawa as the loose ball is there for an easy tap-in.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Terrible reffing.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wow. RvP almost gave SKY an infinite highlight goal there...

  •  

    James Tyler: Welbeck hustled off the ball at the edge of the Liverpool box, no foul given. Young striker looks mildly aggrieved.

  •  

    James Tyler: If anything, United sold Berbatov in order to keep Welbeck around.

  •  

    James Tyler: No. He's playing well today.

  •  

    [Comment from p1ckle123]
    Do you feel it is in Uniteds best interest to get rid of Welbeck?

  •  

    [Comment from Wesley Sneijder]
    I would be pumped if I played for Liverpool

  •  

    Roger Bennett: lowest on his team. 15 touches.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob]
    Has Sterling touched the ball this half?

  •  

    James Tyler: I think that's too reductive. Oh, a team playing poorly is emotionally uninvested. They're definitely struggling today. But it takes more than heart to battle United.

  •  

    James Tyler: Right, but I think it's unreasonable to say they don't care. Takes more than "being really excited" to play well.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: uncalibrated passing. unsyncopated movement. disorganization. JT. This has been a dire first 40.

  •  

    James Tyler: Suarez wins a corner off the rock-solid Vidic. It's thumped in but hoofed clear by Welbeck.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think it's disingenuous to say Liverpool isn't "pumped" though. They're not playing well, but to equate that with not caring is unfair.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I have to believe a different Liverpool will emerge in the second half. Have to. They are not THIS bad.

  •  

    [Comment from Cutter in Chicago]
    Rog don't you think teams should always beat able to motivate themselves for big games? I mean if you are playing for Liverpool, shouldn't you be pumped for this one?

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for United! Cleverley zips one narrowly wide after Allen's clearing header went right to the United midfielder.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Cleverley tries to channel Rooney with the volley. Only off by about 15 feet.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd expect to see Sturridge on at half-time. Rodgers needs to sort this out in the interval if Liverpool is to have any chance. That said, I'm fully expecting a second United goal on the verge of half time to render any changes null and void.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob]
    Sturridge looking none too pleased to be on the bench...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Dalglish at least used to ALWAYS get his team up for the big games...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Liverpool playing has if hellbent on proving this is no longer a rivalry

  •  

    James Tyler: No, Wesley.

  •  

    [Comment from Wesley Sneijder]
    Any way I could help in Liverpool? Please....don't want to go to Turkey

  •  

    James Tyler: First real move for Liverpool to get at De Gea, but Suarez finds Gerrard only for the Reds' captain to shunt the return pass too far ahead of his striker. Awful. Dire. Dreadful.

  •  

    James Tyler: Suarez gets it from a long throw but he's rapidly smothered into losing possession.

  •  

    [Comment from Archer]
    Roger, in regards to what's going on inside Suarez's head - "De Gea looks bored, I wonder if he'd be interested in joining us on Monopoly night."

  •  

    Roger Bennett: RT @kkjellquist @MenInBlazers Mourinho and the Emperor..separated at birth? pic.twitter.com/5CMrdDIQ

  •  

    James Tyler: Suarez does get a shot this time, hooking one into the crowd from a narrow angle. Rio Ferdinand gave the Uruguayan a bit of space on the ball for the first time today.

  •  

    James Tyler: Suarez almost gets to shoot! But he doesn't. De Gea can read a book between the posts today.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I loved that scene in Being Liverpool where Joe Allen chose his number with a lascivious Brendan Rodgers who predicted great things to come

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    The Liverpool midfield could use some help. #analysis

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Man United has scored in 60 straight top-flight home games, longest streak in England since Wolves in 1959.

  •  

    [Comment from Archer]
    Joe Allen is going to take someone's place in an envelope if he doesn't step it up soon.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for United! More room in the midfield to run, Carrick finds Welbeck but his shot blazes over the bar.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wonder what is going on inside Luis Suarez's head? I imagine a Hulk-esque inner dialogue

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Joe Allen's having a bit of a Branislav Ivanovic kind of day so far. Troubling.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for United! Allen's mistake affords Welbeck an open look on goal. Two Liverpool defenders get back to block the shot. Agger taxed to the extreme today.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Terrific cover by Agger. Lucky for Liverpool that was Welbeck and not RvP

  •  

    James Tyler: He always felt like a player Ferguson bought, but didn't necessarily need. I do think Kagawa will be fine in the long run.

  •  

    [Comment from El Rob]
    Good morning Rog/JT! I like Kagawa a lot as a player, but I keep getting a sneaking feeling he''ll wind up being be the next Seba Verón (or, to use a more recent example from today's opponents, Nuri Sahin). Your collective thoughts?

  •  

    James Tyler: Think Welbeck's done more than enough to merit a starting spot today. Been lively in a Rooney-esque link-up role and has pulled LFC's defenders here and there with his runs off the ball. Looking very busy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Young's up. He's walking gingerly.

  •  

    James Tyler: Antonio Valencia's warming up as Young gets an examination.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    I wonder what Roy Hodgson and Jose Mourinho have to talk about...

  •  

    James Tyler: Not sure. I am not seeing any discernible Liverpool plan at the moment.

  •  

    [Comment from Wu]
    Is the plan with Sturridge to let Luis get on the ball a little higher up the field in order to get more touches?

  •  

    James Tyler: Ashley Young is down having come in late on Daniel Agger. He went in heavy on the defender after the ball gets away from him, and now he's in a crumpled heap, clutching his knee.

  •  

    James Tyler: That was always the plan, Rog, when Torres and Gerrard were in their prime.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Liverpool HAVE to get Suarez on the ball. Plan B is always "hope Luis can do something magic"

  •  

    James Tyler: Look! There's Suarez! He's chasing Vidic's pass for De Gea.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    @RobStoneONFOX I would say after/if they get by Real Madrid. Large obstacle.

  •  

    James Tyler: The 54% of you who picked a United win appear to be sitting comfortably at present. Lucas clangs Kagawa in midfield.

  •  

    [Comment from Jason]
    Remember when people were raving about Joe Allen's pass stats?

  •  

    [Comment from Wu]
    This is bumming me out and I'm not even a LFC fan

  •  

    James Tyler: Half-attack for Liverpool. Glen Johnson finds Allen wide left, only the midfielder's "through ball" for Suarez runs out for a goal kick. Horrible touch.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Joe Allen. Classic. Sums it up.

  •  

    [Comment from Michael GFOP]
    Glen Johnson has shut down all United attacks through the left side. Wisdow is so vulnerable which has already cost Liverpool

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! United scythes through the middle this time. RvP finds room as Welbeck draws Agger away from goal, only the Dutchman's first-time left-footed finish is ballooned over the bar. Lucky lucky.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Frustrating day for David De Gea. The world is watching, yet he has had no opportunity to display just how unreliable he is.

  •  

    James Tyler: Downing's low cross to no-one in particular. Not quite cleared, giving Allen a chance to muscle in on Evra in the right corner, only he fails to win a corner.

  •  

    James Tyler: Signs of hope, Rog? Um. We're all still alive? All about that midfield mess right now. Just need some possession. Some time on the ball in United's half. Bit of purpose.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: By lethargic, do you mean "mid-table"

  •  

    [Comment from Cutter in Chicago]
    LFC seems lethargic to me.

  •  

    James Tyler: Really have to watch the United goal again to appreciate the lovely passing and movement that teed it up. Cleverley, Kagawa, RvP all combining smoothly before Evra's skidded low cross.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Liverpool is winless in 16 straight PL games when conceding first (12 losses, 4 draws).

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Can you give us some signs of hope JT?

  •  

    James Tyler: As soon as Flacco tied it 35-35, I knew Baltimore would win. Momentum, etc.

  •  

    [Comment from United Fan from Texas]
    A little off topic: JAMES -- who did you have in the Broncos-Ravens game?

  •  

    James Tyler: Good run by Wisdom to speed up the right flank. Welbeck gets back to pressure and the resulting cross is tidied up in the middle.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Liverpool need to weather this spell. United finding so much room in front of their back four. Sterling on the break, Suarez into the game. anything to lance the boil.

  •  

    James Tyler: RvP almost loosed again, were it not for a late sliding challenge by Agger. Liverpool looking understandably rattled. Rodgers must change things up a touch. Maybe his formation. The midfield is being overrun, which in turn puts additional unwanted pressure on the defense.

  •  

    [Comment from Jason]
    Since when is 1st vs 8th a big game?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Commentator tough on Webb there. Webb had to make it clear that the players are not going to get away with that kind of a tackle. Games like these can easily spiral out of control for a ref and then the yellows and red cards fly

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Has anyone seen Luis Suarez?

  •  

    James Tyler: Those might be even worse, Morty.

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    Serie A matches start in 10 minutes

  •  

    James Tyler: Joe Allen clatters Michael Carrick. Howard Webb has a word.

  •  

    James Tyler: Evra had too much room out wide. Wisdom lost the plot a bit. Inexperience showing.

  •  

    [Comment from Kyle]
    That marking reminded me of goals United has given up this season....

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    So. Well then.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    @Gaetjens Yeah...about that...

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Robin van Persie has six goals in his last six league starts vs Liverpool.

  •  

    [Comment from A. Lopez]
    Horrible defending.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOPPatrick]
    Well this one's over.

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    Oh my word what a goal.

  •  

    [Comment from icculus]
    Jelavic-like finish there

  •  

    James Tyler: LFC must respond quickly now. Can they? Will they?

  •  

    James Tyler: Evra's low ball zips through a crowd en route to the deadly Dutchman.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Some awful defending there.

  •  

    James Tyler: Low cross from the left, RvP gets ahead of his marker and sidefoots it first-time past Reina. Agger gave him too much room.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Man United is unbeaten in 45 straight Premier League games when scoring first (42 wins).

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 1-0. Bring on Arsenal Man City

  •  

    James Tyler: A simple, simple goal indeed.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL, MAN UNITED

  •  

    Roger Bennett: RvP

  •  

    James Tyler: There is a touch of the Berbatov in Welbeck, Jan. Very casual and languid. But he does it well, I think.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: OK

  •  

    Roger Bennett: This feels more like a cup final. helter skelter stuff. poor decision making. nervy.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Is it me or does Welbeck look too casual on the ball with the touches he takes? Doesn't seem to care where the ball is going.

  •  

    James Tyler: Rog, your thoughts so far? United in control without really controlling?

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes, he'll absolutely see some second-half minutes.

  •  

    [Comment from Wu]
    Do you guys think Sturridge is gonna get into this game? Throw him into the fire?

  •  

    James Tyler: Welbeck chases down a long ball with Agger in pursuit. The young striker does well to hold up play and dribble infield, riding a couple of soft tackles. Eventually finds RvP down the left channel but his shot is blocked.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sterling's hooked on halfway. This is a game still in need of a tempo.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: those asking re 5 times chant... refers to the Champions League (European Cup)

  •  

    James Tyler: Hush you! This is an EPIC. The HISTORY. The PASSION. The PRIDE. The RIVALRY.

  •  

    [Comment from de Selby]
    Well this is about as entertaining as Norwich-Newcastle was yesterday. I want my money back.

  •  

    James Tyler: United enjoying more of the territory but no shots from either side worth noting so far.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Johnson a wonder there. Continuously underrated. ever since he stole that toilet seat.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good defending by Glen Johnson to prevent RvP sneaking into the box from a wide position.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean]
    "We've one it 5 times" chants ring out from LFC Supporters

  •  

    James Tyler: Jose Mourinho's at Old Trafford. Always good to scout your future employers, I suppose.

  •  

    James Tyler: Shame, Raza. Sahin had admitted that the Prem was too quick, he had trouble adjusting. That said, would have liked to see him get a proper chance. Also have to consider his expensive wages. FSG all too happy to relieve the ledger of that burden.

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88]
    JT what did you think about Sahin returning to Dortmund after all the fanfare of getting him in the summer?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Because they still think it is 1859

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    Roger - Why do Brits say things like "the Japanese" while referring to Kagawa. You people always forget the damn noun. 'MERICA

  •  

    James Tyler: Then Agger hauls RvP down in Liverpool territory. Long ball into the box is met by Welbeck but Reina scoots out to collect the rebound.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 15 year old Brendan Rodgers. would love to see that. like young Sherlock.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Great to see Lucas back to match fitness. Terrific player. His presence allows Gerrard to roam further forward.

  •  

    James Tyler: Gerrard to swing it in.... cleared easily and then Lucas commits a foul in midfield to end the pressure.

  •  

    James Tyler: Young fouls Sterling inside the United half. First chance for Liverpool to hoof one into the mixer.

  •  

    James Tyler: Shaky possession for Liverpool -- Reina plays one short to midfield but it's intercepted. United attack with speed but van Persie's shot is muffled by a block and it loops up for Reina to catch with ease.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Kagawa could have killed someone there kicking the ball after the whistle like that.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Good to get Reina's howler out of the way early on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner's handled comfortably enough.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean]
    Shame Suso isn't on the pitch to sympathize with Kagawa about being a natural #10 playing out wide

  •  

    James Tyler: I think LFC does look confident early, Rog. Cutting the supply to RvP so far. That said, Lucas/Allen/Gerrard will be exhausted by half-time.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: United probing. Liverpool attempting to affect confidence.

  •  

    James Tyler: Wisdom whips one off Kagawa's foot to concede the first corner of the game.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    @KevHegarty23 28 thus far. Only conceded 33 all of last season.

  •  

    James Tyler: A very cagey start to this one.

  •  

    James Tyler: Kagawa's low cross from the left is cut out by Skrtel and thumped downfield. Worth noting Downing's position there; as soon as Shinji got it wide left, Downing sprinted back to serve as first defender.

  •  

    James Tyler: Downing looks for Suarez down the right side but Carrick interprets the pass well and cuts it out with a degree of elegance we don't expect from Michael Carrick.

  •  

    James Tyler: Early "attack" for United. Welbeck found with a long ball. He works it across the edge of the box. Evra's eventual cross ends up in Reina's gloves.

  •  

    James Tyler: Not sure he wants Kagawa to fail. Still figuring out how to use him.

  •  

    James Tyler: He has indeed drifted wide now.

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    Kagawa isn't in the hole, he's on the left. Bizarre tactical decision from Fergie. It's almost like he wants Kagawa to fail at this point.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Black kit and red socks. Nifty.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Are you following on videophone?

  •  

    [Comment from Cutter in Chicago]
    I trust Rog is wearing his blazer and that its adorned with his recent law enforcement deputization patch.

  •  

    [Comment from Kyle]
    With no Evans in the lineup, can United score enough goals today?

  •  

    James Tyler: Early notes: Kagawa's in the hole behind RvP. Downing's wide right, not wide left, with Wisdom. Glen Johnson's unafraid to get down the left flank.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Man United enters today with 54 goals, the club's most through 21 first-division games since 1907-08.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Suarez boos. lot of Mansfield Town fans at Old Trafford.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ashley Young commits a soft foul. Bit of a shirt tug. Neither side stringing two passes together so far.

  •  

    James Tyler: A choppy opening 120 seconds.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    United 3-1

  •  

    James Tyler: Suarez' first touch receives lusty boos. As if we didn't expect it.

  •  

    [Comment from A. Lopez]
    Man u 2-3 LFC i believe.

  •  

    [Comment from Cutter in Chicago]
    Good morning folks. Come on you Reds! YNWA

  •  

    James Tyler: Ashley Young's on the right wing too, early on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Downing's flipped to the right flank, for what it seems. He'll shield Andre Wisdom a bit.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Good to see Liverpool in their athletic monk garb

  •  

    James Tyler: LFC's black kit with red socks is rather fun.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Um, at least 1.

  •  

    James Tyler: We're off!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Number of red cards JT?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Lets hope football is the winner.

  •  

    James Tyler: Here we go, folks.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Epic Sunday. etc.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Never has a bad game. Ever.

  •  

    [Comment from Joe]
    Rog, the real question is will Narrative rule the day?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Kagawa one to watch for United. If he can find space ahead of the Liverpool back four, it will create room for United to exploit behind Wisdom.

  •  

    [Comment from Paul]
    3-2 United, Webb with the winner in the 101st minute of regular time

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

  •  

    James Tyler: Big game needed from Joe Allen today in that midfield. Has had a mixed season thus far at Liverpool. Good in possession but also a little too fragile.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Suarez is a handshaking MACHINE

  •  

    James Tyler: But Brad, how can Nani do all that when he's busy negotiating a move to Zenit?

  •  

    [Comment from Brad]
    A bit disapointed to see that "I've never seen a shot I won't take" Nani didn't make the team sheet today. Even though I love his pace and talent, you can literally make a drinking game based on these simple parameters - Every time Nani heaves one from outside the box and/or flops and writhes on the ground, you take a shot or slam a pint. Ends poorly for everyone involved (or well, depends on your outlook really)

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Manchester United

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Who wins the Arsenal-Man City game?

  •  

    James Tyler: Right, let's have some Utd-LFC predictions, then.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Vuvuzelas in the crowd. old school.

  •  

    James Tyler: Or kickoff. One of the two.

  •  

    James Tyler: BTW, we have Ravi Ubha handling a Boot Room for Arsenal-City, beginning at 10.30am ET. Will send a link in a bit. Right now we're just five minutes away from Old Trafford's eruption.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another bold prediction from me: This game will be far more exciting than Arsenal-Man City.

  •  

    James Tyler: Karl, it is thought the Mayan Calendar's end cycle was timed to RvP losing form, but it didn't come to pass.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Man United has the most English league titles with 19, 1 ahead of Liverpool, which has a record 44 trophies.

  •  

    [Comment from rogbennett via Twitter]
    RT @ESPNFC: It's Liverpool-United. Join @JamesTylerESPN @rogbennett in the #FCBootroom for LIVE chat now. #LFC, #MUFC tinyurl.com/b64qrqf

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from Karl Thompson]
    How long can Van Persie's form lasts? Player of the Month for December, Player of the Month for January?

  •  

    James Tyler: If you're in a relegation dog fight yet can hold both Chelsea AND Spurs scoreless in back to back games, you might assume it was negative. But there's nothing wrong with robust defending. Would prefer more of it at Anfield, to be honest.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: As many have pointed out, it was like watching Antigua and Barbuda play USA

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    was QPR playing negative football yesterday? I normally let results speak for themselves but that was tough to watch.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nice one, Brad.

  •  

    [Comment from Brad]
    If Suarez takes the game into his own hands, United are in trouble. (get it?)

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Here's to hoping for a good match between two great sides!

  •  

    James Tyler: Wins big = wins comfortably.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    I think there should be an option for the poll that United wins comfortably. By 2 goals, game never really in doubt, but not a romp.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, yeah, Rog. If my stats are accurate, United has conceded first in 3,162 games this season.

  •  

    James Tyler: That said, Ferguson has been talking about Suarez this week. As Rog noted, Suarez plays with the Rock of Gibraltar on his shoulder as David Moyes found out earlier this season. You bad-mouth Luis in pregame at your peril.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Liverpool will score first.

  •  

    James Tyler: 2-1 Utd my prediction. Now I need a shower.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm a Liverpool fan -- if you're a Boot Room regular, you knew this -- and have been since a young age. That said, I do think United will grind out a typically gritty win today. By a goal. Not a romp.

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    James who are you favouring? Slightly towards Liverpool or United?

  •  

    James Tyler: On the upside for Liverpool... Fabio Borini's on the bench! Back after a lengthy injury layoff. It's like a new signing -- something Wenger would say.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Going to be fascinating watching Suarez and Stevie G today. Will two gents carry such big chips onto the field? You look at United... and there is not a lot of old school historical memory there.

  •  

    James Tyler: Liverpool definitely has a chance. They've had big wins at OT before. This season is anyone's guess.

  •  

    [Comment from kharon]
    hi james, do we (as LFC) has any chance at all?

  •  

    [Comment from jose]
    suarez will show the world why he is a better player than van persie, GO REDS

  •  

    James Tyler: Dunno, Morty. Denver didn't help themselves in the fourth quarter. That long Flacco TD...

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    Webb can't possibly have as bad a game as the ref in the Denver/Baltimore game did yesterday.

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassage]
    Shelvey to Sturridge circa the 80th minute to knot the match at 2. Ends in a draw.

  •  

    James Tyler: 4-3-3 requires the two wide players up front to track back, compress and work on defense. Big task for Sterling and Downing.

  •  

    James Tyler: Games are won and lost in midfield these days, Guest. If United has the run of midfield -- as they did in the second half at Anfield earlier this season -- then one assumes they will go on to dominate, win big etc.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wow. that warm up exercise were doing. Full on Devo

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Why does a 4-3-3 make you nervous James?

  •  

    James Tyler: That's what marvels about this rivalry. Expect the unexpected. And no matter how sub-par or off-form one side might be coming in, the game usually brings out the best.

  •  

    James Tyler: Plenty of Hollywood passes, that's for sure. These games do seem to click Stevie G into a primal, potent gear. Will it be true today?

  •  

    [Comment from michael]
    gerrard score 8 goals

  •  

    James Tyler: It makes me nervous to see a 4-3-3 at Old Trafford from a visiting team but you know what they say: live by the sword, die by the sword. Or better to die on feet than live on knees.

  •  

    James Tyler: I like this Alex Lopez lad. More please.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Today would be a massive win for him. Far more than three points. A signature victory to act as a hint of promise for next season. A blow out... not so much

  •  

    [Comment from Alex Lopez]
    I'm guessing United will slip up today.

  •  

    James Tyler: As such, I wonder whether we'll ever reach his platonic ideal of what football should be. Much like Arsene Wenger in recent seasons, his quest has a hint of Sisyphus about it. Close, but never quite. We'll see though. A big result today might swing that the other way.

  •  

    James Tyler: His problem will always be that he needs time, something rather limited in modern football.

  •  

    James Tyler: Brendan is a filet mignon short of a Peter Luger's. Brings plenty of sizzle but I'm still waiting for my steak.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Join @rogbennett and yours truly in the #FCBootroom for #MUFC vs. #LFC -- LIVE! soccernet.espn.go.com/feature/_/id/1…

  •  

    Roger Bennett: And lets ask the big one. JT. What do you think of Brendan. Do you believe? Visionary or medicine man?

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Downing's fine here. More likely to work back on defense, Rog. Which is what Liverpool will need. Sturridge will get time today, of that I'm certain.

  •  

    [Comment from Nigel De Jong]
    I don't see all the fuss over Webb.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT. would you prefer to see Sturridge over Downing in the starting line-up... or are you at one?

  •  

    James Tyler: (falls over)

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh boy. I will try to remain sensitive about Howard Webb. The parodies, puns and abuse toward ol' Howie has been thick and trenchant in prior years. But I'm sure he'll call a fine game today.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    @Jonny England: Get a penalty from Howard Webb......or six

  •  

    James Tyler: I dunno, Justin. Might be like the Expendables. Get the oldies together for one last heroic mission.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Johnny. United have to avoid a defensive relapse. Keep it close until the 93rd minute then get the ball to RvP for a late winner

  •  

    [Comment from Justin]
    RUST? How bout the fact that the middle of United's defense is just not that good right now.

  •  

    James Tyler: A. Not happening. B. Would be awful. Sneijder is a guy who needs a team built around him. He doesn't slot comfortably into pre-existing schemes. C. Not happening.

  •  

    [Comment from ww(LFC)]
    JT. whats your view of LFC getting sneijder

  •  

    James Tyler: Exploit Liverpool's weaknesses from wide positions: young Andre Wisdom has a lot to do today against Ashley "Gravity" Young.

  •  

    [Comment from Jonny England]
    What does Manchester United have to do to win this game?

  •  

    James Tyler: Also, will there be some rust in United's backline? First time Vidic and Ferdinand have started in tandem since September.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Chicharito should automatically be starting with Rooney down right now.

  •  

    James Tyler: Hernandez will be a second half heart-breaker if the scores are still tight, Rog. I reckon it's a smart move. Burn LFC with Welbeck's pace early, sting with Chicharito's savvy late.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Looking at those lineups... what do United fans things of Welbeck over Chicharito?

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, yeah.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    I assume you only mention Reina v. De Gea because we can't be sure which one will make the mistake that costs their team the game.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Classic Ferguson mind games. Casually dismissive. He's very good at this stuff.

  •  

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Fascinating quote from Ferguson ahead of this one... on how far Liverpool have fallen “I honestly never thought about Liverpool being 21 points behind us until it was mentioned on television. “I don’t really look at them. I only look at Roberto Mancini’s mob who are right ­behind us. I look at Man City’s programme all the time. I want to know who they’ve got next. I haven’t even looked at where Liverpool are."

  •  

    [Comment from ww(LFC)]
    i'm nervous yet excitied. hope it will be a good game

  •  

    James Tyler: It will become clear when United scores a goal.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Who is your team James?

  •  

    James Tyler: Kagawa likely given free reign in midfield to orchestrate and such. Sturridge will be an impact sub. Or will have to be. Downing's rich "form" of late gets him the nod in the attacking third.

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh, and the ref today? HOWARD WEBB. No-one's ever had a bad thing to say about him.

  •  

    James Tyler: Rog, I'm well girded for today. Believe me. Hoping for the best, expecting the worst. The usual, really.

  •  

    James Tyler: Liverpool: Reina -- Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, G. Johnson -- Lucas, Allen, Gerrard -- Sterling, Suarez, Downing.
    Subs: Jones, Henderson, Sturridge, Carragher, Borini, Shelvey, Robinson.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: EPIC Sunday JT? can your sensitive stomach take it?

  •  

    James Tyler: Man United: De Gea -- Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra -- Young, Cleverley, Carrick, Kagawa -- Welbeck, Van Persie.
    Subs: Amos, Jones, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Man United-Liverpool, 8:30 AM ET on FSC. Here's the Five Aside preview: es.pn/VQhMlJ

  •  

    James Tyler: LINEUPS:

  •  

    James Tyler: Liverpool hasn't won at OT since 2009, though that day was one of the all-time greats, a 4-1 thrashing in which Andrea Dossena (Andrea Dossena!) scored and Fernando Torres looked sublime. Those were the days...

  •  

    James Tyler: Suarez v. RvP. Rodgers v. Ferguson. Gerrard v. Scholes/Giggs. Reina v. De Gea.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm sure Luis Suarez will get a tidy reaction.

  •  

    James Tyler: Old Trafford, scene of great drama over the years. But will this morning's game furnish us with the same scenes of jaw-dropping madness?

  •  

    James Tyler: Manchester United and Liverpool, two teams who share a tiny bit of animosity and history, etc.

  •  

    James Tyler: It is time.

  •  

    James Tyler: The time is now.