Mar 16, 2014, 11:29 AM EST
Liverpool: calm, structured, lethal.
Manchester United: disjointed, frantic, out of control.
With NBC guest commentator Tim Howard dubbing this match the “biggest fixture in English football,” Liverpool proved the far superior squad at Old Trafford.
As one side jumped to within four points of the Premier League’s top spot, another fell to uncharted depths in seventh.
Both teams proved bold yet nervy in the opening 20 minutes.
Each end saw action, but neither team had a serious effort on goal. With either defense solid in their shape, Liverpool had more of the attack during match’s opening quarter, but the trio of Reds at the attack found it difficult to find any bit of space.
With both teams probing, Liverpool were gifted a chance to go ahead in the 34th minute, and they didn’t disappoint. Daniel Sturridge on the right touch floated a ball across the pitch to Luis Suarez, and he looked to work it into the box with Rafael guarding.
Suarez attempted to chip around the United defender, and with Rafael off balance, the ball clipped his outstretched arm. Suarez immediately popped up shouting for handball, and referee Mark Clattenberg pointed to the spot.
Liverpool pleaded with Clattenberg for a yellow card for the offense, which would have been Rafael’s second already, but the referee refused. There was no surprise as Gerrard stepped up to the ball for Liverpool, and he poked it past a wrong-footed De Gea for the first-half lead.
Manchester United did produce one moment to hang their hat on, but just minutes before halftime Simon Mignolet countered with a spectacular diving save to keep out Wayne Rooney‘s shot from the center of the box.
Looking to bring it back level after the break, things instead got much worse for Manchester United directly out of the tunnel.
With Jones beat, the big center back lowered his shoulder and bowled over Allen from behind, and Clattenberg again awarded Liverpool a penalty. Gerrard converted for a second time, again firing right but this time harder and lower past de Gea.
The penalty marked the first time in Premier League history that opposition were given two penalties at Old Trafford.
The deficit caused the hosts to press harder, but they were panicked much too frantic, and they appeared more likely to get a man sent off than score a goal.
However, as United settled down and began to built, they produced two chances, but Clattenberg denied them twice. Wayne Rooney looked for a foul outside the box as Martin Skrtel clattered him to the ground, and it appeared Glen Johnson slightly handed the ball, but both were waved off.
Things only got worse for Manchester United. David Moyes waited all the way until the 76th minute to make his first substitution, a double change bringing on Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck, but it would be at the back where they would soon see a blow.
Daniel Sturridge rocketed past Nemanja Vidic, and the Manchester United captain went body-to-body looking to recover. Sturridge hit a heavy touch, and instead of shooting a tight angle he went down softly, an obvious dive, but Clattenberg bought it giving Liverpool a third penalty and sending Vidic off with his second yellow card.
Gerrard stepped up with an opportunity to bag the first-ever Premier League penalty hat-trick, but he clanged the left post for a miss.
With United a man down, it was all Reds from here to the final whistle. Sturridge probably had a shout for yet another penalty when he checked back with the ball in the box and was felled by Michael Carrick, but Clattenberg waved it off.
Suarez then beat the defense and went one-on-one with David de Gea on 80 minutes but the Spaniard made a fantastic save.
But he couldn’t keep out Suarez with five minutes to go, as Sturridge found him just onsides through the United back line and he touched far post for a 3-0 lead.
Manchester United – De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Vidic, Evra; Mata (Ferdinand 87′), Fellaini (Cleverley 76′), Carrick, Januzaj (Welbeck 76′); Rooney, van Persie.
Liverpool – Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Flanagan; Gerrard (Lucas 87′), Allen, Henderson, Sterling (Coutinho 72′); Suarez, Sturridge (Aspas 90′).
Goals: Gerrard 34′, 46′; Suarez 84′
Dec 21, 2014, 11:59 PM EST
Antoine Griezmann breaks out with three goals in Atletico’s 4-1 result over Athletic Bilbao.
A day of Ronaldo: Real Madrid star erects statue of himself, thinks Real can win Champions League again
Dec 21, 2014, 10:21 PM EST
Cristiano Ronaldo has made headlines twice today, for erecting a statue of himself and claiming Real Madrid could repeat in the Champions League.
Dec 21, 2014, 9:07 PM EST
The sky continues to fall in Dortmund.
Dec 21, 2014, 8:17 PM EST
Tim Howard converses about his recently released autobiography, “The Keeper.”
Dec 21, 2014, 7:40 PM EST
Jeremy Menez has done a fantastic job as AC Milan’s primary attacker, and he’s primarily aiming for the French national team call-up.
Dec 21, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
Ally McCoist has left Scottish Championship team Rangers, as the club has recognized the former star striker is now on “gardening leave.”
Dec 21, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
Catch up on Premier League Round 17 action from this Sunday.
Dec 21, 2014, 4:55 PM EST
According to Brendan Rogers, Liverpool’s prime attacker, Daniel Sturridge, will make his return from a multi-month injury in early January.
Dec 21, 2014, 4:05 PM EST
Sunderland winger Adam Johnson on game-winner and Tyne-Wear derby triumphs: “Three years in a row, they must hate me here!”
Dec 21, 2014, 3:39 PM EST
Brendan Rodgers gives his thoughts after a 2-2 draw despite what he called “dominance” on the ball.
Dec 21, 2014, 3:12 PM EST
With polarizing halves separating the teams, Arsene Wenger said a draw was the correct result based on performance.
Dec 21, 2014, 2:29 PM EST
Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to bring a grudge with him to Morocco.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:44 PM EST
With Newcastle yielding late, Alan Pardew thinks he may have left his team a little too exposed as the clock ticked towards the final minute.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:08 PM EST
Martin Skrtel returned from a nasty injury and took full advantage of the resulting stopptage time.
Dec 21, 2014, 11:58 AM EST
A day to forget for the American central defender in Germany’s top flight.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:26 AM EST
The boyhood Newcastle fan scored at St. James Park for the third year in a row as Sunderland stole the Tyne-Wear derby late.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:16 AM EST
Raheem Sterling looks to be the lone attacking option for Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers has left both his available strikers on the bench.
Dec 21, 2014, 8:52 AM EST
A magnetizing first touch leads to a meaningless but nonetheless beautiful goal by the man who gives us magic weekly.
Dec 21, 2014, 7:53 AM EST
The heated Tyne-Wear derby has brought us goals and fireworks of many kinds, and will be no different today as Sunderland looks to win four in a row over Newcastle for the first time ever.
Dec 20, 2014, 10:54 PM EST
Howard doesn’t think Lampard will start the MLS season with NYCFC, although he says he should.
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