Liverpool 3 – 1 Manchester United

“Liverpool’s fully deserved 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Anfield may not ultimately prevent their arch-rivals surpassing the Reds’ 18 league titles at the end of the season. It has, however, dented Sir Alex Ferguson’s side’s hopes of a straightforward run-in and at the same time restored some pride for the Reds after two defeats at Old Trafford already this campaign. Dirk Kuyt grabbed the headlines with a first Liverpool hat-trick against United since Peter Beardsley’s in September 1990, before Javier Hernandez headed an injury-time consolation – but there were many more who deserved the plaudits.” ESPN

Kuyt delighted with ‘perfect’ day
“Dirk Kuyt hailed a “perfect” day after his hat-trick gave Liverpool a 3-1 win over Manchester United. Kuyt scored from close range on three occasions to put a dent in United’s title charge, but owed a lot to Luis Suarez who laid on two of the goals for him.” ESPN

Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United: Kuyt x 3
“Dirk Kuyt scored all three goals in a comfortable victory for Liverpool. Andy Carroll was fit enough only for the bench, so Kuyt and Luis Suarez played upfront. Daniel Agger was out, and Kenny Dalglish moved to four at the back, after last weekend’s poor performance with a back three at West Ham. Sir Alex Ferguson surprisingly named a 4-4-2 shape. Darren Fletcher dropped to the bench, Ryan Giggs came in and Nani switched flanks. Wes Brown replaced the suspended Nemanja Vidic.” Zonal Marking

Dirk Kuyt hat-trick fires Liverpool to victory over Manchester United
“Liverpool are not contenders for the Premier League title but there was deep satisfaction in damaging the prospects of the leaders. Manchester United, who scored only in stoppage time, were defeated resoundingly at Anfield by a hat-trick from Dirk Kuyt and could not hide the flaws at the core of a defence weakened by injury and suspension.” Guardian

Kuyt hat trick leads Liverpool to a 3-1 rout over Manchester United
“Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt’s hat-trick dealt a body blow to Manchester United’s Premier League title hopes as the faltering leaders were beaten 3-1 at Anfield on Sunday. United suffered their second league defeat in a week, after losing 2-1 at Chelsea on Tuesday, and their third in five league games to leave them just three points ahead of Arsenal who have played a game less.” SI

Liverpool v Manchester United: Five things we learned
“Kenny Dalglish should be appointed permanently, Michael Carrick disappointed and Luis Suárez is no Dutch flop” Guardian

United Routed By Reds’ Unsung Heroes.
“Although United pulled back a last-minute consolation goal, there was no denying that this was a rout; not a total thrashing, but about as comprehensive as you normally get in these types of game, where often a single goal decides things.” Tomkins Times


Hamburg 2-4 Mainz

“A decisive second half performance from Mainz saw them defeat inconsistent Hamburg after the home side had taken a controversial lead via a goal that didn’t actually cross the line. Mainz came into this game knowing a win would lift them above Bayern Munich and into fourth spot. Hamburg knew a win by two clear goals would lift them above Mainz into fifth. As if to spice things up even further, it was the home side who ended Mainz’s spectacular start to the season, winning at the Bruchweg stadium with a late Jose Paolo Guerrero goal back in October.” Defensive Midfielder

Ajax 4 –0 AZ: Early goal secures a dominant win

“Only three months after their match in the Dutch Cup quarter final, where Frank de Boer made his debut as Ajax manager, Ajax and AZ met again in the ArenA. An early goal gave Ajax a comfortable start on which they built a patient game, pressing AZ just enough to stay clear of trouble, preferring to save their energy for later this week.” 11 tegen 11

De Graafschap 2 – 1 Willem II: Fancy tactics don’t guarantee a fancy game
“A late comeback ensured a home victory for De Graafschap in a game many wouldn’t like to have stuck in their memory for too long. Despite the disappointing performance and lots of mistakes on both sides, this game carried some fancy tactics that I didn’t want to keep to myself.” 11 tegen 11

The origin of pragmatism in soccer

“For around three decades after the foundation of the Football League in 1888, the game remained unchanged. Teams played with two backs, three halves and five forwards, and soccer was all about getting the ball out to the winger so he could cross for the center forward. Pattern-weaving — working the ball in neat triangles between midfield and attack – was seen as the ideal and soccer was largely formulaic.” SI

Juventus 0-1 Milan: leaders win poor game

“Rino Gattuso’s scrappy goal settled a game lacking in creativity. Gigi Delneri made various changes, with Gianluigi Buffon, Armand Traore, Luca Toni and Frederik Sorensen all coming into the side, in the usual 4-4-2. Max Allegri was without Pato, so Antonio Cassano started alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with Kevin-Prince Boateng just behind.” Zonal Marking