Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United: little technical quality in open play, goals from set-pieces

“A poor first half was followed with a more positive second, but neither side stamped their authority on the game. Kenny Dalglish went with the expected side – Steven Gerrard returned to play just behind Luis Suarez, with Dirk Kuyt in the side on the right. Sir Alex Ferguson’s line-up was far from expected – he used Phil Jones in midfield, with Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Nani all on the bench. Liverpool probably had the better of the game – 15 shots (to United’s 11), five on target (to United’s two) and more clear-cut chances. The overall tactical battle was uninteresting, however – static, pedestrian and cautious for the majority of the 90 minutes.” Zonal Marking

Ferguson shuffles his pack at Anfield
“By the end, Sir Alex Ferguson had reverted to type. He had introduced attacker after attacker, seen Manchester United score the latest in a long line of late goals and witnessed and withstood an eventful finale. Quintessential Ferguson? Perhaps, but earlier he had illustrated he is the oldest chameleon in the business. The advocate of experience doubles up as a champion of youth, the apostle of all-out attack venturing into the realms of the defensive strategist. United, the side with 14 goals in three previous games against title rivals, opted for Operation Stifle.” ESPN

Liverpool have good day at the office as owners seek an equitable life
“Until this week there was the sense of it being one long handshake – one big nod to the Kop tradition – but now Liverpool’s new owners are getting down to business, coveting a larger share of overseas TV rights and bemoaning the cost of modern players.” Guardian

Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney show why they must both take their place on plane to Poland
“Ever since Rooney’s eviction from a rain-lashed field in Montenegro nine days ago, Welbeck’s star has risen higher and higher. He started against Liverpool, a delight to those United fans who viewed the “19” on his back as a reminder to their hosts of Old Trafford’s title collection. Capello has confirmed Welbeck will feature prominently during England’s ensuing friendlies as the coach seeks the “solution” to Rooney’s absence for the group stage in Poland and Ukraine. Only 20, Welbeck signalled his promise with a selfless 90 minutes.” Telegraaph – Henry Winter


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