Reds in Reserve: Man Utd 0 Liverpool 2

Posted by AdamS on December 5, 2005, 09:12:13 PM

On a soaking wet night in Hyde, Liverpool visited an extremely confident Manchester United reserve team who were on the back of a run of 7 straight wins. They had scored 12 goals in their last 3 matches and were welcoming back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his first competitive match in 18 months. Liverpool were also strengthened by the return of Neil Mellor, who started on the bench, and the much missed Danny Guthrie who was back in the midfield. But it was the team effort that saw Liverpool pull off a 2-0 victory. Everyone played their part and it was a very professional performance.

The game started off fairly uneventfully until it burst into life in the tenth minute. Young centre half Cathcart, making his debut for Man United, headed back to the keeper. The ball wasn't going to reach the area but the keeper tried to wait for it. By the time he tried to kick it clear Calliste was right on top of him. He charged down the week clearance and slid the ball home against his former club. It must have been a very sweet moment for him.

Roque and Godwin have started to forge a successful partnership at the back. Roque was first to be in the action tonight. He brilliantly tackled Solskjaer just as it looked like he was about to fire home. A minute later and it was Liverpool attacking at the other end. Guthrie found himself in the inside left position and he let go with a piledriver from twenty yards. Steele diving to his left did well to tip the ball around the corner.

With just over twenty minutes gone Potter went down after an innocuous challenge. It became clear that he'd hurt himself though. After several minutes being treated by both Liverpool and United medical staff on the pitch, he was stretchered off. It was not clear what the damage was though since the game it has been said it was just a back spasm. Peltier came on to replace Potter and slipped into midfield.

Roque was at it again in the 25th minute as he this time prevented the dangerous Rossi from firing in on target. Godwin obviously feeling left out was in on the action on 32 minutes as he slid in brilliantly to prevent the lively Solskjaer once again.

United were gradually beginning to edge things and maybe should have scored through Martin in the 40th minute. He cut inside Barragan and as he came across goal should have done better. His shot went wide of the far post though and was cleared by Raven.

HT: Man Utd 0 Liverpool 1

The second half started with United replacing Solskjaer with Blake. Blake was straight into the action and was only denied a goal in the 50th minute by an excellent save by Northern Ireland youth international Willis. Four minutes later and he was denied again. This time Martin whipped in a dangerous cross but it was excellently intercepted by Roque just as Blake was about to pounce.

A minute after the hour mark United had their best chance of the game. Willis dived low to his left to turn away a header from Pique. Just as it looked like United would score the rebound Godwin made a goal saving challenge, again displaying how effective his partnership with Roque is becoming.

With 25 minutes to go Idrazij was brought on for the tiring Guthrie. Liverpool at this stage had started to look dangerous on the break. Anderson who had a quieter game this week than last broke at pace down the right. He looked up and shot ambitiously from 25 yards out, but although well struck it flew over the bar.

73 minutes saw the introduction of Mellor (after 11 months of knee surgery and recuperation) replacing Calliste who had run himself into the ground with his effort. Mellor's first act was almost a booking after he had had words with Pique. Two minutes later and he turned the same player inside out before firing a shot on sight. Steele saved well and did brilliantly to prevent Anderson from slotting home the rebound.

United were still in the game though and Willis was called upon again. Rossi was cleverly slipped through and Willis bravely dived at his feet winning the ball and subsequently a free kick.

The game was put beyond doubt in the 86th minute. In the build up Mannix had a free kick from the left wing. He lined up to cross but then whipped a shot toward the top corner. Only a good save from Steele, turning the ball behind for a corner, prevented the goal. Steele was helpless moments later when the Mannix delivered cross was hammered home by the head of Idrazij who easily outjumped the United defence.

The celebration told a story. The lads were clearly delighted for each other and especially for Idrazij. It's nice to know that the good team spirit is not exclusive to the first team. FT Man Utd 0 Liverpool 2.

Man of the Match: I'd have to go for Roque. Week in week out now he is brilliantly reliable. Despite only ever calling "Hey!" when he wants a team mate to pass, he is calm and composed and makes the job look easy. Great to see Neil back too, he looked very sharp when he came on.

Liverpool team: Paul Willis, Antonio Barragan, David Raven, Miki Roque, Godwin Antwi, Jack Hobbs, Paul Anderson, Darren Potter (24, Lee Peltier), Ramon Calliste (73, Neil Mellor), David Mannix, Danny Guthrie (61, Besian Idrizaj)

Unused subs: David Roberts, Adam Hammill

© AdamS 2005

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