Reds Reserves see off United
Posted by liverweb on February 27, 2008, 10:25:06 AM
Liverpool 2 Manchester United 0
The Reds Reserves welcomed back Daniel Agger from his long term injury and then went on to deservedly beat Man United by two goals to nil.
The return of Agger in the first half was a great sign for the Reds and Martin Skrtel came through the second half unscathed after his recent injury. They were joined by full ninety minute games from Xabi Alonso and Harry Kewell. The latter two being the Reds' scorers on a windy night at Warrington.
A bumper crowd of over 10000 turned up to watch this one and United got the game underway. United had long term injured Gary Neville at full back and he played an hour of the game.
The Reds had the lead as early as the thirteenth minute. A ball down the left side for Nemeth was controlled well and he cut inside Pique who for no reason left his leg out to bring the Reds striker crashing down. No question could be asked here as the ref pointed straight to the spot. Xabi Alonso spotted the ball up and struck the ball straight down the middle to give the Reds a lead.
Five minutes later and the Reds should have created a clear chance again after Kewell broke down the left but his low cross was put out for a corner with Spearing and Flynn unmarked in the six yard box.
As comfortable as United looked on the ball up to the penalty area they very rarely troubled Bouzanis. In fact it was Bouzanis and his kicking that created more fear for me if nothing else.
On twenty seven minutes the Reds had a great chance from a United free kick. The Reds cleared the free kick in to their area and broke speedily but Spearing's ball to Kewell was poor and slowed the move down before he himself finished the move by shooting over the bar.
It should have been 2-0 on thirty two minutes when Insua crossed in to the box for Nemeth. The Hungarian controlled the ball well, swivelled but shot over the bar from six yards out.
With the wind playing such a part in the game the hardest balls to contend with were diagonally hit ones. United nearly used it to great effect on forty minutes but Bouzanis was alert well to smother the ball before Eagles could rush in.
At half time they expected switch came with Skrtel replacing Agger at the back and he slotted in just as easily as Agger had done.
Six minutes in to the half and Eckersley saw yellow when he crashed through Flynn as he turned and left him. That would later prove costly to the United defender.
Xabi Alonso floated the ball to the back post where San Jose headed down and Skrtel headed the ball goalwards only to see it crash back off the bar. As the ball fell again it came invitingly for Flynn who struck on target only for Heaton to save superbly.
On fifty five minutes the Reds nearly conceded. Insua was caught in possession on the halfway line by Eagles who instantly shot at goal but Bouzanis managed to tip the ball over the bar before colliding with the post.
United had the ball in the net on fifty nine minutes only for an offside flag to chalk it back off. United had broke at pace as the Reds had wasted good possession high up the pitch but a very marginal decision went the way of the Reds in the build up to the goal.
United subbed Neville for Chester on the hour and eight minutes later replaced Pique with Macheda.
Jay Spearing thought he had scored on seventy minutes when a cross from Insua fell to him and he struck and great shot only for Heaton to push it over the bar.
The best bit of skill on the night came from Insua on seventy nine minutes as United attacked. The ball fell loose and Insua stormed in and did a pirouette to come away with the ball before setting Kewell away.
Simpson was booked on eighty four minutes as he kicked the ball away. He was clearly frustrated at United's lack of decent firepower to get them back in to the game.
A minute later and United were reduced to ten men. Kewell pulled of some great skill down in the corner for the Reds and looked to be getting away but a foul was called. I didn't think much of it until the ref called the United defender over. The yellow came out and then the subsequent red card was shown.
It certainly wasn't the end of the drama though as United threw everything forward in the final minute to get an equaliser.
With a minute to go on the watch United thought they had scored when Simpson appeared to have put the ball over the line. However Bouzanis got the ball and neither ref or linesman gave the goal. The Reds broke quickly and Alonso set Kewell free. He raced at the United back line before coolly slotting the ball past Heaton to confirm the deserved win.
Overall there are many positives from the game. Agger and Skrtel are back from injury, Alonso and Kewell got a good ninety minutes behind them and the Reds extended their lead at the top of the league.
MotM : Stephen Darby - played really well at right back and got forward well to support the line. He's always really steady at the back. Xabi Alonso also had a really good game pulling the strings in midfield.
Liverpool Bouzanis, Darby (c), Insua, San Jose, Agger (Skrtel 45), Plessis, Flynn, Spearing, Nemeth (Brouwer 82), Alonso, Kewell
Unused Subs Gulacsi, Bruna, Kelly
Goal Alonso (pen 13), Kewell (90)
Manchester United Heaton, Neville (Chester 61), Eckersley, Pique (Macheda, 68), Simpson, Cleverley, Hewson, Possebon, S Evans (Bryan, 73), Eagles, Welbeck
Unused Subs Zieler, Jones
Referee C Sarginson
Venue Halliwell Jones
Copyright : Liverweb 2008
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