There wasn’t too much between Manchester United and Liverpool, but Mark Halsey sent off Jonjo Shelvey in the first half and gave them a penalty kick that never existed. Steven Gerrard did give the Anfield faithful a few minutes of pleasure through Steven Gerrard’s opening goal, followed by Rafael’s equalizer and Robin van Persie scoring the winner from the penalty spot.
Liverpool were the better side for most of the first half, as they usually are against the stronger sides, but couldn’t convert the chances they got. Fabio Borini was a bit more dangerous on the left side than usual, Steven Gerrard was motivated as expected with very accurate long passes and an aggressive performance in the middle, while Luis Suarez managed to prevent himself from diving.
On the United side? Nothing much. Valencia and Nani were both shut down, while Ryan Giggs was the only one trying to push his side forward, while both Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie hardly got a sniff at the ball. Then came the Shelvey challenge, which was pretty much two players sliding at the ball, but Shelvey hit the United player, and should have recieved a yellow card. For some reason, or maybe because of his angle and the reaction of the United player, Halsey decieded to send him off, followed by Shelvey saying some words to Alex Ferguson. The usual United conspiracy theories?
Liverpool scored after 50 seconds in the firsl half, as Anfield erupted to celebrate Steven Gerrard, him above all else, scoring a goal with his left foot. It was cancelled pretty quickly by a beautiful Rafael goal five minutes later. Liverpool, and especially Luis Suarez, created more chances and were the more attacking side for most of the second half, but one turnover in the middle of the pitch by Glen Johnson and Daniel Agger, which also cost Liverpool Agger for the rest of the match and who knows how much longer, resulted in Antonio Valencia striding forward, falling from the slightest of touches by Johnons, and Robin van Persie scoring from a penalty kick.
There wasn’t much fighting spirit left in the Reds after that, feeling that too much went against them. United passed the time, with Liverpool falling to nine men because of a Martin Kelly injury very late in the match. Liverpool are off to their worst start in more than 100 years, with only 2 points from their first five matches. United, despite not playing well in four of their first five matches, are right near the top with 12 points from a possible 15.