Ryan Giggs spoke to the press after the match and admitted it was a poor performance from Manchester United. Alex Ferguson mostly spoke about how right the referee was for sending off Jonjo Shelvey. Not too much about how badly his team played, and of course how great it was to have two terrible decision going his way.
Players and managers don’t have the luxury of actually knowing what happened from the TV in their right-after-the-match comments. But to anyone who watched the match, United were simply at their usual on the road. A bad display of football from pretty much every attacking player, and still come out with a win, somehow.
There was that beauty of a goal from Rafael, who had a so-so game defensively, but he more than makes up for it with his attacking ability, which should turn him, with a bit more consistency into one of the best right backs in the world very soon, as the Maicon and Dani Alves’ of the world aren’t getting any younger.
Any more rays of light? Maybe the defense, and goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, who’s been very good every time he steps on the pitch for United, making many wonder why he isn’t the consensus number one keeper from the side and making David de Gea the substitute, despite the difference in the price tags.
Other than that, nothing else. The midfield, with Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick, later also Paul Scholes, couldn’t even dominate the match with 11 men against 10. When you say a team wanted the match more, or at least played like it, that was the case, as United seemed happy with a draw until they conceded. Liverpool fell back instead of keeping the pressure and conceded a beauty for it. United kept on strolling until Antonio Valencia came up with the ball as two Liverpool players laid on the ground, and then fell from the slightest of touches from Glen Johnson, giving United the penalty.
Alex Ferguson is still shuffling his defense around, still giving Patrice Evra the chances in the lineup although his effectiveness on defense is declining while a talented Buttner, a much better attacking figure, is waiting on the bench. Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie were simply non existent in the match, as both Nani and Antonio Valencia couldn’t get anything going for them. For Nani, it’s simply called the 2012-2013 season, where nothing goes right for him.
At least the penalty kick curse was broken, with Reina managing to put his hands on Van Persie’s penalty kick, but it was too strong for the Spanish keeper to stop. With playing only one good match since the beginning of the season, Manchester United are one point behind Chelsea, with four consecutive wins. Not the way Alex Ferguson has dreamed his team playing this season, but winning without impressing has been the MO since Cristiano Ronaldo left. You take what you’re given, which has worked pretty well so far.