Manchester United vs Liverpool
In this game, we have one of the greatest rivalries of all sports – the Manchester United Red Devils against the Liverpool Reds.
The level of passion for this rivalry doesn’t stop once players leave the teams. After this weekend’s game, Jamie Carragher (a career Liverpool player and analyst for Sky Sports in England) spat on a young girl after her father reminded him that United beat Liverpool 2-1. He has been suspended from his position on Sky News after the incident.
If this is the passion even ex-players have for this game, we can only imagine what it is like to actually play in it. Tensions rise, turning cool and collected players into whirlwinds of nerves and passion. Games like these are where the Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho thrives. He forms his teams around the idea of minimizing mistakes, and seeking to capitalize on the mistakes of their opponent.
That strategy worked in this game. This Liverpool team has more goals across its three attacking players (Mane, Firmino, and Salah) than the entire Manchester United team combined. And yet Liverpool was held to a single goal this game, which wasn’t a goal at all — rather, it was an own-goal from United’s center back Eric Bailly. Liverpool attacked as they could, but simply couldn’t break through United’s defensive solidity.
United’s two goals came from Marcus Rashford. Both goals were the direct result of mistakes from Liverpool’s most inexperienced players. United’s attacking focus was down the flanks, where they could prey on the 23 year-old Andy Robertson and 19 year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold. The two have played wonderfully this season against top teams, despite their youth. But Mourinho’s team forced them into mistakes that ended up costing Liverpool the game.
With this loss, Liverpool dropped to fourth place in the Premier League. Manchester United increased the margin over the third place team to 5 points.
There is an old joke about good teams in the Premier League. After any particularly solid performance, you can say “Sure, they beat Chelsea at home, but can they do it on a cold rainy night at Stoke?” Well, Manchester City can.
Stoke were prevented from scoring, because Manchester City never let them have the ball. You’d be surprised how hard it is to score when the other team does that.
Somehow, City only scored two goals tonight. Both goals were from David Silva, who has more things on his mind than soccer. This week he returned from Spain where
he was looking after his newborn son dealing with medical issues. Silva said after the game “My private life is very hard for me, but when I play football I forget about everything else.”
Aside from David Silva’s excellent performance, Raheem Sterling looked very strong in his second start after months of being on the sidelines from injury. He whipped in a strong cross to David Silva for the first goal, and made a strong interception in the midfield that led to the second goal.
Stoke desperately needed a win this game to pull themselves out of the bottom three of the Premier League, and the resulting relegation at the end of the season. They fought hard, and played with a lot of energy and determination but these are not enough when playing a team as good as Manchester City. Paul Lambert, Stoke’s manager admitted after the game that “Manchester City are probably the best side I’ve ever seen.”
A lot of us watching the Premier League this season would agree with that, Paul.
Oi mates do you like English? Alroight then, this is the team fer you, innit. Jakobi I’m still not giving this team a write up, because they weren’t in the top 3 at the beginning of the week.
Looking ahead to next week
Manchester City will continue their stroll to the Premier League title when they play Everton in a few weeks, March 31st. I’m sure Everton will enjoy playing a rested and prepared Manchester City.
Manchester United take on Brighton & Hove Albion this Saturday in the FA Cup quarter-final. After losing to Sevilla this Wednesday, their fans will be treating this as a must-win game.
Tottenham now find themselves on third place, but also find their Premier League action postponed. They play Swansea City this weekend in the FA Cup.
Liverpool can retake their top 3 spot this weekend when they play Watford on Saturday.