Report: Manchester United U23’s draw 1-1 with Liverpool

Manchester United U23’s took on Liverpool U23’s at Leigh Sports Village in Premier League 2 tonight. The game got off to a ferocious start with tackles flying in from both sides. The first real chance of the game fell to United with eight minutes played as Willock intercepted the ball and shot on goal, only for Mamadou Sakho to deflect the shot wide. The referee missed the deflection however and awarded a goal kick to Liverpool.

United pressed Liverpool high up the park and would not allow any of their player’s time on the ball. Williams, in particular, doing well to frustrate Danny Ings in the opening fifteen minutes.

Liverpool took the lead through a delicate finish from Harry Wilson. The ball had been whipped in and went all the way to the back post where Danny Ings saw his effort rebound off the post, however, United could not clear the danger and the ball was driven back in towards Wilson who cleverly wrong-footed Sam Johnstone with a back heel as the ball rolled into the back of the net.

On the twenty-second minute, United were almost level as a cross from Willock almost found the feet of Scott McTominay but the keeper scrambled out to collect before the United midfielder could equalize.

Danny Ings went down in the twenty-fifth minute with a head injury but got up and was able to continue. Olisunde and Willock were combining well on the wing to try and work something for United.

Sam Johnstone was forced into action on the half-hour as Liverpool whipped a free kick into the box and the ball was headed towards the corner of the net before Johnstone got his hand on it to push away for a corner. The United keeper was required to get down low to beat another shot away in the thirty-third minute from long distance.

Harrop couldn’t get much behind his effort, which rolled into the hands of the Liverpool keeper as the first half ebbed and flowed towards half time.

United worked the ball well between Riley and Harrop before rolling the ball towards Redmond who thundered the ball from twenty-five yards only to see it crash off the bar, the Liverpool keeper dived but it was a token effort as he was beaten all ends up by the strike. It was by far United’s best chance of the entire first half and Redmond was unlucky to be denied by the woodwork as the clock showed forty-two minutes played.

The first yellow card was shown right on half time to Trent Alexander-Arnold as he scythed down Riley. The resulting free kick evaded everyone and Poole couldn’t convert at the back post as he tried to hook it back across goal.

United made a great start to the second half as McTominay drove through the Liverpool defence and was tripped from behind on the forty-ninth minute. The referee had no issue pointing straight to the spot and Joshua Harrop strode up with poise and purpose to slide the ball into the left-hand side of the net to level the game at 1-1.

A third goal in four games for United’s number 10 and more importantly an equaliser on the night.

Liverpool then had appeals for a penalty waved away just minutes later as Wilson felt that El Fitouri had pushed him down in the box. Replays showed that perhaps the young Welshman might have been unlucky to not be given the penalty.

Charlie Scott came on to replace Matt Olisunde after sixty-three minutes and three minutes later had a chance to score. Riley worked well individually down the wing to win a corner, which was swung in by Harrop and cleared by the Liverpool defence as far as Scott who blasted over.

The second half was offering very little in the way of chances until Ings broke free and was one on one with Sam Johnstone who produced a stunning save with fifteen minutes to go. The save was one that David De Gea would’ve been proud of as the United keeper stood tall until the last possible moment before blocking with his feet.

Liverpool were pressuring the United defence and their captain Harry Wilson couldn’t keep his composure from eighteen yards out as he blasted over following another clearance from Tuanzebe.  The away side made their first change after seventy-eight minutes with Ejaria being replaced by Woodburn who is a striker born in Chester.

A second change from Liverpool in the eighty-second minute as their captain Harry Wilson was replaced by Cameron Brannagan, born in Salford, but captaining Liverpool for the final eight minutes.

Liverpool were trying everything to snatch a winner in the final couple of minutes but United were standing strong as a unit with Tuanzebe and Williams clearing every ball that entered the United box.

Sam Johnstone was required to smother two Danny Ings half chances in stoppage time and so it finished Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool.

Ultimately, Warren Joyce will be happy with a point from this game and in particular with the defensive efforts of the two centre backs. No wonder they have been expected to come into the first team squad sooner rather than later. Joyce also must be feeling contented with a point considering there isn’t a single recognised striker in the team. Liverpool may feel that they should have taken all three points back to Anfield.

Goals: Josh Harrop 50′ (penalty)

Manchester United: Johnstone; Williams, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley; Redmond; Olosunde (Scott 64′), McTominay, Harrop, El Fitouri; Willock

Substitutes Not Used: Mitchell, Henderson, Kehinde, Tanner

Written by Darren McConachie

CONFIRMED: Johnstone, Tuanzebe, Poole & McTominay start against Liverpool

Manchester United U23’s face Liverpool at Leigh Sports Village this evening, less than 24 hours after the first team earned a 0-0 draw at Anfield. Warren Joyce’s side have not played for the best part of three weeks because of the international break, losing 2-0 to Everton the last time out towards the end of September. United have had a troubled start to the season, without a main striker, which may continue to be a problem for the remainder of the season. Warren Joyce will be looking to get his side back on track though against a strong Liverpool side with includes Danny Ings and Mamadou Sakho. Here are the starting XI and list of substitutes for both sides this evening.

Manchester United:


Williams, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley;


Olosunde, McTominay, Harrop, El Fitouri;



Mitchell, Henderson, Scott, Kehinde, Tanner



Alexander-Arnold, Ilori, Sakho, Randall;

Stewart, Chirivella;

Wilson, Grujic, Ejaria;



Maguire, Kelleher, Woodburn, Brannagan, Lennon

Report: Manchester United take a point from Anfield stalemate

Manchester United came away from Anfield with a point after a very tactical game from United frustrated Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp. United came here with a clear game plan and it worked, Liverpool didn’t settle into the game well and in the end, a draw was a fair result.

An aggressive start to the game as both teams came out with a clear game plan, United were going to try to slow Liverpool down and counter when possible, Liverpool were going to attack, attack, attack. Rashford left his mark on Milner in the opening minute with a heavy challenge, the start of a trend as United gave four fouls away in the first three minutes. The first attempt on goal came after six minutes when Ibrahimovic blasted a 35-yard free kick well over the bar. United dominated the first 20 minutes, breaking the game down well and frustrating Liverpool, no real chances being created but the slow style suited Mourinho and his men. Liverpool’s first opportunity came after 22 minutes as Emre Can’s poor attempt flies over De Gea’s bar.

After 29 minutes Liverpool finally find their footing in the game and a good spell of possession leads to a chance, Henderson drifts a cross into the box and Firminio, who had moved to the back post behind Valencia, but his header found the arms of Dea Gea comfortably. again the game settled into a slower tempo, United looking to counter and Liverpool trying to break down what was at times, a United back seven with wing-backs tucking in and Fellaini sitting in. United’s pressure had a massive effect on Liverpool’s playing style, they struggled to put a run of passes together and didn’t pose United much of a threat at all in the first 40 minutes. The last five minutes followed suit but a little bit more aggressive in the tackles, leading to Bailly and Young getting booked. Half Time 0-0.

No changes from either side at the interval as the second half got under way.  The half started off relatively slow but you could see gaps opening up at either end. Again, however, no real chances created with the possession both teams had within the first eight minutes of the half. 54 minutes gone and a good chance for United as Pogba wriggled free and found Ibrahimovic at the back post but his header went across goal rather than attacking the near post. Liverpool then had a chance to get themselves on the scoresheet after a soft foul was given against Herrera but  Coutinho decided to go short and it was easily dealt with by the United defence.

Only 2 minutes later Liverpool had another chance to open the scoring, Emre Can slipped through the United defence and De Gea pulls off a fantastic save to deny the German international. 65 minutes in and Liverpool by far the more likely team to break the deadlock, but everything they tried they couldn’t break the United defence down. Where Liverpool were making sloppy passes in the first half, it was United’s turn this half, Young and Blind on separate occasions giving the ball away poorly. Out of nowhere really, after 71 minutes, Coutinho lashes a shot from 25 yards out to which De Gea pulls off a terrific save diving away to his left-hand side. Still 0-0.

After 76 minutes Manchester United make their first change, Marcus Rashford who was suffering from cramp for Wayne Rooney. Liverpool continued to press, trying to find a way through but still not a lot happening in front of goal. A good run from Antonio Valencia, however, gives United their first corner after 80 minutes and it unfortunately, followed the theme of the game as Fellaini heads wide.

Another massive moment for Liverpool, a good piece of play from Firminho sees him through on goal but Antonio Valencia flies in with a heroic tackle to knock it out for a throw in. Top quality defending from the makeshift right-back!

Into the last few minutes and not a lot to indicate this game will provide a goal, both teams throwing everything into their style, United defending strongly and trying to counter hard, Liverpool trying to break down the solid back 4 of United. Ander Herrera quite rightly named Man of the Match by Sky Sports. He broke the game up nicely for United and has been solid in both attack and control of the defence. Luke Shaw on for the last-minute of the three added on just to try to waste time from Mourinho. This game had the potential to be a goal-fest but United managed the game well and have frustrated Liverpool, the final whistle brought to end an intense game of football.

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind; Fellaini, Herrera, Pogba; Young (Shaw 90+2′), Ibrahimovic, Rashford (Rooney 77′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Rojo, Mata, Lingard, Carrick;

Bookings: Eric Bailly 44′, Ashley Young 45+1′, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 90′, Marouane Fellaini 90+1′

CONFIRMED: Bailly, Fellaini, Pogba, Rashford & Ibrahimovic start against Liverpool

Manchester United take on Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League this evening. It will be the first match after the international break for United, last month they faced Manchester City in their first game back, losing 2-1 and entering a three-match losing streak. United will need to be on form against Liverpool, who are a team in form having won their last five matches in all competitions. The lack of European football could go one of two ways for Liverpool this season, keeping them fresh for their league matches through the week, which could also go the other way in that teams they pay who are in European competition, could be much fitter. It did not work for them a few seasons ago when Liverpool had their best chance to win the league, with Steven Gerrard slipping against Chelsea, losing the side momentum and eventually the Premier League trophy. 26 years and counting, hopefully, this season will result in Liverpool not winning the league again.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind;

Fellaini, Herrera, Pogba;

Young, Ibrahimovic, Rashford


Romero; Rojo, Shaw; Mata, Lingard, Carrick; Rooney



Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner;

Can, Henderson, Coutinho;

Mane, Sturridge, Firmino


Mignolet; Grujic, Klavan, Moreno, Lallana, Lucas, Origi

Editorial: Manchester United ready for battle; Academy becoming a success once again?

Manchester United take on Liverpool in the Premier League at Anfield at 8pm this evening in what will be the match everyone has been waiting all weekend, more importantly, a fortnight for. The international break makes football boring, especially when like me, you value your club more than the country you are from. Manchester United will always mean more to me than England. The support for England has meant nothing to me for at least six years now. I watch England play, but the fact that the FA never make a decent appointment, managers don’t seem to build the team around the important players, opting for experience instead, which is something that always causes disappointment. England has some talented young players coming through, I only hope that is something the next manager wants to build upon, as much like the last few appointments, England has failed to achieve anything significant. They seem to play well during qualification matches, but when it comes to a tournament, there is no fight or belief to carry the side through, the media raise expectations before they have to be significantly lowered to accept the abject failure England has become. Until then, Manchester United will be the only team I support, but I will continue to follow England and see what they become, more of the same most likely.

On Tuesday night, Manchester United’s U23 side face Liverpool at Leigh Sports Village, less than 24 hours after the first team face the same club. It will be a fiery match too. United’s U23’s, manager by Warren Joyce, have struggled this season. Their last match resulted in a 2-0 defeat to Everton in Southport, their second defeat of the season. The match before that saw United beat Derby County at Old Trafford, taking the lead three times to take all three points. The fact that the squad is missing an out-and-out striker is not the only problem this season, but the players have been standing up to be counted and this will do them a lot of good for their development. Last season the problem seemed to be with the U18 side, who lost twelve league matches in a row, also seeing the end of Paul McGuinness, who left the club before the end of the season. Nicky Butt became the head of the Academy, made many changes this summer and brought in a new U18 coach, Kieran McKenna, who has done well with his current crop of stars.

Last season the media seemed to have a field day with United’s Academy, criticising the players, the staff and the whole system, effectively suggesting it was a massive failure that needed to be rectified over time, but so far so good, that is not the case. The club has addressed some problems with amazing effects so far. The season did not start well for McKenna’s side, losing 4-0 to Derby County and also 2-1 to Liverpool, which seemed to suggest something similar was going to happen this season. United then won their next three matches, scoring five goals in each, beating Everton 5-1, Middlesbrough 5-1, and West Bromwich Albion 5-3. United then lost 2-0 to Manchester City, a match which also saw Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui send off. The next match against Stoke resulted in a 2-0 win, then a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough, followed by a 1-1 draw with Sunderland. On Saturday, United beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-2, the fourth time they have scored five goals in one match this season, and there will probably be more before the end of the season. United’s U18 side currently sit at the top of the Premier League U18, two points ahead of Manchester City, who have three games in hand.

Talent seems to be something United’s Academy has a lot to offer. In the U18 squad, they have scored 26 goals this season with Indy Boonen and Angel Gomes each scoring five, DJ Buffonge scoring four, Nishan Burkart scoring three, trialist Idris Kanu and new summer signing Tahith Chong scoring twice, then George Tanner, Aiden Barlow, Faustin Makela, Kayne Diedrick-Roberts and Jake Barrett all scoring one goal a piece. Not bad in the fact United now know how to score goals at this level, only conceding 17 goals, which is not a great start to the season, but at least they are in a positive tally when you take them off the goals scored this season, which is completely different when you compare that to last season. Manchester City seems to still be praised for their Academy, yet they don’t seem to have players emerging from the Academy into their first team, not regularly anyway. Many City fans will claim that  Kelechi Iheanacho came through their Academy, but he was brought into the club the summer before last, so is in now way a product of their Academy. United have Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Sam Johnstone in their first team squad, with players such as Joshua Harrop, Matty Willock, Ro-Shaun Williams, and Axel Tuanzebe coming through the ranks, which is something that would, to me at least, suggest that City’s all singing and all dancing Academy is not as good as it is portrayed.

Talking about Manchester United’s Academy, the U16 squad this weekend won the Premier League International Tournament, which is something we covered yesterday. The U16 head coach, Neil Ryan saw his side draw 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion, beat Borussia Dortmund 4-1, then beat Everton 1-0. In the semi-finals, United beat Anderlecht, who faced tough competition in their group getting through Manchester City, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur. United beat the Belgian side 2-1, setting up a final encounter with Fulham. United drew that match 0-0, winning 5-4 on penalties. Ryan spoke to the official Manchester United website about the victory, saying:

“We are really pleased with the group – it’s a fantastic achievement for them. The competition involved some of the elite sides from both Europe and England. Winning was important to us but, more importantly, the experience of tournament football is a fundamental part of our players’ development – win or lose.”

Manchester United also competed in the Settembre Rostese 8th Trophy in Turin, which is for players born in 2004, finishing as the runners-up, which shows how good the Academy currently is with talented players throughout the club. Nicky Butt, the head of the Academy spoke to the official Manchester United website about the tours and tournaments programme for the remainder of the season, which can see the talent at the club be pitted against some of the best talents in the world, learning to player against international players early in their careers and taking something positive from the experience, which will set them up for the latter years in the Academy, which could prove crucial in the fact that they either make it at Manchester United, or they don’t. Butt said:

“We have developed our tours and tournaments programme for the remainder of the season.We are passionate about our players experiencing all of the benefits that come with tournament football such as elite opposition, different styles of football, penalty shoot-outs and a competitive environment. It’s all part of developing our players to be able to cope with the demands of first-team football.” 

Manchester United may not be at the top of their game at first team level, yet at least, but in the lower ranks, you can see the club progressing and trying to put last season, which saw lots of negativity, behind them. Manchester United have always been known for their production of youth, Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson took great pride in continuing that, and it looks like Jose Mourinho, along with Nicky Butt, will put an immense amount of pride into continuing the great work of those preceding them.

Three of the Worst: Dirk Kuyt, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard punish Manchester United

Manchester United take on Liverpool in the Premier League at Anfield on Monday night in what will be one of the most important matches of the season. Jose Mourinho’s side need to find their form and earn a victory over Liverpool, a side who has won their last five matches in all competitions. United have won three, drawn one and lost one in their last five matches, so Liverpool will head into this fixture as the favourites. United have a great record against Liverpool at Anfield and Old Trafford over the last two seasons – doing the double over Jürgen Klopp’s side, who were managed by Brendan Rodgers before the German arrived at the club. The last time Manchester United returned to club football following an international break, they faced Manchester City at Old Trafford, losing 2-1, which started a three-match losing streak. United will need to keep their heads, fight for the win to ensure nothing less than three points is taken back to Old Trafford. Here are three of the worst matches against Liverpool at Anfield since the Premier League commenced.

Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United – Premier League – Sunday 6th March 2011

Manchester United had a bad day at Anfield back in 2011 after losing 3-1 with Dirk Kuyt scoring a hat-trick, which ensured that the Premier League title race was still wide open. United eventually went onto win the league that season, topping it with 80 points with second-placed Chelsea and Manchester City sharing the place with 71 points. United were not playing well as the Dutchman ran riot scoring in the 34th and 39th minute to give the home side a 2-0 lead at the break, completing his hat-trick in the 65th minute of the match. United’s only positivity from the match was through Javier Hernandez who scored a consolation goal inside the stoppage time at the end of the match. Sir Alex Ferguson days after snubbing the media after the defeat to Liverpool:

“I have sympathy for myself. I didn’t have an easy week myself. You have to look forward. We have big opportunities at the club and there are a lot of challenges ahead for the rest of the season.

“It is terrific to be involved in the middle of March. Every game you play is of importance. We have Tuesday’s game against Marseille and Bolton in a league game next weekend. It goes on and on. That is why you get to March and hope you are involved in all these things. We are.”

Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United – Premier League – Sunday 4th November 2001

Liverpool beat Manchester United 3-1 at Anfield making it four wins on the trot against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. Michael Owen was the star of the match, scoring twice with John-Arne Riise scoring the other for the home side. David Beckham scored what turned out to be a consolation goal for the Red Devils. Owen opened the scoring after 32 minutes with a clinical finished after a Wes Brown error allowed him to break through. Riise doubled Liverpool’s lead seven minutes later with thunderous free-kick, which could not be stopped. At the end of the first half, Liverpool were 2-0 ahead and cruising. Four minutes into the second half Beckham put United back into the match with a left-footed shot, beating the keeper and giving United some hope in the match. Sadly, two minutes later, Owen completed his brace by scoring the last goal of the match inside the 51st minute. Goalkeeper Fabian Barthez seemed to be United weak link after being exposed in the opening minutes of the match with his failure to get hold of a cross. It was not his only mistake of the game. Paul Scholes, nursing a leg injury was brought on to help United find a second goal, but Liverpool’s resolute defending stopped that from happening.

Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United – Premier League – Saturday 31st March 2001

Manchester United were defeated 2-0 by Liverpool at Anfield after going into this match knowing they were three wins away from guaranteeing their third successive Premier League crown. United were missing some star players with Jaap Stam, Andy Cole and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, which would turn into a massive loss for United, who needed to find their feet again after the devastating defeat to their North West rivals. It could have been different for United, who won a David Beckham free-kick in the ninth minute of the match, winning a corner from that, which amounted to nothing. It took Liverpool just seven minutes more to find their first goal with Robbie Fowler laying the ball into Steven Gerrard for him to then be given the time and the space to lay a 35-yard shot past Fabien Barthez. Liverpool were one goal to the good.

Roy Keane immediately tried to get United back on level ground, but his shot was parried clear. Fowler scored his sides second goal in the 41st minute of the match with a Gerrard assist sending the home side into the break with high spirits, with United facing the hairdryer in the dressing room. United went back out to find something from the match, but early chances were not working for Ryan Giggs, Dwight Yorke and even Beckham. In the 68th minute, Danny Murphy was sent off after getting a second yellow card for a foul on Denis Irwin. United then struggled to take advantage of the game, even with the extra man. Liverpool had a few chances in the second half, unable to finish to punish United all the more. Sir Alex Ferguson speaking about pride not being damaged after another defeat to Liverpool:

“There is no damage to our pride when you consider we have done exceptionally well against Liverpool at Anfield in the past.”

Three of the Best: Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and Gary Pallister sink Liverpool

Manchester United take on Liverpool in the Premier League at Anfield on Monday night in what will be one of the most important matches of the season. Jose Mourinho’s side need to find their form and earn a victory over Liverpool, a side who has won their last five matches in all competitions. United have won three, drawn one and lost one in their last five matches, so Liverpool will head into this fixture as the favourites. United have a great record against Liverpool at Anfield and Old Trafford over the last two seasons – doing the double over Jürgen Klopp’s side, who were managed by Brendan Rodgers before the German arrived at the club. The last time Manchester United returned to club football following an international break, they faced Manchester City at Old Trafford, losing 2-1, which started a three-match losing streak. United will need to keep their heads, fight for the win to ensure nothing less than three points is taken back to Old Trafford. Here are three of the best matches against Liverpool at Anfield since the Premier League commenced.

Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United – Premier League – Sunday 22nd March 2015

Louis van Gaal was the man leading Manchester United into their first match against Liverpool at Anfield during his reign at the club. The previous season under David Moyes was a disaster in that Liverpool did the double over United in the league, home and away. The Dutchman would need to change that in order to win over the United supporters who were looking for the club to compete for trophies again after Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012/13 season, ending a near 27 year period of success. This match was a good one for numerous reasons; United winning, Juan Mata shining and Steven Gerrard being shown a red card 38 seconds into his introduction at the start of the second half.

It took United just 14 minutes to find the lead through Juan Mata which sent the traveling United supporters into celebration, again with the Spaniard doubling United’s lead just before the hour, a spectacular acrobatic goal assisted by Angel Di Maria. Gerrard’s dismissal, albeit quick after replacing Adam Lallana was fitting as it was his last match against Manchester United as he was to leave his childhood club at the end of the season with LA Galaxy his destination. United won a penalty in the dying minutes of the match after Emre Can fouled Daley Blind, Wayne Rooney missed his spot-kick, much to Liverpool’s satisfaction. They scored ten minutes after Mata’s second, through Daniel Sturridge, which was only a consolation goal for the home side.

United managed to keep their position within the top four, which was the target after spending the season without European competition after David Moyes’ side, ending the season with Ryan Giggs in charge, finished seventh in the Premier League the season before. Alan Shearer on Manchester United’s performance against Liverpool:

“United moved the ball quickly and they passed it well too – their one or two-touch football has clearly improved massively of late. But the most impressive part of their performance in the first 45 minutes at Anfield was their intensity when they did not have possession.”

Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United – Premier League – Sunday 23rd September 2012

This was Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match against Liverpool at Anfield, which at the time was not known as his retirement was announced closer to the end of the season. Another red card marked this match after Jonjo Shelvey was sent off during the first half for a challenge on Jonny Evans. After a contentious encounter in the first half, the scores were level going into the break. During the match, Liverpool had dominated during periods in possession and they went into the match not winning in their last five matches under Rodgers, which was poor form for the side. Almost immediately after the break, Steven Gerrard put the home side ahead from the volley, which was a devastating blow for Manchester United.

Five minutes later, Rafael da Silva leveled the score with a shot into the top left corner of the net from deep inside the box. United were back on terms and surely would be looking to get something from the match. Shinji Kagawa got himself the assist for the all important goal. Late into the match, Glen Johnson gave away a penalty after a challenge on Antonio Valencia, with Robin van Persie stepping up and scored his sublime spot-kick. United were ahead for the first time in the match and surely cruising to victory. United deservedly took all three points away from Anfield, maintaining their position in the league, which would eventually see them win their twentieth league title. Sir Alex Ferguson on Jonjo Shelvey blaming him for his red card:

“I think it’s a clear sending off, I’ve absolutely no doubts about it. I’ve seen the replay. It was reckless. Jonny Evans, who has dived in, went for the ball and got the ball, no question about that, but Shelvey was nowhere near getting the ball and could have given Jonny Evans a real bad injury. He was very lucky, actually.

“He [Shelvey] came and blamed me. Why not? Why look at himself in the mirror? Just blame someone else. I think the boy’s young and when he looks at it again he’ll realise the stupidity of it. He may apologise, he may not.”

Liverpool 1-3 Manchester United – Premier League – Saturday 19th April 1997

 Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield to put them well on their way to winning the Premier League for the fourth time, their eleventh league title, just seven behind Liverpool’s haul of 18 league titles at the time, which funnily enough is still the same today. United took just 13 minutes to find the lead after a David Beckham corner, Gary Pallister headed home to put United 1-0 up. That was short-lived, however, as John Barnes equalised six minutes later, again from a corner with the England striker and Liverpool legend beating Peter Schmeichel at the near post with a superb strike. United then battled to get something out of the match, finding their way back in front three minutes before the end of the first half, against through Pallister from a Beckham corner, again with a header. United then sealed the victory in the 63rd minute with a Gary Neville cross into the box with Andy Cole waiting to head into the back of the net. Three goals, three headers and three points.

Liverpool Preview: Jose Mourinho aiming to get one over Jurgen Klopp at Anfield?

Anfield, Liverpool

Premier League 2016/17

Monday 17th October 2016 – KO 20:00 [Live on Sky Sports]

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Assistant Referees: Simon Bennett and Stephen Child

Fourth Official: Martin Atkinson

Manchester United find themselves playing another big match after the two-week international break, much like last month when the first match back was against Manchester City at Old Trafford, with United falling to a 2-1 defeat after a poor first-half performance. United then fell into a three-match losing streak, which was ended against Northampton Town in the EFL Cup, which saw United through to the next round, which will be another Manchester derby at Old Trafford, a second chance for Jose Mourinho’s side to get one over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who on Saturday drew 1-1 with Liverpool’s local rivals Everton. Liverpool started their season well, winning seven out of nine matches in the Premier League and the EFL Cup, losing only to Burnley in the league, drawing against Tottenham Hotspur also. Liverpool is a side in great form having won all of their last five matches in all competitions, which betters United’s form with three wins, a draw and a defeat in their last five. United is, however, in the UEFA Europa League, with Liverpool sitting out European competition, which might suit them ahead of their title challenge, but remember they were not in Europe the last time they thought they were going to win the league either. It can be a poison chalice, plenty of rest, but other teams enjoy a better match fitness level playing two matches a week for much of this part of the season.

United are undefeated against Liverpool in the Premier League for the last two season’s, which ended the poor form against North West rivals under David Moyes, with Liverpool doing the double over United in the first season post-Sir Alex Ferguson. United are only defeated by Liverpool in the Europa League last season, losing and drawing in the two-legged match in the round of 16 of last season’s tournament, which saw Liverpool reach the final, only to be beaten by Sevilla, the winner’s of the competition over the last three years, five times in just over a decade. United will be looking to put their season back on track on Monday night at Anfield, hoping to take advantage of slip-ups by Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, which could see United climb to within three points of the Premier League summit, having played eight matches, which shows the blip earlier in the season may not have been all that costly. A win against Stoke City in their last match would have, of course, made their league position a bit better, but you cannot change the past.

Jose Mourinho will be looking to ensure he does not make the mistake he did against Manchester City after an international break, as they will set the media and the fickle fans off 0 last time #MourinhoOut started to trend on Twitter, from the fans that you know, cannot accept anything other than a win. Football is a game with winner’s and losers, it is how you come back from a defeat which is what matters, those that only want to see United win and turn their backs when they don’t, need not support this club. If you cannot support United when they lose, why should you be around to support them when they win! This summer, Mourinho brought in some great players, three of whom have settled and have been performing; Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been big figures so far this season. Paul Pogba has glinted at times, but shone in the victory over Leicester City, something he needs to do a big more. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a player yet to shine. Injury and the fact he has been eased into the Premier League are the main reasons for this. His latest injury in effect happened in the last international break in September, he played 45 minutes against Manchester City and was not seen again. He is now fit, along with Luke Shaw, so could feature against Liverpool.

Mourinho only has Phil Jones on the sidelines through injury, shock horror. Jürgen Klopp, on the other hand, has a few more players to worry about with Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Sheyi Ojo, Joe Gomez all on the sidelines, some doubts for the clash with United. United will need to keep their heads at Anfield, it will be a lively match, a match with plenty of pent-up aggression, players with a point to prove and hopefully go on to do just that. Liverpool is a team which is beatable, but in their current form, they will be dangerous to play against. I am not saying they are title contenders just yet, as this will be the eighth match of the season, but the early signs look good for the Scouse side and providing that form continues, they could well be in it to win it this season, more than 26 years after their last league title. United will be looking to mount a challenge. Beating Liverpool will be intrinsic to that, though. October is a busy month for Mourinho’s side with Fenerbahçe heading to Old Trafford in the Europa League on Thursday, a visit to Chelsea on Sunday, the Manchester derby in the EFL Cup the following Wednesday, then the visit of Burnley to Old Trafford, so far the only side to beat Liverpool this season.

Manchester United Form:- DWWWL

Stoke City 1-1 D, Zorya Luhansk 1-0 W, Leicester City 4-1 W, Northampton Town 3-1 W, Watford 3-1 L

Manchester United need to buck up their ideas if they want to take all three points away from Anfield this season. United started well, scoring goals easily, but that seems to have dried up, showing itself against Leicester City, then making a disappearing act once again. United had 24 shots on goal against Stoke City, they should have won the match, but luck was just not there. It needs to be present and correct at Anfield. United have lost their first major derby this season, losing 2-1 to Manchester City after the last international break, this derby needs to end in a victory with Mourinho getting one over Klopp, which does not seem to be something he has done that often, winning one, drawing one and losing three of five appearances head to head with the German manager. This will be the first time he faced his German counterpart managing United though.

Liverpool Form:- WWWWW

Swansea City 2-1 W, Hull City 5-1 W, Derby County 3-0 W, Chelsea 2-1 W, Leicester City 4-1 W

Liverpool has to be commended for their form this season. They started the Premier League season with a 4-3 victory over Arsenal but then were beaten 2-0 by Burnley a week later. A 5-0 victory over Burton Albion in the EFL Cup then followed, raising the Scouse sides form, but that was quelled slightly with a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. Five consecutive wins then followed against Leicester City (4-1), Chelsea (2-1), Derby County (3-0), Hull City (5-1) and Swansea City (2-1) making Liverpool the team to beat this weekend. If United can keep their current form against Liverpool at Anfield, in the league at least, they will do very well against a team who seems able to score plenty of goals, something United started off the season doing well, which seems to have stuttered somewhat, last making an appearance against the fallen champions Leicester City.

Manchester United Top Scorers:

6 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 4 – Marcus Rashford, 2 – Juan Mata, 1 – Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling

Liverpool Top Scorers:

4 – Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, James Milner, 3 – Adam Lallana, Sadio Mané, 2 – Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge, 1 – Jordan Henderson, Ragnar Klavan, Dejan Lovren

Manchester United Squad;

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Sam Johnstone

Defenders: Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Axel Tuanzebe

Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Memphis Depay, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

Injuries and Suspensions: Phil Jones (knee)

Liverpool Squad:

Manager: Jürgen Klopp

Goalkeepers: Loris Karius, Alex Manninger, Simon Mignolet

Defenders: Nathaniel Clyne, Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno, Tiago Ilori, Joël Matip, Connor Randall

Midfielders: Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson, Marko Grujić, Adam Lallana, Lucas, Emre Can, Cameron Brannagan, Kevin Stewart, Ovie Ejaria, Sheyi Ojo, Pedro Chirivella

Forwards: Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge, Sadio Mané, Divock Origi, Danny Ings

Injuries and Suspensions: Georginio Wijnaldum (hamstring), Adam Lallana (groin strain), Dejan Lovren (groin strain), Nathaniel Clyne (knee), Sheyi Ojo (back), Joe Gomez (calf/shin)

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Score:

Liverpool 2-3 Manchester United

Rivalry: Manchester United and Liverpool should be about football not mocking death

Manchester United and Liverpool have a massive rivalry, one which stems not only from football. The shipping trade is one of the main reasons of the rivalry with Liverpool being the nearest dock and everything heading into Manchester came through that port. Liverpool started charging excessive fees and different routes were looked into with good coming through the port of Hull, on the other side of the country, being a cheaper option to that of Liverpool. Making Manchester a port, or at least linking it up with the sea dates back to 1660, but it was not until 1882 when plans were set in motion. Public support was gained, not including that of Liverpool for obvious reasons and a bill, The Manchester Ship Canal Act 1885, was passed in 1885, obviously. Work commenced on the 11th November 1887 with the first sod being cut. The shipping canal runs 36 miles, was flooded in November 1893 and opened on the 1st January 1894. Back then the project cost £15 million, which in today’s money would be more than £500 million, but money well spent to stop Liverpool from charging Manchester a premium for all imported goods. On the 21st May 1894, Queen Victoria officially opened the Manchester Shipping Canal, which had been in operation for nearly five complete months at the time.

The footballing rivalry may not be in direct connection to that of the Manchester shipping canal being constructed as every team in every game has a rival and those for Manchester United in the Premier League are currently Manchester City, Liverpool, and Everton. There are many teams which have a rivalry with United, though, many smaller local teams, but it is not often they meet in regular competition, meaning the local Premier League teams have a much hotter rivalry, which can be said for City and Liverpool, who are more hated than Everton. Liverpool were a successful team in the 1960’s, 1970’s and the 1980’s, winning their last league title in 1990, more than 26 years ago now. At the time, they were the most successful team in English football, winning 18 league titles. Liverpool has now also won seven FA Cups, eight League Cups, five European Cups (now the UEFA Champions League, three UEFA Cups (now the UEFA Europa League) and three UEFA Super Cups. Back in 1994, Liverpool fans hung a banner at Anfield during a 3-3 draw between the two teams, which said: “Au revoir Cantona and Man United. Come back when you’ve won 18”. United did just that, matching Liverpool’s 18 league titles in the 2008/09 season, extending that run to twenty league titles in the 2012/13 season, when Sir Alex Ferguson retired from the game.

A rivalry is great in football, every team has at least one rival. It is healthy to have rivals and it gives something to each team in the fact they may set out to make these massive achievements like winning league titles, domestic cups, and even European cups, but battling with a rival not only to better their league position, but to do a double over them in the league, or knock them out of domestic cups will be something that adds to the challenge. United and Liverpool have a great rivalry, but that rivalry does not just stop at football or the cities they are from, it branches into mocking the dead, which is something both sides do not like but sections of supporters resort to that like they are trying to score points. I am not saying it is something I have never done, I am not saying it is something I have done in a nasty way, more of a reaction to being on the receiving end of such idiotic things. The fact is, nobody should ever set out to go and see a football match, or even play in one, and never return home. That is a tragedy. Both Manchester United and Liverpool have released a statement this week to try and end the ugly side of the rivalry, but it will probably be unsuccessful, just like attempts to do so before. The statement said:

“Both clubs, their supporters and football fans around the world are looking forward to this historic and passionate match between two of the sport’s biggest and oldest rivals.

“There is great rivalry between our fans and we ask all supporters to be respectful and help eradicate all forms of offensive and discriminatory behaviour from the game.

“If any supporters are found to be engaged in any form of offensive or discriminatory behaviour by stewards or via CCTV then they will be immediately removed from the stadium, risk arrest, prosecution and be reported in accordance with the club’s ground regulations. 

“This is an unrivalled fixture in the Premier League calendar and we thank all fans for their continued support in this important area of the game.”

Both the Hillsborough and the Munich Air Disaster seem to be mocked by either set of fans. The Munich Air Disaster goes back to the 6th February 1958 when Manchester United were returning from Belgrade after a European Cup match against Red Star Belgrade which ended in a 3-3 draw, 5-4 on aggregate as United won 2-1 at Old Trafford. United stopped in Munich-Rein airport on the way home to refuel, but the weather turned, it started to snow and visibility and everything else were a challenge. It ended with United’s plane, an Airspeed AS-57 Ambassador operated by British European Airways crashing off the runway and into a building around the airport’s perimeter. The crash resulted in 20 people being killed instantly, one died on the way to the hospital, the pilot dies three weeks later and Duncan Edwards, injured in the crash died 15 days later. The crash took the lives of Manchester United players Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor, and Liam “Billy” Whelan. Sir Matt Busby was also injured in the crash and twice received his last rites, but miraculously survived and managed United once against after his recovery, now with something to aim for, make Manchester United successful again, and he did. The Munich Air Disaster devastated Manchester United, but Liverpool, a rival, offered the club players, which shows that rivalry is a good thing, but not something that divides teams in times like this. United rose from the ashes like a phoenix from the flames, something which has been used to bring the best out of players over the years based on the fact you can never tell what tomorrow will bring.

Liverpool has suffered their own tragedy, the Hillsborough disaster on the 15th April 1989 which happened before an FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, which was played at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium. 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives on that fateful day. Justice has now been granted to the city of Liverpool and things can finally be restored, at least as much as they can for the families of the 96 supporters, 94 of those on the day. 766 people were injured, which makes it the worst tragedy in British sporting history, one not to be mocked as death should never be mocked, or thrown in jest. A crush happened inside two central pens within the stadium based on the fact too many supporters were entering them. I remember the scenes on Grandstand, which was a sporting program shown on the BBC during that era which talked about sporting results every Saturday afternoon. I was ten and did not fully understand the horror before my eyes, which was known in the hours and days afterward. Tragedies are something that devastates all of those involved. The families of the victims, those who were injured, those who were not injured, those who saw everything happen, and those that have only read about it. Tragedies are there to be remembered, used to change things and never to be mocked. The rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool is a healthy thing, but being that football is being played, perhaps the rivalry should be based on that and nothing else.

Manchester United have won twenty league titles to Liverpool’s 18. Liverpool won the European Cup five times, United’s only three. These are things which hot up the rivalry without hurting feelings. There is immense pride between the two teams, pride which should remain. The rivalry should still remain but never venture into the mocking of deaths. Mocking teams for their success or even the lack of means a lot at the end of the day. United knocked Liverpool off their perch under Sir Alex Ferguson. Liverpool tried to take one league title back, getting close to winning the league but a Steven Gerrard slip against Chelsea saw that chance come to an end, which was something which devastated the Liverpool fans, who many had already bought their Premier League champions T-Shirts at the time, but also saw United fans happily mocking their rivals failure to better their league title tally, which has lasted the entire length of United’s most successful period, which was led by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Between Manchester United and Liverpool, a total of 38 top-flight league titles have been shared, along with 19 FA Cups, 12 League Cups, 36 FA Community Shields, eight European Cups/UEFA Champions Leagues, three UEFA Cups/UEFA Europa Leagues, four UEFA Super Cups, one European Cup Winner’s Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. A total of 123 major trophies – the most successful teams in England. That makes the rivalry a lot stronger. Both teams want to beat their rivals. Manchester United have won all four Premier League matches over the last two seasons, which makes them look the favourites heading into this match at Anfield on Monday, but Liverpool’s current form changes that to make them the favourites. One thing is for sure, both teams will be wanting to head into the match and take all three points, along with the bragging rights involved with winning the match against a rival team. By 10pm on Monday, we will know the winner of the first Liverpool/Manchester United derby of the season. I for one hope it is my team, Manchester United who take the bragging rights and all three points from the match.

Mourinho calls for respect and looks forward to Anfield

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho sat with the media ahead of the Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield on Monday evening. United have not played for a fortnight because of the international break, which last month caused a problem with United falling to a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, which was then extended to a three-match losing streak, before a three-match winning streak and a 1-1 draw against Stoke City turning that streak into a four-match unbeaten streak. United started the season well with four wins in four competitive matches, and after the losing streak, picked apart the champions Leicester City in a 4-1 victory with saw a resurgent United score four goals in twenty minutes during the first half of the match. United lack that consistency, though, which could be telling against a dominant Liverpool side who seem to be able to score goals for fun. Mourinho and his side will need to work hard to stop Liverpool from taking advantage of a United side nearing the end of their three-year transition. Here are the main points from the press conference.

Jose Mourinho on Manchester United and Liverpool rivalry:

“I have to feel it, to play and then to make my conclusions. I am in England for a long time; I’ve never played this match, but I’ve played against Liverpool and United and understand the dimension of this game. Now I understand the dimension of two historical rivals.”

Mourinho on looking forward to leading his team out at Anfield on Monday evening:

“I always like to play at Anfield. I’ve won big matches and lost big matches there, so I cannot say I like to go there as I am always successful as this is not true. I like the atmosphere and the characteristics of the matches. It is a big match that can be comparable to Inter v Milan and Real v Barcelona, maybe Porto v Benfica – this I like.”

Mourinho focussed on the rest of the season too, not just the match against Liverpool:

“The season is not about the Anfield match and the Old Trafford match in January; the season is about many points to win, points to lose and targets to achieve.”

Mourinho calls for respect ahead of the Liverpool clash:

“Of course. In football we have some football ‘tragedies’ that you can make fun of. The human tragedy is much more serious and not the thing somebody should use on a football pitch. These need our respect, so I would be really sad if in such big match that was a negative point.”

Mourinho on his reception by Liverpool fans at Anfield:

“I go there to play my game, do my work and enjoy my work. I think the fans should also go to enjoy, support their team and create a bad atmosphere for the opposition, but in the limits of the safety and the respect. I think that is going to happen.”

Mourinho on Wayne Rooney and him being dropped by England:

“England is not my problem, but he is prepared, training well and is positive.”

Manchester United need to stand up and be counted against Liverpool. In the Premier League, United have won all four fixtures home and away for the last two seasons. Under David Moyes, Liverpool did the double over United easily, but Louis van Gaal brought some fight against their North West rivals, which started in a pre-season tournament shortly after the Dutchman was installed as the manager. Only in the UEFA Europa League were Liverpool dominant over United under Van Gaal, winning once and drawing once in the round of 16 in the tournament earlier this year. Mourinho will know the importance of beating Liverpool, his side saw Liverpool almost end their Premier League title hopes a few years back when it really looked like the side who have not won a league title for 26 years and counting were going to break that duck. This season the Red’s look resurgent, but it is only October and you don’t win the league before Christmas, so there is still a long way to go and I am sure that will end in disappointment once again, for them, not us.

Mourinho confirmed that both Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are both fit for the clash against Liverpool, which is something that will strengthen the side massively. Mkhitaryan is a mystery to us all currently. He has played for United a few times, but not yet shown his worth to the club because of his adaptation to the Premier League from the Bundesliga and the resulting injury he suffered in September’s international break which saw him come back and play 45 minutes against Manchester City and have a bad game. Mkhitaryan did warn that he might face a difficult start to the season whilst the club were in Shanghai during their ill-fated Chinese leg of their pre-season tour this summer, saying:

“I never promise something, I always say that I will try. Because if you promise something and you don’t do you will always be under pressure, so that is why I’m trying to say I will do all my best and I will try to help Manchester because, for me, this is a new challenge and I like difficulties. I like to win the difficulties because when you win the difficulties it makes you stronger, so I’m trying to do everything to come up to a new level.”

copyright: JW