Call Off The Search – Manchester 16th of March 2014

I’ve seen Liverpool beat United at Old Trafford before. Quite a few times in fact and one thing I can guarantee after a Liverpool win at Old Trafford is that the forecourt that faces onto Warwick Road would be a bearpit. Especially after a result like today. These are different days though. Despite the protestations of protagonists from West London, North London and East Manchester, this fixture has the similar worldwide enticement of Real Madrid against Barca, Inter against AC Milan and Boca Juniors against River Plate. That allure resulted in the forecourt near the Megastore being flooded with smiling Oriental tourists after the game, all wearing half’n’half United/Liverpool scarves. Such was the numbers involved that Man United Fans Blog can exclusively reveal that they can call off the search for the missing Malaysian Boeing 777. The flight covertly arrived at Ringway Airport last night for this match.

Because of the importance of this fixture, rightly or wrongly, a little extra is required from the players. A bit more commitment, a bit more fire and a bit more guts. From the United perspective, there was none of that visible in this risible showing today. Liverpool won comfortably and were well worth their win. The most painful thing is that despite the laughable claims of the giddy visiting supporters of “We’re gonna win the league”, Liverpool are a good side but nowhere near good enough to win the title. For that, they were a class apart from United today.

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 Photo courtesy of Steve Armstrong

United started with decent possession but at no point looked like scoring. When you have a team with personnel like Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and Adnan Januzaj looking  as lost in attack as they all did, something is seriously wrong.  In the 32nd minute, Rafael earned a yellow card by clattering into Steven Gerrard. The Liverpool skipper rolled on the grass long enough to get Rafael booked before getting up and recovering his gait in just a few seconds. A minute later, a fully recovered Gerrard shown his Lazarus-esque abilities by hitting the perfect penalty past David De Gea after Rafael handballed under pressure from Luis Suarez. The Liverpool players, while understandably happy, were very provocatively celebrating the goal in front of the Stretford End. If United players had ever celebrated a goal in front of the Kop in such a manner, there would be so much moaning that a charity record would be released soon after in aid of aggrieved Kopites.

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Liverpool kick off what was a very, very long second half for United fans

In the first minute of the second half, Phil Jones gave away another penalty when he clumsily challenged Joe Allen in the Scoreboard End box. The Phil Collins-loving Liverpool skipper Gerrard again put the the perfect penalty past De Gea and from here on in, we knew an abject United were in trouble. Liverpool were well in control with any attack by United thwarted by either incompetence or an expertly marshalled offside trap from the scousers. In the 77th minute, Liverpool won another penalty when the sneaky little shithouse that is Daniel Sturridge dived in the box to both win a penalty for Liverpool and get Nemanja Vidic sent off into the bargain. It will be interesting to monitor the reaction from the media to this despicable bit of sportsmanship and how it compares to the justified panning Adnan Januzaj got earlier in the season. The truly horrible prospect of Steve Gerrard scoring a hat-trick at Old Trafford was now a glaring reality. Gerrard hit the post to elicit the the biggest cheer from the desperate and now relieved crowd of the afternoon. Two minutes after that, Michael Carrick tripped the verminous Sturridge for what was, to my eyes, a certain penalty. Referee Mark Clattenburg waved it away. A couple of minutes after that, De Gea provided possibly his finest ever save when Suarez was clean through. In the 84th minute, Suarez finally got the better of the superb United keeper to wrap up the scoring.

A final score of 3-0 was a relief. This could have been so much worse. David Moyes said after United’s last home match, a 2-2 draw against Fulham, that it was as bad as it gets. He’s about to realise the fallacy of that statement. The shambles against Olympiakos was a particular low point; today has reached another depth. United’s next home league game is against City. A City side that in my opinion are a far better team than the Liverpool players that have hammered United today. Before that, we have the return match against Olympiakos; there’s no bravado from Reds about either fixture.

United fans can only hope that Cardiff and/or Swansea stay up as Wales is the only possible country United will be visiting next season. None of our wives or girlfriends will be saying “How bleedin’ much?” about Euro aways. Our passports will be having a well earned break – and there’s a chance our manager will be too. I’m not sure if David Moyes will have the last laugh, but if he does, you can bet it will be the longest.

17 thoughts on “Call Off The Search – Manchester 16th of March 2014”

  1. Glad you’re not bitter Tony, as you know, you can’t win ’em all. The question at the moment is can you win any? Saying that, City should know. United have their ups and downs and United’s ups are big ones, I know you won’t be ripping any tickets up, stick in there

  2. Murph please don’t hold back – that was the worst Man Unitedtd v Liverpool game I have ever seen and I’ve been watching since the eighties. It’s not just the result – more the way we played – which was gutless and a disgrace. It’s time for Moyes to get rid of the dead weights who clearly don’t want to play for United, put his team together and then if things are still crap he’ll have to go !

    1. Agree, to play as spinelessly as that against Liverpool is nigh on unforgivable. I remember seeing Liverpool beat United 4-0 at Anfield in September 1990, that day I walked out of the Anfield Road proud of the United side who fought to the end and never lost their heart or bottle. Yesterday was appalling

  3. WE WANT GLAZER OUT. £700 MILLION Trousered that could have been spent on new players says it all – when will Real Reds do something to rid us of these leeches? Fellaini was out of his depth! Why after 10 mins of Sturridge marauding down wing did Capt not do anything to change this & why did manager not have words to alter tactics? Sturridge apart from his cheating dive (I hope FA/PL ban him & give him big fine & cancel Vidic’s) was easily motm & controlled that wing for 88 minutes til LFC put us out of our misery & took him off. Pathetic.

    1. “…when will Real Reds do something to rid us of these leeches?”

      It’s been said many, many times over the years about the club’s owners. Ultimately, not enough “real reds” were prepared to listen in 2005 and some are to this day, still burying their heads in the sand. We had a manager who constantly and at times, aggressively endorsed them between then and 2013. You can want them out, I do too but I also know that they are going nowhere, anytime soon.

  4. “Nowhere near good enough to win the title” is a real stretch. We might not win it – probably won’t, but it wasn’t even an objective this season – but being just 4 points off the lead with a game in hand with only 9 games to go, top scorers in the league (76 in 29 games) and threatening to break all kinds of goalscoring records, handing out hammerings galore including Spurs 5-0, Arsenal 5-1, Everton 4-0 and United 3-0, is not the mark of a side “nowhere near good enough to win the title”. These are exciting times for Liverpool

    1. There’s no denying that Liverpool have surpassed expectations this season and as you correctly alluded to above, they’ve had some fantastic results, particularly at White Hart Lane. However, I stand by what I said. They could become good enough in the next couple of years. They certainly looked it yesterday against a piss poor United, but I don’t think they’re anywhere near as strong as City or Chelsea.

      I also remember the Liverpool sides of the 1980’s, the side that had the likes of Dalglish, Souness, Hansen, Lawrenson and Rush. To me this Liverpool side are not in that category, whether that changes remains to be seen.

  5. Was it really that bad? What about the 6-1 loss to City a couple of years ago, that was far worse. Some perspective is needed here

    1. Mathematically, you’re obviously right, but if you think that United’s performance against Liverpool yesterday was better than the performance against City in October 2011, then you have a different way of watching football than I have.

  6. Referee let us down yesterday, sending Vidic off and awarding the mickies three penalties, United never had a chance playing against twelve men

    1. Absolute bollocks, blaming the referee for that yesterday? The first two penalties awarded were correct calls, end of (don’t give me that pony about ball to hand for Rafael!). The third penalty was a mistake by Mark Clattenburg but it was an honest mistake. There’s a difference between an incompetent referee and one’s that makes an honest mistake, like Clattenburg did yesterday. Vidic was unlucky to be sent off, Rafael was lucky not to be when the referee shown a bit of common sense not booking him a second time when he gave the penalty away or when he fould Suarez late in the second half. Whoever is to blame for United’s result and performance yesterday can be debated as long as you want, but don’t be blaming the referee for that shambles yesterday.

  7. David Moyes should beware the SNIDES of MARCH. The anti United mob will not be happy until they get another scalp. He may not be responsible for squad, but surely, he could get more out them for, in my opinion, United’s match of the season. I still believe, that until he gets more of his MEN in, he should be given time and our support. We knew it would be a big job. I remember post Busby. But it seems that his ‘Holiness the Ferg’ has run the the fuckin’ wheels off this model. So until our leader has the chance to build and test run his own, we should hold fast. Another full season at least. As good as liverpool looked against us, they will not win the league. They’re peaking now. A lot of players do, prior to a World Cup, and come back a spent force. That is a genuinely held view.

    1. Moyes has got a huge week coming up. Whatever my or your opinion is of whether he should stay or go, getting knocked out on Wednesday followed by a now dreaded game against the Ardwick globetrotters will turn the screw on him hugely. There’s a different regime at Old Trafford now to the one the gave both Dave Sexton and Alex Ferguson time to implement their ideas (with differing levels of success). There’s a financial bottom line, which has always existed (despite what the romanticists say). Now it matters more than ever and because of that, the tolerance of mid table mediocrity that was shown to both Ferguson and Sexton, has vanished in the meantime.

      1. Can’t see Moyes surviving much longer unless the team rediscover their balls. Yesterday was probably the most spineless apology of a performance that I have ever seen from a United team – and I’ve been watching them regularly since the late 1960’s. The lack of guts was appalling and although you can point your finger at certain players, ultimately what has gone on this season has to be down to Moyes and his lacklustre coaching staff. The questions we should have been asking last summer are now surfacing : Why did the owners effectively allow Ferguson to choose his own successor and what other top European side would replace the most successful manager in domestic football history with a guy who has never won a thing in his entire career? Answers on a postcard to the Massimo Taibi School of Dropped Bollocks.

  8. Yesterday was a (nother) new low for the season. I have stood by Moyes, didn’t get the players he wanted, needs to build his own squad, had an impossible job etc, but the abject, almost defeatest approach yesterday was shocking. Compare to how (genuine underdogs) Sunderland went at city at Wembley, our team had no belief at any stage.

    Then there was the gameplan. What was it? Whatever it was was clearly not working, which was painfully obvious early on, but no change. That was worrying.

    I want to give him time, it feels the right thing to do, but I want to see the team attack with purpose, and that is just not happening at all.

    Time to fluke the European Cup… 🙂

  9. Pains me to say it but the dippers are well and truly in this title race.
    You don’t need to be vintage to win the league just better than the rest after 38 games and with Chelsea’s defeat at Villa and City not firing on all cylinders. The dippers are the team with the momentum.
    Thought we could salvage a bit of respect by beating them Sunday but we were never in it.

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