Liverpool are due to host Manchester United on Sunday, September 23, in what is likely to be a stiff test for the Anfield side and its manager Brendan Rodgers, alike.
But ahead of the game, Liverpool will take comfort from an honourable come from behind draw earned away at Sunderland in the previous match week. Aiming for an elusive first league win, Liverpool began strongly and carried the attack to Sunderland’s defence that was palpably shaken, especially in the absence of Adam Johnson, sidelined with a thigh injury. The Black cats owed their draw to Simon Mignolet’s great saves in goal.
Quite against the run of play, Steven Fletcher put Martin O’Neill’s side ahead. The goal culminated a sequence of events begun by Colback. Craig Gardner carried the ball into the Liverpool area and was aided by poor marking by Suarez and ramshackle defending by Glen Johnson. Fletcher latched on to Gardner’s cross to put the ball past an out-of-control Reina.
The visitors fought back thereafter aided by their exciting young winger, Sterling, who gave a torrid time to Danny Rose, Sunderland’s left-back. Suarez, booked earlier for ‘diving’ by referee Martin Atkinson, redeemed himself when he scored the equaliser when he grabbed a ball that bounced off Branble’s shin and volleyed it into the back of the Sunderland net. At the end of the day, Rodgers would have been left ruing the absence of Andy Carroll, on loan to West Ham.
The loss to Wigan in April had cost Man United the title, last season. Last Saturday, Sir Alex’s wards rode four second half goals to thrash Wigan courtesy of goals by Scholes and Hernandez followed by strikes from debutants, Buttner and Powell. In fact United should have got ahead in the sixth minute when Wellback went down in the Wigan area and his side was awarded a penalty. But Hernandez missed the resultant spot kick and the sides went into the break level at 0-0. It wasn’t until 51 minutes when they got ahead by courtesy of a Scholes strike after he grabbed the ball parried by keeper Al-Habsi to keep out a cross-shot from Nani.
A second string United XI’s form against Wigan should worry Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s game when Van Persie is certain to return to action.
Liverpool’s starting eleven against Sunderland: Reina, Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Gerrard, Allen, Shelvey, Borini, Suarez, Sterling.
Manchester United’s starting eleven against Wigan: Lindegard, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Buttner, Nani, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs, hernandez, Wellbeck.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.