Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was very careful when preparing for the clash with Manchester United that lunchtime, as he hoped to disrupt the pendulum of the title race. Benitez didn’t have it his way as an injury to Alvaro Arbeloa during the warm-up forced a personnel change and a positional change too. The experienced Sami Hyypia came in at centre-half, while club legend Jamie Carragher moved to the right back of defence.
Liverpool had dismantled Real Madrid 4-0 on a great UEFA Champions League night at Anfield earlier in the week. But they are seven points behind the Red Devils as they make the trip down East Lancs Road.
Liverpool had only one job- to overhaul their bitter rivals-and to do that rested on returning with a win.
The odds were very much against them. Liverpool hadnt even scored a goal in their past three league visits to Old Trafford. In a bigger context they have lost 3 and conceded six in their last three visits.
Man United on their own were in a pretty good form. The Red Devils had conceded only five goals in 13 home league matches that season. While Liverpool’s patchy form saw them lose their last away game to Middlesbrough. To make matters worse for Benitez and his men they were without influential Xabi Alonso. None of that influenced the confidence and proceedings in the game.
After an evenly contested opening twenty minutes, Man united took the lead after a penalty was awarded against Pepe Reina. Cristiano Ronaldo coolly converted.
The Reds didn’t panic. As they continue to grow in the game. They will get the equalizer through Fernando Torres. Just before half time The Reds were awarded a penalty of their own which was converted by skipper Steven Gerrard.
Further goals were added in the second half by Aurelio and Andre Dossena. The Italian scored only two goals across his two seasons with Liverpool. Both came in that week in March 2009.