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28 January 2012
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: M. Halsey
• Attendance: 43952
D. Agger 21'
D. Kuijt 88'
Ji-Sung Park 39'
The game was very tense and it showed in the performance of David De Gea who looked shaky between the sticks. The loss cannot be shoved on the shoulders of the young keeper though, the game was very even but the home side just got that break in the final moments of the match to secure their progression into the next round of The FA Cup.
Goals from Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt edged Liverpool past Manchester United today, who could only offer Park Ji-Sung's goal as a reaction.
The referee brings the game to an end here. Disappointment for the visitors but elation for the home crowd who knock out their fiercest rivals in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Liverpool attack again and after a misguided cross goes close to goal Dirk Kuyt collects the ball and puts it just wide of David De Gea's post.
Goal Dirk Kuyt
Dirk Kuyt takes Liverpool into the lead!!!!!! A Long ball catches the Manchester United out as Andy Carroll knocks the ball down to the Dutchman who easily slots the ball past David De Gea.
Greg Stobart gives us another update as we come towards the end of this tie: The second-half has been tense, scrappy and unremarkable from both teams. Kenny Daglish is on the touchline urging his players to find the lungs to push for a winner in the final minutes. Liverpool won't want a replay, but United seem content to take their hosts back to Old Trafford, with Sir Alex Ferguson making 'calm down' motions to his players.
Pepe Reina comes out to meet a ball which is intended for Javier Hernandez on the edge of the box his clearing header only finds Danny Welbeck who pumps it straight into the danger zone. Liverpool manage to clear their lines though.
Stuart Downing goes past Ryan Giggs as if he is not there on the left wing. He swings in a ball to the head of Dirk Kuyt but the strikers effort is both tame and well off-target and rolls out for a goal kick.
Charlie Adam tries a low drive at goal, the effort isn't far wide but David De Gea always knew it was going wide.
Javier Hernandez already causing Daniel Agger trouble as the defender struggles to judge a floated long ball with his vision hindered by the sun. The Mexican hounds Agger and ends up winning a free kick wide on the right. The floated delivery causes no problems.
Patrice Evra plays in a searching ball but the charging Danny Welbeck recieves the ball just behind himself and cannot collect the ball cleanly and has the ball intercepted by Daniel Agger.
Liverpool have found the upperhand since the introduction of Dirk Kuyt and Charlie Adam. Manchester United have struggled to find their stride in the past 15 minutes.
Antonio Valencia plays a ball into Michael Carrick and as he runs out of options he drives a ball towards bottom corner of the goal, it goes just wide but still had Pepe Reina scrambling.
Yellow Card Rafael
Rafael gets the first caution of the game as he cynically brings down Stuart Downing as the Liverpool midfielder skips past him. Steven Gerrard curls in a good freekick but the previously shaky looking keeper saves comfortably.
Greg Stobart gives us another update from Anfield: It's been more of the same so far in the second-half, with Liverpool struggling to get anywhere near the energy levels they showed against Manchester City. Kenny Dalglish had to do something to change the pattern of the game – with United dominating possession – and Dirk Kuyt and Charlie Adam have just entered the game in a double substitution. The low intensity on the pitch has been matched by the lull in atmosphere that often comes with lunchtime kick-offs.
David De Gea fails to catch another floated ball as he meets it at the back post. He drops the ball and gives away a Corner. Liverpool fail to capitalise on the mistake.
A long ball from Michael Carrick to Danny Welbeck who is met by Pepe Reina. The Striker plays the ball round the keeper but luckily for Reina Martin Skrtel is there to mop up and deny Welbeck a scoring chance.
David De Gea tries to cooly play a ball out to Patrice Evra but this is read easily by Stewart Downing who intercepts, he plays the ball into the box only to Johnny Evans who covers for the keeper and clears the ball.
Martin Kelly blocks a cross from Ryan Giggs giving the visitors a corner. Steven Gerrard does well to head the ball clear of danger.
Ryan Giggs delivers a great ball but it is just infront of the attackers. Antonio Valencia collects it at the back post and tries to put the ball back into the box but the cross is blocked by Daniel Agger. Shouts for handball from Manchester United but the ref rejects the appeals.
Michael Carrick is penalized after seemingly blocking the run of Andy Carroll. The freekick from just inside the Manchester United half is pumped into the box. The delivery raises no real danger but a nervey touch from Patrice Evra gives Liverpool a sniff of an attack but Johnny Evans competently gets the ball away.
Liverpool get this game restarted, lets see what this 45 minutes have in store for us.
This tie is sure to throw a few more surprises into the mix, neither side look impregnable and both are fuelled with the adreniline which comes from such an intense rivalry.
And Greg also casts his eye over the first 45 minutes: Honours even at the end of the first-half and I'm going to trot out the 'football is the winner' cliché because it's been an intriguing match to watch while there have been no issues with supporters. Liverpool started the half brightly but, increasingly, United controlled the midfield through the geriatric pairing of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. Liverpool need more bravery and more cutting edge in attack – and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Craig Bellamy on the pitch within the first 15 minutes of the restart.
Greg Stobart updates us on the game live from Anfield: Manchester United have looked far more comfortable on the ball but Park's goal still came as a surprise as they have lacked penetration in the final third. Kenny Dalglish will back Jose Enrique in his post-match press conference but the Liverpool manager was furious with the full-back for allowing Rafael to burst through in the build-up to that United equaliser.
Liverpool's five man defence has proved hard to break down but has also lended a hand when Kenny Dalglish's men break. With Martin Kelly and Jose Enrique travelling up and down their respective wings.
The first half comes to an end, a good first half here at Anfield. A draw may be a reasonable score at the break. Manchester United have seen most of the possession but Liverpool have looked very dangerous on the break on numerous occasions.
Paul Scholes squares a quick ball into Ryan Giggs near the edge of the box. He looks to flick the ball over the defence for Danny Welbeck to run on to, but the striker is not on the same wave length and the attack is stopped.
Goal Ji-Sung Park
1-1!!!! Park Ji-Sung equalizes for the visitors. Rafael showed great pace to latch onto a clever flick from Antonio Valencia, he fizzes it into the box to the unmarked Park who makes no mistakes and fires home past Pepe Reina who had no chance.
Gerrard pumps in a cross from deep looking for Andy Carroll who is the only Liverpool player in the box. Chris Smalling does well to contain the threat of Carroll and the ball just flies into the hands of David De Gea.
Martin Kelly is playing at great speed, running between Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra trying to win that ball back. He wins possession as Giggs tries to sheild the ball from him with excessive force.
Greg Stobart gives us another update from Anfield: Journalists around me are blaming David De Gea for that Liverpool opener but the Manchester United goalkeeper had no help from his defender. Daniel Agger was surrounded by United players but no-one jumped to challenge him in the air as he comfortably nodded home. The decibel level has really gone up a notch here, the Kop roaring every pass or tackle from their players. Patrice Evra is being greeted to chants of 'one lying b*****d' but I'm sure he's hear worse.
Manchester United are passing the ball around the area looking for a way into the congested Liverpool box, the ball comes out to Ryan Giggs but Martin Kelly is quick to it and disrupts the play and wins a throw-in with a good tackle.
Liverpool try again with another corner. This time David De Dea rises above the crowd to get a fist on the ball. Although a challenge from Martin Skrtel is deemed unfair and Manchester United keeper wins a free kick.
That should really galvanise this game 1-0 early on, the visitors will need to try and find some rhythm in this game.
Goal Daniel Agger
Goooooal!!! Daniel Agger climbs above numerous Manchester United and Liverpool players to get his head onto a well delivered corner. David De Gea was indecisive came out but failed to get anywhere near the ball making Aggers chance a lot easier.
Stuart Downing skips two challenges as he crusades down the right, he cuts in to try and get it on his left foor, but Chris Smalling takes the ball before he can get a shot away.
Antonia Valencia finds a hole in the defence after striding past the challenge of Maxi, he tries a shot from just outside the box and beats Pepe Reina all ends up but is denied by the frame of the Liverpool goal.
Steven Gerrard, on the half way line, spots the run of Maxi on the right wing and looks to pump a ball behind Patrice Evra but he gets his calculations wrong and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
Carroll struggles to meet a cross in the middle of the box, he is just in front of the ball and his header balloons up into the air and into the grateful arms of the keeper
Jordan Henderson makes a strong run down the left and cuts a ball back to Steven Gerrard who is making a trademark dash into the box, the midfielder's first touch is poor and bounces straight into the clutches of David De Gea.
A cross from Antonio Valencia is dealt with poorly by the Liverpool defence and the ball bobbles to Ryan Giggs on the edge of the box. He hits the ball hard and low but the shot is straight at Pepe Reina, and the Spaniard collects with ease.
Steven Gerrard's corner flies straight over the box and out for a goal kick, wasted opportunity.
Maxi unleashes a powerful shot from 25 yards out as Johnny Evans just moves out of the way. David De Gea comfortably pushes the ball round the post for a corner.
Patrice Evra goes on a good run down the left, but Kelly is quick to snuff out the potential threat.
Andy Carroll is penalized in Manchester United's half as he climbs on Patrice Evra in order to reach a bouncing ball.
And here we go, Manchester United get the game underway.
Kenny Dalglish in today's programme: “As this is the FA Cup, United will have a few thousand more fans in the stadium and that will generate a fantastic atmosphere. It's important to us that atmosphere isn't tarnished in any way. Much has been said about our last fixture here but what is done is done and we now have to move on and concentrate on today's game. Clearly, passions always run high when the clubs play against each other but as far as we are concerned this is a football match between Liverpool and Manchester United and not about any other issue. Traditionally and historically Liverpool supporters have been magnificent and I don't see any reason why today will be any different.”
We can hear from our man, Greg Stobart, who is live from Anfield for this FA Cup tie: Good afternoon from Anfield where the atmosphere is already building, with a singing competition kicking off between the Kop and the United fans, who take up the whole of the lower tier at the Anfield Road end. Predictably, Patrice Evra was roundly booed by the Liverpool fans as he warmed up, but it was nothing too vicious. Hopefully the focus this afternoon will be on events on the pitch – although both teams have named rather inspiring line-ups. I'm already bracing myself for a replay.
This tie is one of the biggest rivalries in English football and this is likely to be magnified by the events which surrounded Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez earlier in the season. Both clubs have pleaded to fans to keep the rivalry clean and not let racism or violence mar the specticle we are about to witness.
Wayne Rooney and Phil Jones are both ruled out of this tie after picking up knocks against Arsenal. Patrice Evra, who was central to the controversy surrounding Luis Suarez when the two sides met here in the league, comes in as captain as a result of the continued absence of Nemanja Vidic.
Kenny Dalglish has opted to play five defenders with Martin Kelly and Jose Enrique playing in advanced roles, helping out the Liverpool attack when needed, and Craig Bellamy is only given a place on the bench after an impressive Carling Cup performance against Manchester City.
Manchester United team: De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Carrick, Scholes, Valencia, Giggs, Park Ji-Sung; Welbeck. Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Fabio, Keane, Pogba, Berbatov, Hernandez.
Liverpool team: Reina; Kelly, Agger, Carragher, Skrtel, Jose Enrique; Gerrard, Henderson, Downing Maxi; Carroll. Subs: Doni, Johnson, Coates, Adam, Shelvey, Kuyt, Bellamy.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of arguably the pick of the fourth round ties, as Manchester United travel to Anfield to face fierce rivals Liverpool.
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