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Premier League

  • October 15, 2011
  • • 7:45 AM
  • • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 45065

Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United: Late Chicharito header denies Steven Gerrard dream winning goal on return to starting lineup

A slow burning derby which ended at a thrilling pace, sees United stay top of Premier League and Kenny Dalglish's side on the fringes of Champions League spots in fifth

Steven Gerrard marked his first start of the season for Liverpool with a controversial goal before Chicharito levelled up the affair for Manchester United in a 1-1 draw. The game saw Wayne Rooney start on the bench following his sending off in Montenegro.

The game which offered little in the first half, sprung into life in the second and provided the talking points expected from this fixture.

Phil Jones had the match's first chance, but he couldn’t keep his far post header on target and it swung wide of Pepe Reina’s left post.

Charlie Adam created a chance when he ran from deep leaving Darren Fletcher in his tracks, and only a block from Jonny Evans prevented the shot from endangering any further until Luis Suarez picked up the loose ball. The Uruguayan faced with just David de Gea, should have put it away but his lame effort was direct to the young Spaniard and he dealt with it easily.

Both managers must have gave fiery halftime speeches in the dressing rooms as the second half was more to what is expected in this fixture. The tempo increased, and the aggression was evident.

With the increased intensity the game came alive and that man Adam was relishing the situation. Another run from deep, similar to that in the first half, caused trouble for the visitors defense and it was up to Rio Ferdinand to halt it. A clip to the left heel of Adam was enough to bring down the Scottish international and set up a free kick on the edge of the penalty area.

Ferdinand was furious with the seemingly clear decision until replays illustrated that little, if any contact was made. Nonetheless Gerrard strode forward to take the free kick. His curling low shot was launched towards the wall and for some inexplicable reason, Ryan Giggs jumped out of the way of the ball and the resulting gap was the path the ball took beyond De Gea to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead.

Sir Alex Ferguson had now to play his hand and brought on all three substitutions in the following minutes, Wayne Rooney, Nani and Chicharito were all required to magic an equalizer out of thin air.

And it was the Mexican international Chicharito, fresh off a new five-year contract, who earned the visitors a point.

Chicharito was quick in his input with only minutes after his introduction he brought Manchester United back into the game with a powerful header. A corner kick from the left was aimed for the middle of the area where Danny Welbeck lost Jaime Carragher to flick the ball onto the far post where the Mexican was there to nod the away side back to parity and set up a scintillating finish.

Liverpool will be disappointed it didn't find a late winner, as Jordan Henderson had a pair of great opportunities late on. First, he hit an excellent half-volleyed effort from outside the box, and De Gea pulled off an outstanding stop, then he won a header inside the box and directed it just over the bar.

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