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Queens Park Rangers
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
13 January 2013
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 75501
R. van Persie 19'
N. Vidić 54'
D. Sturridge 57'
United see the game out and they've secured the double over their bitter rivals. Sturridge's introduction boosted Liverpool, but not enough to get the Reds a result. United are now 10 points clear ahead of Manchester City's clash at Arsenal later. Stick with Goal.com for all the reaction to this one!
90' + 5'
FULL-TIME Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Daniel Agger
90' + 3'
United look to put it to bed as Van Persie looks to head for the corner before bursting infield. He looks for Welbeck in the box but Skrtel closes in and clears.
90' + 2'
Sturridge drops deep and sends a deep ball into the area. Borini is closing in on the ball but Suarez gets there first and flicks a harmless header into De Gea's gloves.
90' + 1'
Valencia beats Johnson on the right before squaring to Van Persie, who looks to flick the ball in at the near post, but Reina is alert and hangs on to the ball.
Skrtel storms through midfield before Valencia trips him. Agger quickly clips the free kick to Sturridge in the box, but he hits a shot into the side netting from a narrow angle. Four minutes have been added on.
Downing cuts inside from the right and clips a ball into Sturridge's feet. As the England man looks to make space, Suarez nips the ball off him and rides a challenge before laying off to Johnson, but his drive is charged down by Valencia.
Valencia looks to burst down the right but Johnson crudely blocks him off. The full-back is already on a booking and could have easily been sent off for that. Howard Webb keeps his cards in his pocket, however.
More bedlam in the United area! This time it's Sturridge looking to nip past players. He lays the ball off to Suarez who is blocked off and the hosts eventually scramble the ball away.
Downing heads infield with the ball at his feet before slipping Suarez in the box. The Uruguayan somehow bundles hos way through three challenges but is eventually blocked by Smalling. The ball runs to Sturridge eight yards out, but he leans back and lifts a right-footed effort well over.
Liverpool look to build an attack down the right, with United camped in their own half, but Henderson kills the move by passing the ball behind Wisdom and out for a throw.
Welbeck surges past Wisdom down the left wing and pokes the ball to Van Persie before receiving a first-time ball from the Dutchman. With no support in the middle, the striker looks to check back, but stumbles and scuffs the ball behind.
More changes! This time Henderson comes on for Allen in Liverpool's midfield.
Vidic is now being withdrawn, to be replaced by Smalling. The Serb heads straight down the tunnel with the physio.
Committed defending from Downing as he sticks with Evra, despite some twisting and turning and blocks a cross behind for a corner which is headed clear by Skrtel.
Defensive change for the hosts as Kagawa is replaced by Phil Jones. It looks like a switch to a 4-5-1 formation for United.
Yellow Card Glen Johnson
And Johnson goes into the book for tripping Evra as he charged through acres of space in midfield.
Gerrard whips a great free kick over from the right that is flicked behind by Vidic, but Howard Webb bizarrely gives a goal kick.
Yellow Card Patrice Evra
Evra goes into the book as Downing tumbles under his challenge. It doesn't look like much contact was made and the Frenchman is furious.
Evra plays an underhit ball across the box to Vidic and Sturridge nips in to prod the ball to Borini. The substitute takes a touch before hitting an effort wide across goal. An equaliser looks likely at the moment.
Quick break from Liverpool as Allen intercepts a pass from Carrick and finds Suarez on the right wing. The Uruguayan drills a great ball out to Sturridge on the angle of the box, who takes on Ferdinand and blasts an effort just wide of the near post.
Suarez bursts forward, playing a one-two with Sturridge into the area, but he can't get enough of a touch on the return pass and the ball drifts out of play.
Glen Johnson takes the ball down the left before cutting inside and firing a low drive from 25 yards that fizzes just wide of De Gea's near post.
Nemanja Vidic has left the field and returned after picking up a knock on his knee. The Serb is hobbling slightly but should be alright.
Rafael pounces on a loose ball as Borini and Gerrard leave the ball for each other. The Brazilian feeds Welbeck to bundles his way goalwards, before the ball squirms to Kagawa. The Japan playmaker hits a fierce effort that Reina claws away to his left. The resulting corner is sent in by Van Persie and Reina flaps under it, but a foul is given.
Borini is now on. The Italian replaces Sterling.
Van Persie's effort ricochets off the wall through to Reina, with Welbeck not able to get on the end of it.
Carrick zips a pass into Van Persie on the edge of the box and the Dutchman looks to roll out onto his left foot, but Agger hauls him down. Free kick 20 yards out, dead centre...
The touch paper has been lit now. Valencia charges down the right before whipping a devilish cross in that Agger just manages to flick away, with Wisdom chasing the loose ball and thumping clear.
Goal Daniel Sturridge
GOALLL!!! Liverpool are back in this! Gerrard pounces on a loose ball from Carrick and drives forward before hitting a low shot to De Gea's right. The Spaniard makes a great save, but Sturridge follows in, getting past the dozing Rafael to slam home.
Brendan Rodgers has responded by telling Fabio Borini to warm up. Liverpool need goals and fast.
Assist Patrice Evra
Goal Nemanja Vidic
GOALL!!! Van Persie whips the resulting free kick to the far post and an unmarked Evra climbs and thumps a header through Reina, thanks to a deflection off Vidic!
Yellow Card Martin Skrtel
Evra dinks the ball over the top of Skrtel into Welbeck's path. The Slovakian trips the striker as he makes his way towards the area. The fans call for a red, but Howard Webb just books Skrtel.
A swift move up the pitch from Liverpool finds Wisdom charging into the area, but he slips as he takes the shot and it bobbles wide.
Johnson looks to burst down the left but is stopped by Rafael. The loose ball runs to Gerrard who immediately plays the ball back to the full-back. Ferdinand heads the cross away, as far as Sterling, who cannot find a way past Rafael.
The Dutchman takes a huge run up and then spanks the ball straight into the crowd.
Dangerous free kick for United 25 yards out centrally as Kagawa is tripped from behind by Allen, Van Persie looks likely to have a go...
Sturridge takes the ball upfield centrally, with no United players closing him down space opens up to shoot but he tries to thread a ball to Suarez that Ferdinand cuts out. The hosts go straight up the other end but Welbeck hits a long-ranger well wide.
Liverpool kick the second half off. Manchester United have brought Antonio Valencia on for Ashley Young, while Daniel Sturridge replaces Lucas for the visitors.
The players are back out and the second half is imminent!
@anragh: "Let out borini and we can have a chance"
@Fortaloj: "I don't see Sturridge having the drive it takes to get a goal back for Liverpool. Borini's derby experience may prove useful."
@klitz_09: "we need sturridge in place of sterling because he's been outmuscled so far by evra.Then henderson needs to come on for allen"
What do Liverpool need to turn this performance around? Daniel Sturridge? Fabio Borini? Let me know on Twitter @matthewgscott!
Wayne Veysey's half-time summary: "The half-time whistle could not have come soon enough here for Liverpool, who have been comprehensively outplayed in the opening period. The hosts are good value for their lead, and would have doubled their advantage but for Martin Skrtel's goal-line clearance from Van Persie's back-heel on the cusp of half-time. Pepe Reina required prolonged treatment after bravely throwing himself in the path of Shinji Kagawa to block the follow-up. Liverpool have been sloppy in possession and have not really turned up as an attacking force. Midfield trio Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Steven Gerrard have been particularly poor."
45' + 6'
HALF-TIME Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool
45' + 5'
Van Persie whips the resulting free kick into the danger area, but the ball is cleared to Suarez, who looks to break past Ferdinand, but the defender holds him off and moves the ball on.
45' + 4'
Yellow Card Lucas Leiva
45' + 4'
The first booking of the game is given to Lucas, who clatters Young as the winger turned inside him in midfield.
45' + 1'
Reina picked up a knock in that challenge with Kagawa and the physio is on to treat him, but he looks fine to carry on.
Chance for United! A ball over the top from Carrick finds Rafael goal-side of Johnson. The Brazilian stumbles into the box and squares for Van Persie, who looks to flick it in. Skrtel blocks and Reina charges down Kagawa, who looks to get on the loose ball.
Wisdom nudges the ball into the path of Kagawa, who feeds Welbeck but Skrtel makes a strong tackle, to prevent his progress.
Suarez drops deep and bursts towards goal, laying the ball off to Gerrard 30 yards out. The skipper opts to feed Sterling wide right rather than shoot, and Evra block tackles the winger as he looks to dribble past him.
Suarez has another run towards goal, this time down the right, before winning a corner. Downing's deep delivery is nodded down by Vidic and hooked away by Welbeck.
Young gets the ball from Van Persie on the right and turns away from Johnson before firing a good ball into the area that Agger half heads away into the path of Cleverley on the edge of the area, who smashes a left-footed volley just wide.
Suarez gets space to run at the United defence for the first time and feeds Gerrard before bursting forward for the return pass, but the captain's ball is far too heavy and zooms out for a goal kick.
Wayne Veysey's view from Old Trafford: "Liverpool are really struggling to get a foothold in this match, with Joe Allen especially poor in midfield. Man United have not needed to be at their best, but they look threatening every time they break forward. Danny Welbeck, playing just behind Van Persie, has been particularly impressive."
Johnson takes a throw-in on the left long towards Suarez, who holds off Vidic in the box before hitting a shot on the turn, but it goes well wide.
United drive forward with Cleverley carrying the ball through midfield before slotting the ball ahead of Welbeck. The striker takes the ball into the box but lashes a wild effort over the bar with his left foot.
Allen looks to play a ball to Skrtel, but doesn't look and Welbeck is onto the ball in a flash. He takes the ball round Skrtel, but Agger recovers well and slides in to block the shot away.
It looks like Young will continue for now, but he is moving very gingerly.
Young is laid on the turf with what appears to be a knee injury and is receiving treatment. He picked up the knock landing awkwardly after a collision with Agger.
Another sight at goal for Van Persie after Young swings the ball into the area, but this time the Dutchman's aim is off and it sails over.
Downing moves down the right and finds some space after a neat one-two with Allen. Vidic blocks his cross into the path of Evra, who has the Welshman snapping at his heels, but the ball goes out for a goal kick.
Liverpool break as Gerrard feeds Wisdom, who is charging forward on the right. The defender's low cross is aimed for Luis Suarez, but Vidic steps in to clear the ball away.
Allen catches Carrick on the shin with a late challenge and is perhaps lucky not to become the first player to be booked this afternoon.
Assist Patrice Evra
Goal Robin van Persie
GOALLL!!!! Van Persie! Kagawa, Welbeck and Cleverley play some neat passes between each other before the ball is spread wide to Evra. The Frenchman drives a low ball across the area and Van Persie sweeps the ball past Reina from 12 yards.
Welbeck chases down Young's punt down the right flank, before heading infield and finding Cleverley. The England man slips Van Persie into the area but his fierce shot is strongly blocked by Skrtel.
United with good territory on the right as Rafael and then Van Persie look to dart into the box but Johnson stands strong and manages to put the ball behind off the Dutchman.
Carrick swings a deep ball into the box from the right that Skrtel misjudges, but just manages to nod the ball away from Welbeck for Reina to collect.
Young chops down Sterling on the left flank, resulting in a free kick but Gerrard's deep ball is headed away.
Young reacts quickest after Reina miscues a clearance. Van Persie finds Kagawa wide left before receiving the ball back, but his right-footed effort is deflected comfortably through to the Reds' keeper.
Kagawa looks to jink inside Wisdom, but the teenager stands strong and clears the ball behind for a corner. Young's low cross is not fully cleared but Kagawa barges Sterling in the back and a foul is given, easing the pressure.
United are dominating possession and looking to attack in wide areas, Suarez looks a threat on the break, but it's very cagey at Old Trafford.
Ferdinand's long ball finds Welbeck haring into the box, he checks back and the ball is worked across the pitch to Evra, whose cross is claimed by Reina.
Evra releases Kagawa down the left with a great through ball, played with the outside of his boot. The Japan international's cross is deflected by Wisdom and loops into Reina's arms.
It's been a very docile start to the game. Both sides are looking to knock the ball around, but passing has largely been sloppy so far.
United get us underway, kicking from left to right.
Right! The players are making their way onto the pitch. Kick-off is moments away!
@osaro_iyoha: "man u 3:2 liverpool , brace for rvp and one for suarez and sturridge"
Another predicting plenty of goals is @Oxgen123: "Man utd 4 liverpool 1"
@Gordil_joseph chimes in: "its manu 2 liv 0 with van persie opening"
A bold claim from @oshchris: "man utd 0 :livpool 4"
Jump on Twitter and let me know your predictions @matthewgscott! Can anyone see Liverpool snatching a result today?
Wayne Veysey is our man at the ground today and sends this along: Welcome from a sun-lit but chilly Old Trafford for what is still arguably the most prestigious fixture in the league calendar. Writing in his programme notes, Sir Alex Ferguson says "there is no way...it can creep under the radar", adding: "I don't need to explain the importance of today's match. I am sure the old lags in the dressing room like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs will have filled in the guys who are not so familiar with the history of the two clubs".
Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are paired at the back for the first time since September for United, while the Reds are boosted by the return of Fabio Borini to the bench after four months out with a broken foot.
Subs: Jones, Carragher, Henderson, Sturridge, Borini, Shelvey, Robinson
Liverpool XI: Reina; Wisdom, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel; Lucas, Gerrard, Allen; Downing, Sterling, Suarez
Subs: Amos, Jones, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez
Manchester United XI: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Cleverley, Carrick, Kagawa, Young; Welbeck, Van Persie
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play coverage of Manchester United's clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford. I'm Matt Scott, tweet me your predictions @matthewgscott while I'll get the teams for you!
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