Posted by Barrie on Sunday, 25 October 2009

Liverpool record 3rd straight win over Manchester United

Chelsea finish the weekend on top of the Premier League after their 5-0 demolition of Blackburn Rovers was followed up with Liverpool's 2-0 victory over Manchester United this afternoon.

Pressure was on Rafael Benitez and Liverpool coming into this game on the back of 4 straight defeats and 9 points behind leaders Chelsea. But his side was better throughout with Fabio Aurelio failing to take the best chance in a goalless first half. And just when Manchester United finally started getting into the game in the second half, Fernando Torres caught them out on a counter attack smashing home a difficult chance.

Similar to last season's two defeats, Manchester United gave Jose Reina next-to-nothing to do. Jamie Carragher saved his best performance of the season for this one, keeping Rooney in check all game. However he was fortunate not to have been booked before he took substitute Michael Owen down as the last man. Carragher only received a yellow for that too, leaving Rooney irate and minutes later Nemanja Vidic was sent off for the third time in a row against Liverpool, tugging down Dirk Kuyt as the last man, receiving his second yellow card. No complaints about that, although Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs were quick to to remind referee Andre Marriner that he hadn't sent off Jamie Carragher for a similar offence.

5 minutes of stoppage time were added before Javier Mascherano was sent off for 2 yellows; the latter for a late challenge on Edwin van der Sar, and for a change the Liverpool fans weren't moaning about Manchester United getting more time than allocated this time as they broke away in the 96th minute and David N'Gog rolled in a one-on-one to seal the deal. Rafa Benitez now has 3 victories in a row over Manchester United, again denting their title challenge with Chelsea looking particularly well on Saturday and taking over as favourites for the title.

I didn't get around to writing an article about why Rafael Benitez won't get sacked this season, despite the odds being against him. That was mainly because of his large contract and how the owners don't like spending money. But time and time again he gets results when his back is against the wall. Their next league game is at Fulham next weekend, but that comes after trip to Arsenal in the Carling Cup on Wednesday night.

Manchester United's next league fixture is at home to Blackburn Rovers before a big game at Stamford Bridge that will have a big say the title race. Arsenal aren't to be ignored either, as they can go top of the league on goal difference by winning their 2 games in hand that includes the first at West Ham this evening.

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