Persie Penalty Sinks Liverpool

No caption needed...
Image: guardian.co.uk
Manchester United were the guests at Anfield on Sunday afternoon and on the whole both fans and staff helped Liverpool in their pre match releasing of balloons, giving of flowers and showing of mosaics. It was an emotional time for many present on Sunday none more so than for the families and respect was offered from the majority. Anfield and Liverpool Football Club did a tremendous job of marking the release of the truth.

Despite a lot of the focus being on Hillsborough and rightly so, there was still a football match to play and soon both sets of fans were showing that famed rivalry.

Brendan Rodgers resorted back to his last league line up for this one whilst Ferguson made a couple of changes and Giggs instead of Nemanja Vidic came out as captain.

Liverpool got off to a very lively start and it was clear the intention was to hit the ground running and attempt to grab an early goal. Whilst the Reds were creating several attacks and making sure a man was available for every pass, Man United were completely sloppy.

There was a very high proportion of the match where they couldn't seem to string two passes together and they were intercepted far too easily.

With Liverpool though you could see it was turning into one of those games where we'd apply all the pressure but not get a goal early enough to fully capitalise. Still minus a goal things got even worse for the home side just before the 40 minute mark.

Jonjo Shelvey was shown a red by referee Mark Halsey and it was a talking point to say the least. I'm sure you all have your own opinions and I'm sure United fans will have significantly different ones but in my opinion it was a yellow.

Jonjo's tackle did "look" reckless but despite his two feet being in the air he led with only one foot and got the ball before the man the other thing is, as Brendan pointed out, Evans had his two feet off the floor too, both players were committed so why weren't both punished?

The referee only gets one look I suppose but it was bloody frustrating. At least there was a chuckle to be had though as Shelvey went off pointing the finger and effing and blinding at Fergie haha.

Now down to ten men for the remainder of this half and the whole of the second, Liverpool's task of finding that goal was made even more difficult. It's so frustrating watching a game like this because we deserved to be in front but just couldn't find the back of the net.

The second half saw substitutions from both sides. Paul Scholes replaced Nani and Liverpool's youngster Suso (all the United fans in the pub were like "who?!") replaced Fabio Borini.

I hate to pick on the man because one thing that's clear is his fight but Fabio Borini is living up to my rather mediocre expectations of him. He just doesn't look like he's going to bag many goals at all but I'm sure he will stick at it.

Suso didn't take very long to put himself into the game after a cross he put into the box was indirectly involved with a Reds' goal.

Eventually assisted by Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard controlled the ball with his chest and smashed the ball past Lindegaard. The captain ran away celebrating and made sure he pointed to the sky to remember his cousin and the other 95 angels who lost their lives at Hillsborough. Very touching.

Just as Liverpool began to feel vindicated, like their hard work had paid off and now maybe they could even go and find a second, up popped Rafael Da Silva.

Not necessarily known for his goalscoring I have to say it was a lovely goal. His looped effort left Reina with no chance and Liverpool had lost their lead within 5 minutes.

By this stage you could just tell what was going to happen, United despite playing rather poorly will always find a way through, even if it involved a soft penalty.

Just before the penalty incident a nasty collision with a team mate left Agger having to be stretchered off, he was replaced with Jamie Carragher.

At 80 minutes Valencia found himself in the box, on the ball and almost 100% horizontal Glen Johnson appeared and you could argue there was some small contact but Valencia was already on the bloody floor! It just makes you wonder why Valencia gets given that yet Suarez wasn't awarded his. I seriously hate dwelling on refereeing decisions but it's the consistency that does my nut in, where the hell is it?

Van Persie stepped up to take the peno and he very rarely misses. Reina managed to make contact but the save wasn't enough to stop the ball from going into the back of the net. United had found their winner.

A horrible moment for Martin Kelly before the end of the game left Liverpool with only 9 men as the defender landed awkwardly and twisted his knee. It's been released today that he will be out until 2013, such a shame.

I hate these results, I'd of rather us have played shite and been battered 4-0 or something but the fact is United required us to be down to 10 men plus the gift of a penalty to beat us.

For me our season starts at Norwich.

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