Wednesday , January 20 2021

Manchester United v Liverpool: Premier League – live! – The Guardian, Theguardian.com


(minLiverpool look slightly better since half- time, though it is still a very scruffy game. That suits United. Rashford, after a listless start, is having a minor stormer.

Updated

51 min“I had a friend once who ‘died in the wool’, ”says Mac Millings. “Heart attack while mid-intim [that’ll do – Smyth].”

(minJames is flattened by a firm but fair tackle from van Dijk. He looks really groggy, although it’s not a head injury this time; he’s been winded.

49 min“In old money Mane’s goal would have stood, ”says Niall Mullen. “In new money it was correctly disallowed. I hate new money. ”

(minLiverpoolhave switched to a 4- 2-3-1: Henderson right, Mane left and Firmino behind Origi.

47 minHenderson’s grossly overhit cross is retrieved by the absurd Robertson, who keeps the ball in playSteve McMahon-style– okay, not quite as spectacularly as that – and then whips in a very good cross that is headed away.

Updated

46 minPeep peep!Liverpoolbegin the second half.

“Honestly so so sick of the complaining about VAR,”writes Cnoyes. “Get over it. It was NOT a foul on Origi, and it was a handball on Mané. Justice was served. Stop whinging. ”

Thanks for clearing that up.

“Those two VAR decisionsare entirely consistent with how it’s been used all season, ”says Oliver Atkinson. “When there’s something vaguely debatable like a foul they don’t want to overturn the original decision, when there’s something 100% quantifiable like handball or an offside they will overturn it. This may not be right, but it’s consistent. ”

Yes, on reflection I think you’re right. To some it was clear and obvious, to others Origi made a meal of the contact and had lost the ball. The problem is with the protocol. God, I am so, so bored of talking about VAR.

VAR department“Elated as I am that the goal was given, VAR is driving me absolutely up the wall, ”says Matthew Richman. “The letdown of having to wait for a few guys in a trailer to watch TV absolutely kills the celebration. I’ve been let down by terrible calls before and I understand the arguments for, but I’m wondering if the obsession with a fairness has finally crossed the line. ”

The main argument for VAR was that it would remove a sense of injustice from football. In fact, it has increased it. I would get rid of it, but there’s about as much chance of that as there is of somebody putting the internet back in its box.

Half time: Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool

Peep Peep!Manchester Uniteddeservedly lead, although Marcus Rashford’s goal should probably have been disallowed by VAR. Liverpool have been very poor by their stratospheric standards, and so far have been outfought and outthought. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 3-4-1-2 system, with split strikers, has worked brilliantly. The manner in which Jurgen Klopp ran straight down the touchline suggests they will play far better in the second half.

45 minThere will be one minute of added time.

NO GOAL!Manchester United1-0 LiverpoolThere’s no argument with this one. The ball hit Mane’s hand as he controlled a long ball forward. The rest was excellent; he muscled Lindelof aside and slid the ball past de Gea.

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane (left) gets pasts Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof to score his side’s first goal before the goal is ruled out by VAR for handball.
The ball is about to hit Sadio Mane’s hand. Photograph: Martin Rickett / PA

Sadio Mane of Liverpool scores a goal but its ruled out after a VAR review due to a handball.
Before he fires it past United keeper David De Gea. Photograph: Catherine Ivill / Getty Images

Updated

Yes, it’s handball,so this will be disallowed.

Manchester United’s Harry Maguire and David de Gea remonstrate with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane.
Come on Sadio, fess up that the ball did hit your hand. Photograph: Russell Cheyne / Reuters

Updated (at) . 19 pm EDT

42 minThe more you see the replay of the goal, the more it looks like a – yep – clear and obvious foul on Origi.

(min) For all the occasional frustrations of watching Marcus Rashford, his big-game record is outstanding.

(min) In accordance with the current VAR protocol, it was the right decision to award the goal, but I also think eight out of 10 neutrals would say that was a foul on Origi.

The goal itself was lovely.James ran into space down the right and curled a brilliant pass / cross between the keeper and defenders. Rashford lost Matip with a beautiful double-run, shaping to move towards the near before before pulling in the opposite direction, and forced the bouncing ball past Alisson from close range.

Marcus Rashford of Manchester United scores the opening goal past Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.
Marcus Rashford of Manchester United scores the opening goal past Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson. Photograph: Matt West / BPI / Shutterstock

Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates after scoring the opening goal.
Rashford celebrates in front of some joyous United fans. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt / AMA / Getty Images

Updated (at 12. 30 PM EDT

GOAL GIVEN!

Jurgen Klopp is fuming. It looked like a foul from Lindelof on Origi, but it didn’t pass the clear-and-obvious test.

Liverpool players appeal to English referee Martin Atkinson after he allows the opening goal despite a foul on Liverpool’s Belgium striker Divock Origi in the build up.
It’s not just Jurgen Klopp who’s fuming. Photograph: Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images

Updated

I think this will be disallowed.

36 minDe Gea makes a better save from Firmino’s header, but he’d been flagged offside.

34 minDe Gea makes a good save from Firmino after a smart break fromLiverpool. Matip swept a fine long pass out to Mane on the right. He kept the ball in, charged down the wing and then cut the ball back perfectly for Firmino to strike first time on the run from 15 yards. He didn’t really get hold of it, however, and de Gea plunged to his right to make an ultimately comfortable save.

Updated (at) . 06 PM EDT

(min) As with Everton yesterday, United’s performance suggests the manager certainly hasn’t lost the dressing-room.

(min) Young goes down after taking Henderson’s hand in his face. It was accidental.

(min) Henderson’s flat cross is volleyed wide from 12 yards by the stretching Firmino. It was a quarter-chance at best.

(min) Wan-Bissaka is having a terrific game. Whatever happens at United in the next few years, and all bets are off, it should be a long time before they need to scout another right-back, never mind 800.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Manchester United gets the better of Liverpool’s Divock Origi.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Manchester United gets the better of Liverpool’s Divock Origi. Photograph: Catherine Ivill / Getty Images

Updated

28 minA brilliant cross from Wan-Bissaka is serenely cleared by van Dijk at the near post. That was a vital bit of defending.

Updated

27 minRashford, on the left, zips away from Henderson and then Matip in the area, only to mistime his attempted cutback towards James. It was a lovely run, though, and he’s looked sharp in the last 10 minutes. United are playing with split strikers, as they did to good effect when Solskjaer was caretaker manager.

Updated

(minMcTominay takes matters into his hands, marauding forward from midfield before hitting a low shot from 25 yards that is comfortably saved by Alisson. It was a good run but a fairly tame shot.

(minThe game is too important to feel boring, but if this was Mansfield v Swindon we’d be calling it a stinker.

24 min“Hi Rob,” says Julian Smith. “I stumbled across this today. Great doc about the history of the rivalry between these two great cities and the mutual respect that we hopefully now acknowledge between each other (grudgingly no doubt). We’re closer than either side would now care to admit. Of course, you won’t have a chance to watch while there’s so much action going on but Merseyside / GM reds should appreciate it (even though it’s an LFCTV production). ”

It’s interesting that nobody (as far as I’m aware) has written a book about the rivalry. There are plenty, for example, on Barcelona and Real Madrid, though I realize that’s a bigger, broader rivalry.

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