Old Trafford hosted what is arguably the most heated game of the season when Liverpool visited this afternoon, but the Reds would walk away empty handed after Manchester United won 2-1.
The drama started before the whistle even blew. The eyes were more on Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra during the players’ handshakes. While it was expected for the two to shake hands and move on, it was Suarez who refused to shake Evra’s hand, leaving the Red Devils’ captain clearly angry.
Suarez soon seemed to be the distraction between Evra and Rio Ferdinand when the two defenders clashed, seeing Ferdinand land on his neck. A couple of minutes later the veteran would be up again.
Liverpool wasted no time putting the pressure on. Glen Johnson tested keeper David De Gea early on with a low shot but De Gea was able to get it away.
Formally retured Paul Scholes nearly put the Red Devils ahead with a close header but it went straight to Reds’ keeper Pepe Reina.
Danny Welbeck tried again but it was cleared by Daniel Agger when Welbeck made an attempt to find Wayne Rooney in the box.
Just before halftime, Liverpool were granted a corner kick. It was taken by Stewart Downing, and the ball went to Martin Skrtel who blasted it over the bar.
Suarez was left furious a couple minutes later when Ferdinand tackled him. The Uruguayan expected a free kick and was not given it. With his anger escalating, manager Kenny Dalglish kept motioning him to calm down.
More drama at halftime when there was pushing and shoving in the tunnel, with the police having to get involved. It took the players about five minutes to get to their dressing room.
Wayne Rooney scored the first goal of the game from a corner kick in the opening minutes of the second half.
Only a few minutes later, Rooney would double that lead. A pass from Valencia allowed Rooney to easily make it 2-0. It was poor defending from Liverpool.
He tried to make it a hat trick but finally the defense pulled through and the ball was cleared away.
Dalglish made some essential changed in the 61st minute with strikers Andy Carroll and Craig Bellamy replacing midfielders Stewart Downing and Jay Spearing. His final change would be Charlie Adam for Drik Kuyt with 15 minutes left to play.
With only ten minutes left, of all players it was Suarez who got the ball past De Gea to get Liverpool on the scoreboard.
Johnson’s powerful kick nearly leveled it up for the Reds but De Gea sprung it away over the bar. Nothing would come from the corner given.
Of course the scuffle could not be laid to rest. After the final whistle, celebrations from Manchester United players brought in front of Suarez caused more pushing and shoving from the two teams.