Part 1 of this article
The next big match in the March madness for Liverpool was against the English premier league leaders, Man Utd. Man Utd had been in splendid form having not lost any premier league game at their home ground and had a more than 10 game winning streak. Liverpool had just come from humiliating Real Madrid, who had won the UEFA Champions league the most times. This was going to be a very explosive game.
So on March 14th, Liverpool traveled to Old Trafford to meet the ‘Red Devils’. The game started on a high note with each team being cautious of the other. In the early stages a wonderful through pass by Tevez was miscalculated by Reina, who tripped Ji Sung Park in the penalty area. Ronaldo converted the spot kick and took Man Utd 1-0 up. Play had not continued much when a lovely lob by Aurelio found Vidic sleeping and the ball bounced over him. Instead of clearing the ball, Vidic wasted time and Torres pounced on the ball and put it behind Van der Sar evening the score. A few minutes before the break, Torres made a lovely through pass to Gerrard and a miss-tackle by Evra in the 18 yard box gave Liverpool the penalty. Gerrard was able to squeeze it beyond Van der Sar despite him jumping the right way.
In the second half, the Man Utd came out firing as they had numerous chances but were unable to convert. Ferguson did a complete overhaul of the team by introducing experienced player in the likes of Giggs, Scholes and Berbatov. This did not pay off because in a short while, Vidic was red carded for bringing down Gerrard. Fabio Aurielio took a wonderful free kick that left Van der Sar flat footed as the ball went behind the net. Towards the end of the game, one could clearly tell that Man Utd were not going to try and win. This eventually led to a wonderful goal by Dossena.
Final Score Man Utd 1 Liverpool 4.
More on Man Utd vs Liverpool.
On March 23rd, Liverpool hosted one of the most improved premier league teams, Aston Villa. The game had not yet settled when a wonderful cross was not dealt with by the Aston Villa defense and Dirk Kuyt pounced on the ball scoring after 7 minutes of play. 25 minutes later, Riera scored a wonderful volley after a clearance by Reina. The ball just bounced once near the edge of the Villa area and Riera struck it with a thunder bolt. Reina was also outstanding in goal as he was able to produce spectacular saves from Carew’s and Heskey’s wonderful headers. In the 39th minute, Riera controlled a searching cross field pass from Kuyt and was brought down by Reo-Coker. Gerrard was able to convert it with a thunderbolt. 5 minutes into the second half, Carlos Cuellar brought down Kuyt on the edge of the box and Gerrard drilled the free kick in the back of the net. In the 63rd minute, Brad Friedel clashed with Torres and Gerrard drilled home the penalty, earning him a hat-trick.
Final score Liverpool 5 Aston Villa 0
Liverpool has been able to go through the March madness. But April wont be a bed of roses as they face Chelsea in the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions league and also have to meet with Arsenal…..watch this space