Even though Liverpool have started the campaign in exceptionally poor fashion, many United supporters still had their reservations ahead of the trip to Anfield on Sunday. It would be fair to say that such concerns were justified after United stuttered through to victory, with Sir Alex Ferguson even admitting that the Red Devils were poor and luck played a huge part in the win.
While opponents Liverpool may be rooted in the bottom three, the fact that they possess such a strong record over United at Anfield over recent seasons made many feel that this could be a huge banana skin. Moreover, when this was combined with the added emotion following the recent Hillsborough developments, there was no doubt that United approached this game with plenty of caution.
The fact that Liverpool played long periods of the game with ten men, following Jonjo Shelvey’s dismissal, made United’s performance look even poorer. While he is usually one of the first to defend his team, Ferguson afterwards admitted that the Red Devils had not played well and had been very lucky to steal the three points. He said, “We were very poor. Liverpool dominated the first half and we were lucky. In the second half, we had better statistics in terms of possession but we were playing against 10 men so that was disappointing.”
Despite the lucky circumstances, the victory still lifts United up to 2nd place in the table – one point behind leaders Chelsea. The fact that both teams have not really reached their peak but still sit in the top two is certainly interesting, especially as Manchester City have also made a slow start to the campaign as they sit in 7th. Nevertheless, United are continuing to show their ability to grind out results and with this game seeing the team come from behind to win for the fourth time this season, the omens are certainly looking good.