Was it a Penalty? Manchester United 1 – 0 Liverpool

By on January 10, 2011

Dimitar Berbatov Daniel Agger of Liverpool brings down Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United to concede a penalty during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON 3rd round match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 9, 2011 in Manchester, England.

Only 31 seconds in, and Berbatov went down in the penalty area through a challenge from Daniel Agger, and Howard Webb pointed to the spot. Liverpool fans would only have seen the following events in their nightmares, as Giggs stepped up to beat Reina, with replays showing that the contact on Berbatov for the penalty was minimal to say the least. It was the worst possible start for Kenny Dalglish, as he stood, mouth open in disbelief at the decision that had been made.

It wasn’t a penalty. Agger didn’t get the ball in his challenge, but the contact on Berbatov was not enough to bring him down. Berbatov claimed afterwards that anyone who knows him knows that he doesn’t go down easily, but the challenge from Agger was enough to make him lose his balance. Two contradicting statements from the Bulgarian striker there, but the referee gave the penalty, and the game was basically won for United.

VOdds

Half an hour later, and the situation for Liverpool became even worse. As a ball rolled in the centre of the pitch, Carrick and Gerrard ran to win it. Carrick just got there first, and nicked the ball away from the Liverpool captain, but with all the trademark passion and character that has made him a Liverpool legend and talisman, Gerrard dived in, intent on winning the ball and leaving his mark. He did the latter. The tackle was dangerous, he missed the ball, Carrick layed in a rolling heap on the Old Trafford pitch, and the 70,000 or so United fans called for Gerrard to be gone – all contributing to Gerrard’s dismissal, as the United faithful got their wish.

At first glance, we may have said that a sending off was a tad harsh being only half an hour into the game, but Dalglish’s accepting reaction to the replay confirmed that complaints to the red card were invalid, and Dalglish walked back to his seat without any complaints. He knew though, that the task ahead was a vertical climb up a giant mountain with resources that would not cut it. In other words, with the players on the pitch, and with the form they have been in, the task ahead was close to impossible.

United never really got into a groove. They were comfortable on the ball, and comfortable coping with the few Liverpool attacks that were attempted, but they weren’t cutting enough or ruthless enough in the game to get the goal to seal the game off  – mainly because, they didn’t need to. United were easily the stronger side.

The big build up to a game between two old rivals ended up with a match being decided by two big refereeing decisions. It wasn’t the intensely gripping, passionate duel between two of the biggest names in English football that had been anticipated for the neutral, but the drama of the first half and Dalglish’s return was enough to keep curious and nervous eyes on the game, and see United hold out for what ended as a comfortable but somewhat disappointing win.

Gerrard will miss the next three games for Liverpool, which includes the Merseyside derby, leaving Dalglish with the unenviable task of looking for some decent and affordable players in the transfer market to help get Liverpool’s season back on track.

Tell me what you think!

Submitted by DBSFootball

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13 Comments

  1. steve mcauley

    January 10, 2011 at 10:04 am

    listen, it’s over, it’s done, forget about it! the hard work starts today! great to see the king smiling again, just hope now that it rubs off on nando, the miserable lookin oink! if kenny can pick up a couple of players and restore the pride & passion (not that it should’ve left!) then things can only get better!

  2. Bill

    January 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Never in a month of Sundays was it a penalty, the cheat dived and the cheat of a ref gave it when he couldn’t even see the incident and the linesman saw nothing wrong. But then Fergie is the boss of the referees association and pays their pension fund.

  3. Name (required)harry

    January 10, 2011 at 10:42 am

    There was NO CHEATING a stupid tackle ref totally correct same as G’s sending off totally correct there is repeat there is NO RULE in the book that says you can perform a couple of stupid tackles before the ref must intervene to allow FREE bad tackles is like saying she is a little bit pregnant

  4. albey

    January 10, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Listen all modern players dive when touched in the box its now part of football something the players from other countrys brought to our game we have to except it but what really upset me was that berbatov was voted man of the match that is giving the cheats the go a head to dive to con the refs and be rewarded with a mom that is disgraceful . I must say how shocked I was that fergie thought web got his two decisions right well its a good job he did or web would not be allowed to be a man united supporter ever again as for gerrards sending off he went in side on not full on like man uniteds right back did to merrelis got job he is a chicken hearted player merreliss or he would of got hurt also it was nice to see the england captain got to the ref asking for gerrard to be sent off shame on you ferdinand your a disgrace but the result dosent matter as much as the performance kenny had the players up for the game and lets be honest united were no great shakes were they !

  5. Lynx

    January 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Tha article is one-sided – i.e. slanted in favor of L’pool!

    “It wasn’t a penalty. Agger didn’t get the ball in his challenge, but the contact on Berbatov was not enough to bring him down. Berbatov claimed afterwards that anyone who knows him knows that he doesn’t go down easily, but the challenge from Agger was enough to make him lose his balance. Two contradicting statements from the Bulgarian striker …’

    Rubbish – contact made, ball not played, player lost balance – penalty awarded and converted – period!!!
    The speed & momentum of players these days do have them fall from slightest contact and this is unavoidable, if fall is not broken, we will have many more broken bones and horrific injuries.

    Gerrard was sent off and rightly so as reported ..

    “As a ball rolled in the centre of the pitch, Carrick and Gerrard ran to win it. Carrick just got there first, and nicked the ball away from the Liverpool captain, but with all the trademark passion and character that has made him a Liverpool legend and talisman, Gerrard dived in, intent on winning the ball and leaving his mark. He did the latter. The tackle was dangerous, he missed the ball ..”

    What ‘passion’ and what ‘character’ allow Gerrard to ‘dive in’ and ‘leave his mark’ ‘at the centre of the pitch’ to earn him ‘legend’ & ‘talisman’ status !!!

    Career threatening tackles cannot be condoned – period !!! If this is reveresed on a L’pool player or Gerrard at Anfield, then what?

    The current L’pool is sitting 12th for the very reason that they have no passion, commitment, abilities & class!! Coming into a derby with FA Cup stakes does not allow for them to ‘cheat’ and get away with rules that are established for good of football game that exisit for years and proven to uphold honour and integrity for all involved.

    Results are already sealed and they should go weep in the corner with their ‘king’ having deserted them 20 years ago and conduct lots of soul searching least they risk getting relegated next season – sore losers!

    From a neutral

    • peno

      January 10, 2011 at 11:36 pm

      Lynx, how typical for a Manc supporter. Not only are you not from Manchester but it also seems that English is not your first language. Either that or you are just plain illiterate. If you need any of the above words explaining use your dictionary you gobs**te!

  6. ryan

    January 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    yes and if guys dont feel it then take a look at way evans brought down by dragging shirt in the penalty box during corner
    if any perverse denies the first one then what about the other for evans that was sure a penalty
    any case that was even

  7. albey

    January 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Sore loosers ! no manc no sore loosing here just that everytime we play your lot at old trafford and web the ref there are strange decisions against our team if your happy with your players cheating to win a game then you be happy with that as for evens being pulled down if you take off your rose tinted spectacles off you will see that this happens in every game and penaltys are never given o forgot your manchester united and you change the rules to suit your selves or get the ref to and if they dont big bad fergie shouts at the fa and they change the rules thats why your club is disliked so much by every club supporters in the land . And we may be 12th at the moment but lets be honest your no great shakes and it stands out when you have fergie telling your players to throw them selves on the ground to win a penalty blatant cheating good job you had howard the coward as ref . As for class you idiots wouldnt no class if it came up a bit you lot on the arse and your team and your manager

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  9. Haile michael

    January 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Evra, Giggs and Evans were brought down in the second half in the penalty area and all the three acts were clear penalty. So even if berbatov’s claim is not a penalty, Man. UTD should have had three penalties in the second half. So we can say that Liverpool were lucky to avoid a humiliating 4-0 defeat.

  10. albey

    January 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    you gob sh*te 4-0 your like your manager a biased pr*ck dont you mean dived in the penalty area you shower of cheating b*stards

  11. Avwerosuo ohwaruah

    January 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    With liverpool new manager,i think that things will be better for Anfield boys.i thing i would say is that liverpool need some quality striker to survive.with more experience strikers coming in liverpool is sure of a bright future ahead.liverpool for life.Avwerosuo ohwaruah.

  12. Matthew

    July 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I luv liverpool

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