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Liverpool 1 Manchester United 2 Match Review

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Premier League

Shelvey sees Red?

Reds can take heart from accomplished display.

If there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth after the poor performances and lowly league position under Roy Hodgson then it tells you everything you need to know about how badly Hodgson's playing style was reviled on Merseyside that Brendan Rodgers' name is being sung on the Kop.

 

Shelvey sees Red?

Reds can take heart from accomplished display.

If there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth after the poor performances and lowly league position under Roy Hodgson then it tells you everything you need to know about how badly Hodgson's playing style was reviled on Merseyside that Brendan Rodgers' name is being sung on the Kop.

After gaining a measly two points out of fifteen and overseeing the Reds worst ever start to a league season why then are the knives not out for Rodgers?

Performances.

The abject opening day defeat against West Bromwich was the last hurrah for the old guard. Rodgers was true to his word and gave them a chance.

Just one.

Since that low point Anfield careers have been ended and overpaid and underperforming stars have been given a stark dose of the new reality.

It is performances that matter and not how much your transfer fee was or how much you are paid.

If there was one common failing under Dalglish that all supporters would agree on it was that he kept playing under performing players on a regular basis and those that did well on substitute appearances didn't get a look in.

Adam, Downing, Henderson et al were all regularly indulged by the previous manager as they continued to put in sub standard performances week after week after week.

Mercifully that practice has been swiftly done away with and for those that have not been moved on or loaned out the reality is that unless they improve their game they are unlikely to find a place even on the bench as Stuart Downing discovered yesterday.

This is indeed a hurricane of change sweeping through Anfield and it is welcomed with open arms from the Liverpool faithful.

For too long the academy has produced players who so nearly became first team regulars but were shipped out in favour of expensive replacements who did not live up to their billing. With few exceptions.

Every game this season has seen a marked improvement in the fluid passing game we have come to expect.

Results are not going Liverpool's way but any fan with a passing interest in watching a pigs bladder being hoofed around a park can see that the end result will justify the means.

Once again Liverpool can bemoan their luck. The Reds have gone from being a lucky team to being cursed with the worst luck in the entire league. The good news is that luck eventually evens itself out and when it does there will be payback.

As for the match, Liverpool played United off the park until Shelvey was given his marching orders and an early bath for a lunging tackle. A yellow was surely in order and as his opponent was also guilty of a crude challenge you could argue that both players should have been dismissed.

It was a harsh decision made worse by Suarez who went down theatrically in the box when clearly fouled and was denied the penalty decision.

Suarez is the boy who cried wolf once too often and I'm sure Rodgers will be bending his ear.

Ronaldo was guilty of the same gamesmanship until he grew up and Suarez needs to follow that example.

Add to that a yellow for Van Persie for a crude lunge and a penalty decision that looked "soft" at worse for United and the home fans let it be known that they thought referee Halsey was not having the best of games.

United may have taken the points but Liverpool were the better team for long periods of this game and if the improvement continues at this rate then the points will start to come.

When I predicted that Rodgers would get the sack before November I hadn't counted on him being able to win over the supporters with his playing style and philosophy.

Two points from fifteen is a poor return by any standards but having played Man City, Arsenal and Man United you would expect them to start racking up the points beginning at Carrow Road.

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