No. 54 – Liverpools four goals at Old Trafford
Liverpool travelled to Old Trafford on Saturday 14th March 2009 needing to beat the leaders Manchester United to stay in the title hunt, Liverpool dismantled Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, coming back from a goal down to win in style.
All sorts of records went tumbling that day. United hadn’t been beaten in the League since losing at Arsenal on 8th of Novembeer 2008 and hadn’t lost at Old Trafford in the League in more than a year. Most brutally, this was the heaviest home defeat Manchester United had suffered in the League since losing to Queens Park Rangers on New Year’s Day 1992.
Here Matt Ladson recalls the day at Old Trafford
“On Saturday 14th March 2009, after beating Real Madrid 4-0 just four days earlier, how can you beat that result? Well, a 4-1 victory at Old Trafford is probably the only result that could beat it. Eight goals against two of the world’s biggest teams; Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard causing mayhem for defences!
With Xabi Alonso ruled out through injury, Lucas Leiva stepped into his shoes, and Andrea Dossena again came on to hit the fourth goal. But it was Torres and Gerrard who were the chief tormentors, having gone a goal behind after a rush of blood from Pepe Reina saw him take out Park and give Ronaldo the chance to put the Mancs ahead from the spot.
It would have been a brave man who would have put a bet on Ronaldo to score first and Liverpool to win, but they did. United had the better of the first five minutes but Liverpool grew into the game, enjoying possession before United’s penalty. But they hit back soon after, when Torres robbed Vidic after a long hopeful ball from Skrtel and finished when one-on-one with Van der Sar.
Just before half-time Torres and Gerrard combined to put the skipper in and Evra took him down to give Liverpool a clear penalty of their own. Gerrard put it to the keeper’s bottom left and despite Van der Sar diving the right way it was a quality penalty. 2-1. Half time.
United enjoyed much the better of possession in the second half and as you would expect attempted to throw everything at Rafa Benitez’s side, but hardly caused any real scoring oppportunities. With 15 minutes left, Vidic – having a nightmare game – pulled down Gerrard on the edge of the box, with the skipper through on goal, it was a clear dismissal and Alan Wiley rightly sent him off. The subsequent free-kick saw Aurelio beautifully curl the ball into the top corner to make it 3-1.
With minutes left another long ball caught United out, and allowed Dossena to lift the ball over the keeper to make it 4-1 and inflict the heaviest home defeat since 1992 upon Ferguson’s team. Eight goals against Real and United inside a week.
What a week.”
Liverpools Team : Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard (El Zhar, 90), Riera (Dossena), Torres (Babel).
Subs not used: Cavalieri, Insua, Ngog, Arbeloa
Goals: Torres, Gerrard (pen), Aurelio, Dossena