Final, 1-1: Steve Gerrard and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez net second half goals in a 1-1 draw. It took nearly 70 minutes to come to life, but it was a pulsating end to game. The result was fair for two teams suffering from the all-to-common letdown that follows international breaks.
90th minute, 1-1: Jordan Henderson almost hits the winner for the Reds. Hits a speculative blast to the top corner that was saved by De Gea. It caps a great game for the young Spanish goalkeeper.
81st minute, 1-1: "Chicharito" Hernandez evens things with a poacher's delight. Wellbeck (he's still on?) flicks a corner-kick into the six yard box. It goes through Smalling's legs and the Mexican international celebrates his new contract with an Anfield equalizer. Skrtel lost track of the evasive striker, who beat Reina from close range.
72nd minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Rooney and Nani enter for the visitors, as their unbeaten start to the season is under serious threat. Giggs alone is to blame for the goal. You have to wonder if Ferguson is man enough to give his legendary midfielder the famous "hair-dryer" treatment after the game. It would send some message to the youngsters at the club.
68th minute 1-0 Liverpool: Steve Gerrard marks his return by giving Liverpool the lead by burying the ensuing free-kick. His low, curling shot should have been stopped by Giggs, but the verteran inexplicably moved out of the way of Gerrard's shot. The wall fails goalkeeper De Gea. The Kop roars.
67th minute, 0-0: Charlie Adam goes on a mazy run through the United defense. Let me repeat: Charlie Adam goes on a mazy run through the United defense. He's brought down by Ferdinand, who makes a lazy tackle. Let's hope the Chicago Fire scouts are watching. If the England international can't win the ball off of Charlie Adam, what's he going to do against Freddy Adu?
64th minute, 0-0: Suarez and Evra are being called over and scolded by diva referee Andre Marriner. The two have been talking trash since Suarez kicked the United captain in the knee a five or six minutes ago. Evra sees yellow for continuous dissent moments later.
57th minute, 0-0: Jordan Henderson is coming on for Lucas. The Brazilian midfielder is on a yellow card and played 45 minutes Tuesday night for his country in its 2-1 win in Mexico.
48th minute, 0-0: Reina gets in on the sloppiness by dropping Young's harmless looking free-kick in front of goal. Rooney is not there to pounce on it, because he's on the bench.
Halftime, 0-0: Apologies to those that were promised a great show in the build-up to the game. This one was dreadful in the first 45 minutes. It's crying out for stars. Rooney and Nani are on the Manchester United bench. Liverpool needs Bellamy to come on and add his pace and determination to an attack that's been lacking in purpose.
44th minute, 0-0: I just asked our trusted intern Matthew Averna, "Who's on the Liverpool bench that can come in and bring some quality to this game?" He responds with, "Dalglish."
34th minute, 0-0: Suarez with Liverpool's first threat on goal. He collected a rebound from Adam's shot from distance, beat defender Evans and hit his shout straight at De Gea. It would take a mistake or lucky bounce to break through this logjam of a game.
30th minute, 0-0: Suarez shows the first bit of fantasy by roasting Ferdinand just left of the area. The veteran screams at young Jones for not supporting him. "Don't you know that's Luis Suarez I'm trying to contain. Help me out!" He seemed to say.
29th minute, 0-0: To continue with the last thought — as Lucas is booked for a professional foul on Park — Kuyt and Downing are being snuffed out by Evra and Smalling. They've switched sides, at times, to no avail.
24th minute, 0-0: We're looking at two teams effectively cancelling eachother out in here in the first half. This is because the numbers are even in the center of the midfield. Gerrard, Adam and Lucas are playing Jones, Giggs and Fletcher to a stalemate. The games is suffering from a lack of quality in that area (with respect to Gerrard, who is not in full flow).
16th minute, 0-0: Phil Jones with the first attempt on goal for either team. Evra bombs down the left and serves a cross to the towering midfielder, who heads outside the far post. Good work for the midfielder (normally a defender) to get into the attacking position, but his header lacked accuracy. He should have tested Reina with it.
14th minute, 0-0: To be honest, this isn't the great show we promised in the introduction. Play is stop-start and there has been nothing in the way of slick passing and fluid movement. It's a typical post-international break game. Players are tired from travelling and playing midweek games for their national teams. The intensity and atmosphere hasn't suffered for it.
Seventh minute 0-0: A lot of talk about the "weakness" of the Manchester United team Ferguson fielded today. No room for Vidic, who played for Serbia Wednesday. Phil Jones is shielding the defense in the holding midfield role. Liverpool is finding it dificult to sustain any possession in the early goings.
Pregame: The big news from Anfield is the return of Steve Gerrard to the starting lineup for Liverpool. On the other side, there is no place for Wayne Rooney in the Manchester United team.
7:30 a.m. ET: Here are the lineups
Pepe Reina (25), goalkeeper
Martin Kelly (34), right back
Jamie Carragher (23), center back
Martin Skrtel (37), center back
Jose Enrique (3), left back
Charlie Adam (26), midfielder
Lucas (21), midfielder
Stuart Downing (19), midfielder
Steve Gerrard (8), midfielder
Dirk Kuyt (18), forward
Luis Suarez (7), forward
Doni (32), goalkeeper
Daniel Agger (5), defender
Jack Robinson (49), defender
Jay Spearing (20), midfielder
Jordan Henderson (14), midfielder
Andy Carroll (9), forward
Craig Bellamy (39), forward
David De Gea (1), goalkeeper
Patrice Evra (3), left back
Rio Ferdinand (5), center back
Johnny Evans (6), center back
Chris Smalling (12), right back
Ryan Giggs (11), midfielder
Darren Fletcher (24), midfielder
Phil Jones (4), midfielder
Ashley Young (18), midfielder
Park Ji-Sung (13), midfielder
Danny Welbeck (19), striker
Anders Lindegaard (34), goalkeeper
Antonia Valencia (25), midfielder
Michael Carrick (16), midfielder
Anderson (8), midfielder
Nani (17), midfielder
Wayne Rooney (10), forward
Javier Hernandez (14), forward
12:00 a.m. ET: There's no bigger game in English soccer than this one. The most famous clubs in the country clash at Anfield Saturday, when Liverpool hosts Manchester United.
The Reds have won the last three home games against their great rivals, and English Premier League leaders Manchester United looks to break that run.
Reds boss Kenny Dalglish downplayed the occasion this week, calling it "another game," but try telling that to both sets of sleepless fans. He also downplayed his personal rivalry with counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson, but try convincing the media. Instead, he reminds the world that it's all about the clubs and what they do on the field.
The winningest clubs in the England are at different moments in their histories. The visitors are in the midst of yet another youth revolution, as Ferguson has watched his fledglings take to their top-flight careers with ease. The spotlight will be on Phil Jones, David de Gea and Danny Welbeck as an estimated 500 million viewers will tune in to see how they respond to the Anfield pressure-cooker. Ferguson could rely on his veterans to see Manchester United through this one, but with so many questions regarding form and fitness following the international break, it's hard to predict the team he will field.
Liverpool is a year into its re-birth under the stewardship of the Fenway Sports Group. Dalglish and Director of Football Damien Comolli have injected new life into the squad and it is gelling before their eyes.
The Reds comes into the game fully fit and ready to topple the reigning EPL champions. Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly are all available for selection. Captain Steve Gerrard is slated for his first appearance in the starting 11 since he featured in March's 3-1 mauling of Saturday’s opponents. The term "selection headache" does not even begin to describe the situation Dalglish has on his hands. Options are abundant in both the midfield and attack for the Liverpool manager.
Join us Saturday at 7:45 a.m. ET for NESN.com’s live blog of Manchester United – Liverpool. Something will have to give way when these two titans clash.
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