Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United
Ten-man Liverpool fell to an unlucky defeat as Manchester United got the rub of the green with the refereeing decisions.
The game could not match the electric atmosphere generated by the crowd, with both sets of fans doing their clubs proud with a fantastic show of togetherness in memory of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough tragedy.
Liverpool blew Man United away as they dominated the first half, but their hard work was soon undone by a difficult refereeing decision.
Jonjo Shelvey and Jonny Evans collided in a 50-50 tackle, which both players went in dangerously for. Evans got to the ball first meaning Shelvey caught him quite high on the shin.
Shelvey was red carded. Evans did not receive a caution. Both players should have been punished with a red card or at least a yellow.
It was Liverpool, though, who continued to outplay Man United with Steven Gerrard running the show in midfield. And it was Gerrard who broke the deadlock inside the first minute of the second half.
Good work down the left-hand side combined with shoddy defending saw the ball fall to Steven Gerrard just inside the penalty area. He brought it down effortlessly with one touch then with the next hit a powerful half-volley into the corner.
This was nothing more then Liverpool deserved, but it didn’t take long for Man United to equalise. Rafael Da Silva did great on the right-hand side before cutting to curl in a delightful shot into the top corner of Pepe Reina’s net.
Momentum started to swing in Man United’s favour, although Liverpool were looking dangerous on the counter-attack.
Then, refereeing controversy number two. Luis Antonio Valencia burst into the box and as he was about to shoot it appeared Glen Johnson had fouled him, but judging by the replays it was very harsh as Johnson did not touch Valencia.
Up stepped Robin van Persie, who was made to wait four minutes as Daniel Agger was stretchered off, and he blasted the ball past Reina. Reina got two hands to the ball and will probably feel he could have saved it.
Liverpool continued to create chances, but failed to put them away. As the final whistle blew it was another smash-and-grab victory for Man United.
Man of the Match: Steven Gerrard. The Liverpool skipper was back to his best and dominated the midfield.
Paul Jones, Football correspondent