It has been two long decades since former Manchester United F.C. manager Sir Alex Ferguson was able to boast of having knocked Liverpool F.C. off the club's perch. Now Manchester United F.C. is a side struggling to get back on top of the same perch and failing miserably.
Many have given the former champions the benefit of the doubt all season, even if Ferguson's hand-picked replacement David Moyes has yet to inspire confidence. At the same time, some thought that at the very least, the Mancs would prove themselves a stumbling block for the Red's title hopes.
When the dust settled, Liverpool maintained their outstanding league form and Manchester United found themselves laid low on their own turf.
Manager Brendan Rodgers only made one change to this line-up from the last game, benching Philippe Coutinho and starting Raheem Sterling. The long injured Lucas Leiva and Mamadou Sakho were welcomed back into the side, though neither started.
It was clear from the outset of the game that LFC was determined to give nothing to their rivals. United was much more giving, handing out penalty kick after penalty kick to the visitors.
Rafael da Silva earned a yellow for a handball that resulted in an goal by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. Gerrard would score a second time from a penalty, and nearly a get a hattrick.
— Kim Cattrall (@KimCattrall) March 16, 2014
At one point it seemed that referee Mark Clattenburg was just tired of handing out penalties for stupid fouls, as many were complaining that certain challenges deserved spot kicks.
In the end the complaints meant nothing as Luis Suarez would seal a victory for the Reds with a brilliant finish at the 82nd minute.
By the time the game ended, it was apparent to all that Liverpool was not the team that had come to play at Manchester United.'s home ground in seasons past. Many called on the ghosts of those previous meetings to indicate exactly how things would go.
It was a foolish thing to do.
Brendan Rodgers has breathed new life and confidence into this increasingly formidable Liverpool side, which is the only English Premier League team to remain undefeated in the new year.
On the other side of the gulf stands David Moyes, seen by some as busily tearing down the house that Sir Alex Ferguson built. He signed a contract for several seasons, but it's anyone guess if he'll make it to the end of this one.
The gap between Liverpool F.C. and their league rivals has expanded to 14 points. Last season, the Reds finished behind the Mancs a whopping 29 points. That's one hell of a turn around.
If that weren't enough, the points earned have signaled a strong title push. They have to get past Manchester City F.C. and Chelsea F.C. to make it happen, but with the way things are going, it really seems like anything is possible for Liverpool right now.
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