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Barclays Premier League

Old Trafford (ATT 74,844) 11th February 2012 - Kick off 12:45 Ref: P Dowd

Man Utd Manchester United vs Liverpool Liverpool

Man Utd 2

W Rooney (47, 50)

ft

Liverpool 1

L Suarez (80)

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Live Commentary

Last Updated at 5:14 pm, February 11th 2012

  1. Amid all the controversy, United return to the top of the table after Rooney's two goals mean that a goal from Suarez, of all people, was only a consolation. An inevitably unpleasant game, but United were deserved winners. Feel free to let me have your thoughts at peter.fraser@bskyb.com or via Twitter @SkySportsPeteF. Stay with us for what promises to be fiery post-match reaction.

  2. Evra then invites trouble by intentionally celebrating in front of Suarez. Liverpool's players do not like the lack of diplomacy and there is another scuffle. Evra is then stirred down the tunnel by stewards. Could be repercussions for incitement for Evra.

  3. Mass celebrations from Evra, who runs around the field waving his arms to fans and patting his United badge. He then jumps into the arms of Ferdinand.

  4. 90 + 4

    FULL-TIME: UNITED 2 LIVERPOOL 1

  5. 90 + 3

    Liverpool look like they have wasted their last chance. Bellamy's cross is headed wide by Suarez. Suarez was offside anyway. De Gea was flapping horribly.

  6. 90 + 2

    Rooney is furious with Welbeck at a poor pass when United had a three on two counter-attack.

  7. 90 + 1

    Free-kick to Liverpool wide on the left. Bellamy to swings it in, but Agger cannot quite keep the ball. Johnson's log-range follow up has to be tipped over by De Gea in a similar style to his save against Chelsea last week.

  8. 90

    ADDED TIME: There will be a minimum of three minutes stoppage time before the final whistle.

  9. 89

    Now Liverpool have a throw-in in United territory. It is all too tight for Johnson and he cannot keep the ball in play.

  10. 88

    Suarez feeds a ball wide to the right and invites Johnson forward. But the ball is just too far out of reach and the right-back cannot keep it in play.

  11. 87

    Enrique is shouting at Carroll and attempting to get a message through to the striker about where to run for the ball. Surely a defender should not need to tell a £35m forward.

  12. 86

    Liverpool are not rushing their play as they look for what a few minutes ago looked an unlikely equaliser. Suarez is then offside when meeting a header.

  13. 85

    Johnson catches Evra and gives away a foul. Liverpool soon have the ball back.

  14. 84

    A brilliant pass from Gerrard goes straight to the feet of Henderson, but his first touch is poor and United have the ball.

  15. 83

    It shows what I know, suggesting Liverpool were not looking as if they had a goal in them. Suarez now wants a corner, but referee Dowd awards a goal-kick.

  16. 82

    United respond with their own attack, but Welbeck smashes miles over the bar.

  17. Who else was going to score for Liverpool? From the free-kick, which the Uruguayan won, Adam delivers the ball into the danger area, it deflects off Ferdinand and Suarez pokes home from close range. Poor defending from United.

  18. 81

    GOAL SUAREZ (2-1)!!!

  19. 80

    Carrick is booked for a foul in the back of Suarez.

  20. 79

    United are playing for full-time. They are in no rush and Liverpool do not seem capable of creating any genuine chances. In comparison with what has happened already this afternoon, this is heading towards a tame finale.

  21. 78

    The superb Welbeck steps in to sneak the ball off the toes of Adam and then win United a throw-in. Great work from the striker.

  22. 77

    Reina hits a long ball towards Carroll. But the £35million striker misses the header and fouls Evans. Carroll lets rip at referee Dowd for the decision.

  23. 76

    Liverpool have had more of the ball in the second half, but they have been very wasteful with it and it has not been in areas which could hurt United.

  24. 75

    After Agger blazes an effort well off target, Liverpool send on Adam in place of Kuyt.

  25. 74

    Good passing from United on the edge of the Liverpool box results in Welbeck's shot from 10 yards. Importantly for Liverpool, Johnson just took some of the sting out of the effort and Reina can save.

  26. 72

    Enrique hangs his head in shame after a cross-field pass is well wide of any team-mate and only drifts out for a United throw-in. Liverpool have been poor in the second half, but still have at least 18 minutes left. One goal could make a difference.

  27. 71

    Along with Rooney and Welbeck, Valencia has also had a very good game. He has caused Enrique a lot of problems.

  28. 70

    Liverpool are enjoying another passage of the game where they are seeing lots of the ball in midfield. But they are struggling to find the vital final pass.

  29. 69

    More jeers from the United fans. Kuyt attempted to switch play from right to left, but his pass was way wide of Gerrard and the Liverpool captain has to chase back to collect the ball.

  30. 68

    Gerrard received a ticking off from referee Dowd after clipping Rooney's heels. Rooney did seem to go to ground a little easily and Gerrard was not happy.

  31. 67

    Suarez jinks into the United box from the left and puts in a dangerous cross. But Carroll has not anticipated the ball.

  32. 66

    Good play from Enrique as he uses his undoubted strength to shield the ball and win a goal-kick against Valencia.

  33. 65

    Agger has to defend at the back post when Giggs drilled a cross along the six-yard box.

  34. 64

    Henderson then gives the ball to Carrick. The Liverpool midfielder's shoulders visibly sink when realising what he has done.

  35. 63

    Scholes is revelling in the chance to keep the ball and is giving Henderson a bit of a lesson.

  36. 62

    United look very comfortable when containing Liverpool. They are able to sit back on their lead. Bellamy takes on a shot from 25 yards, but it hits a United defender.

  37. 61

    With the ball out of play. Dalglish makes changes. Downing's woeful afternoon is over, while Spearing also makes way. On come Bellamy and Carroll.

  38. 60

    Gerrard's long ball is controlled on the chest by Downing, but his feet then let him down. Goal-kick to United.

  39. 59

    Almost a 12 minute hat-trick for Rooney, but he toe pokes wide from eight yards after Scholes had set him up with a clever step over of Valencia's pass.

  40. 58

    Evans is not happy to have been pulled back for a tackle on Spearing in midfield. The United centre-back went to ground and given the current focus on tackles was probably never going to get away with it when his studs were up.

  41. 57

    Now it is a free-kick to United after Skrtel brings down Rooney on the touchline close to halfway.

  42. 56

    Carrick brings down Suarez. Downing has the chance to curl in a cross from the free-kick. The delivery is woeful and is an easy cleared header for Evra.

  43. 55

    Johnson again carries the ball forward down the right, but his cross is cleared by a congested United defence.

  44. 54

    Fresh from his two penalties last weekend, Rooney has again been the goalscoring hero today. But Welbeck's role cannot be ignored. The young striker has been very good.

  45. 53

    Bellamy and Carroll are warming up for Liverpool. Dalglish's tactic of one man in attack has not worked.

  46. 52

    'Suarez, what's the score?', chant United's fans

  47. 51

    Liverpool were two goals down in this fixture last season and came back to level before ultimately losing 3-2. But they have offered little to suggest they could make a comeback today.

  48. Spearing is the guilty man as far as Liverpool are concerned. He attempts a risky pass and is robbed of the ball 30 yards from goal by Valencia. United's wide-man plays a simple pass to former Everton striker Rooney, who makes no mistake with a right-foot finish inside the area. Incredible start to the second half for United.

  49. 50

    GOAL ROONEY (2-0)!!!

  50. 48

    Liverpool look for an immediate response, but Downing, who has been poor, drifts offside.

  51. From the corner, Ferdinand gets a slight flick on and, from point-blank range at the back post, Rooney blasts past a helpless Reina with a fierce volley.

  52. 47

    GOAL ROONEY (1-0)!!!

  53. 46

    Ferguson's team are immediately on the attack. Welbeck, who has been excellent away from the nastiness, holds the ball up and then Rooney wins a corner.

  54. WE'RE BACK: United get the second half under way. Let's hope some of the thoroughly unpleasant events can come second to football.

  55. The whole issue of the compulsory nature of handshakes before matches will again come under scrutiny because of this game. It is very saddening that the current climate means grown men playing a game of football cannot conduct themselves in the correct manner and that previous feuds mean there is such a level of lack of respect. All a bit of a disgrace.

  56. Apparently both teams were involved in scuffles in the tunnel when leaving the pitch. Reportedly, Evra attempted to confront Suarez, and Skrtel blocked his path, which led to a mass confrontation. Stewards and police involved.

  57. Inevitably Suarez's refusal to shake Evra's hand will overshadow this match. The Uruguayan is of course entitled to his opinion if he feels he has been wronged by Evra, but on the surface it looks a fairly pathetic and abysmal act. The subject will now remain a talking point for the foreseeable future. Regarding the match, it has been fairly torrid and feisty, with Scholes' header the only real chance.

  58. Suarez, who is still annoyed he did not get what he thought was a foul, boots the ball away at the sound of the half-time whistle. Groups of Untied and Liverpool players come together as they leave the pitch. There really has been a horrible feeling to this match.

  59. 45

    HALF-TIME: United 0 Liverpool 0

  60. 45

    Suarez is irate. He skips past Evra and looks to be through on goal. Ferdinand challenges from behind and Suarez thinks it is a foul. In theory, if it was a foul, it should be a red card as Ferdinand would have been the last man. But replays show Ferdinand clearly got the ball. Suarez's rage is misplaced.

  61. 45

    Downing, who has not contributed much so far, is the first played to be booked for a sliding challenge from behind on Rafael.

  62. 44

    Valencia is adjudged to have fouled Spearing close to the halfway line. It was a clumsy challenge as they collided in mid-air and is the correct decision.

  63. 43

    From the second set-piece, Skrtel sends a volley towards goal. It takes a clear deflection off Ferdinand, but the match officials give a gol-kick.

  64. 42

    United make a bit of a meal of clearing the corner and Ferdinand then awkwardly has to chest the ball behind for another set-piece.

  65. 41

    Gerrard takes on a 30-yards shot, which deflects for a corner.

  66. 40

    Liverpool again have the foot on the ball and are trying to take some of the momentum out of United.

  67. 39

    Suarez carries the ball from halfway and almost plays in Kuyt, but Ferdinand can defend.

  68. 38

    Tackles go flying in. Carrick beats Spearing and United move forward. Rooney looks a little guilty of play-acting when attempting to win a free-kick from Gerrard. Play goes on and Liverpool clear.

  69. 37

    Welbeck is looking very lively. He controls a ball out of the air and then places a nice one-two with Rooney. He should be applauded for not going to ground under a challenge from Agger and then drags his shot wide.

  70. 36

    Giggs is crowded out by Spearing. Liverpool break, but Kuyt's attempt to control Suarez's cross-field ball is poor and the move breaks down.

  71. 35

    More possession from Liverpool in midfield, but they are not going anywhere and Suarez remains very isolated.

  72. 34

    With just more than 10 minutes to go to half-time, United are beginning to make the pressure. Evra meets Valencia's cross at the back post, but heads over. Evra would have enjoyed that if he had scored.

  73. 33

    Kuyt breaks into the United box, but the ball escapes his control when off balance and he catches Carrick when attempting a shot.

  74. 32

    Scholes' chance has brought United to life. Welbeck gets in behind Liverpool's defence. But he decides not to shoot and instead crosses. In hindsight, probably the wrong decision.

  75. 31

    Stunning stuff from Scholes. First he sprays the ball wide to Giggs with an excellent pass. He then meets Giggs' cross and is very unfortunate his header is straight at Reina. Liverpool comfortably clear the corner.

  76. 30

    Valencia tries to pass to Rooney on the edge of the Liverpool box. But Gerrard reads the ball and can nip in from behind to nick the ball off the toes of his fellow Scouser.

  77. 29

    Liverpool are keeping the ball very well in midfield. Suarez then lays off a pass to Henderson inside the United box. But the pass does not quite drop for the former Sunderland man. Cagey.

  78. 28

    Henderson is annoyed to be ruled offside when breaking down the right. Liverpool had men over in that attack and so that was a waste.

  79. 27

    Rooney has the chance to set his sights from the edge of the box. But, closed down by Agger, he drags well wide.

  80. 26

    Rafael is stopped in his tracks by Gerrard. The United full-back remains on the ground, holding his face. Replays show Gerrard's hands caught Rafael's face, but it was nothing more than a coming together.

  81. 25

    Excellent defending from Evra as he stops Johnson at the byline. Giggs then plays the ball off a Liverpool attacker to give his side a goal-kick.

  82. 24

    Liverpool are keeping the ball well in midfield. But United's defence snaps into action as soon as their rivals cross the halfway line. Scholes blocks to prevent a ball reaching Suarez.

  83. 23

    All a bit flat, but the nasty undercurrent and atmosphere which has surrounded the build up to the match remain.

  84. 22

    Gerrard sprays the ball wide to Johnson. The England international decides to cross from deep and only loops it into the chest of De Gea.

  85. 21

    Kuyt tracks back in trademark style to prevent Evra from getting a touch on a cross-field pass. The Dutchman thinks he is fouled, but referee Dowd is not interested.

  86. 20

    Jeers around Old Trafford as Suarez fails to keep a ball under control at the byline and gives United a goal-kick.

  87. 19

    United again get in down the right. Rafael's cross is just inches away from Welbeck's outstretched leg and Reina can smother the ball.

  88. 18

    Enrique gives Downing an earful for not offering enough defensive support. The left-back has had a tough start to the game and is being targeted by United.

  89. 17

    The one-man, Suarez, tactic in attack for Liverpool means they are struggling to keep the ball in high areas. But Dalglish will have known his team will need to counter-attack.

  90. 16

    Giggs slips when he has the opportunity to cross from the left and gives the ball to Henderson.

  91. 15

    Kuyt has the chance to attempt two crosses from the right in quick succession. His first effort is blocked by Evra and then the second is hit behind for a goal-kick.

  92. 14

    Enrique lifts the ball towards the far post, but a combination of Rooney and Evra clears the danger for United.

  93. 13

    Evans is penalised for a high boot on Suarez inside the United half. Correct decision from referee Dowd. A chance for Liverpool to lob the ball into the box.

  94. 12

    Another free-kick to United inside the Liverpool half. But it is wasted and Kuyt is able to win back possession.

  95. 11

    There have been lots of boos for Suarez on his rare touches so far. His refusal to shake Evra's hand was completely stupid and vindictive has now ensured the issue will remain a long-term future.

  96. 10

    Johnson has his head in his hands after cutting inside Evra and curling a left-footed shot just wide of the far post from inside the box. Johnson is causing United problems when attacking.

  97. 9

    Referee Dowd bizarrely decides not to give United a foul after a clear body-check from Enrique on Rafael.

  98. 8

    This has been an good start from Untied. They are keeping the ball nicely and are targeting their attacks down the right-hand side.

  99. 7

    The corner eventually comes to Rooney, but he cannot generate enough power on his header to trouble Reina.

  100. 7

    Giggs floats in an excellent cross from the set-piece. Johnson makes a vital header at the back post to deny Rooney a clear chance on goal. Corner to United.

  101. 6

    Free-kick to United wide on the edge of the Liverpool box after Agger brought down Valencia.

  102. 5

    United respond with their own attack. Welbeck carries the ball up field and passes to Valencia. The wide-man attempts to feed a cross to Rooney. Reina is off his line to gather, despite a slight spill.

  103. 4

    Liverpool attack down the right, but Johnson's cross is behind all his team-mates and United can clear. Tense and unpleasant atmosphere.

  104. 3

    Ferdinand is back on his feet and the game re-starts at a Liverpool throw-in. Ferdinand is back on the pitch.

  105. 2

    As a result of the collision, Ferdinand has a horrible fall and lands on his head. He is down receiving treatment for what looks like a neck injury.

  106. 1

    A through ball towards Suarez sees Evra and Ferdinand realise they have a chance to clatter the Uruguayan. But Suarez backs out and Evra and Ferdinand collide.

  107. KICK-OFF: Liverpool get the game going.

  108. 12.43

    Suarez decides not to shake hands with Evra, who grabs out at the Uruguayan's arm. Very poor behaviour from Suarez. That was totally unnecessary and depressing from Liverpool's No.7. Ferdinand then refuses to shakes hands with Suarez.

  109. 12.42

    Boos for Suarez as he emerges from the tunnel.

  110. 12.41

    Evra looks incredibly composed and focused as he stands staring down the tunnel. Suarez is at the back of the Liverpool line as the teams head for the pitch.

  111. 12.40

    The teams are now in the tunnel and will be emerging into a fiery Old Trafford in just a matter of minutes. Evra will captain United, while Gerrard is leading Liverpool.

  112. 12.39

    Thank you for all your emails and tweets this afternoon. Sorry I have not been able to publish all comments. Keep your views coming during the game and after kick-off and I will continue to print the best views. Get in touch at peter.fraser@bskyb.com or via Twitter @SkySportsPeteF.

  113. 12.37

    I think a somewhat optimistic Cian Rossiter says: "The final score will be 5-3 to Liverpool Suarez bagging 4 and Carroll nodding a 5th, Valencia with 1 and Rooney with 2 for utd. Come on the pool!!!"

  114. 12.33

    In case you came in late, with just under 15 minutes to kick-off, here is a round-up of the team news. Suarez and Evra face each other for the first time since the racism storm erupted between the pair. Liverpool boss Dalglish names Suarez in his starting line-up among four changes from the draw with Tottenham. United are looking for a win to go top of the table. Ferguson makes just one change from last week's thrilling draw at Chelsea, including the experience of Scholes in preference to England wide-man Young.

  115. 12.27

    If you fancy a flutter... Sky Bet say: "United start the big grudge match as clear 10/11 favourites with Liverpool available at 3/1 and the draw at 5/2. If you fancy Rooney to score first and United to win 2-0, that is on offer at 25/1. The reverse scoreline with Suarez on target with the opener is 100/1."

  116. 12.26

    It is an overcast, misty afternoon at Old Trafford. Classic crisp atmosphere and let's hope for a memorable match. I am intrigued to see if Suarez keeps his cool amid what is going to be intense scrutiny. His kick out at Scott Parker against Tottenham on Monday was lucky to avoid a red card.

  117. 12.24

    Dion makes a good point. Hernandez has scored in the final 10 minutes of the last two Premier League games between Liverpool and United.

  118. 12.23

    Dion Whittall says: "I'm surprised Hernandez is not starting. He changed the game at Chelsea... If he comes on I can see him bagging a couple."

  119. 12.19

    Not the most friendly of welcomes for Suarez when the Uruguayan trotted out onto the pitch at Old Trafford for his warm-up.

  120. 12.16

    Michael, I would think Dalglish is considering Kuyt's excellent recent record against United as discussed below. The Dutchman's work ethic is also likely to be important in a game when Liverpool are likely to spend a lot of time without the ball.

  121. 12.11

    United are clearly looking to dominate possession in midfield with the inclusion of veteran Scholes and Giggs. Those two players are not designed for rapid counter-attacking. United had just 44 per cent of possession against Liverpool in the Premier League in October, which was their lowest total of their season in any other game. Ferguson wants a different story today.

  122. 12.09

    Mark Akermann: "I'm going for a narrow Reds win today. 2-1 with Suarez & Carroll to score. Don't see why he's benched anyway?"

  123. 12.07

    Good to see Tom Cleverley back on the United bench. But no sign of Ashley Young.

  124. 12.05

    So, Suarez and Evra are both starting. Will they shake hands before kick-off? Let me have your thoughts at peter.fraser@bskyb.com or via Twitter @SkySportsPeteF.

  125. 12.04

    Those predicting lots of goals for Liverpool is an interesting opinion. Don't forget Dalglish's men have the worst conversion rate in the Premier League - 8.46 per cent.

  126. 12.01

    Matthew Taylor says: "A united season ticket holder going for 3-1 United. Gonna be a good game."

  127. 11.54

    United team: De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Welbeck, Rooney. Subs: Berbatov, Park, Hernandez, Fabio, Cleverley, Amos, Pogba.

  128. 11.53

    So, Suarez starts for Liverpool. What do you think? Stewart Downing is also in the starting XI, while Charlie Adam has to make do with a place on the bench. Kuyt starts and he has scored four goals in his last three appearances against United.

  129. 11.50

    Liverpool team: Reina, Enrique, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Spearing, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing, Kuyt, Suarez. Subs: Doni, Carragher, Bellamy, Carroll, Adam, Shelvey, Kelly.

  130. 11.46

    For those who are asking, today's referee is Phil Dowd.

  131. 11.44

    Team news is expected any minute now. Liverpool, meanwhile, sit seventh in the table, but ahead of the 3pm kick-offs, they could move fifth with a win at Old Trafford.

  132. 11.43

    Away from the Suarez-Evra row, let's not forget there is a vitally important football match to be played. United need the win to put pressure on Manchester City, who ahead of Sunday's trip to Aston Villa currently lead the Premier League from their derby foes by two points. United dropped two points in last weekend's dramatic draw at Chelsea. But Ferguson's men came back from three goals down at Stamford Bridge and confidence will be high.

  133. 11.39

    Either way, it promises to be a coliseum atmosphere at Old Trafford. You can let me have your thoughts throughout the build-up to kick-off and during the match. I will publish a selection of the best comments. You can contact me at peter.fraser@bskyb.com or via Twitter @SkySportsPeteF.

  134. 11.38

    Both Ferguson and Dalglish have both emphasised the need to focus on football, although the former did yesterday question why Liverpool had not attempted to appeal Suarez's ban if they thought he was not guilty. Dalglish said after Monday's draw with Tottenham that Suarez should never have been banned.

  135. 11.36

    But, of course, the infamous game at Anfield in October, when Suarez was ultimately found guilty of racially abusing Evra and consequently banned for eight matches, is what has grabbed all the attention. Suarez's first game back was against Tottenham on Monday and he could make his first start since returning in today's game. Will he and Evra shake hands?

  136. 11.33

    Liverpool have quite a good recent record against United having won four of the last seven Premier League games. Kenny Dalglish's men also defeated Sir Alex Ferguson's team in the FA Cup two weeks ago. But United won both matches at Old Trafford last season, including a cup win in Dalglish's first game back in charge of Liverpool and a Premier League success following Dimitar Berbatov's hat-trick.

  137. 11.28

    This is arguably the biggest fixture in the Premier League's calendar on a yearly basis. This season the grudge game has an extra edge due to what is expected to be the first time Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra have come face to face since the Liverpool striker was banned for eight matches for racially abusing the Untied defender. We'll bring you the team news shortly.

  138. 11.24

    Hello and welcome to our live and interactive coverage of the unmissable Premier League game between old rivals Manchester United and Liverpool from Old Trafford.

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 17 42
2 Manchester City 17 39
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 West Ham United 17 31
5 Southampton 17 29
6 Arsenal 17 27
7 Tottenham Hotspur 17 27
8 Swansea City 17 25
9 Newcastle United 17 23
10 Liverpool 17 22
11 Everton 17 21
12 Aston Villa 17 20
13 Stoke City 17 19
14 Sunderland 17 19
15 West Bromwich Albion 17 17
16 Queens Park Rangers 17 17
17 Crystal Palace 17 15
18 Burnley 17 15
19 Hull City 17 13
20 Leicester City 17 10