Sunday Review

by Adam - August 16th, 2009. Filed under: Premier League.

The first Sunday of the new campaign saw last seasons’ top two in action albeit not against each other. The champions Manchester United played Championship runners-up Birmingham City where as Liverpool took on Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, a fixture they lost last year.

For Manchester United this was their first competitive fixture without the world player of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo, how would they fare without him?

For Liverpool big things are expected of this time around having them pushed United all the way last season, they only lost two fixtures last year and this was one of them. With the loss of midfield maestro Xabi Alonso where will the creativity come from?

United dominated much of the game but squandered many opportunities, Wayne Rooney was a constant threat and he and Berbatov were linking up well. The goal came from a move between Rooney and Portugese winger Nani who delivered a sumptous left footed cross, Rooney got his head to it but could only hit the post, fortunately the rebound fell at his fett and he had a

Rooney taps in Man Uniteds goal

Rooney taps in Man United's goal

tap in. Shortly after the goal Frank Quedrue had a goal bound header headed off the line by French left back Patrice Evra, that’s two goals in two weeks he has stopped by being on the back post. Just before the break Fletcher missed a sitter after great work by Nani again.

After half-time Nani was substituted because of fears over his shoulder, which was dislocated in the Charity Shield match, and replaced by Giggs, who kept up his record of appearing in every Premier league campaign. Berbatov had a header cleared of the line before being substituted and in the 77th minute Birmingham city had a real chance to score, Christian Benitez broke the offside trap and raced through ongoal, only for it to be saved by England goalkeeper Ben Foster. Just before the end of the match Rooney chested a long ball over the Birmingham defense for Owen to run on to, his shot was saved by young Joe Hart, on loan from Manchester United rivals Manchester City.

Ferguson will be pleased with how Manchester United played, created many chances and defended well, however they will need to be much more clinical against better opposition. Nani played well again before having to be substituted. Ben Foster was much better than in the Charity Shield against Chelsea last Sunday.

Alex McLeish should take hope from how his team defended, especially in the second half, they also tested the defense of Manchester United a couple of times and should take heart from it.

The Tottenham Liverpool match was boring for much of the first half but sprung alive after a mid-air collision between Liverpool centre-backs Martin Skrtel and Jamie Carragher, both of whom required treatment, Carragher went off for a bit to get some stitches and a bandage around his head; Skrtel had obvious pain with his jaw and was later substituted. Between the time the collision had happened and the 40th minute Robbie Keane had three golden opportunities to score, two were saved by spanish keeper Pepe Reina and he fluffed one over the crossbar. Tottenham’s first came from a rebounded freekick, Huddlestone drove it into the wall and it bounced back to Ekotto who controlled it and lashed it into the top corner from 30 yards.

Gomes handed Liverpool a penalty

Gomes handed Liverpool a penalty

After the break Aurelio Gomes went back to his normal self charging out pointlessly and bringing down Liverpool’s 18m summer signing Glen Johnson and Liverpool were awarded a penalty, Steven Gerrard converted it. A few minutes later Sebastian Basson was strong enough to shrug off Glen Johnson and lept between two Liverpool defends to head home a free kick. The game remained 2-1 however there was some controvesy in the 87th minute as Ekotto eased Voronin off the ball, Liverpool were furious and Sammy Lee was sent to the stands. Meaning Liverpool have already lost one game this season where as they only lost two the whole of last season.

Benitez will be disappointed how his two world class attackers, Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard were kept out of the game by Bassong, King and Wilson Palacios. Liverpool ultimately created very little and didn’t deserve anything from the game.

Tottenham on the other hand showed why they are conteders for Europe and possibly to sneak into the big four as they dominated the game and should have been atleast 3 up at the break but Robbie Keane wasn’t quite in the right form.

2 Responses to Sunday Review

  1. Matilde


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  2. Vehmer

    really good article…

    I have spent a bit of time going through your posts, more than I should have but I must say,, many Thanks….

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