Well it was there for the taking and only two set pieces and a Rooney shot from distance every really troubled Mingolet. Liverpool overall controlled the match in the midfield and had plenty of chances to capitalize, but this was clearly a match marked by poor touches, poor passes and missed opportunities.
Rodgers played the 3-5-2 I've been asking for and for the most part it worked quite well. It was a bit of a nervy start with United having the majority of the pressure early, but once Liverpool settled in and took control of the midfield United were left to simply try to beat Liverpool on the counter most of the time.
The defense held strong throughout keeping United outside the box for much of the match. On the other end, the rust showed. Touches and moves that we have all come to think of as second nature just didn't come off. Suarez and Sturridge had the vision, but not the touch to pull off the moves and passes that unlocked defenses so effortlessly last season.
So there you have it, Liverpool were unlocked by a momentary lapse in defense by Enrique, who otherwise had a blinder of a match, and a misjudgment of the flight of the ball by Stevie G. It is obviously better that this happened now vice in the league, but losing to United always stings...even if it is the Mickey Mouse Cup.
-Sakho put Liverpool under entirely too much pressure early on by trying to play out of the back too often. Hopefully BR gets in his ear about that.
-Enrique was a beast tonight. Sure he flubbed a shot or two or cross or two, but he hustled back to cover, breaking up a number of United attacks, and was very dangerous in attack.
-That "The Chosen One" banner with Moyes' picture the Mancs chose to put up has to be one of the dumbest most embarrassing banners I have ever seen. Even I feel bad for the Mancs that have to look at that thing. Seriously, I'm embarrassed for you. It reeks of ignorance of reality (see this article pointed out to me by dirty Manc nolefansam). He clearly doesn't know what he is doing.
-The 3-5-2 seemed to work on the defensive end and looked like it would be beneficial to trying while so many players are hurt. Once Suarez shakes of the rust and Sturridge gets over this lackluster performance the goals will come.
-Where is the real Stevie G? Will the real Stevie G please stand up, please stand up.
-I'm still not sure why Ibe has seen so little playing time. He deserves a bit more unless there is something at training we don't know about.
-Moses is still trying to do too much. It is "puff puff pass" not "puff puff puff puff puff puff cough." However he was very unlucky to be denied his diving header.
-This could be a blessing in disguise. It will allow for more rest for the banged up team, but would have been a good opportunity to get some younger players first team action...ahem Ibe.