Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool
Giggs (pen) 2
A penalty conceded after only 31 seconds proved enough for Manchester United to overcome Liverpool in the FA Cup third round, despite the visitors playing two-thirds of the match with ten men.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was dismissed on 32 minutes for a dangerous airborne lunge in a tussle for possession with United’s Michael Carrick.
And with his departure went any serious hopes Liverpool had of recovering from their first-minute setback, despite the popular re-appearance of former manager Kenny Dalglish in the dug-out.
United’s Dimitar Berbatov won the penalty when he fell under a soft challenge by Daniel Agger, Giggs emphatically drilling home the hotly-disputed spot-kick.
But United struggled to build on this, even after Gerrard’s dismissal, although centre-back Jonny Evans headed a Ryan Giggs corner against the post in first-half stoppage time.
Liverpool came closest to equalising on 64 minutes when Fabio Aurelio’s left-footed, 20-yard free-kick was saved by United keeper Tomas Kuszczak.
But they were grateful to keeper Pepe Reina for a string of saves during a 69th-minute goalmouth scramble, denying Rafael, Berbatov, Giggs and Patrice Evra.
And former Liverpool hero Michael Owen nearly rubbed salt into Merseyside wounds with a run and narrowly off-target shot on 87 minutes.
Tags: Manchester United, Liverpool, FA Cup, Steven Gerrard, Kenny Dalglish, Ryan Giggs