Wayne Rooney scored twice as Manchester United saw off Liverpool in a fiery encounter at Old Trafford.
The Liverpool born striker grabbed a brace early in the second half, to secure United fourth consecutive home win in the league against their bitter rivals from the East Lancs Road.
Much had been said before the game about the Suarez – Evra feud, with many suspecting that United captain would not shake hands with the Liverpool striker.
Few could have foreseen what happened.
Liverpool had sunk to a new low by defending their striker to the point where their own credibility was tested – t-shirts and all that – but even Dalglish must have felt embarrassed at his player’s lack of dignity.
Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand, despite the Frenchman’s attempt to make him look like a decent human being.
The United captain was incensed by the reaction – utterly premeditated and, for such reason, even more disgusting – as was Rio Ferdinand, who refused to shake Suarez’ hand.
Liverpool started off positively, their five men midfield slowing United down to the point were the home side had virtually no tempo at all for the first 20 minutes or so.
Fergie had opted for the wise heads of Scholes and Giggs in midfield, supported by Valencia with Rooney and Welbeck up-front. Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans and Evra were assigned the task of protecting DeGea.
Evans and Ferdinand were absolutely superb, leaving the Uruguayan striker frustrated at the lack of service, while Scholes and Carrick controlled the tempo of the game magnificently.
Liverpool had the first chance of the game, with Jonhson blasting a shot wide after cutting inside from the right after nine minutes.
United responded quickly, Valencia tormenting Jose Enrique time and again – something that the Liverpool fullback would become accustomed to throughout the afternoon – before delivering a clever ball to the far post which proved to be slightly too short for Rooney.
United’s best chance of the half was a case of rolling back the years. Welbeck, Rooney and Scholes exchanged passes, before United’s number 22 found Giggs out wide.
The Welshman’s cross found Scholes unmarked in the box, but his header was instinctively parried by Reina.
Just before half-time Suarez was tackled by Ferdinand, the Uruguayan striker pointlessly appealing for a red card when it was clear for everybody – except perhaps Jamie Redknapp and Kenny Daglish – that Ferdinand had played the ball.
Suarez caused yet more controversy as he blasted the ball towards the crow as the half time whistle went, the sign of a man struggling to keep his emotions under control.
United started the second half on the front foot and, two minutes after the restart, Giggs’ corner was touched on by Jordan Henderson; the ball fell to Rooney who, unmarked at the far post, volleyed it home in front of the Stretford End.
Three minutes later the former Everton man sealed his brace, following some brilliant work from Antonio Valencia.
The United winger – again outstanding – shrugged off Spearing’s challenge to deliver the ball into Rooney’s path.
United’s number 10 took a touch before poking the ball in between Reina’s legs for his 17th league goal of the season.
United were in control and should have added a third goal as Rooney failed to convert from inside the box, after a brilliant pass from Valencia.
With ten minutes to go Suarez pulled one back, after a Charlie Adam’s freekick had bounced off Rio Ferdinand, but it was too little too late for Dalglish’s men, as United went top of the league, albeit momentarily.
After the final whistle it was all about Patrice Evra, who celebrated in front of the Stretford End, as Suarez walked off the pitch.
In the post match interviews Ferguson condemned his captain’s reaction, before labeling Suarez “a disgrace”, while Dalglish stubbornly defended his striker, claiming that “it was bang out of order to make an example out of Suarez”.
How it can be out of order to condemn racism is a question that remains unanswered, but there seems to be no limit to the depths to which Liverpool Football Club can sink under the man they call “King Kenny”.
Ferguson was right at playing down Evra’s celebrations but, at the same time, it’s impossible not to feel sympathy for a guy who’s been racially abused and yet made look like the culprit in this despicable saga.
Dalglish and Liverpool have sunk to a new low with their reactions, a sad downturn in fortunes for a once glorious club.
United will not be fazed by such comments, as they regained top spot. Liverpool, meanwhile, should worry about clinching a place in Europe for next season, rather than spending energies to defend Suarez.
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