1. Beating Liverpool is always brilliant. Knocking them out of the FA Cup is great. Destroying all the good feeling and positivity that came with Kenny Dalglish’s appointment is even better. Although I’m frustrated we didn’t totally destroy them today. We dominated the game entirely, as you would expect for a side with an extra man for an hour, but just weren’t clinical enough in the box.
2. Steven Gerrard is a thug. How Dalglish can watch the replay of that assault on the TV time and again and think it was anything other than a disgrace is beyond me. Whilst I don’t expect the Messiah to return to rip apart the only player who stands between them staying in the Premiership and going down, it wouldn’t hurt to acknowledge that when you fly in with both feet off the ground and smash in to an opponents . The other big decision of the game was the penalty decision just a few seconds in to the game. Daniel Agger made contact with the player and didn’t come close to the ball. It was a soft decision but Berbatov reckons the minimal contact was enough to end him off balance. I’d be furious if a decision like that went against us but you can’t make contact in the box and not win the ball. The penalties we should have had later on were obviously waved away by Webb, you couldn’t expect anymore more, but I’m sure there won’t be too many replays of Martin Kelly pushing Evra over in the box when he was past him or Evans being hauled to the ground.
3. Jonny Evans has had a dreadful season before now and I’m sure nobody was happy to see him the starting line-up, particularly in the absence of Edwin Van der Sar. The manager said before the game that Evans has been brilliant in training so it’s great to see him transferring that to the pitch. He also game closest to scoring our second goal, seeing his header come back off the woodwork just before half time. He looked a bit jittery on the ball at times but he didn’t put a foot wrong and dealt with Fernando Torres. Now, this isn’t the Torres that Vidic had to deal with (and failed) a couple of seasons ago, he couldn’t look like he wanted to be there less if he tried, but we all know what he is capable of. He turns 27 this year and is no doubt wondering why he has wasted the best years of his career at that club.
4. To be awarded a penalty so early on means the player stepping up to take it needs balls. Cristiano Ronaldo bottled his opportunity to put us 1-0 up at the Nou Camp so early on in 2008 but there was no way Giggsy was going to make the same mistake. Even with Reina going the right way, Giggs’ penalty was so wide it would have taken some keeper to stop it. He was much better than he had been during our victory over Stoke in the week and it’s great to see him playing an important role still. Contract renewal? Unlike with GNev, I think Giggs still has enough to offer us next season too.
5. Michael Carrick is a funny ol’ soul. He got a lot more stuck in today and I loved that. He was putting his foot in and showed a rare bravery for him. But he still won’t pass forward. The crowd were crying out for it. Saying that, he made more of an impact on the game than Darren Fletcher who, sadly, was anonymous before his substitution.
6. The atmosphere was brilliant. Outsung them with easy. Best chants of the today were “Sacked in the morning, you getting sacked in the morning”, “Going down, going down, going down”, “You’re not famous anymore” and the return of “Have you ever won the Treble, have you fuck?”