So, I feel like I’ve talked about penalty kicks a lot recently… maybe a just watch too much football (soccer)…
Liverpool out played Manchester United for the first half of the game (even after they lost one of their players to a deserved red card – deserved on recklessness if not intent). Gerrard put Liverpool into the lead shortly after the break. As much as I hate to say it, it was a good goal.
Back stormed United. Good interplay between Robin Van Persie and Rafael and then a beautiful far post curling effort from the United right back drew the teams level. While Liverpool continued to dominate possession United was finally starting to get some better chances…
Then Valencia, with a burst of speed to split between two challenging Liverpool players (the resulting collision resulted in Daniel Agger needing to be subbed), charged into the box and was tackled from behind. The ref pointed to the spot and up stepped Van Persie.
United has missed a penalty kick in each of their last three games.
Due to the injury to Agger the game was delayed for 4 minutes while they got the Liverpool man stretchered off.
Nerves! Nerves for the keeper and nerves for the striker. Whose would hold and whose would give?
Did Van Persie go for another showboat PK? Did he try to get Pepe Reina to dive before trickling the ball over the line? No. He smashed it. Reina guessed right but the dutch man had fired the shot with such pace that Liverpool’s keeper couldn’t stop it from bulging the back of his net.
And United took (stole) all 3 points.
Liverpool were probably the better team on the day but, as United often do, the Red Devils found a way to scrap together the victory.