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Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool, 5 May

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Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires (Meireles 77), Obi, Lampard, Kalou, Drogba, Mata (Malouda 90+1).
Subs: Turnbull, Essien, Torres, Ferreira, Sturridge.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Spearing (Carroll 55), Henderson, Downing, Gerrard, Bellamy (Kuyt 79), Suarez.
Subs: Doni, Maxi, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2139907/Chelsea-v-Liverpool-live-FA-Cup-final.html#ixzz1vXIHMhYb

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Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool, 11 February

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Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Rooney, Welbeck.

Subs: Amos, Berbatov, Park, Hernandez, Fabio Da Silva, Cleverley, Pogba.
Goals: Rooney, 47, 50

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Spearing (Carroll, 61), Henderson, Kuyt (Adam, 75) Gerrard, Downing (Bellamy, 61), Suarez.
Subs: Doni, Carragher, Adam, Shelvey, Kelly.

Goals: Suarez, 80

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Liverpool – Manchester United, 28 January

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Luis Suarez for Redcafe

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Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United, 15 October

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Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

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Two penalties in injury time turned a frustrating game into the most shocking finale to a Premier League game in a long time as Robin van Persie gave Arsenal the lead before Dirk Kuyt denied the hosts in the 101st minute as Arsenal and Liverpool drew 1-1 at the Emirates.

The build-up before the game was all about Arsenal’s chances of leap-frogging Manchester United for an unlikely Premier League title. A win was a must. But, as a rather convenient metaphor for the subsequent display from the hosts, it turned out to be all talk and no end product. Before the explosive finale that is.

Arsenal came out of the traps the quickest with Abou Diaby flashing a downward header just past the post after a mere three minutes from a Samir Nasri free-kick.

But true to form in this fixture, it wasn’t just one side intent on attacking as Liverpool caused the home side problems with the link-up play between the towering figure of Andy Carroll up front, the same man who scored the solitary goal in a Newcastle victory at the Emirates earlier in the season, and Luis Suarez.

Minutes later, at first glance, a seemingly innocuous penalty claim for Liverpool after Jay Spearing was felled was quickly waved away by referee Andre Marriner, but replays showed that the away side could perhaps consider themselves unlucky.

The returning Theo Walcott tested Pepe Reina after 12 minutes with a swerving 22-yard effort that the goalkeeper opted to punch rather than gather, with a moment of panic among the Liverpool defence ensuing before they regained their composure and hacked the ball clear.

Again Arsenal came forward though and came within inches of taking the lead when Laurent Koscielny’s header, from a Robin van Persie corner, crashed back off the crossbar as Reina again looked shaky.

Arsenal were definitely the side on top, and soon they had the ball in the back of the net. Cue cheers from the home fans. Unfortunately for them they were shortlived as the goalscorer, Van Persie, was correctly adjudged to be offside when collecting the ball and it was back to square one.

With Arsenal providing all their threat down the flanks, Liverpool’s chances of containing them were handed a blow when Fabio Aurelio was forced off through injury midway through the first half, to be replaced by the second rookie full-back of the game in the form of Jack Robinson.

Reina, obviously not enjoying the continuing trend of the game coming towards his goal, made another error shortly afterwards when he came out to stop Van Persie’s dart towards his goal but inexplicably missed the ball and the man and only the Dutchman’s momentum carried the ball harmlessly out for a goal kick with the goal unmanned.

If rumours of Arsenal making an approach for Reina last summer are true, on this performance the Spaniard is probably not expecting the same call this summer.

Another returning player Johan Djourou was also making an impact, after Walcott’s earlier wicked shot, by helping Arsenal control the midfield and dominate possession, so as both sides walked down the tunnel at the end of the first half only one winner was evident. Unfortunately it was the team playing all the pretty football, but nothing of note when it came to end product.

It was heart-in-mouth time again for Liverpool in the opening stages of the second half, but this time not because of an Arsenal attack. Record signing Andy Carroll collapsed inside the opposition area when he lost his footing stretching for a ball and immediately waved for help from the touchline.

Replays showed a buckling of the knee when his ankle gave way but after a couple of minutes on the sidelines, the striker re-appeared to solider on.

This was quickly followed by more injury woes for the away side when Jamie Carragher clashed heads with John Flanagan when attempting to clear an Arsenal attack, and immediately fell to the floor unconscious.

Unfortunately this time the player did not recover as quickly and Sotirios Kyrgiakos came on in replace of the Liverpool captain.

After the extended pause to the action, Arsenal picked up where they left off as Walcott did well down the right flank to find space for a low driven cross towards Van Persie, only for Reina to intercept with a low save before the Dutchman could pounce.

It may have been all Arsenal, but Liverpool looked like being able to snatch a goal, as Carroll and Suarez again combined for the latter to cut inside from the right and bend a shot in, but Szczesny was never troubled and made a comfortable save.

It wasn’t long before the earlier injury caught up with Carroll though as 10 minutes later he was reluctantly substituted in place of Jonjo Shelvey. A good call though as the striker was not moving freely.

More pretty link-up play from Arsenal, but more groans from their fans as great vision from Fabregas allowed the ball to be slid into the path of Van Persie, but the striker went for a delicate dink rather than a shot and Skrtel was able to clear.

With Wenger desperately looking to keep their title challenge alive and tension building all around the ground, Nicholas Bendtner and Andrey Arshavin were introduced for the last 20 minutes, unfortunately Bendtner’s first touch was to over-hit a first touch out for a goal kick.

As the minutes ticked by, both teams knew only one goal was in this and Liverpool knew it was theirs for the taking as Flanagan and Suarez tried to combine for another hopeful effort but the pass from the former was over-hit. Cue groans from the away support.

Every single misplaced pass, bad first touch, wrong decision was being derided by the ever-increasingly frustrated Arsenal fans as Arshavin fluffed an attempted cross which did not appease them. Cue more groans.

As it turned out, there was one glit-edged chance that Arsenal made to grab a winner. With five minutes remaining, and persisting with tippy-tappy football, a glorious flick by Nasri with his heel set Van Persie scampering into the area one-on-one with Reina, only for the latter to make the vital save and keep Arsenal out.

As the fourth official announced that there would be a massive eight minutes of injury time, most fans surely would have been happy to call it a day. They will be happy they didn’t though as in the seventh minute of injury time Jay Spearing tripped Cesc Fabregas as the latter ran into the box. A blatant penalty. Van Persie duly stepped up to score and relight the title challenge fire for Arsenal. Surely?

No. As in the 100th minute of the game, Eboue bundled over Lucas inside the Arsenal area as the Brazilian was running away from the Arsenal goal to gather a deflected Suarez free-kick. Another nailed on penalty. Dirk Kuyt converted under supreme pressure. The final nail in Arsenal’s title dream? Perhaps.

As the sounds of the referee’s whistle ended the game and flew out of the stadium, it could well have been accompanied by Arsenal’s title hopes for another season.

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West Brom 2-1 Liverpool

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Roy Hodgson earned a valuable win over his former club as West Bromwich Albion came from a goal behind to beat Liverpool.

Kenny Dalglish was dealt a significant blow in the first half as Glen Johnson was replaced by Sotirios Kyrgiakos after the defender pulled up with a hamstring injury.

But it got worse for the Liverpool boss when Daniel Agger was also substituted shortly after, with the Dane also picking up an injury.

It meant Liverpool struggled to establish a momentum and the home side had plenty of the ball early on.

However it was a half devoid of goalmouth action and West Brom struggled to turn their possession into chances.

Liverpool finally broke the deadlock five minutes after the restart when Meireles drifted in a corner as Martin Skrtel found space and headed into the top corner.

However the visitors’ lead didn’t last long and when Peter Odemwingie turned Kyrgiakos, the defender brought him down as the referee awarded a penalty.

Chris Brunt stepped up and drove a powerful effort down the middle to put West Brom back into the game.

West Brom were spurred in life and continued to look for a second as Liverpool struggled to impose themselves on the game.

The Reds looked off their game and it was the home side who looked the more determined to find an all important winner.

But as the game looked to set to end all square Odemwingie evaded Kyrgiakos again in the area and the Greek conceded another penalty.

It was Brunt who stepped up again and he fired a powerful effort past Reina who had no chance.

There was little Liverpool could do to get themselves back in the match and Roy Hodgson earned a valuable win in his side’s fight against relegation whilst dented his former club’s hopes of qualifying for Europe next season.

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Sunderland 0-2 Liverpool

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Liverpool cruised to a 2-0 win over 10-man Sunderland at the Stadium of Light with the goals coming from a controversial Dirk Kuyt penalty and Luis Suarez strike, which sees them close the gap on Tottenham in fifth place.
After a bright opening from the home side, the first chance of the game fell the way of the visitors and Simon Mignolet did well to deny Kuyt, who nearly pounced upon an Andy Carroll knockdown from a corner.

Moments later Kuyt should have done better from another corner after beating Phil Bardsley in the air but the Dutchman failed to get his header on target from close range.

Sunderland nearly broke the deadlock after great build up play from Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck down the left, the latter then produced a brilliant cross into the area which was nearly converted by Kieran Richardson but the ball fell just out of his reach.

Liverpool were awarded a controversial penalty in the 34th after John Mensah failed to control the ball outside of the area. Jay Spearing capitalised on this error by racing onto the ball but he was then felled by Mensah.

The referee Kevin Friend awarded a free-kick just outside the area however his mind was changed by his linesman and then awarded the penalty much to the fury of the Sunderland players.

Kuyt slotted the penalty home sending Mignolet the wrong way to give the away side the lead for his eighth goal of the season.

The Reds could have doubled their lead minutes later through Luis Suarez when he raced onto a through ball but his left footed half-volley was wonderfully saved by Mignolet as the Black Cats defence was in disarray.

In the second half Liverpool again went close – this time Carroll was denied his first goal for his new club by Lee Cattermole, on for Sulley Muntari, who cleared the ball off the line after the striker headed towards goal.

Minutes later there was more controversy involving referee Friend after the Reds broke on a counter and Carroll was fouled outside the area by Titus Bramble, the referee appeared to let play run and the ball ran to Meireles who skied his effort.

However the referee then brought play back and awarded a free-kick to Liverpool after an apparent advantage. Suarez just missed the target from the free-kick which would have further infuriated Steve Bruce had the effort found the net.

Sunderland continue to press and Steed Malbranque was unlucky to see his curled effort go just wide as he found himself in space on the edge of the visitors area.

The Reds were a threat all game and looked like they could score with every attack; Mignolet was called into action again to deny Kuyt whose cross-cum-shot looked as though it was creeping in the Belgian’s goal.

The home side were leaving gaps all over the field as they pressed for an equaliser and Spearing nearly took full advantage as he raced past Malbranque and fired a strong effort towards which was brilliantly saved by Mignolet.

After keeping Liverpool at bay for most of the second half, the Sunderland goal was finally breached again with Suarez finding the net from an acute angle, although Mignolet will wish he covered his near post a bit better to deny the Uruguayan.

The Black Cats were then reduced to 10 men in the 82nd minute when Mensah was shown a red card after a coming together with Suarez which further compounded Steve Bruce’s side’s miserable afternoon.

The visitors maintained possession for the final few minutes ensuring the home side did not have chance of an unlikely comeback to seal an impressive win on Wearside.

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Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United: Dirk Kuyt hat-trick dents Ferguson’s title hopes as league leaders are steamrolled at Anfield

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Liverpool delivered a huge blow to Manchester United’s title aspirations with a 3-1 victory over Sir Alex Ferguson’s side at Anfield.

Dirk Kuyt scored a hat-trick to give Kenny Dalglish’s side a thoroughly deserved victory over their deadly rivals who, in truth, never looked like threatening their hosts.

The defeat leaves United three points clear of second placed Arsenal having played a game more and Ferguson will certainly be disappointed that his side were unable to capitalise on the Gunners’ draw with Sunderland on Saturday afternoon, as they delivered a performance hardly befitting of their supposed superiority over their oldest foes.

The first half belonged to Dalglish’s men and in particular Kuyt, securing a brace within five minutes. In truth he was the benificiary of the sublime and the ridiculous. His first came from a fantastic piece of individual play from Luis Suarez, with the Uruguayan slaloming inside the area to put the ball on the Dutchman’s foot to break the deadlock. The second was to come from a terrible defensive header from Nani, who knocked the ball into the path of Kuyt to head home his second and put Liverpool firmly in the driving seat.

The second half was equally disappointing for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, who were lacking in almost every department. A few flickers of a comeback were soon extinguished as Kuyt secured his hat-trick, latching onto a rebounded save from Van der Sar who had looked to parry away a limp Luis Suarez free-kick. Javier Hernandez provided late consolation for the visitors but it will have offered cold comfort for United who have now suffered consecutive Premier League defeats for the first time since March 2009.

The match began amid a typically ferocious atmosphere and it was met with an admirable vigour on the pitch, most notably from the hosts who had a fine chance to secure a dream start in the opening two minutes, only for Luis Suarez’s touch to let him down as he entered the box latching on to Raul Meireles’ fine through-ball. It was an early signal of intent from the Uruguayan, who was matching up against an unfavoured central defensive partnership of Wes Brown and Chris Smalling.

It was an atmosphere intended to intimidate the league leaders and the opening exchanges indeed suggested that Ferguson’s side were rattled, failing to sustain a period of possession in the opening ten minutes, stunted by the pressure imposed upon them by the hosts’ midfield.

Liverpool’s opening dominance failed to yield a chance to trouble Edwin Van der Sar but the hosts were comfortably the better side in the opening quarter of an hour. However, Dimitar Berbatov delivered an effort befitting of United’s season and despite being second best, it was the visitors who nearly broke the deadlock. Collecting the ball just outside the Liverpool area, the Bulgarian swiped a half volley with typical languidity only to see it bounce off the outside of the post. Reina was certainly beaten and it was a wake-up call for the hosts.

The best effort of the match was soon followed by the best chance as Raul Meireles benefitted from a glorious cross-field ball from Suarez to knock into an advancing Dirk Kuyt, only for the Dutchman to just miss out from what was an admittedly heavy-footed ball from the former Porto man who has impressed so often this season.

It had been a superb, if a little ineffective opening quarter from Kenny Dalglish’s side, and the clash was slowly showing a reversal in fortunes for both sides with Fabio Aurelio forced off through injury to be replaced by Soritis Kyrgiakos. For United, Dimitar Berbatov was proving the most prevalent thorn in Liverpool’s collective side. The Bulgarian, who has been overlooked in favour of Javier Hernandez in recent weeks, was proving himself a worthy outlet for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team.

It was looking ever more likely that it would take a moment of true quality for either side to break the deadlock and on the 33rd minute, it was provided by Suarez. The Uruguayan, collecting the ball in the box, somehow broke free from his markers, turning on a six pence and sliding the ball through to a grateful Dirk Kuyt to give the hosts a deserved lead from a yard out. It paid testament to Liverpool’s endeavour and Manchester United, who were vocal in their calls for offside, had no cause for complaint.

A second for the hosts came only five minutes later and it was a case of going from the sublime to ridiculous. The move once again began with Luis Suarez, who, from the right hand channel, delivered a harmless ball into the box only for Nani, one of United’s best performers so far this season, to head the ball back into the danger area and directly on to the head of Kuyt who nodded home with consummate ease. The task was looking increasingly perilous for Sir Alex Ferguson with half-time approaching.

If United didn’t think that it could get any worse, injury was to be added to insult on the stroke of half time as Nani, felled by an awful challenge by Jamie Carragher, was taken off on a stretcher. The Reds defender protested his innocence as he was shown a yellow card but in truth, he was lucky not to have been dismissed.

As was Rafael only a minute later as the Brazilian cut through his compatriot Lucas with a rash lunge. He also received a yellow as the half ended amidst a melee involving nearly every player on the pitch. The scenes were indeed ugly but they held the promise of an enthralling second period.

It was clear that urgency was required for the visitors but the first chance of the second half fell to Liverpool as Suarez, who had been unplayable at times in the first , weaved his way through United’s defenders once again and nearly chipped Meireles in for a third. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side held on but they would be largely thankful for some brave goalkeeping from Edwin Van der Sar.
Things certainly weren’t clicking for the league leaders.

United were certainly showing signs of improvement, most probably with the hairdryer treatment of Ferguson still ringing in their ears as Rooney, who had been a peripheral figure throughout, made space down the left and lashed a superb ball into Ryan Giggs only for the Welshman to smash the bouncing ball over the bar as the hour mark neared.

The swagger of the hosts, so evident in the first 45 minutes, had diminished somewhat and it was from this hesitancy that United so nearly clawed one back, with Martin Skrtel nervously hoofing the ball out for a corner. From that, the ball fell to Berbatov only a couple of yards out but the Bulgarian was unable to breach the excellent Meireles who chested the ball off the line from the striker’s header.

For all of United’s tentative improvements, a goal was not to come and it was Kuyt once again to all but settle the match, latching on to a Van der Sar save from a poor Luis Suarez free-kick. It wasn’t a hat-trick of great skill but its significance to the fans was evident as they piled down to the front of the Kop to congratulate the Dutchman.

The atmosphere was nearing party territory at Anfield as the game entered its final 15 minutes and the noise became deafening on the introduction of record £35 million signing Andy Carroll, as the former Newcastle man came on to replace the superb Raul Meireles.

Ferguson made moves to find a way back into the tie, with Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea entering the fray but it was a case of too little too late and it was an alarming indictment of the league leaders’ resources that they failed to offer any real threat from the bench.

It nearly got worse still for United as Luis Suarez, whose performance certainly deserved a goal, broke down the right-hand side at will but failed at the final hurdle, slicing his effort high and wide into a still jubilant Kop.

Consolation was to come for United as Hernandez, who had been his usual energetic self since replacing Nani, latched onto a late header. There was no time for celebration however as the game was very much up for the visitors.

The voracity with which You’ll Never Walk Alone was belted out paid testament to what was a sublime Liverpool performance. United may still be top dogs in the Premier League on paper but after two consecutive defeats, Sir Alex Ferguson’s charges are look ever more the wounded animal as the title race reaches its most pivotal point.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs Flavia Pennetta, Qatar Open 2011, 24 February

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