OT win has Reds daring to dream

Tuesday 18th March 2014 18:58

Liverpool: Outclassed Manchester United at Old Trafford

Liverpool: Outclassed Manchester United at Old Trafford

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Liverpool FanZoner Rich Garnett purrs at the win over Man United but urges the players to concentrate ahead of Saturday's clash at Cardiff.

The king is dead long live the king. As Sir Alex Ferguson watched on with a cold glare of disbelief, his old adversaries executed a football power shift with merciless precision.

Liverpool had gone to Old Trafford brimming with confidence and a belief that they could not only claim three points off their fiercest of rivals but also condemn Manchester United to a humiliating defeat that would effectively end their challenge for Champions League qualification through the Premier League.

They did both.

The manner in which the visitors dismantled their hosts bore the mark of a side that is capable of winning the Premier League title this season.

Liverpool were better than Manchester United in every single department. Quicker, stronger, smarter, more desire.

Perhaps the most poignant way to summarise the chasm of quality between the two sides is this - Liverpool are united. Manchester United are not.

The casual observer would probably have raised a few eyebrows at the unprecedented sight of Mark Clattenburg awarding three penalties to the away team at Old Trafford, but it is no coincidence that Liverpool win so many spot-kicks.

The speed and sharpness of Liverpool's attacks combined with the exquisite skill of their forwards leaves defenders in a spin and draws fouls and mistakes out of them.

Although Liverpool's third penalty was dubious at best, they should have been awarded a further two without question.

Never more so was Brendan Rodgers' one team mentality better demonstrated than at this theatre of fading dreams.

The Northern Irishman's flexibility to alter the shape of his midfield to suit the opponent has seen Liverpool win three consecutive away games, scoring nine goals in the process.

Against Manchester United they were driven by an inspirational Steven Gerrard, who is reaffirming more influence on each match the nearer this incredible season draws to its finale.

Who could possibly deny that Gerrard is worthy of a league title winner's medal? Surely he must have thought his chance to win one had passed, but this looks like his genuine moment and he has Rodgers to thank for making it a possibility.

Hard work gets results and no one is working harder than this exciting Liverpool side who have never looked hungrier since they last won the title back in 1990.

Rodgers has shown great belief in his young players and coached hyped-up prospects like Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson into the real deal.

It is no secret that the Reds missed out on a string of transfer targets in both the summer and January transfer windows.

But whilst Mohamed Salah warms the bench at Chelsea, Rodgers' existing group have gelled into a slick cohesive unit that plays without fear of expression and a belief that they can win any match by sticking to their manager's principles.

Liverpool's next fixture at Cardiff City looks a formality on paper, given their last two impressive victories on the road, but they can ill-afford to admire their own work against a team fighting for Premier League survival.

With Chelsea entertaining Arsenal it is another opportunity to gain ground on one or both of their title rivals so focus will be key if the Reds are to complete a trio of consecutive away wins.

The temptation for fans is to look ahead to the crunch home ties with Manchester City and Chelsea and dream about what could be, but Rodgers is taking every game as it comes with a maturity that belies his tenure as a manager.

'Make us dream' said the banner at Old Trafford. The trashing of Manchester United has only intensified those thoughts as the Liverpool revolution steamrolls on.

You can follow Richard on Twitter here, and don't forget you can follow @FanZone too.

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