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Dublin: 14°C Thursday 29 October 2020
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Welcome to our coverage of the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. The big news of the day so far is that the FA vetoed the usual handshakes between teams at Loftus Road, meaning that England captain John Terry was spared the indignity of being snubbed by QPR players.

The big game of the day, though, is Manchester United’s trip to Liverpool. Of course, there’s even more controversy around this one since it’s the first time the teams have met since the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra incident. Both managers spoke beforehand of teh need to quell passions and treat this as just a match: and they’ve both done their best with that – the line-ups aren’t awe-inspiring with a lot of absences,

The teams:

Liverpool: Reina, Skrtel, Carragher, Agger, Kelly, Henderson, Gerrard, Jose Enrique, Downing, Carroll, Maxi. Subs: Doni, Johnson, Coates, Kuyt, Adam, Shelvey, Bellamy.
Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva, Smalling, Evans, Evra, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs, Valencia, Welbeck, Park. Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Berbatov, Hernandez, Fabio Da Silva, Michael Keane, Pogba.
Referee: Mark Halsey

The ITV cameras hone in a United fan’s sign: “Justice for Evra: Only racists walk alone.” Friendly.

On ITV, Roy Keane is on co-commentary duty. Interesting.

Not the first touch Andy Carroll would have wanted. Tries to control a fizzed Steven Gerrard pass but diverts it 20 yards to his right. First touch a tackle etc etc

It’s already a livelier game than the league meeting here in October. Much more pace to the play.

Gerrard tests De Gea with a long-ranger. Pushed away by the keeper. First strike of the game.

Sorry, Keane is not on co-commentary. They just got him to speak from the studio. That’s disappointing. Would have been interesting to see how he’d done.

Park tees up Giggs who volleys low at goal. It’s well struck but it’s also well held by Pepe Reina.

Could have been a chance for Liverpool there. Henderson flashes the ball into the box from wide left and Gerrard had no one in front of him other than De Gea. With the ball fizzed at such pace, though, he miscontrolled allowing the keeper to collect.

We should, of course, mention this. There’s a lot of opprobrium out there for the Anfield crowd on account of the fact they’re booing Patrice Evra. Being realistic, it ws predictable. But obviously not welcome at all.

Antonio Valencia smacks the post! Cutting in from the right, he beats Reina all ends up but doesn’t hit the net. The winger has been in flying form of late.

GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United

United had been looking the more threatening but it’s Liverpool who take the lead. A Gerrard corner is launched into the box and Agger gets there above everyone to head home. De Gea got nowhere near it and could barely get his hands up.

It gets worse for De Gea. He’s complaining of a problem in his side and Lindegaard is warming up.

Liverpool with momentum at the moment. Gerrard now fires over the bar from distance.

A real bit of snap about it at the moment as both teams fly into tackles. The referee eventually halts it as Valencia is taken down by Henderson.

At Loftus Road, it’s a penalty to Chelsea! Daniel Sturridge is pushed in the box but it looks soft.

GOAL for Chelsea. Juan Mata finishes the penalty.

This is one of the best fixtures around. But it really does bring out the worst in some fans. Some United fans chanting about Hillsborough. A Liverpool supporter has been photographed mimicking a monkey and whooping at Evra. Unreal. it’s 2012.

United controlling at the moment but the absence of Wayne Rooney is being noticed now. No penetration.

GOAL! Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United

Well, there’s penetration for you! At the end of a sweeping move which started with Valencia flicking onto Rafael, Ji-Sung Park sweeps the latter’s cross into the bottom corner.

Jose Enrique has generally been excellent for Liverpool but he really struggled there, effectively letting Rafael in and getting outmuscled.

United in complete control at the moment.

Half-time. United equalise and take control of the game. Well on top by the end. Liverpool need to sort something.

At Stamford Bridge, Ramires is being stretchered off. Doesn’t look good for the Brazilian. He’s in a lot of pain.

Scholes hit 75 passes in that half and successfully completed 73 of them. That’s a 97% return.

On second look, that penalty at Stamford Bridge looked very soft. Shouldn’t have been given at all.

The second half underway at Anfield.

Almost a second for United! Park flashes a ball into the box but Valencia can’t quite contact properly.

United are completely controlling this at the moment. Liverpool looking to hit on break but, in truth, they’re being squeezed.

Liverpool threaten twice there with the second incident bringing shouts for a penalty. Carroll turned like a truck in the box before firing at goal. It hit Chris Smalling’s hand but it was beside his body to be fair.

Almost another for United! Welbeck timed a superb run to latch onto a through ball. But, one-on-one with Reina, he opted to stick the ball around the other side of the keeper to meet it. That, however, gave Agger the opportunity to get back and just clear.

Maxi Rodriguez going in with a two-footed challenge and gets a booking. Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher comes off for Dirk Kuyt while Rodriguez himself goes off for Adam. They needed to change something. Craig Bellamy has been warming up too.

Liverpool have steadied themselves and are even marginally the better team now. Gerrard just tests De Gea with a free.

Carrick shoots just wide from distance now.

De Gea – who’s been under the cosh a lot today and hasn’t always looked confident – does well to claim and hold a ball despite the pressure of Andy Carroll.

Surprising this: Bellamy is coming on… but for Gerrard. The armband is passed to Pepe Reina.

Hernandez now coming on for Scholes, who has faded a bit. Only natural given his time out of the game.

Ryan Giggs’s free-kick pings around the Liverpool box with Carrick eventually shooting wide as he falls back. Neither side has the necessary cutting edge at the moment, although it’s clear that both want to avoid a replay.

Kuyt heads wide from a floated cross.

Liverpool on top now as we enter the last five minutes of normal time… but United almost caught them there with a long ball over the top. Reina rushed out to clear, just getting there ahead of Hernandez.

GOAL! Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United

And, out of almost nothing, Liverpool. Dirk Kuyt took his goal well but it was atrocios defending all-round from United. Evans failed to challenge Carroll, who flicked on well, Smalling played them all onside, Evra was caught out of position and De gea could have done better with the eventual strike,

Carroll then hits the bar to almost seal it!

Berbatov has come on now. Surely toolate for United as we enter stoppage time?

FULL-TIME: Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United

Liverpool’s good form in the cups continues as they put out United in an edgy game. In truth, United can feel somewhat aggrieved since they were the better side for much of the game. Without Wayne Rooney, though, they lacked penetration. And, at the other end, Liverpool capitalised on a few atrocious United errors to seal it. Kenny Dalglish can also be encouraged by the performance of Andy Carroll and a return to scoring form from Dirk Kuyt.

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