After 23 years, Liverpool lead Manchester United in February
Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam
London: On the windy night of February 12, when the whole of England was bracing with extreme weather, Manchester United and Liverpool took on their respective rivals, playing their league games. Both the travelling teams hoped to return home with points but only one of them managed to do so. And in the way, reversed a 23-year-old trend.
Defending champions, Manchester United travelled to London to face title-contenders, Arsenal in the hope of salvaging some pride. Despite a history of explosive matches between the two teams, the match suffered from over-cautious approaches from their respective managers and also the ensemble of some of the best paid players in either side failed to play a normal game, which would have saved the boredom. The match ended an insipid 0-0 draw at the Emirates. Points shared.
And not so far away, in the same metropolis, Liverpool fought back from an own-goal from Kolo Toure to saw-off a fighting Fulham for all three points. The manner in which the Reds fought back from the 8th minute howler, indeed, showed how desperate they were for the win. In fact, the injury-time penalty won by Brendan Rodgers` side was the result of a relentless drive, for more goals and more points.
The different results showed two teams of different attitude and perspective. However, beyond the symbolism, the points won and conceded on that night allowed Liverpool to finally lead the Red Devils for the first time since 1991 in the month of February. If this swing has to give an image, then it surely is about the fluctuating fortunes of the Manchester club against that of Liverpool.