MAN UNITED LEGENDS 1, LIVERPOOL LEGENDS 3
Liverpool emerged victors at Manchester United in the Legends of the North challenge, but the real winner were charitable causes as the match raised more than £1million.
The match, which attracted a 48,000 crowd at Old Trafford, was organised by Manchester United Foundation to raise funds for their community projects.
Liverpool were victors thanks to a brace from Mark Gonzalez and strike from Luis Garcia while Dimitar Berbatov was on target for United who were managed by Bryan Robson and Andy Cole.
United’s starting line-up included Gary Neville, Ronny Johnsen, Jaap Stam, Patrice Evra, Antonio Valencia, Nicky Butt, Louis Saha and Berbatov.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool, managed by Sir Kenny Dalglish, fielded the likes of Jamie Carragher, who was booed with every touch, Jerzy Dudek, Jermain Pennant, Maxi Rodriguez and Stewart Downing from the kick off.
Berbatov was the bright light of the opening period as he displayed the silky skills from his playing days, twice going close to breaking the deadlock in a goalless opening period.
Butt and Valencia also had decent chances while for Liverpool Andriy Voronin’s effort was cleared off the line.
While the opening half was lukewarm, the start to the second was electrifying by comparison as it produced two goals in the first five minutes.
Within two minutes of the restart Liverpool were ahead through two of their half-time substitutes.
Yossi Benanyoun released Garcia who was clean through as he rounded goalkeeper Raimond van der Gouw to slot home.
Liverpool were quickly level when Momo Sissoko, introduced at the break, tripped Berbatov who slotted home the spot kick to the acclaim of the Stretford End.
And the Merseysiders, who made 10 changes for the second period, had chances to take the lead as former Chilean international Gonzalez brought a great block from keeper Kevin Pilkington while Dirk Kuyt struck a post.
Liverpool went ahead through a terrific strike from Gonzales, a free kick from 25 yards bent over the defensive wall and which went in high off the upright.
Garcia had two great chances to extend to the lead as he forced a smart stop from Pilkington before shooting wide.
Gonzalez was then denied by the woodwork as Liverpool’s strength in depth was proving pivotal as they ended the stronger as was reinforced when they added a third goal in stoppage time.
It followed a three-versus-two break as Gonzalez was released on the left of the box by Garcia to fire home a low shot.