Manchester United Swept Aside By Bitter Rivals
Manchester United crashed to their second away defeat in a week as Dirk Kuyt’s hat-trick ensured they were comfortably beaten 3-1 by Kenny Dalglish’s resurgent Liverpool side.
The Dutch forward gave the hosts the lead in a pulsating clash at Anfield after January window signing Luis Suarez’s incredible sleight of foot took out three United defenders to set up the easiest of openers.
Suarez and Kuyt were then both involved in the second just five minutes later as Nani inexplicably headed the Uruguayan’s cross into the path of the on-rushing striker, leaving him to double the score with another easy finish.
The first half ended on a sour note as Jamie Carragher clashed with the Portuguese winger, his crude challenge escaping the red card it arguably warranted after Nani had to be stretchered off the pitch as tempers reached breaking point.
United defender Rafael could then also have been issued his marching orders for a similarly reckless tackle on Lucas Leiva, but after the fracas play resumed in much the same way as Edwin van der Saar spilled a Suarez free-kick into the path of Kuyt.
The Netherlands striker gleefully pounced on the loose ball to tap home his hat-trick and kill the game off with 25 minutes still remaining, and though United did pull a goal back through Javier Hernandez in stoppage time, it was too little too late.
The result meant that Liverpool moved up to sixth in the table while Manchester United failed to extend their lead over second placed Arsenal, who currently trail the leaders by just three points having played a game less.