Van Persie’s penalty kick lifts United past Liverpool
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Striker Robin van Persie buried a penalty shot in the 81st minute to lift Manchester United to a 2-1 win against a short-handed Liverpool side Sunday in their Barclays Premier League match at Anfield.
Van Persie secured the victory when he drilled a spot-kick past goalkeeper Pepe Reina after Glen Johnson brought down Luis Antonio Valencia.
The win moved United to solo second spot in the standings with 12 points, one point behind leader Chelsea. Liverpool suffered its third loss and dropped second-to-last in the standings with two points.
Before the match, a ceremony was held to pay tribute to 96 Liverpool fans who died at Hillsborough in 1989.
Then Liverpool buckled down to work and dominated the first half. But it suffered a setback when Jonjo Shelvey was red-carded for lunging on Jonny Evans in the 38th minute.
Despite the setback, Liverpool grabbed the lead in the 46th minute behind a volley by Steven Gerrard to the delight of 44,263 fans who packed Anfield.
United hit back in the 51st with a curling left-foot shot by Rafael Da Silva that went beyond Reina’s reach that silenced the crowd before Van Persie buried the game-winning penalty kick.
“I thought we were poor,” United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said. “Over the last four years we have allowed the Anfield crowd to get at us a little bit. They gave fantastic support to their team and they dominated.
“We haven’t played well here for the past four years and we can do better but at least we got a result. It is a turning point for us. We played better in the second half but it was against 10 men and Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs’ experience got us through,” added Ferguson.
“We are bitterly disappointed with the result. I thought the best team lost. The performance level up to 65 minutes or so was outstanding,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said.
Meanwhile, defending champion Manchester City was held to a 1-1 draw by Arsenal at Etihad Stadium. Joleon Lescott scored in the 40th minute for City but Arsenal tied the count in the 82nd minute after Laurent Koscielny’s goal.
In other games, Newcastle United defeated Norwich City, 1-0 and Tottenham Hotspur beat Queens Park Rangers, 2-1.