Hernandez salvages draw for United vs. Liverpool
Substitute Javier Hernandez rescued a point for Manchester
United with a late equalizer as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw
in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday.
Steven Gerrard looked to have earned his side all three points
after scoring with a 68th-minute free kick in his first start for
But United, which started the game with leading scorer Wayne
Rooney on the bench, continued its unbeaten start to the season
thanks to Mexico international Hernandez, who headed home an
The capacity 45,065 crowd at Anfield included two-time NBA MVP
LeBron James, who watched Liverpool play live for the first time
since becoming a minority owner of the club.
United improved to 20 points from eight games while Liverpool is
fifth with 14 points.
”It’s a real indication when you get in the dressing room
afterwards and the players are all disappointed that they have
drawn 1-1 with Manchester United,” Liverpool manager Kenny
Dalglish said. ”That tells you how far they have come and we’re
delighted they’re disappointed.”
James, who made a $10,000 donation to the Liverpool’s foundation
charity, did well not to nod off in a first half when chances were
sparse as United manager Alex Ferguson left Rooney out with the
England striker ”devastated” over a three-match Euro 2012 ban for
kicking out at a Macedonia opponent in a 2-2 draw earlier this
United still had the first scoring opportunity in the 16th when
Phil Jones, playing in a more advanced midfield role, headed
Patrice Evra’s cross wide.
Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was Liverpool’s best threat
throughout and had a clear chance in front of goalkeeper David de
Gea shortly after Charlie Adam’s long-range effort in the 34th. But
the Spanish ‘keeper saved the shot from inside the area.
De Gea could do little as Gerrard – making his first start in
seven months – curled a free kick through a poor defensive wall
after United defender Rio Ferdinand had tripped up Charlie Adam on
the edge of the area.
”The free-kick wasn’t the best, the intention was to get it
over the wall, but a couple of years ago at Old Trafford the same
thing happened, the wall split,” Gerrard said. ”Maybe it’s just
the bit of luck I was looking for in my first game back.”
Rooney and Nani’s late entrances spurred on the visitors,
however, and Hernandez powerfully guided home the equalizer.
Ferguson questioned the decision to award the free kick for goal
but also blamed poor defending by veteran Ryan Giggs for the
”The referee is under a lot of pressure and I’m not surprised
they got the free-kick,” Ferguson said. ”I didn’t think they were
really threatening until they scored the goal but then the game
opened up and we took the chance. In the context of today the
result is fair.”