Looking Back: Oct 2006 - Utd 2 Liverpool 0

Last updated : 07 January 2011 By Utd Mad Ed

Watching England manager Steve McClaren must be hoping against hope that someone somewhere can persuade Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes to return to international football.

While Liverpool skipper and current England international Steven Gerrard floundered like a fish out of water, Scholes stamped his authority on a game the Reds of Manchester dominated.

It was Scholes' 500th appearance for United and, following his 20th European goal against FC Copenhagen at Old Trafford on Tuesday, he hit the target for the 132nd time for the Red Devils six minutes before the break.

Liverpool failed to clear Gary Neville's cross from the right. Wayne Rooney pounced to lay the ball to Ryan Giggs on the left of the Liverpool box and his cross saw Scholes connect with the ball eight yards out.

Although Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina blocked the initial effort, Scholes followed up to jab the ball home, leaving defender Sami Hyypia in his wake.

United effectively tied up the points after 65 minutes.

Giggs' cross from the left edge of the Liverpool box found Louis Saha, but Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher charged in to clear.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, the ball broke to Rio Ferdinand marauding on the right side of the penalty area.

The England defender, who scored the first goal of his United career in the corresponding fixture in January, collected the ball before side-stepping John Arne Riise before scoring with a sweet left-foot shot into far top corner of the net from ten yards.
It was no more than United deserved.

Liverpool's attempt to stifle United with a packed midfield was successful for the opening 20 minutes.

But slowly, United began to loosen the vice-like grip.

Reina did well to push away Saha's snapshot after the Nemanja Vidic headed on a Michael Carrick corner.

In the 24th minute, Reina did well to keep out a fierce 20-yard drive from Saha following good work by Giggs.

Liverpool, playing with Dirk Kuyt as a lone striker, created their only real chance of the game on the half hour.

Mark Gonzalez's deep cross from the left byline was met by Kuyt eight yards out at the far post, but his header went straight at United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar.

Scholes' goal opened up the game and Reina was forced to throw himself across goal to tip behind Saha's fierce 25-yard shot after 42 minutes.

United dominated the second half.

Saha went close with a shot from the edge of the Liverpool penalty area three minutes after the re-start.

United's second goal saw them tighten their grip on the game.

Liverpool, who had brought on Jermaine Pennant for Gonzalez in the 52nd minute, replaced Xabi Alonso with Peter Crouch 20 minutes from the end.

But the England man's only real contribution was a foul on Van der Sar which earned him a booking from referee Graham Poll.

United created a number of half-chances as they sought to rub salt into the Liverpool wounds.

But their best chance came in the 72nd minute when a mesmerizing run by Giggs saw him beat four men when he jinked across the Liverpool penalty area before chipping his shot from ten yards narrowly over the bar.

The result took United back to the top of the Premiership and they are now 11 points above a Liverpool side which will struggle to finish in the top four.