|Rooney 47, 50||Suarez 80|
Manchester United took the lead in the Barclays Premier League, by a point, from Manchester City, when they won their early kick-off match on Saturday 11th February 2012. United raised the Old Trafford roof with a Wayne Rooney brace helping them to a 2-1 victory over Liverpool.
The sides were locked at 0-0 following an even first half, but the main talking point occured before a ball was kicked. As the teams passed each other to shake hands, Luis Suarez, of Liverpool, pointedly refused to shake hands with United’s Patrice Evra, following the Uurguayan’s eight week ban for racially abusing the Frenchman. Evra was visibly annoyed by the move, and had to be calmed down by his teammates.
That was perhaps the biggest incident for 45 minutes, as the sides cancelled each other out.
The touch paper was lit in the second period, though, when Wayne Rooney (47) put United in front following some more heated arguments between the players. Three minutes later, Rooney doubled the lead with a good one-on-one finish following a Valencia through ball.
Liverpool threw themselves back into contention when Suarez struck with ten minutes remaining, but United, as ever, saw out the victory, in what was otherwise a very close encounter.
Despite just edging the possession and shot count statistics, Liverpool – as is becoming the story of their season – were unable to match United’s superior cutting edge.
United go top, by a point, if only until Man City travel to Aston Villa on Sunday. Liverpool remain 7th but may see Chelsea, Newcastle and Arsenal above them extend the gap to the UEFA Champions League fourth spot.