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By Jonathan Stevenson
1820: If you didn't enjoy today, I worry about you. A genuinely memorable day of Premier League football comes to an end, but Match of the Day 2 will have the final word as per usual at 2200 GMT on BBC Two and online. On Monday,
will preside over
Blackpool v Chelsea,
at the helm for the Champions League later in the week. I'm
thank you for making it such a wonderful weekend. See you soon.
From Andrew, Nottingham, on text: "Two weeks ago Spurs were a point or two behind City with game against Blackpool, a 10-day rest then Wolves. We've blown both of those and with Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool away, top four is looking further and further out of our reach..."
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy: "I'm happy with a point at the end. Nothing we could do about their first two goals, but their third is our own gross stupidity. Our reaction to that was terrific, but we've had a goal disallowed and it was never a foul. Those things happen, but we got the equaliser. It looks like being a high number of points to stay up, but with that spirit and commitment I still think we'll stay up."
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp: "It's a blow. It looked like we got three points and I hoped we won. I thought we deserved to win, we got three fantastic goals, amazing strikes and had chances to kill it off - Gareth (Bale) has gone through, and we hit the post. I don't see Wolves as being a relegation outfit, they played with great enthusiasm and ability. I couldn't see what happened (for the Hutton penalty incident). Gareth looked alright, I don't think there's any problem with Gareth, it did him the world of good to do that today."
Wolves goalscorer Kevin Doyle: "Everyone around us is winning, so it's exciting for neutrals but it's tough for us. We're sticking in there and we'll see what happens."
From Craig, Gateshead, on text: "The tribute before the game was very touching, but full credit to the two teams for paying their own tribute to Dean Richards with such an entertaining, incident packed match. Great stuff."
BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor: "OK, so some of the passing wasn't great, but we got to see two teams committed to attack, committed to going forward and giving their best and it was a really enjoyable game of football."
1755: Full-time Wolves 3-3 Tottenham Niko Kranjcar swings over a corner from the Spurs left, but Wayne Hennessey does superbly well to come and catch it. The referee blows the whistle and brings to an end a brilliant game of football.
1754: A minute left and Matt Jarvis runs towards the Spurs box dangerously again, this time his low cross-shot is blocked by Alan Hutton.
1752: Gareth Bale turns into some space on the edge of the Wolves box, but his left-foot shot flies into the arms of Wayne Hennessey. Still time for a winner.
1751: Four minutes of injury time, and someone could make themselves a real hero at Molineux...
1750: Now it's Spurs' turn to go forward. We're nearly into injury time, I hope the referee plays 20 minutes of it because this game is a wonderful advert for the Premier League.
Wolves goal: The answer to that question is no, then. Mick McCarthy's side deserve that, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake finds Matt Jarvis down the left and he has had a fabulous game, the winger - his inch-perfect right-foot cross to the back stick is brilliantly headed past Heurelho Gomes by Steven Fletcher, who hasn't been on for long. What a game of football this is.
1748: GOAL Wolves 3-3 Tottenham (Fletcher)
1747: Have Spurs survived the biggest threat from Wolves? They go close twice more, Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe both having efforts deflected by Wolves defenders.
From Jamie, Exeter, on text: "Re: 1741, Sir David Attenborough should do his next documentary series on goalkeepers."
1744: Fingers... burning... must... continue... Sandro this time shows a good turn of pace to get into the Wolves box on the right and his pull-back picks out Jermain Defoe, the striker's low right-foot shot cannoning off Wayne Hennessey's right-hand post. Niko Kranjcar comes on for Luka Modric.
1743: How are Wolves not level? A Karl Henry shot hits Alan Hutton, that could've gone anywhere. If Wolves lose this game, I don't think Mark Halsey is going to be very popular in the Midlands.
1741: Molineux is up in arms, not for the first time this afternoon. A free-kick is pumped into the Spurs box and Richard Stearman gets there at about the same time as Heurelho Gomes, the ball deflecting into the net, probably off the Wolves defender. Gomes appeals and Mark Halsey gives a free-kick to the goalkeeper. It's a soft decision for that very protected species, the goalkeeper. Unlucky Wolves.
1740: Phew, it's all happening. Wolves want a penalty for an Alan Hutton handball when as Matt Jarvis cross seems to hit his hand inside the Spurs area, but play races up the other end and Gareth Bale gets into the Wolves box, two defenders mess it up completely and then Bale runs through again, his shot saved by the legs of Wayne Hennessey.
1736: Crikey. Wolves really should be 3-3. Kevin Doyle swings over a cross from the right and after William Gallas and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake both miss it, Nenad Milijas times his run almost to perfection, but on the slide he can only toe-poke over the bar from eight yards.
1734: What a chance. Kevin Doyle sends Matt Jarvis away down the Wolves left and his clever pull-back finds Sylvan Ebanks-Blake on the penalty spot - but the striker horribly miscues his left-foot shot and it flies comfortably wide. Wolves bring on Steven Fletcher for Adam Hammill and Spurs replace Roman Pavlyuchenko with Aaron Lennon.
1732: Spurs could be 4-2 up, and it's the pace of Gareth Bale that has given them renewed impetus in the second half. He skins George Elokobi down the right and gets to the byeline, flicking a cross into the six-yard box that just evades a team-mate, with Luka Modric then failing to get his shot away.
1731: Gareth Bale shows his pace straight away, but he is offside when a return pass is played to him in the Wolves box. The Welshman has started off on the right of the Spurs midfield, oddly enough.
From Marc, Edinburgh, on text: "What a brilliant game of football. But Dean Richards would surely have been brilliant in this game, commanding the defence for either team, breaking up play with ease. Top bloke, top defender."
1729: Gareth Bale comes on for Steven Pienaar for Spurs.
1728: Spurs are having to defend pretty well to stay in front right now, because Wolves are throwing everything at the visitors. Gareth Bale might just provide Tottenham with the outlet they are missing at the moment, because they aren't keeping the ball for long enough.
1726: What a save by Heurelho Gomes, he's kept Spurs in front there. Nenad Milijas thinks he has equalised with a super shot from the edge of the box, towards the left-hand side - it's creeping into the corner until the Brazilian gets his big frame low to his left to tip the ball on to the post.
1725: Sandro needs a bit of attention for a touch of cramp, but the Brazilian is fine to continue. Michael Dawson heads two crosses away and then Adam Hammill smashes a volley from 20 yards into the midriff of Sandro. That won't help him to recover.
1723: Gareth Bale starts warming up for Tottenham, which might be bad news for Wolves and bad news for AC Milan. Wolves are probing away, here.
From Indysagu on Twitter:
"As a Man Utd fan, I have to say this game is fully making up for today's disappointment. Fully entertaining!"
1720: Wolves send Sylvan Ebanks-Blake on for Stephen Ward, so he will go straight up front to partner Kevin Doyle.
1718: Matt Jarvis undoes some really good work down the Wolves left after being fed by Kevin Doyle - he cuts inside smartly past Jermaine Jenas, but in going for a Jermain Defoe-esque curler he gets it all wrong and spoons the ball miles over and wide.
1715: Spurs captain Michael Dawson is booked for a foul inside the Spurs half on Adam Hammill, and from the free-kick Hammill and Karl Henry both send over dangerous crosses, the first of which is headed away and the second well collected by Heurelho Gomes.
From Halibut, Lincoln, on text: "How about a red card if the penalty isn't scored?" Intriguing.
1711: Wolves could and maybe should be level already, Matt Jarvis flinging in a right-footed cross from the left and Stephen Ward glancing a header wide. George Elokobi, meanwhile, has just produced his second fabulous sliding challenge of the second half, clearing out the ball and Steven Pienaar. Cracking tackle.
Spurs goal: Goodness me - Tottenham are dealing solely in screamers today. They go ahead again after Jermaine Jenas goes on a fine run forward and the ball finds its way to Roman Pavlyuchenko on the edge of the Wolves box, the Russian turning into a shooting position 17 yards out and fairly thumping a left-foot shot into the roof of Wayne Hennessey's net, taking a slight deflection off Stephen Ward, perhaps.
1709: GOAL Wolves 2-3 Tottenham (Pavlyuchenko)
1708: A gem, courtesy of
"It is possible that a player from each team will score a hat-trick in this match which has only happened once before in the Premier League. That was on December 15, 2007 when Roque Santa Cruz (Blackburn Rovers) and Marcus Bent (Wigan Athletic) both netted three times in the match between the two."
1706: Back under way in a super game at Molineux, it's
Wolves 2-2 Tottenham
right now and there's plenty more to come.
From Anon, on text: "Everyone needs to stop moaning and whining about the ref and enjoy the second half."
1701: I'm hearing you, loud and clear. For me, the rule should be changed - I agree with Harry Redknapp (he said it before this game, clearly) that a yellow card and a penalty in those kind of situations is enough. However, if you'd like to slaughter me, you can text on 81111 or tweet me
or with the hashtag
I can take it, honestly.
From benvenceremos on Twitter:
"'Letter of law says red card, but if it makes game more entertaining, [sic], surely we can forgive Halsey?' No! CONSISTENCY."
1655: See 1652 - OK, it seems like I'm on my own with this one. Ho hum.
1652: There are a few boos at the whistle, which might be for referee Mark Halsey for his failure to send off Alan Hutton. I know letter of the law says red card, but if it makes the game more entertaining, which it probably will, surely we can forgive Halsey?
1650:Half-time Wolves 2-2 Tottenham Saj Chowdhury's HT snapshot:
"They say no two halves are the same, I say no two quarters of a game are the same. After a flat first 20 minutes, the match burst into life. Two players are now on a hat-trick, while some will debate whether Spurs defender Alan Hutton is lucky to be on the pitch. Stay tuned."
1647: Not long to go until half-time, as Michael Dawson loops a header from a Spurs corner into the arms of Wayne Hennessey. Can't we just do without half-time, says Alan Green on BBC Radio 5 live. This is a crackerjack. Nenad Milijas shoots over with his left foot from 20 yards for Wolves.
From Daniel_OTP on Twitter:
"Despite the rash challenges earlier, that was most obvious red of the day. One of the worst decisions I've seen in hours."
Wolves goal: You cannot take your eyes off today's football - it's electric. Kevin Doyle fires in a shot from 20 yards that takes a heavy deflection and it is falling into the path of Nenad Milijas, who is clearly tugged back by Alan Hutton. Hutton is booked and Mark Halsey has no option but to point to the penalty spot. Up steps Doyle, who calmly sends Heurelho Gomes the wrong way and bags his second of the contest.
1643: GOAL Wolves 2-2 Tottenham (Doyle, penalty)
1642: PENALTY TO WOLVES
your people need you. Moments after that last Jermain Defoe goal he goes down under a challenge from Christophe Berra and needs some treatment, but he'll be OK, Defoe.
From Leon in London, on text: "Re 1518 - If Defoe gets a hat-trick, could it be a record for the longest combined distance?"
Spurs goal: Wow. Make that double wow. Jermain Defoe is on fire. He's just scored his second Premier League goal of the season, and it's another screamer. He has the ball on the edge of the Wolves box and finds Luka Modric - when Modric's pass is cut out by Stephen Ward it comes back to Defoe, on the left-hand edge of the penalty box, and the striker curls superbly into the top corner, once more giving Wayne Hennessey no chance whatsoever.
1637: GOAL Wolves 1-2 Tottenham (Defoe)
1635: Apparently, that was Jermain Defoe's first Premier League goal of the season. Well I never.
Spurs goal: Fabulous reply from the visitors - you have to wonder why they need to go behind to start playing like that. A lovely exchange of passes ends when Roman Pavlyuchenko finds Jermain Defoe 25 yards out and the striker hits an absolute pearler of a right-footer that flies into the corner past Wayne Hennessey's despairing dive. Brilliant.
1633: GOAL Wolves 1-1 Tottenham (Defoe)
1632: Jermaine Jenas goes on a good run forward for Spurs, but the midfielder is off balance when taking his shot from the edge of the Wolves box and it trickles off his left foot into the arms of Wayne Hennessey.
1630: Spurs have certainly improved, providing Wolves with a much bigger threat than they did until Kevin Doyle's goal. Doyle gets involved in a wrestling match with Michael Dawson and a few lively tackles go in. Nothing like earlier at Anfield, though.
1627: Better from Tottenham since they went 1-0 down, Steven Pienaar having a shot from 15 yards blocked before Luka Modric harmlessly slaps the rebound wide of Wayne Hennessey's goal.
1625: Spurs hit back as Luka Modric collects the ball on the halfway line and surges forward, picking out Steven Pienaar, the South African sending a shot wide from the edge of the Wolves box.
Wolves goal: Spurs find themselves behind, again. A corner from the right is headed out by the visitors but it's played back to Nenad Milijas, who curls over a cross into the corridor of uncertainty about six yards out and with Heurelho Gomes flapping, Kevin Doyle glances a header into the net.
1623: GOAL Wolves 1-0 Tottenham (Doyle)
1621: More nice build-up from Wolves, who are the only team in it right now. Kevin Doyle sends the ball into the box and Matt Jarvis' shot is deflected behind.
1619: Half-chance for Wolves as Nenad Milijas gets into the Spurs box and heads a cross from the right over the bar, he was stretching for it a bit, the Serb.
1614: Nice wing play from Matt Jarvis down the Wolves left, he takes on Alan Hutton and shifts the ball just enough to whip over a devilish cross that Heurelho Gomes claims impressively inside his six-yard box.
1613: According to
Wolves have won three of their four home matches this season against the top five with only Arsenal, who scored the fastest goal of the season and won 2-0, escaping Molineux without defeat. Spurs, meanwhile, are yet to win an away match this season against a club currently occupying a position in the bottom five. They have lost to West Ham and Blackpool and drawn at West Brom.
1611: It's scrappy in the early stages at Molineux. The pitch isn't a cracker, though it isn't entirely to blame for some poor passes going astray as this match tries to find its feet.
1608: A Wolves corner is half-punched away by Heurelho Gomes and it falls for Nenad Milijas 22 yards out, the Wolves midfielder volleying miles high and wide as he tries to lob the Brazilian.
BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor: "It is fitting that Wolves are playing Spurs today and that was a lovely ceremony for Dean. It puts everything into perspective, when something like this happens. He was a lovely lad."
From Vicky in St Helens, on text: "I thought I was devastated United lost, but then I saw real devastation when you see the family of Dean Richards. Bill Shankly was wrong, football is not more important than life and death."
1604: Luka Modric plays the ball into the Wolves box for Roman Pavlyuchenko, but the Russian has to check his run and cannot get a shot away.
1603: Referee Mark Halsey gets us under way at Molineux in the Premier League between Wolves and Tottenham. Send texts to 81111 and tweets to
or with the hashtag
1600: "There's only one Deano" reverberates around Molineux, it's a moment to reflect upon a fantastic career and a life that was taken away far too soon. Difficult moments handled really well by Wolves.
1558: Representatives from the four clubs Dean Richards played for with such distinction come on to the pitch at Molineux, carrying their club's shirt from this season. Matt Murray has the Wolves shirt, Ledley King the Spurs one. Richards' widow Samantha and their children Rio and Jaden walk into the centre-circle, the kids wearing full Wolves kits. There is a minute's applause, while football continues to mourn.
1555: Karl Henry and Michael Dawson are about to lead their teams out at Molineux - they are the only ones with white armbands, the rest have black ones as a mark of respect to Dean Richards.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp: "I know we face Milan on Wednesday but this is an important game for us. We're scrapping away to try to finish in a Champions League place. I'll possibly bring Bale on for 30 minutes. A run out would put him right for Wednesday night."
Wolves manager Mick McCarthy: "We'll employ the same tactics like we did against Blackpool. We'll try to play the same way."
From Ryan, London, on text: "Antonio Valencia might yet be crucial to United's faltering title charge, having returned to training last week."
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish: "The way we played was really important, and the lads deserve all the credit you can give them for what they achieved today. We deserved to win, no doubt. It always matters who the opposition are, because you're not going to get too many opponents who are as good as Manchester United. Great for Dirk, because everything he gets in his footballing life he's worked really hard for."
From OptaJoe on Twitter:
"This is the first time Manchester United have lost three out of five Premier League games since April 2004. Collapse."
Liverpool hat-trick hero Dirk Kuyt: "To make a hat-trick against United is the best feeling ever. I have to thank Luis Suarez because he played great today and created two of the three goals. They were quite easy goals, I used to score these types of goals when I used to play more like this as a striker in Holland, but I will take them. We showed that we can compete against the best but we need to compete against the other sides. Last week against West Ham was disappointing but hopefully we can go on a run after today."
1538:Wolves v Tottenham team news: Saj Chowdhury reports:"Wolves on-loan midfielder Jamie O'Hara is ineligible to face his parent club, while Ronald Zubar and Dave Edwards miss out because of back injuries. Nenad Milijas and Stephen Ward return to the starting XI. Tottenham's potent left-sided player Gareth Bale is back on the bench having been sidelined since 22 January. Alan Hutton returns to right-back with William Gallas shifting to the centre of defence. Jermaine Jenas and Sandro are selected in midfield."
1535:Wolves v Tottenham scene-setter: Saj Chowdhury reports:
"BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin said that Chelsea are right back in the title race. If they are, then surely Tottenham are still in the hunt? But I think even the most optimistic Spurs fan will probably tell you that a tussle for third is the best their team can hope for. Wolves seem to regularly produce good performances but still languish in the depths of relegation despair. However, they thrashed Blackpool in their last match so come into this match in good form."
From Karl, Manchester, on text: "As a Man Utd fan, no complaints. Congratulations to Liverpool, who were by far the better team. Good game from Phil Dowd as well. Who knows - that late consolation could be vital to our goal difference."
From InfostradaLive on Twitter:
"Manchester United have lost two PL matches in a row for only the second time in the last six years (Liverpool, Fulham, March 2009)."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield:
"Liverpool leave Anfield to a deserved standing ovation. They have totally dominated Manchester United - who now need to gather their forces after a second successive Premier League defeat this week."
1526: Full-time Liverpool 3-1 Man United How many people predicted that? Great finish to the game, sporting handshakes all round from the coaching staff and a warm embrace between Dutchmen Edwin van der Sar and hat-trick hero Dirk Kuyt.
1525: Seconds left at Anfield on an unforgettable day for Kenny Dalglish and his players.
United goal: It's nothing more than a consolation, but you sense every goal is an important one for someone like Javier Hernandez. He meets a Ryan Giggs cross from the right with a glancing header into the corner from six yards, but United have left it too late today.
1523: GOAL Liverpool 3-1 Man United (Hernandez)
1522: Nearly 4-0 again as Liverpool take a quick free-kick to the edge of the box and Steven Gerrard side-foots inches wide, this time of Edwin van der Sar's left-hand post. Not sure how the Reds captain hasn't scored. We'll have three minutes of stoppage time.
1521: Liverpool take Luis Suarez off and he gets a very well deserved standing ovation. Joe Cole comes on in his place. Bravo.
From Steve, London, on text: "Is Kuyt's hat-trick a record for the shortest combined distance from goal? Can you ask Infostrada Sports please?"
1518: Oh Luis Suarez. He comes back on, he's not injured at all, he slips the ball through Patrice Evra's legs down the right, then does Wes Brown and gets into the area, but he's knackered and can only slice his shot miles wide. Deserves a goal, today.
1517: Wes Brown loses the ball and then wins it back from Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan looks like he might be injured as a result. Seconds later Steven Gerrard hits a right-foot screamer a la the 2006 FA Cup final, but it flies inches wide of Edwin van der Sar's right-hand post.
1515: Paul Scholes' last action of the game is to trip Luis Suarez and pick up a booking, and United then take him off and send on Darren Fletcher for the last few minutes. I still don't get why he didn't start, the Scot. These are his games.
1514: They are almost queuing up for a goal, the Liverpool players. Maxi mis-kicks from a cross from the right and United get it clear. The United team must wish it was full-time already. About eight minutes of normal time left.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield:
"The sight of Andy Carroll coming on for his debut rounds off what has been the perfect day for Liverpool and their fans. How The Kop have revelled in this - and how vulnerable Manchester United have looked without Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic."
1511: What a goal that could've been. Maxi chips the ball in to Andy Carroll on the edge of the United area, he tees it up for Dirk Kuyt and the Dutchman slams a volley high and wide. Almost champagne football for the Liverpool fans - who are singing happy birthday to their manager - to enjoy.
From rudebwoy_36 on Twitter:
"For all the stick Dirk Kuyt seems to get week in week out you can't question his work ethic. Mr. Right Place, Right Time."
1508: United send on John O'Shea for Rafael and they have another free-kick 20 yards out, this time left of centre, which Wayne Rooney clips straight into the Liverpool wall.
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin: "Dirk Kuyt will get the headlines but once again that man Luis Suarez has been absolutely superb. As for Manchester United, they are a mess all over the place. Edwin van der Sar won't want to see this again, nor will Nani."
1506: Seconds after coming on, Andy Carroll heads a cross goalwards, but it's an easy save for Edwin van der Sar. Knows how to make an entrance, that boy.
1505: Check out that roar - it'll be on Match of the Day 2 at 2200 GMT tonight. Andy Carroll, who cost Liverpool £35m, comes on for Raul Meireles and Ian Rush in the stand at Anfield rubs his hands with anticipation.
1504: Michael Carrick fizzes a cross in from the United right, but it just evades an acrobatically flying Javier Hernandez, a man who knows how to invent a goal out of nothing. About 18 minutes left and it's 3-0 to Liverpool.
From Rick, Newcastle, on text: "I'd be worried if I was a Man Utd fan at the loss of Nani. He and Rooney provide flair to an otherwise underwhelming (though efficient) side. Without him in their side, it's difficult to see where quality crosses are coming from."
1501: Still no Darren Fletcher for United. Liverpool are toying with the leaders now.
1459: So, that is Dirk Kuyt's first hat-trick for Liverpool, and it is the first Reds' hat-trick against Manchester United since Peter Beardsley bagged a treble in September 1990 in a 4-0 win.
Reds goal: Madness. It's sheer madness. Liverpool win a free-kick for Wes Brown's clumsy tackle on Dirk Kuyt and Luis Suarez's low shot is fumbled by Edwin van der Sar, with poacher-in-chief Kuyt getting in like a flash to convert from about a yard. He's bagged a treble, the Dutchman - and they've been gifted to him, all of them.
1457: GOAL Liverpool 3-0 Man United (Kuyt, hat-trick)
From ssiiimmoonn on Twitter:
"United need to score now soon if they want any real chance of getting a result. Bringing on Fletcher would help too."
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin: "Luis Suarez looks very good indeed and him and Raul Meireles look like they have an almost telepathic understanding. Also, little things like Dirk Kuyt playing up front, things that weren't done under the previous manager, make perfect sense now."
1454: Liverpool carve United open again as Raul Meireles fastens on to Steven Gerrard's pass and his cross-shot is parried away low by Edwin van der Sar, with Patrice Evra mopping up from inside his own six-yard box. Andy Carroll begins warming up on the touchline.
1452: ... Bit of a waste from Ryan Giggs, that, as he bends the free-kick over the bar. United need a goal quickly to get back into this one.
1450: United think they have pulled a goal back, but they haven't - it's still 2-0. A cross is headed goalwards by Javier Hernandez and after Pepe Reina flicks it away, Dimitar Berbatov's goalbound header is chested off the line by Raul Meireles. Now United have a free-kick 20 yards out, very central, very dangerous...
1446: Wayne Rooney fizzes a bouncing cross to the edge of the Liverpool area, where Ryan Giggs hits a first-time left-foot volley just a couple of feet over the crossbar. Great effort, but United need to get Rooney in a more central position.
1446: United have started the second half the better of the teams. They aren't exactly laying siege to the Liverpool defence, but there's some prolonged pressure. Glen Johnson does really well to tackle Ryan Giggs and that move ends without a goalscoring chance for the visitors.
1444: Luis Suarez continues to pick the ball up in dangerous positions, dropping away from the United backline, but this time his attempted one-two with Raul Meireles just fails to come off.
From Anon, on text: "Forget this result now, the injury to Nani could potentially ruin our season. Despite the performance today, he's easily been our main man."
1441: Close at both ends. Luis Suarez gets the ball just inside the United box and lifts it over the top to Raul Meireles, but his cross is cut out by Edwin van der Sar before Steven Gerrard can get it. At the other end, Javier Hernandez is on the stretch from a Dimitar Berbatov cross, but the Mexican screws it off target under pressure.
1439: In amongst the carnage, United have found another diamond in Chris Smalling, who has been his usual unflappable self for most of the game. He mops up in Rio-esque fashion again, before Wayne Rooney's cross is easily gathered by Pepe Reina.
1437: Deep breath, back under way at Anfield. Well I'm enjoying this, anyway.
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin: "It has been tasty but for the last 10-15 minutes it has become more and more apparent that Liverpool were taking control and we were beginning to think where are the big players for Manchester United? Nothing is going right for them. Rafael's had a tap from Maxi and there was a reaction from the Brazilian which was very high and looked not only reckless but intentional. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had received a red card for that one."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield:
"Ugly end to that first half with desperate challenges from both Liverpool's Jamie Carragher that ended Nani's afternoon and then by Rafael on Lucas. Both lucky to only get yellow cards. Referee Phil Dowd stood with arms folded in a sort of "come on lads we've all had a drink" type of way while both sets of players clashed following Rafael's lunge."
1431: Please do feel free to drop us a line - but for those of you who think it's reasonable to send abuse, you're more pathetic than the end to that half. Get texts to 81111 and send tweets to
or with the hashtag
From Piers, Manchester, on text: "Phil Dowd has been a class act today. Kept his calm when he easily could have brandished cards. What an advertisement this is for English football. Great players. Real passion. And great refereeing."
BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin: "I think Liverpool will now see this as a chance not just to beat Man United, but to embarrass them. If Liverpool win this game, Man United's next away game is at West Ham so maybe you cannot rule Chelsea out of the title race."
1423: Can someone put the kettle on, please? I think we all need to calm down a little. So much happened at the end - those tackles from Jamie Carragher and Rafael were very, very naughty indeed, and you could argue they are both a bit lucky to still be on the pitch.
1421: Half-time Liverpool 2-0 Man United BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield:
"Liverpool cruising at half-time after those two quick goals. Never rule out a Manchester United comeback - but they will have to be so much better than they have shown at Anfield so far."
1419: They really are pathetic, all of them. Rafael goes in hard and late on Martin Skrtel and he is booked and then it's yet another free-for-all, Rafael getting booked and Skrtel picking up a yellow for his - perhaps understandably - furious reaction. What is wrong with these people? Javier Hernandez is on for Nani.
1418: Nani is stretchered off. With half-time approaching, it'll be interesting to see if he makes it out for the second half. He's lying prostrate. I wonder if Fergie will still "hairdryer" him?
1416: Told you (see 1401). It kicks off after Jamie Carragher fouls Nani and it's a nasty little tackle. Steven Gerrard gets involved and then Nani falls to the floor theatrically. Then everyone gets involved. Carragher is rightly booked and Edwin van der Sar is cautioned having run 70 yards out of his goal to get stuck in. Pathetic, all of them.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield:
"Liverpool in total control. Brilliance from Luis Suarez for Dirk Kuyt's first but what Sir Alex Ferguson will make of Nani's contribution to his second, heading the ball straight to the striker six yards out, is anybody's guess. Best to go for "the sun got in my eyes" excuse I would imagine."
1411: Rafael sends a cross out for a goalkick from the United right and I don't think any Liverpool fan can quite believe this is happening. United are by no means out of it, but what a Clasico this is - and what a title race we might just have on our hands once again.
Reds goal: Ready the hairdryer - Nani is going to get a blasting. Luis Suarez is outside the box on the right and his cross looks harmless enough, until Nani inexplicably heads back towards his own goal, the ball looping over Michael Carrick and falling perfectly for a gleeful Dirk Kuyt to nod past Edwin van der Sar from six yards. Oh my word.
1409: GOAL Liverpool 2-0 Man United (Kuyt)
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin: "[On the goal] Not offside, the referee got that spot on. If Dirk Kuyt is behind the player who played the ball (Luis Suarez) then it is fine."
1406: Liverpool are dominant all of a sudden and Edwin van der Sar has to race off his line to avert the danger from Maxi. What an atmosphere.
Reds goal: The Liverpool manager knows something about special number sevens, and he's got a little gem on his hands here. Dirk Kuyt gets the goal, but it's all about Luis Suarez, who has the best pair of feet English football has seen for a very long time. He dribbles past three United defenders from an almost impossibly tight position on the left inside the box, leaving Rafael, Michael Carrick and Wes Brown trailing in his wake before slipping the ball through Edwin van der Sar's legs for Kuyt to prod in from a yard. Anfield erupts.
1404: GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Man United (Kuyt)
1403: ... Luis Suarez tees up Steven Gerrard and his low shot is deflected behind for a corner, which eventually comes to nothing.
1402: Paul Scholes' right foot is high and he catches Lucas. Liverpool have a free-kick, left of centre, about 20 yards out...
1401: There's a bit of an altercation between Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra by the touchline and referee Phil Dowd has a word with the Uruguayan, Lord knows how much of it he'll understand (cue a flood of emails telling me Suarez's English is better than mine). I'll save the handbags graphic, but I reckon I'll get to use it today.
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin: "Sometimes you get a 0-0 and think it needs a goal, and even though one would still be nice, it has been intriguing so far. The movement from Raul Meireles for the Dirk Kuyt chance was, apart from being brilliant, top class in terms of its intelligence."
1355: United have a corner and Wes Brown gets there first, his header hitting Martin Skrtel and being cleared from danger by Raul Meireles. This cracking game is only short of the goal it deserves, so far.
1354: Liverpool are forced into an early change as Fabio Aurelio limps off injured, and they turn to a ponytailed warrior from the bench to come on in his place. No, not that one - it's Sotirios Kyrgiakos!
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield:
"Liverpool and Manchester United are committed to attack and both have had chances. Luis Suarez is dropping deep to cause problems for Liverpool while Kenny Dalglish will want more pressure applied to Paul Scholes in midfield. Wayne Rooney on the margins. So far."
1351: Kenny Dalglish is off the bench to shout some instructions, but he must be pretty pleased by what he's seen so far. Both teams look like they're going for this - and long may it last.
1348: Lovely stuff from Liverpool. Luis Suarez sends over a cross from deep on the right into the United area and Raul Miereles cleverly heads it to the back post where Dirk Kuyt narrowly fails to make contact, Edwin van der Sar picking up the loose ball. So much going on in this one, it's utterly absorbing.
1346: Dangerous - and United are nearly ahead. Dimitar Berbatov plays a one-two with Wayne Rooney and the Bulgarian hits a cracking shot with the outside of his right foot from 22 yards, bending the ball back towards goal and seeing it clatter against the outside of Pepe Reina's right-hand post with the Spanish stopper beaten.
1344: United have a spell of a couple of minutes where Liverpool cannot win the ball back, but again the visitors don't really get close to threatening Pepe Reina's goal save for a weak Dimitar Berbatov shot straight at the Spaniard. The hosts, on the other hand, are getting forward at speed and United's defence are being severely tested already.
1342: Ping, ping, ping - Paul Scholes' range of passing never ceases to amaze, and the accuracy is unerring. United have a spell on the ball and their ginger genius is right at the heart of it. A ball forward for Ryan Giggs is snuffed out by Martin Skrtel. Super start at Anfield, wonderful pace to the game, just like Chelsea-Man Utd in midweek.
From Hannah, Dorset, on text: "Die hard Liverpool fan for the next couple of hours... sweating it out in true Arsenal fashion."
1338: He's lively, but that's a bit ambitious. The ball drops invitingly for Luis Suarez 35 yards out and the striker tries a dipping volley, but it's miles off target.
1337: Nani goes meandering down the United right, but his touch is heavy and he runs the ball out of play. I wouldn't say United look rattled, but they are comfortably second best.
1335: Liverpool look really dangerous when they get into the final third - Maxi, Luis Suarez and Raul Meireles have all started very brightly indeed. United have had as much of the ball, but they haven't done anything with it. Maxi shoots well wide from the right-hand side of the penalty area.
1333: That's Sir Bobby Charlton to us, in fairness. Early chance for Liverpool as Luis Suarez plays the ball out to the right to Raul Meireles and his return cross finds the Uruguayan unmarked inside the United box, but he cannot control it and it runs through to Edwin van der Sar. Let off for the visitors.
1331: After a cracking rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone', referee Phil Dowd gets us under way at Anfield. If you want to have your say, text to 81111 or tweet
or with the hashtag
It's El Clasico Ingles time.
1329: Want to know what stats gurus
found out for us? Well, Man Utd play today without Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. United have played only 17 Premier League matches without both since Vidic made his debut on February 1, 2006, winning 10, drawing two and losing five. Points when they both play - 2.33. Points when they don't - 1.88.
Euro Club Index-
wise, Liverpool (ranked 19th) have a 25% chance of winning, Man United (third) 45%.
1327: Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard and Manchester United defender Patrice Evra lead their teams out at Anfield and we're pretty darn close to getting under way. Happy days.
1325: It's sunny at Anfield, and it's buzzing already. If there's one place on earth to be today, it's L4 0TQ. In the context of the season it is a very, very big afternoon in the north-west.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish: "They are always big games and passionate games, it's always good to get games like this and we're really looking forward to it."
From Ben, Durham, on text: "Andy Carroll was starting for Newcastle against United, despite one headed chance, he didn't unnerve them then. An inflated price tag does not also inflate his talents."
1319: Lots of chat from Man United fans worried about the dropping of Darren Fletcher. Looks a super attacking team today, though Wayne Rooney might drift out to the left and leave Dimitar Berbatov leading the line. It's a great show of faith from Fergie in Berbatov, who has 19 goals in the Premier League this season.
1316: I'll remind you about this nearer the time, but I must break off from talking about the Clasico to mention the
tribute to Dean Richards that is planned for Molineux
Richards' tragically early death at 36
left football in mourning last week, and it is entirely fitting that two of his former clubs meet today. Richards' widow Samantha and their children Rio and Jaden will attend the game, and representatives of all four of his old employers - Bradford and Southampton too - will hold their shirts aloft on the pitch before a minute's applause. Both sets of players will wear black armbands.
From Dan, Birmingham, on text: "Apart from maybe Wes Brown, who hasn't played as much as he would have liked lately, that is pretty strong Man U team. Ageing or not, Giggs and Scholes are still capable of owning that midfield."
1309: If you fear Manchester United dominance more than drowning in a pool of spiders on top of the world's tallest building, maybe don't
read the story in the Express about Fergie going on a £100m summer spending spree.
That's £30m for Gareth Bale, £20m for Ashley Young, £15m for Jordan Henderson, £20m for Jack Rodwell and £10m for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Chuck in £10m for a goalkeeper, and you're topping nine figures.
1306:Liverpool v Manchester United team news: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield:"Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is confident enough in Andy Carroll's fitness to put him on the bench for the first time since his £35m move from Newcastle United against a United side forced into a defensive reshuffle. Steven Gerrard takes his place despite suggestions he is still troubled by a groin injury. For Manchester United, Dimitar Berbatov partners Wayne Rooney up front while Chris Smalling and Wes Brown are paired in central defence in the absence of injured Rio Ferdinand and suspended Nemanja Vidic."
From Hassan in Cardiff, on text: "Sir Alex Ferguson usually makes some decisions which get us all nervous, but then in the end when he pulls it off (which he usually does) we think what a genius. Let's hope today will be one of those days with Fletcher on the bench."
From danpyt on Twitter:
"You heard anything about the rumours Steve Kean is being sacked by Venkys as we speak? Think it would doom Rovers myself." No mate, no heard anything. Doomed if he stays, no?
BBC Sport's Alan Hansen on Liverpool v Man Utd:
"Certainly, United must not lose. Arsenal have the easier run-in and of course the two teams meet at the Emirates on Sunday 1 May. While I do not think United's season will go into freefall if they are beaten by Liverpool, there is always the possibility that self-doubt could surface."
From Adam_Clatworthy on Twitter:
"Looking at those starting XI's I can't help but think Liverpool have a real chance today, especially with Carroll on the bench."
From Sam, Milton Keynes, on text: "A victory for Liverpool will not just bring three points, but genuine belief that Kenny (God save the King) can lead the Reds back to the top of English football once again. Massive!"
1249: Darren Fletcher, on the bench? Big decision, that.
1247: Liverpool v Man United line-ups: Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Gerrard, Lucas, Kuyt, Meireles, Maxi, Suarez. Subs: Gulacsi, Carroll, Cole, Kyrgiakos, Ngog, Spearing, Poulsen. Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Smalling, Brown, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Kuszczak, Hernandez, Fabio Da Silva, O'Shea, Fletcher, Obertan, Gibson. Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).
1245:Liverpool v Manchester United scene-setter: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield:
"Liverpool will aim to place an obstacle in front of Manchester United's attempt to eclipse their tally of 18 titles at Anfield as Kenny Dalglish resumes his battle with Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferguson, in turn, will want United to respond instantly to Tuesday's defeat at Chelsea, with spirits lifted by Arsenal's failure to beat Sunderland at the Emirates yesterday."
1233: Welcome, welcome, welcome. Forget Barca-Real, Boca-River etc etc, it's English football's turn to celebrate a Clasico. At 1330 GMT, in less than an hour, Liverpool will be doing all they can to derail Manchester United's title challenge. When these two play football, it's entirely personal.
Just ask Gary Neville.
1230: These two men; immortals, who walk amongst us. With a combined age of 129, their list of honours since heading south of the border makes for extraordinary reading: Twenty league titles (out of the last 32 on offer), five European Cups, seven FA Cups, eight League Cups, 17 Charity/Community Shields and plenty of others besides. Apparently, they won some stuff in Scotland, too. At Anfield today, these two men renew acquaintances in the Premier League, with Manchester United edging towards a 19th league crown, going past Liverpool's record. But then when the legendary figures of Kenny Dalglish and Sir Alex Ferguson meet, there's usually a lot at stake.
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