Substitute Javier Hernandez earned Manchester United a valuable point after England striker
Wayne Rooney was left out of the starting line-up at Liverpool. Manchester United manager Sir
Alex Ferguson revealed he dropped Rooney after he was left dissapointed by the 3 match ban that
rules him out of England's Euro 2012 group games following his red card in Montenegro.
United were second-best for long periods as they struggled to adapt to an unfamiliar line-up and
were ultimately fortunate to leave Merseyside with their unbeaten league run still intact.
And Ferguson was largely indebted to young keeper David de Gea, who has had his critics this
season but made crucial saves to keep United in contention as they came under concerted
pressure in the closing stages.
Ferguson, perhaps recalling how United had been comprehensively beaten 3-1 agaisnt Liverpool
last season, decided to field a more pragmatic look with Phil Jones in midfield. Jones had the best
chance when he met Patrice Evra's cross at the far post but headed weakly off-target, United's
closests chance in the opening first half.
Liverpool captain Gerrard created confusion in the United six-yard area with a quickly whipped
cross, however the best opportunity fell to Luis Suarez in the 33rd minute. Charlie Adam's shot
deflected into the Uruguayan's path but, after cleverly wrong-footing Jonny Evans, De Gea's came to
United's rescue with a block.
After Evra was shown a yellow card following a long bout of bickering which also involved Suarez,
Ferguson decided on a double change by replacing Park Ji-sung and Ashley Young with Nani
and Rooney. As they stood waiting to come on, Liverpool took the lead as Gerrard showed what his
side have been missing. United complained about the free-kick awarded when Adam tumbled
under Ferdinand's challenge - and Gerrard skilfully put a 20-yard free-kick past De Gea, largely
thanks to Ryan Giggs for jumping out of the wall.
De Gea was United's hero again within seconds of Hernandez's equaliser, diving to his left to claw
away Dirk Kuyt's shot as he got on the end of a superb cross from Stewart Downing. Defender
Martin Skrtel should have done better miss an opportunity in the last moments of the game.
Liverpool substitute Jordan Henderson almost snatched victory twice in stoppage time but United
held on to end a run of three successive Premier League defeats at Anfield.
In the end it was Manchester United supporters who were happier with a point at the final whistle and
Liverpool supporters feeling robbed of what they felt should have been a victory and three points.