There is no point in over-analysing Liverpool's win over their biggest rivals. Manchester United were beaten fair and square, enough said!
Even Sir Alex Ferguson, who is never gracious in defeat, and for the first time in a very long time admitted that his team were simply played off the park. He even went on to say that his team had defended like a Conference team. To be fair on them I think Liverpool just wanted the victory more, and this was evident in the second half. Credit must go to Rafa Benitez and his team for overcoming the psychological barrier and instilling belief in his players. And they even managed to do this without their two best players, Gerrard and Torres.
The Ronaldo factor
And talking about playing without your best players. The prodigious winger is quite evidently their most important player, and has been sorely missed so far. Their league record so far speaks for itself. One drawn, one won and one lost. Also lost the Super Cup and they struggled against Villarreal, but only until he was unleashed you could see the impact he has on the team. Fergie was so desperate he even flew to Portugal in haste to beg St. Judas of Old Trafford to stay for just one more season. With him agreeing to stay on it might just have been Fergie's best signing. With only Berbatov signing on the final day of the transfer window United now have attacking options in abundance and the question is - how does Sir Alex fit all these star players into his team? Only he knows...
Liverpool are looking good even though they're not playing well. Call it winning ugly? You decide. And by saying 'good' I really mean that they're getting the results without breaking into a sweat. It could be that Rafa has them conditioned to peak at just the right time of the season, and perhaps he has learnt from the past. It's early days so I won't be making any predictions just yet. Maybe in early January we can start making our calls but as they say the league is a marathon and not a sprint.
Come the business end of the season
Will Manchester United equal Liverpool's record haul of 18 league titles? Can Arsenal sustain their current goal-scoring form? Will Aston Villa breach the top four?And will United lose to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this Sunday. If they do lose they'll have lots to catch up to. It's still early days and as they say you can only really start calling anyone champions come the business end of the season.
Finally, it will only take a very brave man to write United off just yet. Are you that man?