Battle of the Reds: Liverpool Reds pip Manchester Reds to win title
Manchester United are firmly in the shade of Liverpool in the English Premier League, and on Saturday (Nov 16), that scenario played out again at the National Stadium as the Liverpool Reds beat Manchester Reds to win the Battle of the Reds tournament.
In front of 8,383 fans, Liverpool’s former players edged out their ex-United counterparts 1-0 in the tournament’s final fixture to continue the Reds’ recent dominance over United.
Said 48-year-old Dwight Yorke, a star of the Red Devils’ 1999 Treble-winning team: “Obviously we are disappointed, but at the end of the day, Liverpool at the moment seem to have something going for them.”
Ex-England goalkeeper David James perhaps summed up the rivalry between England’s two most successful clubs best.
When asked if it was good to get one over Liverpool’s fiercest rivals, the 49-year-old said: “Anytime, anywhere, any year... It was a beautiful performance...
“There is a lot of confidence at the club at the moment, so we’re representing a confident club.
“We’re all talking in the changing room about how (well) Liverpool are doing, so when you are talking positively, then chances are you will play positively.”
The tight 40-minute match was decided in the 24th minute when a counter-attack launched by a James throw saw his fellow ex-England international Emile Heskey square the ball to John Durnin to finish past Paul Rachubka.
Liverpool Reds drew their opening match with Singapore Reds 2-2 with 2005 Champions League winner Luis Garcia and Aleksandar Duric both bagging braces.
Manchester Reds then took to the pitch to beat the home side 2-0 via goals from academy products Danny Webber and Michael Gray – an ex-England wide man.
That meant that Liverpool Reds had to beat their old rivals to win the trophy, and they duly obliged.
But it was not all about the Liverpool Reds last night, as a couple of former Lions had some former EPL stars purring.
Garcia praised goalkeeper Lionel Lewis, 36, after he denied him what looked like certain goal with a reflex safe in the 24th minute of the opening match.
Said the 41-year-old Spaniard: “Amazing save. I told him, ‘What a save,’ because I thought it was going in, and then suddenly I saw a hand arriving to save it.”
At the other end of the pitch, Duric scored probably the goal of the tournament in the same match.
With the scores tied at 1-1 on 32 minutes, Duric controlled a Fahmie Abdullah cross with one touch before rifling in a half-volley past James in the Liverpool goal.
The evergreen former Singapore striker said ex-United forward Dimitar Berbatov described the strike as “my kind of goal”.
Said the 49-year-old Duric: “It’s always good to score goals, the fitness (levels) may not be like they used to be, but the touches are still there.”