Miserable trip for Moyes

David Moyes still hasn't won at Anfield. The Scot's miserable record at Liverpool's historic home has now been extended to 13 games without a win. His first defeat as Manchester United manager was inflicted by their greatest enemies, who delighted in his misfortune.

Especially as most things that could go wrong for United did. 

They lost Wayne Rooney before kick-off and lost the game. They were overpowered in the first half, overcome by the end, the reality of their shortcomings rammed home.

As he knows all too well, Moyes needs to buy on the final day of the transfer window. His side were short of chances and lacking in potential match-winners. Robin van Persie, arguably the only one in the starting 11, cut a frustrated figure, obviously annoyed with his opponents, but perhaps with his substandard team-mates as well.

In contrast, Liverpool were united and energetic.

They now possess a potent spearhead and have made the perfect start. Not since Robbie Fowler 19 years ago had a Liverpool player scored in the first three league games; not since 1994 had Liverpool won them.

Now both have happened. Daniel Sturridge is in illustrious company after turning 24 in the ideal way. He can have had few better birthdays.

He struck early. Daniel Agger flicked on Steven Gerrard's corner and Sturridge, coming off the goal-line to find space for himself, applied a delicate touch to score his fifth goal of the season. Thereafter Liverpool pressurised United, playing at pace but without scoring the second goal they perhaps deserved. Moyes' team, a little lightweight in midfield and with three 30-somethings in defence, struggled to keep up.

Nor, indeed, did they have inspiration in attack. Minus Rooney, injured in training by team-mate Phil Jones, and still without a major summer signing, this was a side missing the impetus an arrival would offer and the creativity of the classy players Moyes has pursued, but not recruited.

Jones himself was injured, depleting United's resources further while Moyes turned to an under-strength bench in the hope someone would come to his rescue. Nani, making his first appearance of the season, threatened an equaliser with a stinging shot that the in-form Simon Mignolet saved. It was witnessed by their next arrivals.

Chelsea winger Victor Moses and Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori were watching, before confirmation they have become Rodgers' sixth and seventh summer signings. Meanwhile Moyes, desperate for one frontline arrival, faces a pivotal day on Monday.

Fresh moves for Athletic Bilbao's Ander Herrera and Everton's Marouane Fellaini are expected. His midfield, as Gerrard showed, lacks presence and his team already find themselves five points off the pace.

It has not been the happiest of beginnings for him.

stsports@sph.com.sg


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