This was one weird game. If unusual betting trends are discerned in the Far East, this is the sort of game which would have investigators poring all over it. Not that I'm suggesting any conspiracies, but honestly, who would have a rational explanation for the number of blunders made by usually-reliable footballers?
Vidic was caught in possession by Torres for Liverpool's first and then employed a move out of the UFC textbook to get himself sent off and hand Liverpool their third. In between we had Evra sliding in to concede that rarest of pheomena, an away penalty at Old Trafford. Even Reina was joining in with a crazy rush at Park to give United a pen.
It was a game of high stakes without high quality. United lacked fire and fizz. Mentally and physically they looked tired. Liverpool were disciplined but hardly deadly. They defended well and proved adept at cashing in on United's mistakes.
Torres' determination and keen-eyed finishing was a big factor. And so was the contribution of a player I have had little time for so far, Aurelio. His control over Ronaldo in the first half, when he received valuable support from Lucas and Mascherano, was crucial.
All season I've been wondering why Benitez keeps entrusting Aurelio with dead-ball kicks. Today we saw why (even if van der Saar didn't!)
Was this also the day when Rafa's rant bore fruit? He put the focus on the (alleged) favouritism shown by referees towards United at Old Trafford. Today Alan Wiley awarded Liverpool a penalty and sent off Vidic. Point well made, Rafa?