December 10, 2013
SOCCER — ENGLISH LEAGUE CUPThursday, September 26, 2013
United ruins Suárez’s return
Beats Liverpool 1-0 to relieve some pressure on coach Moyes
Javier Hernández poached a second-half winner as Manchester United beat arch-rival Liverpool 1-0 to move into the English League Cup fourth round, subduing Luis Suárez on his return from a 10-match ban.
MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United ruined Luis Suárez’s long-awaited return from a 10-match ban for biting by beating Liverpool 1-0 in the third round of the League Cup yesterday, relieving some early-season pressure on coach David Moyes.
Javier Hernández showed a poacher’s instinct to volley home deftly 39 seconds into the second half as United advanced despite fielding a largely second-string team against its fierce rival at Old Trafford.
Suárez came closest to equalizing for Liverpool, curling a free kick against the crossbar as he hogged the limelight on his return to club soccer five months after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League game.
“I thought he was excellent, considering he’d been out for such a long time,” Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers said.
Swansea’s defence of the trophy ended in abject fashion by losing 3-1 at second-tier Birmingham, while there were wins for Premier League teams Newcastle and Stoke. Arsenal was playing extra time against West Bromwich Albion after the match ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.
It was a huge result for Moyes, who had come under fire after presiding over United’s worst start to a league campaign in nine years in his first season in charge after taking over from Alex Ferguson. Only three days ago, the champions had been thrashed 4-1 by neighbour Manchester City.
“I think what was important (was) that the whole club showed we were hurt by the game on Sunday, and the players have gone out and done a great job,” Moyes said. “I’ve said I will fix it and turn it around, and I will do.”
With no European soccer this season, Liverpool is left with just two trophies to play for and will rue that its full-strength lineup missed a great chance to beat United for a second time this season, having already won 1-0 in the league on September 1.
The match was notable for the comeback of Suárez, who played a World Cup qualifier for Uruguay as recently as two weeks ago but hadn’t worn a Liverpool shirt for a competitive match since April 21 — when he sunk his teeth into Ivanovic’s upper arm.
In those five months, his relationship with the club had been severely tested after he accused Liverpool’s hierarchy of breaking an agreement to sell him if it failed to qualify for the Champions League. Liverpool turned down two bids from Arsenal for Suárez over the summer.