It wasn’t a penalty; it was a red card. Liverpool stopped United from playing for the most part, United did their usual and gave up after a while at 1-0 with little opposing threat, and Torres quite clearly does not want to be here.
The stories will be all about controversy and a brave display from an unlucky Liverpool; the truth is that Kenny Dalglish has a mammoth task ahead of him, and despite their continued refusal to play well, United are still in the running for three trophies.
Thomas Kuszczak: 6. Solid enough, but never fills fans with confidence, and his kicking is still not enough.
Rafael da Silva: 7. Good work at the back and got forward when he could. All this despite no help from Nani whatsoever.
Rio Ferdinand: 8. Calm, composed and a great captain’s performance. MOTM.
Jonny Evans: 7. For a player who hadn’t had a kick since his woeful display at West Ham, Evans was a model of composure and seemed back to his best.
Patrice Evra: 8. Handled the impressive and tireless Dirk Kuyt well, and got forward well despite Giggs’ frequent drifting to the centre leaving him with no passing outlet.
Nani: 5. A peripheral figure for large periods, his touch seemed to let him down today.
Darren Fletcher: 6. Good work-rate, but lazy in possession at times and too many wayward passes.
Michael Carrick: 7. Had little to do once Gerrard was sent off, but was always composed and played some very good passing football, albeit with a tendency to go backwards rather than forwards.
Ryan Giggs: 7. Scored the winning goal under immense pressure, and tormented Liverpool at times with some dazzling runs. Unfortunately also guilty of being a little slow to react, letting the opposition in on more than one occasion.
Dimitar Berbatov: 7. Fought well against tough tactics of Skrtel and Agger, always emerging with the ball. Linked play well, although this meant he had few opportunities to take up goal-scoring positions.
Javier Hernandez: 6. Bags of energy, and a few half-chances, although not as influential as his manager would have hoped for.
Anderson: 6. An immediate booking made him over-cautious.
Chris Smalling: 6. Brought on to counter the aerial threat of Babel and N’Gog.
Michael Owen: 6. No dream finish, although on or two promising runs.
Pepe Reina: 8. Kept his team in the game and even guessed right for the penalty.
Martin Kelly: 8. A very impressive display, and the stand-out performance for Liverpool today. Glen Johnson was not missed.
Martin Skrtel: 6. Imposing physical presence, never gave United’s forwards the space to play.
Daniel Agger: 6. Formed a strong partnership with Skrtel, although Carragher’s influence was sorely missed, and the defence was fortunate to survive several goal-mouth scrambles.
Fabio Aurelio: 6. Smart free-kick had Kuszczak scrambling, given little trouble by the ineffective Nani.
Dirk Kuyt: 8. Ran his socks off, and at times the only player in the team who looked interested in going forward. Torres should take note of Kuyt’s work-rate and commitment.
Raul Meireles: 6. Offered very little creativity or attacking threat.
Steven Gerrard: 5. Deservedly sent off, and his team looked completely at a loss without him.
Lucas: 5. Gave the ball away, stray passing, ineffective. Christian Poulsen is a better player.
Maxi Rodriguez: 6. Found himself lots of space, but did very little with it.
Fernando Torres: 5. Where to begin? Kenny Dalglish claimed he worked his socks off – he’s not fooling anyone. Torres moaned and complained and was completely uninterested from the first minute. The man who tormented United’s defenders over the years is well and truly gone, and Liverpool would certainly be better off without him.
In fact, they were; Babel and N’Gog were far more of a threat.
Liverpool’s travelling support gave Torres their full vocal backing, but as he ran off the pitch, he didn’t even acknowledge them.
Jonjo Shelvey: 5. Saw his chance for glory with a long-range free-kick; it went flying over, and he got a roasting from his teammates.
Ryan Babel: 6. Big, strong and pace to burn, but not enough time to threaten. Shouldn’t be allowed near a Twitter account, though.
David N’Gog: 6. Liverpool should start with these two at Blackpool on Wednesday.