Liverpool and Manchester United
By: Cathal Dervan | Published Thursday, January 3, 2013, 10:15 PM | Updated Thursday, January 3, 2013, 10:15 PM
DALGLISH BREAKS EUROPEAN DUCK AT LAST
Kenny Dalglish finally tasted European success on Thursday night – thanks to a Dirk Kuyt header in a 1-0 home win over Sparta Prague.
Liverpool are through to the last 16 of the Europa League and a date with Portuguese side Braga after their 1-0 aggregate win.
Amazingly Kuyt’s 85th minute goal sealed Dalglish’s first ever win in Europe as Liverpool were the subject of a post-Heysel ban the last time he was in charge.
“I had never done it before and I quite enjoyed it,” said Dalglish after the nervy win when he also thanked his predecessor Roy Hodgson.
“It’s a fantastic football club and I was lucky enough to be asked to come back.
“But I’m only here managing a football club in the Europa League because of the work that was done before me by the players and Roy Hodgson.
“It is a great honor for me to be sitting here in charge of this football club but an even bigger honor to be here on a European night and also winning.”
Veteran Jamie Carragher came off the bench to make a British record 137th appearance in all European competitions.
Dalglish added: “He has been a magnificent servant to the football club. He has been here since he was about 12.
“I’d rather have him with us than against us. He is a great credit to himself, the football club and professional football in general.”VIDIC TELLS UNITED TO MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS
Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has told his team-mates to forget all about the opposition ahead of a massive week for the EPL leaders.
Alex Ferguson’s side are still chasing trophies in the Champions League, the Premier League and the FA Cup and could win all three.
Vidic and United face Wigan at the DW Stadium on Saturday before trips to Chelsea and Liverpool that will have a big say in the title race.
A win at Wigan will restore a four point lead over second-placed Arsenal, who play Birmingham in the Carling Cup final on Sunday.
Chelsea and Liverpool will be waiting to haul United’s lead back after the Lancashire derby but Vidic insists their destiny is in their own hands.
“We are just thinking about ourselves,” declared Vidic in the wake of Wednesday night’s scoreless Champions League draw away to Marseilles.
“We don’t need to bother about other teams because we are in a good position. It all depends on us. It is a season-defining period for everyone.”
Ryan Giggs will return for United on Saturday when Vidic expects his team to justify their current position on top of the EPL.
The Serbian defender added: “I am not surprised by where we are. The table shows where we should be.
“In some games we scored a goal in the last minute but there were others, at Everton and Fulham for instance, when we conceded them.
“We are where we are. We have the points we should have overall.”