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Anybody who has been watching center-backs in the premiership this season with particular interest will vouch that Vidic has been nothing short of stunning. Now that was till the Liverpool game; Vidic endured a torrid evening against ‘Himself’ more than the celebrated attacking duo of Torres and Gerrard. It was as if the art of ‘self-destruction’ had been mastered by Vidic on an eventful Saturday afternoon where he would have had a feeling of deja vu of his first start in the United shirt.

Vidic and Ferdinand are a great center back pairing because of the way they complement each other. Ferdinand has more ability on the ball and he is the one to bring the ball out of the defense. Vidic is more of a tackler; the attacking source in the defense and with his reading of the game and great ability to position himself to attack the ball, he has been consistent and very hard to deceive. Vidic usually is the last man before the goal-keeper as Ferdinand positions himself a little ahead of Vidic so that he can take the ball into the midfield. But on Saturday, I thought they defended way too deep and this made it hard for them to take a breather. The midfield pairing of Carrick and Anderson were also deep and that didn’t help either. And without Berbatov, there was nobody to link up with the forwards. The midfield duo were so conspicuously outnumbered and outmaneuvered that they had to drop deep which in turn nullified the attacking threat that usually pose going forward if they had insurance at the back.

Liverpool never played with a high tempo. Leiva and Mascherano did well to keep the ball and all they could muster before Vidic allowing the ball to bounce from Skrtel’s kickout was nothing. The irony of the game was that United were ‘shite’ and Liverpool were comparatively ‘less shite’.

And this game also exposed United’s perennially under performing central midfield. There is no steel in there and they got away with it against Inter. The way they lined up on saturday also didn’t help. Finally, Torres was inspiring in that he played through pain and simply overran Vidic. He single-handedly changed the tempo of the game and hats off to him for his endeavor and desire. United didn’t play with the usual desire or commitment. Somehow one got the feeling they were going through their motions instead of going for it. They seemed jaded and have to wake up fast to ‘salvage’ their season.