Kenny Dalglish started his return to management with a third-round F.A. Cup loss at Manchester United yesterday but praised the “endeavor” and commitment of his Liverpool players.
United, the record 11-time champion, got the only goal at Old Trafford on an early penalty from Ryan Giggs. Liverpool’s task then became tougher after 32 minutes as captain Steven Gerrard was red-carded.
“Obviously I’m not going to be pleased to lose a match but the most important thing for us is what we got out of it -- that we had a great deal of effort and commitment from the players,” Dalglish said at the post-match press conference. “Their endeavor and enthusiasm and commitment to the cause was matched by the supporters.”
The match was Dalglish’s first in charge following his appointment two days ago until the end of the season after Roy Hodgson left by “mutual consent.” Dalglish was previously in charge from 1985 to 1991. The 59-year-old has had no involvement in first-team soccer since leaving his role of director of football at Celtic in 2000.
In yesterday’s other games in the third round, the stage at which teams from the elite Premier League and second-tier Championship enter the competition, Chelsea won 7-0 against Ipswich, Manchester City was held to a 2-2 draw at Leicester City, while Tottenham beat Charlton 3-0.
United will travel to League One team Southampton in round four, Chelsea is at Everton, Manchester City or Leicester will face Notts County, and Tottenham was drawn at London rival Fulham.
Dalglish’s return to management got off to a bad start when his team conceded a penalty after only 28 seconds as Dimitar Berbatov fell under a challenge from Daniel Agger.
Gerrard was then red-carded for a foul on Michael Carrick with about an hour still to play.
“To concede a penalty in the first minute and get a man sent off was always going to make it difficult for us but the boys stuck to the task,” Dalglish said.
United came close to doubling its advantage at the end of the first half when a header by Jonny Evans crashed against a post.
The home team was unable to add another goal, with Jose Reina making several saves including one from Patrice Evra. United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak stopped a Fabio Aurelio free kick.
Dalglish said he’s not yet considered potential additions to the squad or coaching team, but is looking forward to his tenure.
“The next six months will be fantastic for me,” he said. “If we put as much effort and commitment to the cause as we have today then we should be alright.”
Liverpool is struggling in 12th spot in the Premier League with seven wins from 20 matches. The club exited the League Cup in the third round, although the Reds are still in the Europa League.
Elsewhere, Daniel Sturridge and Frank Lampard each got two goals as Chelsea thrashed Ipswich at Stamford Bridge. Salomon Kalou and Nicolas Anelka also scored, while there was an own goal from Ipswich’s Carlos Edwards.
It was only Chelsea’s second win in its past nine matches in all competitions. The Blues have won the F.A. Cup in three of the last four seasons.
“Obviously, with this victory, our confidence will improve,” Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters. “We have to wait to say everything is OK.”
Manchester City and Leicester must replay their match after a tie at the Walkers Stadium. The Foxes scored against Premier League club City in the first minute, new signing Sol Bamba forcing the ball into the net from close range.
James Milner and Carlos Tevez then established a halftime lead for City, before Andy King replied for the home team midway through the second half.
At White Hart Lane, Andros Townsend scored on his debut to help Tottenham advance to the next round. His goal, four minutes after halftime, was followed by two strikes from England forward Jermain Defoe.
Tottenham secured the last of its eight F.A. Cup titles in 1991.
Two days ago, Arsenal tied 1-1 against Leeds, while Premier League clubs Blackpool, Sunderland and West Brom lost. Newcastle was upset 3-1 by Stevenage, which plays in the fourth tier.
Birmingham, Blackburn, Bolton, Fulham, Wigan, Everton, Aston Villa and West Ham were other top-flight teams to advance. Stoke and Wolverhampton Wanderers face replays.
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