12/09/2008 08:31, Report by Lou Macari

Macari's Anfield analysis

United legend Lou Macari doesn't expect Liverpool to be a threat in the title race...

Liverpool weren’t in great shape when I saw their last home league game, against Middlesbrough in August. Boro - our Carling Cup opponents - deserved to lead at Anfield and it took Steven Gerrard’s thunderbolt in the 92nd minute to win it for Liverpool after they’d huffed and puffed their way through the 90.

Fernando Torres didn’t do particularly well - certainly there was no sign of his partnership with Robbie Keane starting to blossom - and Gerrard by his own high standard had a poor game. When your top players are poor, you can hardly expect the others to be fantastic.

Dirk Kuyt, being what you would call a centre forward, looked a bit uncomfortable at outside right, as honest and genuine as he was. Yossi Benayoun played at outside left, had a shocker of a game and didn’t look comfortable. In fairness to him, wide left is one of those positions where if you’re not comfortable, you stand out like a sore thumb. His replacement Ryan Babel really hasn’t got going at Anfield so I do think wide left and wide right are problem areas for Liverpool.

I expect Liverpool's left-back Andrea Dossena will get to grips with the Premier League but at the moment he's still new and that showed against Middlesbrough.

Liverpool could still beat us on the day but I don't think they've made big enough strides to be a threat in the title race. It certainly wasn’t evident in that Boro game.

United legend Lou's book, Football: My Life, is available from store.manutd.com.

Lou Macari was speaking to ManUtd.com's Adam Bostock.


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