By now, it must be obvious.
The best player in the Premiership on this day was Yossi Benayoun. No words can describe the moment of genius that possessed him to split the Man Utd defense, in so comprehensive a fashion as that pass that isolated Fernando Torres, a move which had Rio Ferdinand grab him futilely. El Nino shrugged him off and blasted a ball over Van Der Saar in a scintillating finish.
The canny Israeli was the spark that moved a team from a dangerous swoon in self esteem to one that resulted in a David Ngog goal sealing a giddy victory. This was so much sweeter than last season's win. And for purveyors of good football, this match does not get better.
I cheered on as we watched at Central Bar. Liverpool was abundant in its attack as they fought to quiet the critics with their defense following suit against a dangerous opponent. Man Utd on the counterattack had a few scoring chances but none closer than Antonio Valencia's shot that ricocheted of the crossbar. But the defense led by Jamie Carragher held firm as Man Utd surged forward. A few beach balls floating down the pitch tried changing the equation but this was Liverpool's day.
Liverpool have found its raison d'etre and the Pemiership are so much the better for it. Torres was quality and so was Benayoun. Without a doubt, the two best players. But Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson, and Fabio Aurelio all deserve credit for blunting the attack. Javier Mascherano, love him or hate him, did enough to disrupt the Man Utd attacking flow, paying with a red card.
Rafa outclassed his more illustrious counterpart today. This is the boost that Liverpool was looking to get and if they continue to win this Man Utd match will be remembered as the turning point.