How Liverpool Came to Decimate Manchester United

Liverpool thrashed arch-rivals Manchester United 7-0 in a Premier League match at Anfield on Sunday. Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah scored a brace each for Liverpool, while Roberto Firmino netted the other goal.

Nobody had anticipated the extent of United’s capitulation at the hands of their old rivals prior to the start of the match. Manchester United, who won the Carabao Cup last week, were actually the inform team going into the match.

It was the Red Devils’ worst defeat in 92 years, but they remain in the third position in the league table with 49 points from 25 matches. Liverpool, meanwhile, climbed up to the fifth position with 42 points from 25 matches.

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On that note, we will take a look at how the match progressed:

Liverpool drew the first blood in a fast and frenetic first half: 

Liverpool, starting with a 4-3-3 formation, started the match in a robust manner and kept attacking in numbers during the initial 7-8 minutes. Gakpo started as the centre-forward, but frequently swapped positions with left winger Nunez and kept cutting in from the left flank. Salah did the same through the right, as the Manchester United defence remained busy initially.

The visitors were saved a few times bye Lisandro Martinez, who came up with vital interceptions and stuck out his foot on one occasion to get a crucial touch to clear Nunez’s goal-bound volley. Manchester United started with Bruno Fernandes as the left winger and the Portuguese did not look comfortable there, hardly having any touches during the first 20 minutes. Liverpool had more than 60% ball-possession during that time period.

Moreover, Marcus Rashford did not get enough free space inside the opposition half playing as the centre-forward and was almost always consumed by two big Liverpool centre-backs Virgil Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate. Still, Rashford and Antony managed to take shots at the Liverpool goal, both of which were saved by Alisson.

United tried to hurt Liverpool through counter-attacks by playing long balls at times, but could not quite breach the opposition defence. Casemiro scores with a header from a free-kick, but was already in an offside position before doing so.

Just as the first half seemed to be veering towards a draw, Gakpo scored his third goal in a Liver pool shirt. Andrew Robertson played a perfect through ball and Gakpo got into the perfect position by running in from the left as the pass was being played. The Dutch forward then curled in a right-footer from the edge of the box to put the home side ahead.

Liverpool cut Manchester United to ribbons with their counter-attacks in the second half: 

Nobody should have had any idea as to how one-sided the second half was going to be at the start of it. Liverpool, however, set the tone for it with an early goal by Nunez. What followed was a clinical dismantling of the visitors through counter-attacks.

The fifth Liverpool came through one such counter-attack that originated from a United corner. The ball was played quickly to the right flank and Gakpo ran in to score from a cross. Ten Hag responded by replacing an ineffective Weghorst with Scott McTominay and also sending in Alejandro Garnacho for Antony. However, the damage was done by then and the Reds piled on the visitors’ misery as Salah scored his first of the night by volleying the ball home after McTominay failed to clear it properly.

Nunez then scored with a header and Salah became the highest goal-scorer for Liverpool in the Premier League by tapping the ball in a few minutes later. Martinez, who had a very good first half, failed completely to contain the Egyptian forward in the second. Firmino, in his last season with Liverpool, then came in as a substitute and joined the party by scoring the seventh goal for the home side to mark an incredible victory.

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United were made to look like a bunch of school boys at times, as they gave in without any considerable resistance. Klopp’s men, on the other hand, were given a massive boost ahead of their UEFA Champions League tie against Real Madrid, which will require them to overturn a three-goal deficit in order to qualify for the quarterfinals.

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