Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool: Resurgent Reds Beaten By Well-prepared Red Devils
Liverpool spurned a great chance to go second in the Premier League log, as the failure of the defenders to keep their markers at bay cost us three points at Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford scored a brace inside 10 minutes to give United a lead and although Liverpool managed to pull one back, they failed to find that equaliser.
It was a complete defensive fiasco, to say the least, which Manchester United capitalised in a perfect way possible. It all started in as early as the 14th minute when David De Gea aimed his goal-kick towards Romelu Lukaku.
Outmuscling Dejan Lovren in the air, the Belgian released Marcus Rashford through on goal with a slick header. Agreed that Rashford’s finish was great but Alexander-Arnold should have done better there. United’s second was of the similar ilk as it De Gea again aimed towards Romelu Lukaku, with the towering Belgian yet again outpowering Dejan Lovren to keep the ball at his feet. The result? Rashford scored his brace.
Manchester United defender Eric Bailly gave Liverpool a ray of hope by scoring an own goal from Sadio Mane’s cross, but that was it for the Reds as United pushed a number of bodies back in the second period. A defeat means Manchester United are now five points clear of us and as far as the performance is concerned, this is how I rate it:
Liverpool Player Ratings
Loris Karius: 5/10
Couldn’t have done anything for the first goal, to be honest. But I do feel he dived very quickly for United’s second and although he got a touch, couldn’t do anything about it. His major highlight came late in the game when Antonio Valencia tried releasing Romelu Lukaku on the break. But a perfect reading of the situation allowed him to make a great tackle near the half-way line.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 4/10
The youngster was tasked with keeping Marcus Rashford out and the first time he lost his marker, Rashford stunned the away crowd with a brilliant finish. The 19-year-old seemed clueless for the entirety of the game as Rashford turned out too hot to handle. Even for United’s second goal, he failed to realise Rashford’s presence which gave the English striker a perfect opportunity to bag his brace.
Dejan Lovren: 5.5/10
Lovren lost the header to Romelu Lukaku which eventually ended in Liverpool’s net. Unarguably one of the most inconsistent defenders, Lovren was beaten in the air twice by the Belgian and on both the occasions, Rashford scored.
Virgil van Dijk: 6/10
Had a chance to draw his side to level terms but couldn’t guide his header on target. Was the centrepiece of all of Liverpool’s set-pieces but failed to find the target everytime he had a touch. Improved his positioning in the second period but that didn’t really help his side as United were sitting deep anyway.
Andrew Robertson: 6/10
Made some incisive runs forward and did his defensive duties quite nicely as well. Wasn’t tested much by Mata but allowed the Spaniard all the time in the world to take a shot on goal. Got lucky there as Mata failed to find the net. Robertson, at the other end, delivered some really good balls into the area but nothing noteworthy came out of those. Was replaced by Dominic Solanke late in the game.
Emre Can: 6/10
Played the most number of passes than his counterpart Nemanja Matic but nothing productive came out of it. Asserted his physical dominance in the second period – something that he should have done earlier in the game – but that was too late for the team.
James Milner: 6/10
Liverpool’s Mr. consistent, James Milner scored the last time we paid a visit to Old Trafford but a complete contrast performance was delivered by the Englishman today. Received a knock on his face after Marcus Rashford tried releasing Romelu Lukaku, but got up with his head held high.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 5/10
Was booked for a reckless challenge on Scott McTominay and this remained the highlight of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performance at Old Trafford. It certainly wasn’t his day, to say the least. Was subbed off just a minute after the hour’s mark.
Sadio Mane: 6.5/10
Tried his best to get something positive but was outmuscled by Eric Bailly every time. Had more touches than Marcus Rashford in the first half but failed to test United’s defence, thanks to the presence of Eric Bailly at the back. It was his cross that Bailly deflected into his own net.
Mohamed Salah: 5/10
Salah remained a mere spectator in the first half but picked up the momentum in the second period. His clever runs allowed him to get into some promising positions but he failed to do any harm. Came at the receiving end of a foul in the area by Ashley Young but the referee wasn’t interested in awarding a penalty. Received one golden opportunity in the final minute but fired his volley way over the post.
Roberto Firmino: 5.5/10
Literally, the only Liverpool player who tested David de Gea by making him produce a save, and both of his attempts came from outside the area. Deemed as an unlikely spectator as he was deprived of services around him. Picked up the pace in the second period but to no avail.
Adam Lallana: 5/10
Came on to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlian soon after the hour’s mark. Tried troubling United’s backline but to no avail.
Gini Wijnaldum: 5/10
Came on to replace Alexander-Arnold with some ten minutes left to play.
Dominic Solanke: 5/10
With Liverpool still searching for an equaliser, Klopp decided to throw Solanke in place of Andrew Robertson.