Liverpool Go Top After Masterful Display As Manchester United's Woes Continue

Jurgen Klopp's side enjoyed a dominant 4-0 win at Anfield
22:00, 19 Apr 2022

It was a performance of the highest standard. As the Liverpool fans rose to applaud the masterclass they had just seen, a 4-0 win that took them top of the league, it felt like they were appreciating a work of art rather than a hard-earned three points. 

If this was a theatre, roses would be flung onto the stage. If this was Van Gogh’s latest masterpiece, he would stand back and admire the fruition of his labour. Yet for every piece of genius, there is the other side to the story. 

Manchester United have become so accustomed to underperforming that this was just the latest chapter of their horror story. When they last visited Anfield 15 months ago, they were top of the league. Now they are so far away from their rivals they barely deserved to be on the same pitch. 

Ralf Rangnick made a big change as he brought back Phil Jones into a back five, with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, both who could depart this summer, in midfield. That back five lasted until the break, such was the dismal showing in the first period. 

Alisson’s early chop showed his confidence, and it took just five minutes for the hosts to get in front. Liverpool strung a few rapid passes together in midfield before Sadio Mane released Mo Salah down the right and he squared for Luis Diaz to finish. 

Salah had escaped Diogo Dalot in the opening moments, and the Reds had carved their opponents apart just as they did at Old Trafford in the 5-0 humiliation. Moments after the goal, all the fans in the ground came together to show that their thoughts were with Cristiano Ronaldo, after he lost his new-born child. A rousing chorus of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ broke out for the absent superstar. 

Liverpool were on a different level to United and bagged their second as Mane played a wonderful ball around the corner into Salah, and the Egyptian King took a perfect first touch before slotting home with his left foot. There were 25 passes in the build-up to that goal, from ten different players, and United were left floundering.

Liverpool were so dominant in the first period, and Thiago was the conductor of it all. Clever touches and brilliant passes were rounded off with simply wonderful pieces of skill, but the Spaniard also had the desire to beat the United players to the ball. 

When they went in at the break they’d enjoyed 79% possession, nine shots to United’s nil, and had utterly embarrassed the Red Devils. United’s passing accuracy was just 64%, they had no plan, no quality and no passion. 

However, in the second half, after Jadon Sancho had been introduced, the tide began to turn. Anfield became nervous as the players couldn't keep the ball and Alisson was needed to pull off two saves from close range from Rashford and Anthony Elanga. 

However, 23 minutes of nerves evaporated with a clinical Mane finish. Andy Robertson stole the ball inside his own half and drove forward, then he fed Luis Diaz, who cut the ball back for Mane to finish with such aplomb. First-time, he guided the ball into the far corner with his left foot, to continue his fine goalscoring form. 

The fourth goal came late on, but it was deserved over the 90 minutes. Substitute Diogo Jota won the ball on the left and played a perfect pass into Salah, who finished from close range via a deflection. 

This was another low for Manchester United, but Liverpool go top of the Premier League, for now. 9-0 on aggregate over the two league fixtures sums up the current state of both clubs, the Reds are flying, but the Red Devils are in hell. 

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