A FEW OBSERVATIONS FROM THE GAME TONIGHT: MANCHESTER UNITED 0-5 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool went to Old Trafford and absolutely wiped the floor with their bitter rivals. Naby Keita gave them an early lead and they didn’t let up, going in at the break with a scarcely believable 4-0 lead. Mohamed Salah completed his hat trick early in the second half before the Reds cruised home after Paul Pogba was sent off. Read on for player ratings from the game tonight.
Alisson – 8
He saved what he had to save and generally oozed calm especially with his passing and distribution from the back. Another clean sheet, he’s racking them up this season.
Alexander-Arnold – 9
He really enjoyed himself tonight. Absolutely destroyed them down that right hand side. Got the assist for Jota’s goal with a typical pinpoint delivery. He defended Rashford well bar one moment late first half when he allowed him cut in too easily. At 5-0 up he showed maturity beyond his years with how he just moved the ball around and stayed in his half. No need for overlapping runs at that point and he managed the game really well. Denied a stunning goal by an equally stunning save by De Gea.
Konaté – 9.5
His inclusion was a surprise, but he more than justified his manager’s trust. He was rock solid, with his combination of recovery pace, strength, aeriel ability and awareness the perfect foil for Van Dijk as well as Alexander-Arnold. He enjoyed his battle against Ronaldo and won more than his fair share of the duel. He’s comfortable in possession too and fit into the team like a glove.
Van Dijk – 9
Cruise control once again for the big man. He’d have been surprised just how easy it turned out. He made a crucial clearance after Rashford had gotten away down our right and cut the ball back. He led the defence well and our offside traps were much improved from midweek. Clean sheet bonus for the big man. Kerching.
Robertson – 8
Not quite at his best but still pretty damn good. Too many times he gave it away cheaply, with one leading to the Milner injury. A careless giveaway saw the veteran stretch too quickly to try and get to it and he pulled a muscle as a result. Robertson was still involved in about three of our goals though, with his passes down the line setting off moves. Did fantastically well to head one cross away from Ronaldo who was waiting to pounce. Improvement to come but still an efficient level of performance.
Henderson – 9.5
A captain’s performance from the skipper today, offering a much better shield for his defence than we saw in midweek. Several times he got a foot in to deflect or divert a threatening pass in behind. He was quicker in the press and better in possession too. His pass for Salah’s hat trick is just ridiculous. If other midfielders in the league did that, there’d be documentaries made about it. Unbelievable ball. He ran the game after the red card and made sure it was played on his terms. No risks, no expanding of energy, just side to side to see it out as the job was long done.
Keita – 9.5
The Guinean started like a house on fire, with his pressing in the final third causing United all sorts of problems. He made an excellent third man run and was played in by Salah for his goal, a tidy finish. He was involved in the second goal too as he found Trent who crossed for Jota at the back post. Then he laid one on a plate for Salah to return the favour. Devastating going forward really, as United didn’t seem to know who was to pick him up. Defensively there were still one or two concerns as he lost the ball to Rashford and got away with it as the shot went just wide. Butchered by Pogba second half and was stretchered off. Didn’t look good that injury, which is a shame because Naby was enjoying himself out there.
Milner – 6
Started a bit sloppily. Saw his pocket picked in the early exchanges and they countered from it. Then he had a chance to cut out a pass in behind but he pulled out for some reason and it ended up with Fernandes shooting over when one on one with Alisson. Picked up an injury not long after.
Salah – 10
He has no peers in the game right now, nobody on his level. All three finishes had a touch of class about them, and his general play was tidy as well. His first touch and some of his interplay with those around him was simply gorgeous. The pace to get on Keita’s cutback, the nonchalance to finish Jota’s pass, the pace once again to get on the end of Henderson’s pass and then the composure to put it past De Gea. He unselfishly laid one on a plate for Keita too and should have had another assist in stoppage time when he bent a pass around the defence to put Jones through.
Firmino – 8
Worked his socks off again. Didn’t quite get in on the goals or assists but be was a key part in a lot of them. His strength and touch led to Salah’s second. He got a foot on a Keita volley but it went wide. A pretty selfless performance again from Bobby. Works so hard for the team to make all the fun possible.
Jota – 9
First half he was unreal. His decision making in and around the box was phenomenal. He did well to lay it off to Salah who was in a better position, to notch his first assist of the season. Stretched every possible senew to get on the end of Trent’s pass for his goal. Tormented Wan-Bissaka throughout. Second half he slowed down but the job was long done.
Jones – 7
Came on for the injured Milner and gave the ball away three times in that first half alone. Not the easiest of atmospheres to come into cold. He grew into it second half and kept the ball better. Should have made it 6-0 in added time or just left the ball for Sadio who was also looking to get in on the action. He stroked the ball around second half under little pressure as ten man United were toyed with.
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7
On for the injured Keita and he slotted in on the right of midfield. Saw a left footed drive go over the bar. Not much to do, just kept possession and saw the game out with little fuss.
Mané – N/A
Desperate to get in on the action, he brought down another tremendous long ball by Henderson but saw his shot charged down. Then he had one taken off his toes by Jones in added time.
The manager caught everyone off guard with his lineup. With Fabinho missing through a knock, he chose to rotate Matip and Mané in addition, with Konaté and Jota coming in for the duo. He picked the same midfield for the third game in a row as well and what a performance his team responded with! The joint heaviest home defeat United have ever suffered! He’ll be extremely proud of his men but will rue more midfield injuries as Naby Keita looks to be badly hurt, and James Milner was also taken off injured.
5 thoughts on “A FEW OBSERVATIONS FROM THE GAME TONIGHT: MANCHESTER UNITED 0-5 LIVERPOOL”
Great game this was
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That’s an understatement!
Was not expecting the line-up, but I’m so glad it payed off, I’m so proud of the boys, played with real class and calm.
Konate was excellent for me, has the strength and speed plus his athletic ability, all good…
Onto the next one
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Mate your prediction was almost spot on
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