Liverpool thrashed bitter rivals Manchester United 4-0 at Anfield last night to storm to the top of the Premier League table. A 2-0 first half lead was doubled in the second period as the Reds completed a league double over United in some style. Here’s a review of the match.

You can find player ratings from the game here:

° Lineup. Jürgen Klopp made two alterations to the side that beat City at Wembley on Saturday. Joel Matip came back into the team ahead of Ibrahima Konaté, whilst skipper Jordan Henderson was restored to midfield with Naby Keita making way.

The front three of Diaz, Mané and Salah continued upfront. United meanwhile, started in a 5-3-2 formation with the thinking being to exploit the Liverpool high line with long passes for Rashford and Elanga to chase. It didn’t take long for Liverpool to cut through their five man backline.

° Diaz scores early. It took just four minutes for Liverpool to open the scoring. A brilliant pass by Mané released both Trent and Mo into space. The latter squared it for Diaz to tap in from a few yards out. It was too easy in all honesty. That Mané pass took out three defenders, leaving Salah with the easy task of finding Diaz in the box.

° Anfield faithful show their class. It was truly heartwarming to see the home crowd show their support for Cristiano Ronaldo who lost his son in the lead up to the game. They held a minute’s applause in the 7th minute and sang You’ll Never Walk Alone in a show of solidarity that was moving.

° Salah ends his drought. There’s been lots of talk on Salah’s dry spell infront of goal, but the Egyptian dispelled any worries with a classy goal midway through the first half. A stunning Mané reverse pass released him behind Dalot and after a sublime first touch, he slotted calmly past De Gea.

° Mesmerising maestro. Thiago put on a midfield clinic last night. He dictated proceedings from start to finish as he showcased the full array of his talent. The ovation he received when he was taken off summed up just how bedazzled the Kop were.

Thiago for Liverpool against Man Utd:

• 129 touches (1st)
• 110 passes attempted (2nd)
• 105 passes completed (2nd)
• 100% long ball accuracy
• 100% dribble success rate
• 95% pass accuracy (=1st)
• 25 passes in final third (1st)
• 7 duels won (1st)
• 6 long balls attempted
• 6 long balls completed (=1st)
• 4 ball recoveries
• 3 chances created (1st)
• 3 successful dribbles (1st)
• 2 tackles won (=1st)
• 2 interceptions (=1st)

Magisterial 🎨

° Slow start to the second half. The Reds let standards slip ever so slightly and United took encouragement from it. They edged their way forward and could have halved the deficit had Rashford beaten Alisson from close range, or Elanga on the rebound for that matter. That double save woke the Reds up.

° Reds step through the gears again. Robertson stepped up the tempo almost single handedly when he won the ball in the defensive third and sprinted upfield. He offloaded to Diaz who crossed for Mané in the box, Sadio’s delightful sweeping finish made it 3-0 and killed any United hopes of a way back into the contest.

° Mo makes it 4-0. Salah completed the scoring in the 85th minute when he ran onto Jota’s defence splitting pass and chipped De Gea. It marked his 30th goal in all competitions this season, the third time he’s hit 30+ goals in his five seasons at the club. Drought? What drought?

° Ridiculous firepower. Each of Luis Diaz, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah registered a goal and an assist last night, with Jota coming off the bench to also notch an assist. The arsenal Klopp has at his disposal currently is obscene to be honest.

Roberto Firmino wasn’t even involved due to a foot injury, whilst Divock Origi remained an unused substitute. Takumi Minamino couldn’t even make the matchday squad. The Reds are topscorers in the league this season and it is no wonder. This array of forward options could fire them to immortality.

° Gulf in class. All over the pitch Liverpool were superior. United didn’t manage a single shot, on or off target, in the entirety of the first half. They had a go in the first ten minutes of the second period but the Reds just swatted them away by clicking through the gears.

They’re now 22 points clear of their bitter rivals with a record equalling 20th league title in sight. To drum home the gulf between the two sides, the Reds also became the first team in history to put nine goals past United in a single Premier League season.

° Top of the table. Jürgen Klopp’s side now sit top of the pile on 74 points. City host Brighton tonight knowing anything other than victory will relinquish the advantage they’ve held since January. The Reds have six games left and know they will have to win every single one if they’re to wrestle the title from Guardiola’s grasp.

° What next? It’s the Merseyside derby next. The hits just keep on coming, big game after big game after big game. Frank Lampard’s relegation threatened Everton will make the short trip to Anfield this Sunday, with the game preceding the first leg of the Champions League semi final. These are the days ladies and gents.


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