Seventh Heaven for Liverpool vs Manchester United
Klopp's Team Roars Back into Top Four Contention
Liverpool has roared back into top four contention with an amazing 7-0 victory over arch rivals Manchester United.
The result was not expected. Many fans, and pundits alike, expected a stuttering Jurgen Klopp side to struggle with a Red Devils side who, led by resurgent forward Marcus Rashford, had placed themselves into the title picture.
Prior to the match, Paul Merson had expected Liverpool to play right into Manchester United’s hands.
“Marcus Rashford will be looking to put Trent Alexander-Arnold under pressure, much like Vinicius Junior did in the Champions League a couple of weeks ago. If United beat Liverpool, their confidence will be high and they will keep themselves in the title race for now,” Merson said in his game week 26 preview on sportkeeda.com
That is not what eventuated as the Reds thrilled the Anfield crowd with a late goal from recruit Cody Gakpo, giving them the lead two minutes before the break. An onslaught of six goals in the second half at the Kop end put the exclamation point on an emphatic victory for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
The German gaffer was effusive in his praise for his players in what is a highlight result in an otherwise tough season, and leaves them just three points outside of the top four, with a game in hand on Tottenham above them.
“It was one of the best performances for a long, long time. In a way, I think everybody saw how good the boys can be. I think nobody was in doubt about Darwin’s future impact when he settles because he is a real force of nature, Cody plays in the most difficult area of the pitch against a man-marking side which is super-tricky, but how he keeps himself on his feet there and has the overview of everybody else, Mo is Mo, midfielders around. Harvey played a top game the other night against Wolves, had the highest counter-pressing outcome of any player in the Premier League this season so if that is not a qualification for starting again then I don’t know one, to be honest, and is for us super-important on the ball as well. Hendo didn’t start the last game. What a performance tonight, absolutely incredible, and Fab is back. Last line is in a better moment as well, so it’s like it has to be. How I said, we have to make these results count with the result of the next game. That’s what we try.”
At the other end of the scale, it was a setback for Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United side. The result effectively ended any hope of challenging Arsenal or Manchester City for the title.
The Dutchman, who has done a tremendous job in turning this Manchester United side into a genuine threat, and lifted the club’s first trophy since 2017 just days ago, slammed his team for their lack of professionalism.
“We didn’t play as a team. It was unprofessional. Am I angry? Yes. Definitely.I am surprised because I have seen the last weeks and months this team is resilient and has a winning attitude. Second half, we didn’t have a winning attitude at all. We didn’t stick to the plan, and we didn’t do our jobs.”
Next up for Liverpool is a trip to the south coast to face Bournemouth. A side they put nine past at Anfield earlier this season. For Manchester United, they will look to bounce back against relegation threatened Southampton.
C Gakpo (43’, 50’), D Núñez (47’, 75’), M Salah (66’, 83’), R Firmino (88’)
MANCHESTER UNITED 0
Stuart Kavanagh is a journalist currently residing in Broken Hill, Australia. He writes for the Barrier Truth newspaper, along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, He contributes at edgeofthecrowd.com when time permits. He is also the Media & Communications Director at the Newosis Mental Health Foundation. You can find more about the work Newosis Mental Health Foundation does here.
Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.