After Liverpool scored early and often to finish off a 5-0 win against their bitter rivals, we take a closer look at what it all means for the Reds.
Liverpool and Manchester United came into the match on very different runs of form. Liverpool had been flying, especially on the offensive end of the pitch, while Ole Gunnar Solskjær was under immense pressure after uninspiring performances and disappointing results. Jürgen Klopp’s side went for the throat, scoring early and often in a match that Liverpool utterly dominated.
I mean, seriously, this is just getting ridiculous. Salah provided the pass to Naby Keita for the opener, then went on to score a hat trick. The Egyptian King surpassed Didier Drogba as the African with the most goals in the Premier League…doing it in 89 less games than Drogba. Salah now has 10 goals and 5 assists in the league, good for a goal or assist every 54 minutes. He also has another 5 goals in 241 minutes in the Champions League.
Keïta got an early hook against Atletico Madrid in mid-week, but Klopp insisted he still had faith in the player. Keïta repaid that faith with a goal and an assist as part of an all around strong performance in midfield. He finished with 4 key passes and made 3 interceptions before being stretchered off after a horror tackle from Paul Pogba.
The biggest shock in the line up today was Konaté getting the start in central defense over Joël Matip and Joe Gomez. The young French defender barely put a foot wrong, showing great composure on the ball, and great speed getting back in recovery runs. Ibou also showed he could be physical, putting in a couple tough, but fair (according to Anthony Taylor) tackles early on to set the tone. He even managed to do a Joël Matip impression, striding forward with the ball from defense through space in the midfield, and then threaded a pass to Bobby Firmino at the top of the box. His twitter game is on point as well.
If you know me, you know I have a huge soft spot for the Brazilian forward. Though Bobby didn’t get on the score sheet today, his movement was absolutely sensational, and was a hug part of why there was so much space for players like Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, and Naby Keïta to exploit. He was often seen coming all the way back to take the ball off of the feet of his center backs, and then would pop up in the box moments later after making a driving run. After a couple of tough seasons, it’s great to see Bobby back and having fun out there.
Liverpool were thin in the midfield coming in with Harvey Elliott out long term, Thiago still struggling with a calf injury, and Fabinho a surprise scratch with a “minor” knee injury. Both James Milner and Naby Keïta came off injured, with the Keïta injury in particular looking bad. Jordan Henderson, Curtis Jones, and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain are the only healthy midfielders right now.
The French midfielder was yet again left on the bench to start the match. He came on at half time, but was sent off for a terrible tackle after just 15 minutes.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær
The Manchester United manager came into the match with fans and pundits alike calling for him to be replaced after poor results and seemingly no identifiable playing style. Liverpool carved open his side early and often, leading to Sir Alex Ferguson and a mass of fans walking out with over 25 minutes left to play. Ole’s team looked like they were completely switched off after Paul Pogba was sent off. It’s hard to see a way that Ole isn’t sacked, as much as we want him to stay.
Credit To The Opposition
From The Manager
Jürgen Klopp: “The result is insane, I asked if there was one like this in history and if there isn’t then it will take a while. The players put a nice piece in the book. It is special but we don’t celebrate like crazy, we have respect for the opponents. We were lucky in some moments, United are not in their best moment.”
What Happens Next
Liverpool will likely run out a B-team/youth squad against Preston on Wednesday in the round of 16 of the EFL Cup. The Reds will then host Brighton in the Premier League next Saturday, which should give the regular senior team starters a good amount of rest.