Premier League, Old Trafford – Manchester United 0 Liverpool 5 (Keita 5′, Jota 13′, Salah 38′, 45′, 50′) Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates scoring his teams third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford
Liverpool delivered an annihilation job on Manchester United on Sunday evening, battering the hosts 5-0 at Old Trafford in a game that saw pressure mount further on under-fire manager Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer.
The Norwegian could only watch on dismayed as the Merseyside side carved his Red Devils to shreds, and a hat-trick from Mohamed Salah provided the prime highlight of an incredible game of football, for one side at least.
Jurgen Klopp’s side arrived with attacking intent; and they were one up within five minutes, Salah turning provider for Naby Keita to slide beyond a hapless David de Gea.
It would go from bad to worse eight minutes later; a defensive miscommunication between compatriots Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire paved the way for Keita to feed Trent Alexander-Arnold, who found the returning Diogo Jota sliding in at the back stick to double Liverpool’s cushion.
Salah notched the first for his own tally on 38 minutes, with Klopp’s men slicing the hosts apart: Roberto Firmino, Jota, Keita sliding it across, and the Egyptian beat Victor Lindelof to the cross at the near post for 3-0.
He then doubled his winnings on the stroke of half time; kamikaze United defending from a harmful Liverpool throw, with Lindelof, Maguire and Shaw all sucked in by the ball, and Firmino turned the tight-marking United captain and fed his talismanic right winger, who did the rest. Four.
Cristiano Ronaldo was fortunate not to be sent off for kicking out at substitute Curtis Jones before the break, and United’s poor discipline would be a recurring theme later on in the match, with Paul Pogba himself given his marching orders for a dangerous challenge on Keita after a VAR intervention.
But that was not before Salah sealed his hat-trick: simply sublime from the golden boy, and Reds captain Jordan Henderson created it, robbing Fred and Pogba in the engine room, bending a beautiful ball into the path of his speedy team-mate, who finished with aplomb.
Supporters booed and jeered, left early, and Solskjaer could only watch on in horror as his Halloween nightmare came early.
For Liverpool, a real stamp of their authority on the title race. United are dead in the water; Liverpool were bubbling, but they’ve exploded into life off the back of this result.
TALKING POINT – MAN UNITED MISERY, SALAH SUBLIME
The home side were dismal, but take nothing away from Liverpool.Klopp has masterminded an incredible strategy with an unbelievable side. They deserve everything they got today, and they were fabulous throughout.
The changes Klopp made pre-match were excellent, with Ibrahima Konate and Jota brilliant throughout.
But it was all about Salah, as he compounded United’s woes, exploiting every defensive error made to seal a dream day for every Liverpudlian red.
Manchester United: De Gea 6, Wan-Bissaka 5, Lindelof 3, Maguire 4, Shaw 5, Fred 2, McTominay 3, Rashford 5,
Fernandes 5, Greenwood 4, Ronaldo 5.Subs: Pogba 2, Cavani 5, Dalot 5.
Liverpool: Alisson 6, Alexander-Arnold 7, Konate 8, Van Dijk 7, Robertson 7, Henderson 7, Keita 9, Milner 6, Jota 7, Firmino 7, Salah 10.Subs: Jones 6, Chamberlain 6, Mane 6.
MAN OF THE MATCH – MOHAMED SALAH, LIVERPOOL
The Egyptian wizard struck gold with a magical three to silence Old Trafford.
A complete performance where he tormented Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire, exploiting every blade of grass between them in that dangerous right half-space he loves to work in with that left boot.
He was in the right place at the right time whenever he was needed, and he was instrumental in the build-up play to produce a complete, world-class performance.
There’s nothing he can’t do right now.
5′: GOALLLL!!!!! Liverpool! With their first chance of the game! Naby Keita with the finish; and United are carved open, Salah is found with a penetrative pass through the lines by Firmino, and the Egyptian slides the Guinean in, who calmly slots home. The Reds of Merseyside lead.
13′: GOAL!!!! It’s Jota this time, all stemming from a defensive misunderstanding between Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire. Keita exploits it, he feeds Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Klopp’s plan works; Jota slides in at the back stick. 2-0. Shambles for Solskjaer.
38′: GOALLL!!! It’s three! Mohamed Salah!! Kamikaze defending from United. The Reds slice the Devils apart, Firmino, Jota, to Keita, and Salah beats Lindelof at the near post and flicks it past de Gea. 3-0, game over, surely.
45′: GOALLL!!! It’s four. Mo Salah yet again. Catastrophic for United at the back. Maguire is pulled across, turned, Shaw is hung out to dry by Fred who is lured in by Firmino, and he feeds the Egyptian, who can’t believe his luck.
50′: GOALLLL!!!! Salah gets his hat-trick! Sloppy from Fred and Pogba in the midfield, they lose possession all too easily, and Henderson bends a beautiful outside-of-the-boot pass into Salah’s path, and he dinks over de Gea for five.
52′: GOAL! Ronaldo! A fantastic finish, and the Portuguese cuts inside Trent Alexander-Arnold, and arrows a shot into the far corner for 5-1. // Being checked… disallowed. He’s offside.
61′: It’s red. United down to 10, and it just gets bad to worse. Pogba is sent off.