Manchester United suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats in their history on Sunday afternoon, as Liverpool beat them 5-0 at Old Trafford.
Liverpool netted four first-half goals through Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and two from Mohamed Salah, and Salah then completed his hat-trick by scoring the fifth in the 50th minute. Paul Pogba, who came on as a half-time substitution, was shown a straight red on the hour mark for a nasty tackle on Keita.
The game got off to a perfect start…
The game got off to a perfect start for Jurgen Klopp’s side, as Keita gave Liverpool the lead after just five minutes. Ninety seconds or so after Bruno Fernandes had missed a good chance for United, Salah played in Keita and the midfielder kept his composure to fire past David de Gea.
Jota doubled Liverpool’s lead in the 13th minute, following a mix-up between Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw in the United defence. Keita was then able to pick out the oncoming Trent Alexander-Arnold, who played a pinpoint pass across goal for Jota to fire home from close range.
United’s first half to forget
The atmosphere at Old Trafford was getting worse with each passing minute, and Liverpool created more anger inside the stadium when Salah netted in the 38th minute. Salah’s blocked shot on the edge of United’s box found its way to Keita, who picked out the Egyptian to send the ball into the back of the net.
It initially looked as though Cristiano Ronaldo was going to receive a straight red just shy of the half-time break after kicking Curtis Jones whilst on the ground, but replays showed that he kicked the ball. Nevertheless, the yellow card he picked up easily could have been a red on another day.
Yet, there was still time for Liverpool to score another before the two teams went down the tunnel. Klopp’s side shifted the ball from left to right and Salah then fired a shot into the bottom right corner to give the Reds a 4-0 lead at the break.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to bring off Mason Greenwood in place of Paul Pogba at half time, but in the 50th minute Liverpool grabbed their fifth goal of the afternoon. Pogba lost the ball in midfield and Jordan Henderson then played a wonderful outside-of-the-foot pass into the path of Salah, who dinked an effort past De Gea to complete his hat-trick.
Pogba’s red card
Frustration was clearly beginning to boil over, and 15 minutes after coming on, Pogba was shown a straight red. The Frenchman went in for a sliding tackle on Keita with his foot high and, after initially receiving a yellow card, a VAR check saw it upgraded to a red.
The final 30 minutes saw Liverpool simply see out the game, with only an offside Cristiano Ronaldo goal bringing cause for joy from a United perspective. This was a statement win by Liverpool against their arch-rivals, and it takes them up to second in the table, one point behind leaders Chelsea.