Down The Wings

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Match Review: Manchester United 2-4 Liverpool

(Photo by Dave Thompson – Pool/Getty Images)

Liverpool win at Old Trafford against a lacklustre Manchester United, as Klopp triumphs over Ole to revive their CL top 4 hopes.

How did Manchester United set up?

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Solskjaer made 10 changes to the reserved team that lost to Leicester City on Tuesday night; with Dean Henderson, Aaron Wan Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay, Fred, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani returning to the starting eleven.

A poor showing from McTominay and Fred as well as the defensive errors had a significant impact, allowing a ruthless Liverpool side who exploited the frailties from set-pieces and anxious play out the back.

How it went down

The initial match on May 2 was called off as anti-Glazer protestors invaded Old Trafford, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team were stuck at the team hotel. United fans again protested outside the ground against the Glazer family ahead of kick-off on Thursday night, but there were no repeats of the scenes of earlier this month.

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With both teams safely inside the ground, the focus could turn to events on the pitch and United took an early lead when Bruno Fernandes’ shot was deflected into his own net by Nat Phillips within the first 10 minutes.

However, Liverpool, who also had a penalty overturned after a pitchside review by referee Anthony Taylor, responded brilliantly as Diogo Jota’s flick brought them level before Roberto Firmino’s header completed the turnaround just before half-time. Questions will have to be aimed at Henderson for his poor positioning and the nonexistent defending displayed by the centre backs too. 

Jurgen Klopp’s side extended their lead immediately after the restart as Firmino added his second of the night, taking advantage of the holes that were evident due to Maguire’s absence. His leadership and organisation would have likely prevented Liverpool’s third. 

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Liverpool had chances to finish the game off, but Jota’s shot hit the woodwork before United got back into the game as Marcus Rashford’s 50th goal at Old Trafford set up a grandstand finish.

Substitute Mason Greenwood saw a shot cleared off the line by Phillips as United searched for an equaliser, but Mohamed Salah’s late strike in the 90th minute secured the win that sees them move four points off fourth with a game in hand, piling the pressure on Chelsea and Leicester in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

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Where does this leave Manchester United?

After that shambolic horror show at the Theatre of Dreams, United will now need to regain their focus on the next home fixture against Fulham for their last home game of the season, knowing that a win would solidify their second place finish.

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