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Report: Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1 with Marcus Rashford reigning supreme

Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. Marcus Rashford was once again the man of the moment, opening the scoring in the 14th minute, assisted by Romelu Lukaku, doubling the lead on the 24th minute of the match.

Jose Mourinho made three changes to the side which beat Crystal Palace 3-2 on Monday evening. Victor Lindelof, Paul Pogba, and Jesse Lingard were replaced by Eric Bailly, Juan Mata, and Marcus Rashford. Pogba suffered an injury in training on Friday which has kept him out of this match with Mourinho confirming that he did not know how long the Frenchman would be out of action for.

Both teams started well in the 200th competitive encounter, the 52nd in the Premier League. United attempted to break forward from the kick off but Liverpool regained possession and tried to break forward themselves. There were no clear chances for either side in the opening seven minutes but Liverpool had started to dominate possession.

United took the lead through Marcus Rashford in the 14th minute of the match after he beat Trent Alexander-Arnold and belted the ball into the far corner from distance. United were 1-0 up in this 200th match between the two clubs and it is Liverpool who were on the back foot despite. Alexander-Arnold seemed to be playing too wide which is where he got caught out and Liverpool conceded.

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After United went 1-0 up, Liverpool started to become more dangerous with Roberto Firmino putting an in swinging cross into the box but Sadio Mane was unable to get the better of David De Gea to find the equaliser. James Milner then put another cross into the area but failed to find a teammate to cause United some damage. In the 23rd minute, Virgil van Dijk put a dangerous header

In the 23rd minute, Virgil van Dijk put a dangerous header towards goal but it was wide of the target. United struck again on the 24th minute with Rashford now on a hat-trick. Romelu Lukaku, seeking his 100th Premier League goal, won a long ball with Juan Mata skipping through on goal. Rashford got the ball and from a tight angle, he beat Loris Karius again.

Rashford was booked for a challenge, which was similar to the one Emre Can had on Antonio Valencia at the start of the match but Rashford was booked, Can wasn’t. Still, United were 2-0 and Liverpool were starting to find out how far from the finished article they actually are, especially as their supporters though this was going to be an easy game for them.

In the 38th minute of the match, Juan Mata had the chance to score a spectacular goal after Alexis Sanchez played the ball into him for an acrobatic finish. It looked like Karius was beaten but the shot was off target. Liverpool started to get more of the ball into the end of the first half, having some corners but failing to get anything from them. The half ended 2-0 to United.

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The second half commenced without any changes for either side. Liverpool had a chance through Van Dijk but his looping header hit the crossbar. Minutes later, Mohamed Salah was threatening by Eric Bailly ushered him away from the ball. Liverpool seemed to have more intent so far in the second half, a lot more than they had in the first half.

United managed to get the ball back and create some pressure of their own to counter what Liverpool were now doing, after eventually turning up to the game. Everything Liverpool threw at United was being countered with a decent defensive display. I wonder when the media will say Mourinho parked the bus again?

Liverpool made their first substitution in the 62nd minute of the match with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Just after the substitution, Liverpool had a change to get themselves back into the game by Milner’s long-range attempt flew far and wide, not threatening United in the slightest.

Liverpool got a goal back in the 66th minute after Mane put what seemed to be a cross into the box and Bailly miskicked it sending it towards goal with De Gea getting a touch before the goal hit the back of the net. Bailly seemed to injure himself and looked unable to continue. Mourinho was about to make a substitution anyway.

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Marouane Fellaini made his return from injury replacing Rashford in the 70th minute of the match. It seemed that Bailly was able to continue but Victor Lindelof was still warming up just in case the Ivorian needed to come off. In the 80th minute, after United won a free-kick after a double foul on Fellini by Dejan Lovren, which came to nothing.

Jurgen Klopp made his second substitution with Georginio Wijnaldum replacing Alexander-Arnold with around ten minutes plus stoppage time playable. United were still 2-1 up in the game but needing to do more to keep Liverpool at bay to take all three points in this match. Liverpool made their final substitution in the 84th minute with Dominic Solanke replacing Andrew Robertson.

In the 88th minute, Mourinho made his second change of the game with Jesse Lingard replacing Mata with the team tasked to defend their 2-1 lead and win this match. Valencia was booked for a reckless challenge on Mane in the 89th minute. There was six minutes of added time to be played at the end of the match. The Liverpool supporters might be offended with that, if they could add numbers up.

United beat Liverpool 2-1, ending a run of four draws in the last four matches. United are now five points clear of the Merseysiders in second place, 12 points clear of Chelsea in fifth, so if Chelsea lose this weekend, United will be safe in the top four heading into an important period of the season. Sevilla next in the UEFA Champions League at Old Trafford.

Key Moments:

14′ Marcus Rashford, assisted by Romelu Lukaku, opened the scoring for Manchester United, running up the flank and pressuring Trent Alexander-Arnold, tricking him and beating Loris Karius from long-range striker his shot into the far corner of the goal. United were 1-0 up over Liverpool.

24′ Marcus Rashford once again scored at Old Trafford after some good interplay between Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata. Rashford struck inside the box, again across the goal and into the far corner.

38′ Juan Mata had the chance to put Manchester United 3-0 up after Alexis Sanchez set him up in the box. The acrobatic finish was off target despite it seeming like the Spaniard had beaten Loris Karius. It was some miss for United.

66′ Eric Bailly scored an own goal for Liverpool after Saido Mane put a cross into the area and the Ivorian miskicked his clearance. David De Gea got a touch on the ball before it hit the back of the net. Liverpool were back in the game. Mourinho made his final change deep in stoppage time with Matteo Darmian replacing Sanchez.

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Man of the Match: Marcus Rashford

It was his first start in the Premier League in 2018 and Jose Mourinho will be happy with the 20-year-old, who just over two years into his Manchester United career has shown his skills once again. The first goal in the 14th minute was a sublime finish, beating Trent Alexander-Arnold and firing a long-range shot into the far corner of the goal. His second goal was more of the same, just a little closer.

Rashford is a big talent and the likes of Jamie Redknapp criticise him far too much. If Redknapp knew anything substantial about football, he would be a manager or a coach, but he’s a pundit. Rashford, despite suffering from an injury earlier in the year, has been brought back in slowly, his form did not help that. Today, he has shown just what he’s capable of.

Match Statistics:

Goals: Marcus Rashford 14′, 24′

Assists: Romelu Lukaku 14′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Young; Matic, McTominay; Mata (Lingard 88′), Sanchez (Darmian 90+6), Rashford (Fellaini 70′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Lindelof, Shaw; Carrick

Bookings: Marcus Rashford 27′, Antonio Valencia 89′

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