Manchester United were beaten 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League. Top four was out for United at this stage. Luis Díaz opened the scoring Mohamed Salah scoring a brace with Sadie Mané also getting a goal to send Liverpool to the summit of the league table.
Ralf Rangnick may have changed the formation for United this evening but it was going to be one of those matches they were going to concede. That happened in the fifth minute as Luis Díaz scored his fourth goal of the season, assisted by Mohamed Saha – who else.
United then started to be a problem from Paul Pogba, who was limping and needed to be replaced in the 10th minute of the match with Jesse Lingard replacing him. Perhaps it will be an injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the season so Pogba can rest ahead of his exit?
Díaz missed an attempt on a second goal in the 12th minute, just before Lingard won a free-kick – which came to nothing. Sadio Mané saw an attempt blocked in the 16th minute resulting in Harry Maguire giving away a corner, resulting in Fabinho missing an attempt on goal.
Jordan Henderson then continued Liverpool’s dominance with a shot on goal, which was too high to cause any damage. However, just a few minutes later, Liverpool were 2-0 up after Salah scored his 29th goal of the season, assisted by Mané. It was a disaster for United.
Salah had another shot on goal on the half hour, seeing his shot blocked. Minutes later, Virgil van Dijk played a ball into Sané, who was caught offside. It was becoming a one way rout for United and deservedly so. The club was a shambles from the top to the bottom.
Salah missed another attempt on the 35th minute with Liverpool showing no slowing down as they were cruising to victory with ten minutes of the first half remaining. A minute later, Salah played a through ball into Mané, but he was caught offside once more.
In the 44th minute of the match, Díaz had another go at scoring his second goal of the match, seeing his effort saved by David De Gea. It was going to become one of those matches for United, already losing 5-0 to Liverpool earlier this season at Old Trafford.
Rangnick would need to find a solution during the break to see if this United side are capable of stringing a few passes together, let alone representing this club with professionalism, rather than a lack of desire, poor leadership and a dismal overview of the not too distant future at the club.
The whistle was blown for half time and United looked relieved to get off the pitch and out of the spotlight, but the break would soo be over and United would be shown as that rabbit in the headlights once more, looking a million miles from the club they once were.
At the start of the second half, Rangnick made a second substitution with Jadon Sancho replacing Phil Jones, who looked very tired at the end of the first half – which was to be expected considering he last played for United on the 4 February 2022.
There was a slight delay to the start of the second half with Martin Atkinson suffering some technical problems with his earpiece and microphone – the half starting three or four minutes later. There was a celebration when he returned on the pitch following a period in the tunnel sorting out the problem.
In the 47th minute, United won a corner, then winning a free-kick after Anthony Elanga was fouled. Both came to nothing for United – which was the main story of this match. Jadon Sancho saw an attempt saved in the 55th minute as United showed at least some desire to get involved tonight.
Elanga won another free-kick in the 58th minute of the match, forcing a shot of his to be blocked five minutes later as United ventured forward once more. A minute later, United looked like scoring as Sancho played a through ball but Marcus Rashford was flagged offside.
In the 68th minute, United’s chance of getting back into the match was over as Liverpool’s start was slow off the blocks but they found their momentum. Mané got the goal, assisted by Díaz giving all three of Liverpool’s forwards a goal and an assist each. It was typical for United. Dire even.
Liverpool made their first substitution in the 70th minute with Diogo Jota replacing Díaz, which would give United a fresh set of attacking legs to worry about, especially in the fact that he has scored 21 goals for his club this season, which shows how deadly he can be.
In the 80th minute, Naby Keïta replaced Thiago Alcántara, with Jurgen Klopp seeking to keep his side attacking and dominating the match – which at the end of the day was not all that hard for them. This United team have lost all of their self respect this season and don’t have a care in the world.
Just four minutes later, Rangnick made his final substitution, bringing youth onto the pitch in the form of Hannibal Mejbri with Elanga heading off the pitch. The Tunisian international showed more desire than most of his teammates combined, running around, showing urgency and desire.
At one stage, it looked as if he could be sent off after getting booked in the 88th minute for a foul on Jordan Henderson. The youth attacking midfielder was raging at how easily this team was being beaten. To not even have the desire to score or even fight was unforgivable.
Atkinson had to speak to Hannibal seconds after being booked for continuing to cross the line. Bruno Fernandes was booked in the 89th minute as he saw some red mist because of the frustration from this match. It is a very dire predicament for United to be in. It’s despicable this attitude is there.
United seemed relieved when the whistle blew and will now be readying themselves to face Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday, which was going to be a must-win match for the club – seemingly with their chances of UEFA Champions League football on the back burner now.
David De Gea: Beaten four times but got some saves in to save some face. His defence were pointless, especially in the second half. Liverpool’s slow start in the second half may have shown him some mercy on the night. Fight or flee is the only option now. ★★★
Phil Jones: His first appearances in 73 days. Was bound to be tired, especially playing in a three-at-the-back formation. Looked out of it at the end of the first half. Got stuck in defensively and tried to make a difference. He looked embarrassed by this team. Replaced by Sancho. ★★★
Harry Maguire: Said something very stupid ahead of the match starting and like it always seems to, it showed him up once again. I wonder if he could get water out of a tap at this moment? To say he’s still the captain of this club is amazingly inept. ★
Victor Lindelöf: Just did not get a grip of the match from start to finished. He was overwhelmed all of the time and seemed out of ideas to turn his form around. United have major problems heading into the summer. Who is going to survive in this team (probably all of them). ★★
Diogo Dalot: Started on the left, was then switched to the right. Using fullbacks as wingbacks has not worked for United, no matter who the player and manager were at the time. It seems so strange that nothing seems to work anymore. Out of speed for much of the match. ★★
Paul Pogba: Lasted ten minutes against Liverpool before suffering from an injury. There was little urgency, desire, determination or even fight from his performance. All he did was point for the ball to be played, jogged (slowly). Hopefully that’s him done for the season. Replaced by Lingard. ★
Nemanja Matić: It seemed to be a losing battle for the Serbian from start to finish. Liverpool’s midfield was immense from start to finish. It is going to be a bad end to his United career but it is not his fault that his teammates don’t seem to care anymore. ★★★
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Brought back into the team in a new formation. He was the worst player on the pitch and has to be one of the worst signings in terms of what he has offered. Time to get him on the transfer list for United to find some real talent to play in his position. ★★
Anthony Elanga: Seemed to have some desire but the game just passed him by, which is what could be said for everyone else on the pitch. Starting in a front two, but was placed on the right when Sancho came on. He has a lot to learn and this will frustrate him. Replaced by Hannibal. ★★
Marcus Rashford: It is not working for him this season. Had a chance to get something from the match but failed. He has got to be frustrated in himself. But there seems to be no output from anyone. Arsenal are going to love this team at the weekend. ★★
Bruno Fernandes: Seemed to be a passenger in this match and that is a major worry now that he has a new contract. It has not seemed to work for him this season. His initial start at the club was great and that form progressed through covid but this season, it has been dire for him. ★★
Jesse Lingard: Replaced Pogba 10′. Seemed to show something that was lacking from others – desire and care. Tried to get things started but it was not fruitful. Perhaps there was something that he could still offer this season? Does he deserve to stay though? No. ★★★★
Jadon Sancho: Replaced Jones 46′. Had United’s best chance at 2-0, which could have got United back into the match. Would they have been inspired from that though? That is the question. Played a good ball into Rashford which came to nothing as he was flagged offside. ★★★★★
Hannibal Mejbri: Replaced Elanga 84′. Seemed to show his teammates how to act the representing United. Showed passion, desire, hunger and shame all in six minutes or so on the pitch. Got booked but showed fight and anger – a nod to the United of old. Should start on Saturday. ★★★★★
Goals: Luis Díaz 5′, Mohamed Salah 22′, 85′, Sadio Mané 68′
Assists: Mohamed Salah 5′, Sadio Mané 22′, Luis Díaz 68′, Diogo Jota 85′
Manchester United: De Gea; Jones (Sancho 46′), Maguire, Lindelöf; Dalot, Pogba (Lingard 10′), Matić, Wan-Bissaka; Elanga (Hannibal 84′), Rashford, Fernandes
Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Telles; Mata, McTominay, Garnacho
Bookings: Naby Keïta 86′; Hannibal Mejbri 88′, Bruno Fernandes 89′
Written by John Walker