Jurgen Klopp registered his first-ever Premier League victory at the home of his fierce rivals and it was a deserved one as his side were quite brilliant and fully merited the win.
Manchester United only had brief spells of dominance in a game that was largely under Liverpool’s control. The Red Devils began the game brightly and got themselves a lead after Bruno Fernandes’ curling effort beat Alisson Becker after a massive deflection off rookie centre-half Nat Phillips.
The hosts then began to slack off after taking the lead and allowed Liverpool to grow into the game, and were made to pay dearly by Klopp’s men. Diogo Jota, who was generally excellent throughout the game, restored parity to the scoreline with a clever flick from just a few yards out amidst a congested penalty box on 34 minutes.
The visitors then took the lead via a header from Roberto Firmino, who was set up by Trent Alexander-Arnold with a superb set-piece delivery.
Matters worsened at the start of the second half as Firmino scored his second of the game. Dean Henderson failed to hold on to Alexander-Arnold’s strike from distance, spilt the ball and inadvertently set it up nicely for the Brazilian to strike from close range.
After nearly an hour of poor football, Manchester United reacted by bringing on Mason Greenwood and pushing Paul Pogba deeper into midfield and they had a glimmer of hope after Marcus Rashford struck on 68 minutes.
However, as they pushed higher up the pitch for a late equaliser, Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah killed the game off with a superb goal in the final minute of regulation time after sprinting from the halfway line and scoring with ease.
It was a dominant win from a side that has looked out of sorts for large parts of the 2020/21 campaign, but Liverpool now stand a realistic chance of qualifying for next season’s UEFA Champions League. While this isn’t necessarily a damaging defeat in terms of Manchester United’s position on the table, the performance levels of the team over the last ten days will surely be a matter of concern for Solskjaer.
Here, we take a look at five hits and flops from Liverpool’s brilliant 4-2 win away at Manchester United.
Hit: Diogo Jota | Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp dropped Sadio Mane in favour of his summer acquisition Diogo Jota to face Manchester United and his move paid off big time for Liverpool. The Portuguese forward was nearly unplayable, particularly in the first half, and was arguably one of Liverpool’s best players on the night.
Jota was an energetic presence in the front three, not allowing the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Eric Bailly a moment’s rest and did very well in the final third. The 24-year-old stung Henderson’s palms with a superb strike in the first half before eventually scoring the equaliser. He could have wrapped up the game in the second half with another brilliant opportunity on the counter but rattled the post.
The Portuguese man also put in a great defensive shift for his side and racked up three tackles, the joint-most for Liverpool on the night. He led Liverpool back into the game and was a constant threat during his 74-minute stay on the pitch.
Flop: Paul Pogba | Manchester United
Manchester United superstar Paul Pogba has been in superb form over the course of the last few months, but he is unlikely to look back on Thursday night’s game too fondly in the future. The French midfielder had a largely ineffective display against Manchester United’s fiercest rivals, regardless of whether he played off the left or centrally, like he did for the last third of the game.
His worst moment of the game came right before the half-time whistle as he failed to block Firmino’s run in his own box and allowed the Brazilian to score the go-ahead goal for Liverpool. It’s the second time in Pogba’s last four games that he’s been culpable for goals conceded due to his shoddy defending, after his handball against AS Roma in Europe.
Bar a looping header in the first half, Pogba failed to produce much else of note for his side when they needed some inspiration in the final third. Additionally, his failure in his own box made it a poor outing overall for the in-form Frenchman.