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Liverpool 3, Manchester United 1: First Thoughts

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Liverpool put in a truly dominant performance over their rivals, once again regaining top spot in the league.

Liverpool FC v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool 3 - 1 Manchester United

Scousers: Mane 24’, Shaqiri 73’, 81’
Mancs: Lingard 33’

  • Pre-match Thought: As if there weren’t enough riding on a normal Manchester United-Liverpool Derby, the Reds need to win to keep up with the other (and far better) Manchester team. Virgil van Dijk will lead out a strong line-up from the Reds, with the only real question mark coming over Nathaniel Clyne. Hopefully he can rise to the occasion, and give us a glimpse of that lock-down right back we had from two seasons ago.
  • Ashley Young taking approximately 23 minutes for his first throw-in. To be expected, really.
  • Doesn’t take long for Mohamed Salah to get at the backline. He does well to pick out Roberto Firmino in the box, but Bobby can only win a corner with his attempted cross.
  • United find the back of the net with a set play, but Lukaku was correctly blown offside for interferring with the play.
  • Early penalty appeal for Liverpool, as it appears that Mo is clattered over in the box after a Mane cut-back, but Atkinson characteristically waves “play on.”
  • Liverpool are on the attack early, earning their 3rd corner in the opening 10 minutes. They’re pressing and breaking at pace. Hopefully they can find a goal or two before tiring out.
  • GOAL! And it’s a true beauty! Firmino collects a ball from a throw in, and squares it to Fabinho. Fabs picks out Mane’s perfectly timed run into the box with an inch-perfect chip, and Mane takes the ball down with one touch on his chest, and slots it past De Gea!
  • Goal. Jesus fucking Christ that’s typical. United have shown nothing on attack so far, and are all but handed a goal. Lukaku puts in a cross that Alisson tries to catch instead of punch clear, but instead spills it right in front of goal for Lingard to slot. Ugh. Alisson has been boss all season, but he’ll want that one back.
  • Atkinson continuing with his normal bang-up job. Lukaku gets away with “just” a yellow after a brutal and late challenge on Keita.
  • Halftime Thought: There must be a universe where Liverpool get as lucky against United as they have been against us in recent seasons. Liverpool have been all over the Mancs, and lead in every category except the important one. Liverpool did well to get back at it after being pegged back, and there’s definitely a winner in it for the Reds if they stay at it in the second half.
  • De Gea saving United’s bacon klaxon. Bobby does well to wiggle through about 5 defenders and find space to get off a shot, but the Spanish goalkeeper is quick down to his left to prevent the goal.
  • Ten minutes into the second half and I’m fairly certain United haven’t had a kick in our half. This is setting up to be a frustrating finish.
  • Clyney has a shot from about 40 yards. Go ‘head. At least he wins a corner.
  • Now it’s Lovren’s turn to have a crack from distance. Come on lads, don’t let Mourinho’s shit-baggery get to your heads.
  • United have their first corner compared to our 13. I fully expected them to score, and I’ll be damned if we didn’t make a hash of it.
  • Xherdan Shaqiri coming on for Keita, who honestly didn’t look quite at the races today.
  • GOAL!! And Big Shaq makes an impact! Mane dribbles past Herrera and tries to square it to Salah. The ball is deflected and Shaqiri is the fastest to react, putting it past De Gea (with the help of a Young deflection and the underside of the cross bar).
  • GOAL!!! SHAQ GETS A SECOND! He gets the ball in acres of space, and picks out Firmino at the top of the box. Firmino attempts to square it to Mo, but it’s a sloppy pass. However, Shaqiri is there to take the shot on, and gets a very generous deflection, easily beating De Gea.
  • Mane, who got the party started, makes way for captain Jordan Henderson. Let’s see this out, lads!
  • Final Whistle Thought: For about 73 minutes it looked like it was going to be one of those. But then Shaqiri came on, decided he wasn’t having any of it, and put the Mancs in their place. Someone fucking needed to. The last time Liverpool beat United in the league was during their last title race. History repeats?

We’ll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today’s game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven’t already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we’ll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.