Liverpool 2 - 0 Manchester United
Liverpool: Van Dijk 14’, Salah 90+2’
A surprise Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the starting line up, Fabinho and Joel Matip on the bench, and one of our strongest lineups here to meet Manchester United - bringing a bunch of kids and I guess Harry Maguire. With Leicester’s loss today too, a win at Anfield would go further towards our march to the title, and you know, sticking it to the Red Devils in decline. There’s always the chance that they could try to stick it to us too, and it would be foolish to believe they won’t try, but its easier to believe that Liverpool will plant their flag and prove that they deserve to be this far ahead of anyone else.
One of the biggest rivalries in football has begun again for the season, with an unbeaten run and (potentially) a league title on the line. Things look a little nervy in these opening minutes, but hopefully the Reds will settle into this. A couple heavy passes have been our undoing so far, but that just means we’re a little too eager to strike first. United on the other hand, are already throwing themselves at our players, and win the first yellow card of the match with Nemanja Matic kicking Georginio Wijnaldum in the face! Fun!
It’s almost too easy, as the first goal comes from a corner and Virgil Van Dijk’s head taller than the rest! Liverpool lead early on and now the hard part comes from defending that lead. Thankfully, it’s a skill we’ve acquired and are pretty good at these days - especially at home. Liverpool win a free kick in a good position and Virgil looks to get a brace but sends it just wide unfortunately, but the game is open now and it’s time to take this game fully. Twenty minutes down, 70 to go.
We almost had a second but it’s easily, unfortunately overturned after it appeared that Virgil fouled David De Gea. It was a fantastic shot by Roberto Firmino, too, but VAR is helping us win the league, isn’t it? Liverpool are fully on the front foot though, playing as easily around United as they’ve played these past few weeks.
Another false second, as Gini moves into space and sends a low cross in but the flag goes down and VAR isn’t even needed to confirm he was offside, unfortunately. A true second is going to come at some point, probably before the end of the first half, with the lads playing out of their skins today and determined to get further ahead. Sadio Mane almost finds that second, with a gorgeous run and even hanging back a half second to make sure he’s onside, but De Gea makes one of his famous saves against us that leads to another corner, and the first half ends without it.
We’re back for the second half! Unsurprisingly there haven’t been any changes made, but there hasn’t been any need for them, thankfully. The Reds get things going early on, as Mohamed Salah is left wide open in the box and receives a cross from Andy Robertson, but just barely misses. It looks like the energy from the first half has waned a bit and it’s going to take some revving to get it back up, but Liverpool have taken two shots in these first three minutes of the half so they’re well on their way.
Jordan Henderson sends a ROCKET towards goal only in the way that he can, but it hits the post, which is really unfortunate. The Reds have been firing shot after shot, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxalde-Chamberlain both having their turns but both being denied by De Gea. United have their first chance of the half as Fred gets forward, but sends it wide and thank god for their mediocrity.
Even more impressive than their attempts has been their control o the game, even when United have gotten forward they’ve been dealt with handily, going all the way back to Alisson when we need him. Jurgen Klopp makes his first change around the 65th minute, taking off Chamberlain - who has been spectacular today - for Adam Lallana. United are trying desperately to get back into this game, even with Luke Shaw trying an NFL tackle to take down Salah to only ends in a yellow card for him and a free kick for us. Liverpool, on the other side, are still looking for their true second goal.
Last ten or so minutes of the match, and Liverpool’s energy has waned a little bit, but United have barely been able to make anything worthwhile of their time. This has well and truly been Liverpool’s game to lose and there hasn’t been a moment when it looked like that was going to happen. Klopp makes his second and third changes, with Fabinho coming on after his injury spell (thank god) for Sadio Mane, and Divock Origi coming on for Firmino. Henderson moves forward to support Lallana, and Divock moves into the wing. Even if we win by one goal, we still win and the Mancs can’t stick it to us any more this season.
IT TOOK THE REST OF THE GAME BUT WE FOUND OUR SECOND GOAL AND WHO ELSE COULD IT BE BUT MO SALAH! In the dying seconds of the match, naturally, Liverpool double their lead and put Manchester to bed for good. Alisson runs the length of the pitch to celebrate and Mo almost takes his shorts off celebrating, it’s incredible.
UP THE UNBEATABLE REDS. MANCHESTER CAN’T EVEN RUIN THIS SEASON FOR US.