Manchester United 3 - 2 Liverpool
Manchester United: Greenwood 26’, Rashford 48’, Fernandes 78’
Liverpool: Salah 18’, Salah 59’
Liverpool come into this match against Manchester United in a poor run of form. Following the draw between these two teams just one week ago in the league, Liverpool’s home unbeaten run game to an end on Thursday when they lost 1-0 to Burnley. Jurgen Klopp picked a strong side today, only making 5 changes from the midweek match.
If you were to sum up the beginning of the first half with a phrase you’d have to say it was a breath of fresh air. Liverpool were attacking and possessing like their traditional selves. That paid off with a goal, a real life football goal, in the 18th minute after Roberto Firmino played a perfectly weighted pass to Mo Salah, who finished it beautifully. Once that goal went in, the game opened up a bit and Manchester United stopped looking so sleepy. Gini Wijnaldum was punished for a mistake in the 26th minute when United’s classic counter attack was on display with Mason Greenwood’s goal. The main takeaway from the first half is that this game is a night-and-day difference from last week. The Magic of the FA Cup.
For all the positives to start off the first half, there were that many negatives to start the second half. United found their second goal just three minutes into the half. Marcus Rashford and Greenwood combine again for a counter attack. Rhys Williams has the chance to clear the ball but can’t quite get the foot on it.
Liverpool responded well going down a goal. They kept sustained possession and pressure. This resulted in Salah’s second goal of the game after Edinson Cavani had a cheap giveaway just above his own penalty area.
The introduction of Bruno Fernandes completely changed the game for Manchester United. He bagged United’s 3rd goal in the 78th minute off a free kick just outside of the penalty are.
It’s always disappointing to lose to United. They are our fiercest rivals after all. But losing in the FA Cup isn’t the worst thing in the world, but what is worrying is the form that Liverpool find themselves in. This match was a perfectly opportunity for Klopp and his side to buck the recent trends and they failed to do so. They’re quickly running out of time to change course.