Manchester United 2 - 1 Liverpool
Red Devils: Sancho 16’, Rashford 53’
Technicolor Dreamcoat Reds: Salah 82’
The lineups are out, and there aren’t really any surprises from the Reds because, well, everyone is either injured and/or suspended (glares in Uruguayan). The only slight surprise is James Milner getting the nod over Fabinho, though a little experience and a level head in the middle of the park is no bad thing in this fixture.
One downside of the injury crisis (and Darwin Nunez being a dummy) is that the Reds are left with shockingly few options off the bench. The only attacking option is Fabio Carvalho, or maybe Kostas Tsimikas if you squint very hard. So. Try to do a Brentford and get this thing done and dusted early, yeah?
In other news, their petulant crybaby (same one that has been credibly accused of rape) has been dropped, along with blockhead, Harry Maguire. But Lisandro Martinez starts, so get your bets in for a Van Dijk goal before kickoff.
Author’s Note: When I first wrote this I kinda sorta forgot that Naby Keita wasn’t even injured (yet), which kinda sorta speaks for itself.
The game predictably starts at a frenetic pace, which isn’t necessarily to Liverpool’s benefit. United get a small sniff early after Rashford is played through, though Van Dijk recovers quickly and snuffs out the danger. Still, the last thing you want to do is give a team with such fragile confidence some early encouragement. A few moment’s later Trent gives away a free kick just outside of the box, which leads to a United corner. A moment later United hit the post, and win another corner. It doesn’t lead to anything, but not the quick start we all wanted to see.
Goal. Another day, another first goal conceded. And you have to say it’s been coming. Oof. The worst part is that the goal came just after Liverpool appeared to be getting a foothold in the match.
It’s a good response immediately after the goal, as Luis Diaz manages to work a decent effort—Liverpool’s first—from the edge of the box.
Trent goes into the book after his second foul just outside of the area. Leading to another dangerous free kick. This is fun. I’m having fun. Eriksen nearly curls it in the far corner, and if it weren’t for the glorious outstretched arm of Alisson, he would have.
The Traveling Kop with the highlight of the night so far, responding to calls of “Your support is fucking shit” with the chant “Your support should be outside.”
With ten minutes to go in the half, Liverpool now have the lion’s share of the possession, but are massively struggling to even create a shot, let alone a good shot, at this point. United are doing very well to close down the passing lanes in their defensive third, and Liverpool are getting increasingly and visibly frustrated as the half wears on. Sadly, this might be one of those “get into halftime just a goal down and regroup.”
The half ends with Liverpool having actually racked up more shots (6-5), but the difference in big chances (2-0) and xG (0.94-0.66) shows the real story. There are chances out there if the Reds can be a little more patient and composed.
Goal. Rashford makes it 2-0. It looks offside but VAR err...finds a way.
Klopp makes a change on the hour mark, bringing captain Jordan Henderson off for Fabinho.
This is painful to watch. I’m glad I don’t have to show my face in the office tomorrow.
Carvalho to come on with 20 to go. For Milner. Please do something Liverpool.
Bruno Fernandes got a booking for diving. So that’s at least something.
GOAL! Carvalho forces a save from De Gea and Salah slots the rebound with a rare headed goal! Game on?
Nope. Game not on.
Liverpool are in a crisis. Injury crisis. Confidence crisis. Conceding first every god damned time crisis. Whatever it is, Liverpool desperately need to pull their heads out of their asses and find a way to kick on.