Mohamed Salah was the star of the show while Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba struggled as Liverpool thrashed Manchester United 5-0 at Old Trafford.
The game was off to a whirlwind start as Bruno Fernandes missed a great chance to put Manchester United ahead just three minutes in before Naby Keita punished the hosts for the miss in the fifth minute, coolly slotting past David de Gea after a swift counterattack. Diogo Jota then made it 2-0 in the 13th minute after Liverpool capitalised on a poor miscommunication at the back by the Red Devils.
Mohamed Salah then had a shot saved by de Gea, before the Egyptian made it 3-0 in the 38th minute after more defensive shambles from Manchester United. Deep into stoppage time in the first period, Liverpool went four up, with Salah finding the back of the net yet again after the Reds sliced open the hosts’ defence with ease.
Five minutes into the second half, Salah completed his hat-trick, further heaping misery on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & co. Two minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo put the ball into the net, only to see it get disallowed by the VAR. Things got worse for the hosts as Paul Pogba, who had come on at half-time, was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Keita.
Liverpool could have added a sixth but Trent Alexander-Arnold’s effort failed to hit the target. At the other end, substitute Edinson Cavani hit the woodwork as the game petered out without any more goals. The humiliating 0-5 scoreline, at home, could very well prove to be the last straw for Solskjaer while Jurgen Klopp & co. move second in the table, a point behind Chelsea. Here are the player ratings for both Manchester United and Liverpool stars.
Manchester United Player Ratings
David de Gea: 5/10
Exposed time and again by a leaky backline and made a few stops on either side of half-time to keep the scoreline from getting more embarrassing for his team on the night.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 3/10
Pulled out of position time and again with great ease, allowing Liverpool forwards to run riot. At this rate, Manchester United could make a move for a new right-back in January.
Victor Lindelof: 2/10
Terrible yet still not the worst of the United defenders on the evening, which gives an indicator of how bad they were. Like Wan-Bissaka, dragged out of position repeatedly, failed to track Jota for the second and did not do enough to stop him for the fourth. How Manchester United are missing Raphael Varane.
Harry Maguire: 1/10
Another disaster-class from the Manchester United skipper. Out of position for the first, collided into Luke Shaw leading to the second, failed to deal with a cross for the third and continued to be abysmal thereafter. Absolutely shambolic.
Maguire and Shaw have effectively relinquished their world-class status this season. The mentality of getting yourself up for England at a major tournament only to then be hungover for months on end is criminal for a Man United player. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) October 24, 2021
Luke Shaw: 1/10
Guilty of playing Liverpool onside for the first, ended up running into Maguire in the buildup to the second and couldn’t stop the cross for the third. Liverpool were all over him on his flank. Did come close with a driven effort, but that was the only positive.
Scott McTominay: 3/10
Retained in midfield ahead of Paul Pogba, the Scottish international did get stuck in and make a few interventions but was largely overwhelmed by the quality and intensity of his Liverpool counterparts.
Caught chasing shadows all evening as the Liverpool midfielders constantly got the better of him. Needed to do so much better to win the ball in the lead-up to the fourth. Nowhere near good enough shielding the backline. Did spark the breakaway leading to the early chance for Fernandes.
Mason Greenwood: 3/10
Forced Alisson Becker into a save in the first period, but that was as good as it got for the prodigy. His futile press led to the breaking of the chain allowing Liverpool an easy run through for the opener. Hooked at half-time for Pogba.
Bruno Fernandes: 2/10
One of his worst performances ever in a Manchester United shirt. Things could have been very different had he taken his chance three minutes in but fired his effort high and wide. Dismal from that point on, offering no quality on the ball and very little in the form of defensive support.
How many pages will Bruno Fernandes' apology be ???????? pic.twitter.com/bkXjg1ft87
— Derrick?? (@ifeme_kd) October 24, 2021
Marcus Rashford: 2/10
A couple of half-chances in the first half aside, offered very little in the way of attacking threat and was often found wanting when on the ball. Hardly troubled the visitors before being taken off. Poor pass almost gifted Salah with a goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 3/10
Frustrated as he was isolated all alone at the top, while the backline floundered time and time again. Let it get the better of him when he lashed out at Curtis Jones on the cusp of half-time and could easily have been sent off. Did score, but saw the strike chalked off.
Paul Pogba: 1/10
Paul Pogba's 15-minute cameo:
46' Comes on ?
60' Gets sent off ? pic.twitter.com/T9BAMTjlNM
— Goal (@goal) October 24, 2021
On for Greenwood at half-time. Gave away the ball leading to the fifth goal and was then sent off for a poor tackle on Keita. Lasted just 15 minutes on the pitch. Abysmal.
Edinson Cavani: 4/10
On for Fernandes in the 62nd minute. Hit the woodwork.
Diogo Dalot: 4/10
Replaced Rashford for the final thirty minutes as United shifted into damage-limitation mode.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Alisson Becker: 6/10
A spectator for almost the entire game, apart from the one save he was forced into in the first half by Greenwood. One of the easier clean sheets he will keep.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 8/10
Most Premier League assists provided by defenders:
◎ Leighton Baines (53)
◎ Graeme Le Saux (44)
◎ Andy Robertson (40)
◎ Ian Harte (36)
◎ Andy Hinchcliffe (36)
◉ Trent Alexander-Arnold (36)
He'll be top of the list soon. pic.twitter.com/rQMge3xEDy
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 24, 2021
Enjoyed a lot of joy on his side and made the most of the space, creating multiple chances on the evening. Got the assist for Jota’s goal with an accurate cross and could have gotten himself on the scoresheet in the second period if not for de Gea’s save.
Ibrahima Konate: 7/10
A largely accomplished performance from the Frenchman who was given the nod ahead of Joel Matip by Klopp. Largely untroubled, showed initiative to step out and nip any potential threat in the bud.
Virgil van Dijk: 7/10
Coasted through the encounter without any troubles. Oozed composure throughout, unlike Harry Maguire at the other end. Calm on the ball, unfazed by United’s haphazard attempts at pressing him. Comfortable.
Andrew Robertson: 7.5/10
Involved in the buildup to the first goal and had a hand in the fourth goal for his side as well. Defended well against Greenwood in the first period and was energetic throughout, getting up and down the flanks.
Naby Keita: 9/10
? | Naby Keita vs Manchester United:
100% tackle success
2 shots attempted
4 chances created
1 big chance created
Back on top form and proved everyone wrong. Undoubtedly an incredible player. Wishing him the best for his recovery. pic.twitter.com/UQBUx7f3rd
— The Anfield Buzz (@TheAnfieldBuzz) October 24, 2021
Brilliant display from the Guinean midfielder. Showed calmness and composure to tuck away the opening goal, then found Alexander-Arnold with a good pass, who in turn set Jota up for the second. Then set Salah up for Liverpool’s third of the evening. Was involved in almost everything positive that the Reds created until being taken off injured after Pogba’s horror tackle.
Jordan Henderson: 8/10
Might not always stand out, but made sure that he kept things ticking along nicely in the middle of the park, ensuring that Liverpool never seized control of the midfield battle. Fine pass to set Salah up for his third of the evening in the second period. A top display from the Reds’ captain.
James Milner: 6/10
Started off well and kept himself busy, before being taken off injured before the half-hour mark.
Mohamed Salah: 10/10
How good is Mohamed Salah? ?
? Hits hat-trick against Manchester United
⚽️ Scores for tenth consecutive game
? 14 goals in those ten matches#UCL pic.twitter.com/w28zyPE0xq
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 24, 2021
Unstoppable. Simply unstoppable. Showed great awareness to set Keita up for the first goal and then forced a save from David de Gea, before scoring three goals on the bounce to blow Manchester United away with a brilliant attacking display. Easily the best player on the planet currently in the form that he is. Has already netted 15 times in the ongoing campaign. A complete performance from a footballer on top of his game.
Roberto Firmino: 8/10
May not have been involved directly in a goal but caused Manchester United troubles with his movement and link-up play. Pressed well from the front, dropped into the vacant spaces and played passes for those around him in better positions, picking the holes in the hosts’ backline with consummate ease.
Diogo Jota: 8/10
Preferred ahead of Sadio Mane on the left, the Portuguese international justified his selection with a fine performance. Good run at the back post for the second goal and then set Salah up for his second goal of the evening. Worked hard off the ball as well. Impressive.
Curtis Jones: 7/10
On for the injured Milner before the half-hour mark. Ran at the United backline with purpose and showed good intensity throughout. Had a shot blocked late in the game.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6/10
Replaced the injured Keita in the 64th minute. Comfortable outing with the game in the bag.
Sadio Mane: N/A
Sent on in place of Firmino with 15 minutes left.
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