Thiago Alcantara ran the show while Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane also shined as Liverpool thrashed Manchester United 4-0 at Anfield.
Having beaten Manchester City over the weekend, Liverpool made a bright start to the contest against Manchester United and were in front just four minutes into the game. Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold combined to drag the visiting side’s defenders out of position, allowing Mohamed Salah to find Luis Diaz, who made no mistake.
Liverpool were two goals to the good midway through the first period, with Salah getting on the end of a delectable pass from Mane to beat David de Gea. The Reds continued to steamroll their arch-rivals into submission and could have been 3-0 up when Diaz found the back of the net again. But the goal was chalked off for offside.
Manchester United were absolutely listless in the first half and struggled to enjoy a sustained period of possession. However, there were slight improvements after the break, with the Red Devils even creating a few half-chances as Liverpool seemed to have somewhat taken the foot off the gas. Anthony Elanga and Marcus Rashford came close but could not drag their team back into the contest.
Woken up by this, Liverpool soon went about killing the tie off, with Mane getting his first goal of the night by turning home a cross from Diaz. Salah added more sheen to the scoreline late on to bounce back into form in style with a double. It was a resounding result for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who went on top of the Premier League table, two points clear of Manchester City, who play Brighton on Wednesday.
As for Manchester United, they now slipped behind Arsenal to sixth place in the table owing to a poorer goal difference. Given the tough run-in ahead for Ralf Rangnick’s men, their top-four hopes are rapidly fading. Here are our player ratings for both Liverpool and Manchester United players after a thoroughly one-sided affair at Anfield.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Alisson Becker: 7.5/10
The Brazilian showed off his quality on the ball with a brilliant turn just three minutes in, and his distribution was top-notch throughout. Alisson was not troubled a great deal by Manchester United but made a decent stop against Jadon Sancho in the second period before pulling off a vital double save from Elanga and Rashford.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 8/10
Another defensive masterclass from Trent Alexander Arnold but it won't get talked about because it doesn't suit the “trent can't defend” agenda.
Best right back in the world @TrentAA ? pic.twitter.com/aYv8XI6Wbu
— Samuel (@MathersLFC) April 19, 2022
The Liverpool right-back spent most of the first half on the front foot, pushing forward with intent and playing some nice passes to carve out openings. In the second period, he had a bit more to worry about defensively with the introduction of Sancho. However, Alexander-Arnold coped perfectly well with his England teammate and kept him and Rashford quiet in a fine, all-round display.
Joel Matip: 7.5/10
Back into the starting XI, Matip was in cruise control for most of the game as he dealt with whatever little Manchester United offered with ease. At the same time, the Cameroonian centre-half strode out of the defence regularly and played some eye-catching forward passes, including one to Mane in the buildup for Liverpool’s second goal.
Virgil van Dijk: 7.5/10
Another rock-solid display from the Liverpool stalwart, who did not give an inch to the Manchester United frontline and was composed while in possession. Van Dijk’s only misstep came early in the second period when he gave away the ball cheaply in a dangerous position, with Klopp not being pleased one bit with that. However, the Dutchman recovered and was soon back to his imperious best.
Andrew Robertson: 7.5/10
The Scotsman offered so much energy and industry, as usual, running up and down the left flank throughout the game. He was crucial to spurring Liverpool back on in the second half after the intensity levels had dropped off slightly. Robertson won the ball and started the move for the all-important third goal.
Jordan Henderson: 7/10
Back into the starting XI, the Liverpool captain was up for it on Tuesday as he covered a lot of ground and was almost the first to win every second ball in midfield in the first half. At the same time, Henderson also linked up nicely with Alexander-Arnold in the right side channel. There were a few stray passes in the second half. But he helped keep things composed during a brief period when the visitors threatened.
The Liverpool midfield general was in full control throughout his 86 minutes on the field. Fabinho was at hand to cut down attacks and ensure that Bruno Fernandes was on the periphery for most of the game. At the same time, the Brazilian oozed calmness and composure on the ball and was not shy of making forward runs either, almost setting Diaz up for a goal in the first half. Quality.
Thiago Alcantara: 9/10
Thiago's first half by numbers vs. Man Utd:
100% take-on success
98% pass accuracy
60 passes attempted
59 passes completed
6 final third entries
5/5 long balls
4 duels contested
3 duels won
3 chances created
It's all too easy for him. ? pic.twitter.com/p7SZp9g5aC
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 19, 2022
A midfield masterclass from the former Bayern Munich who Manchester United wanted to sign years ago. Thiago put in one of his finest displays in a Liverpool shirt on Tuesday as he ran the show, dictating the tempo of the game with his flawless distribution. At times it almost seemed like he was toying with the opposition with his quality on the ball, while he was equally effective in winning back possession quickly.
Thiago was taken off to a rousing ovation from the Anfield faithful, which was more than deserved.
Mohamed Salah: 9/10
Ahead of the game, Klopp insisted that a big performance from Salah was just around the corner after his recent slump. And the German was proved right as the Egyptian superstar delivered a starring display at Anfield on Tuesday. Salah superbly picked out Diaz for the opening goal of the game after finding himself behind the Manchester United defence. He then made it 2-0 with a fine touch and finish, to beat David de Gea.
Salah continued to trouble the Red Devils’ backline in the second period and rounded off the game with a well-taken goal to make it 4-0. All of a sudden, the goal drought seems like a thing of the past.
Mohamed Salah is the first player in Premier League history to score five goals against Manchester United in a single campaign ? pic.twitter.com/KYNZltq7Wm
— GOAL (@goal) April 19, 2022
Sadio Mane: 9/10
Another match-winning performance from Mane, who is relishing playing through the middle. The Senegalese speedster played a key role in the buildup to the first goal as he dropped deep before playing Salah in with a fine pass. He then topped it with a glorious pass to his strike partner for the assist for the second goal. And when Liverpool needed it most, Mane stepped up to make it 3-0 and put an end to Manchester United’s fightback in the second half. Ruthless.
Luis Diaz: 9/10
What an addition the Colombian is proving to be for Liverpool. Diaz was all over the Manchester United defenders on Tuesday night, with his speed, movement and tenacity leaving them in tatters. He got the ball rolling with the opening goal and had a hand in the second one before seeing a goal chalked off before the first half ended.
Diaz continued his good work after the break, setting Mane up for the third goal. Some of his link-up play with Thiago was also sensational on the night.
?????????'? ????? ????? ?? ??? ???:
Mohamed Salah: ?️⚽
Sadio Mane: ?️⚽
Luis Diaz: ⚽?️ pic.twitter.com/tisBPjjUDW
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) April 19, 2022
Diogo Jota: 7/10
The Portuguese international replaced Diaz with twenty minutes left and got involved in the action, setting Salah up for his second goal.
Naby Keita: N/A
Keita replaced Thiago for the final ten minutes.
James Milner: N/A
Late substitute for Fabinho.
Manchester United Player Ratings
David de Gea: 4/10
Not much he could have done to stop any of the four goals Liverpool scored as he was completely exposed and left helpless by a shoddy defensive line.
Victor Lindelof: 3/10
Lindelof was all at sea against Diaz throughout and was culpable for the first goal as he let his man free in an ill-advised attempt to play him offside. He was also guilty for the third goal as it was his poor pass into Elanga that Robertson cut out to start the attack. The only moment of quality came in the first half when he played a stunning long pass to Rashford, who failed to control the ball.
Phil Jones: 3/10
Surprise selection at the heart of a three-man defence, considering that he had started just one game all season. And it showed as Liverpool easily cut through the Manchester United backline time and time again. Jones was whisked off at half-time as Rangnick opted to switch the system.
Harry Maguire: 3/10
Maguire's positioning on Liverpool's first goal ? pic.twitter.com/1Evpx6nKHA
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 19, 2022
Another game, another hapless display from the Manchester United captain, who looked clueless for most of the night. His positioning was so wrong for the first goal, while he lost Mane again for the third goal in the second half. How long can he continue to keep his place in the lineup?
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 3/10
Recalled into the lineup to tighten things up in defence, Wan-Bissaka hardly provided any assurance. The Manchester United ace started the game at right wing-back but could not keep Robertson at bay or help Lindelof out against Diaz. He moved to left-back in the second period, where he continued to struggle. He deflected Salah’s shot into the net for the fourth goal.
Paul Pogba: N/A
Started in midfield despite being booed off in the last game, but Pogba lasted just ten minutes before an injury forced him off the pitch.
Nemanja Matic: 3/10
The veteran midfielder just could not cope with the energy and the speed of this Liverpool midfield as he was easily played around at Anfield. There were times when he looked sloppy on the ball as well. It was clear that he is very much in the twilight of his career.
Diogo Dalot: 3/10
Moved out to left wing-back, Dalot looked completely out of depth in the first half as Salah and Alexander-Arnold ran rings around him. The Portuguese was caught out for both of Liverpool’s first-half goals. His performance hardly improved after shifting to his natural right-back position in the second half.
Bruno Fernandes: 3/10
Man United's Bruno Fernandes has 'apologised' to the clubs fans after their 4-0 defeat to Liverpool ? pic.twitter.com/5tVRWHm9ww
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 19, 2022
Not good enough from the man who is supposed to be the team’s creator-in-chief. Fernandes hardly offered any threat in possession on the night. In fact, he gave away the ball in dangerous territory more often than not, while he showed no energy and willingness to fight for loose balls in midfield.
Anthony Elanga: 4/10
One of the few Manchester United players who tried to hurt Liverpool and had one or two positive moments during the game. Elanga caused Alexander-Arnold a problematic moment in the first half and then had a shot saved in the second. However, largely ineffective for most of the game.
Marcus Rashford: 3/10
Given the nod in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, Rashford continued in his meandering ways. He had been put through with a brilliant long pass from Lindelof in the first period but could not get the ball under his spell. He did force Alisson into a save after the break.
?️ "Lingard is not good enough for #MUFC…Rashford played like a child."
Roy Keane says there's 'no team' at Manchester United ❌ pic.twitter.com/5bM25lp5dy
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 19, 2022
Jesse Lingard: 3/10
On for the injured Pogba just ten minutes into the game. Lingard hardly troubled the Liverpool defence and could not help his team out off the ball.
Jadon Sancho: 5/10
The summer signing came on for Jones at half-time and slotted in on the left flank. Sancho added life and energy to United’s attack and tried to make things happen in the second half.
Hannibal Mejbri: N/A
Late substitute for Elanga. Booked.
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