Man Utd Fail to Rally Against Liverpool and Were Easily Defeated 2-4 at Old Trafford
Man Utd fall to Liverpool 2-4 after opening the game with an early goal from Bruno Fernandes, but it was not enough and Liverpool keep their Champions League aspirations alive.
United made obvious changes to the starting XI after the necessary rest against Leicester as they look to put one of their first league defeats in months.
Edinson Cavani almost got Man Utd off to a hot start after Alisson almost played him in after failing to connect with a teammate. Cavani’s shot went just wide and from the beginning the game was pretty open.
Man Utd found the breakthrough in the 9th minute after Bruno’s shot was deflected off of Nathan Phillips and in. It was a great team goal, Paul Pogba played a beautiful left footed switch to Marcus Rashford, who then found Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Wan-Bissaka held the ball up well and cut it back for Bruno Fernandes. The energy levels for both sides were extremely high in the opening minutes at Old Trafford and United were able to find the back of the net first.
The game settled a bit and Diogo Jota forced a decent save from Dean Henderson. Trent Alexander-Arnold found Jota after the Portuguese made a good run into the box, Henderson read it well and stood strong.
Liverpool gained a little momentum and won a corner after their pressure. Eric Bailly was initially judged to have fouled Nathan Phillips in the box after the ball could not be cleared. The decision would go to VAR and the decision was overturned.
Again, Manchester United could not clear their lines on a corner, the ball fell to Phillips, whose shot/cross found Jota and he cooly finished with his back-heel in the 34th minute.
After the goal Liverpool looked lively but Man Utd slightly regained some control of the game. A couple of half chances fell to United but it was Liverpool who found the goal.
Liverpool won an attacking free-kick in first half stoppage time, Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick found Roberto Firmino at the back post, 1-2 Liverpool at half time.
More sustained pressure from Liverpool after the second half whistle. United tried to dribble and pass their way out of their own half only to give up the ball in a dangerous area.
Roberto Firmino turned one of those turnovers into a goal after Henderson saved a shot but was not able to handle well, the ball fell to Firmino after the save and he finished to give Liverpool a 1-3 lead.
After giving up the third goal, United was more open and continuously gave up the ball in bad spots and allowed Liverpool to keep them trapped in their own half, it could have been 1-4 or 1-5, but Liverpool did not put the game away.
Man Utd found themselves back in the game after a counter attack Rashford was played in and he did well to finish with his left after Alisson came out to challenge him.
Mason Greenwood almost leveled the game after coming on as a sub for Fred a few minutes earlier. Greenwood’s shot was cleared off the line by Phillips and the rebound was also blocked, Greenwood looked motivated since coming on.
Salah finished off the game in the 89th minute after United gave the ball away again, the counter attack led to Salah being played in and the Egyptian easily beat Henderson and Man Utd were defeated 2-4.
Man Utd took 31 points from games where they were in losing position so far this season. United could not add to that tally as their rally fell short and were easily beaten by Liverpool.
It would have been a great opportunity to deny their biggest rival Champions League especially when the clubs have been linked with some of the same players going into the summer transfer window.
Liverpool are now only four points behind Chelsea with a game at hand. Man Utd will now face Fulham next Tuesday and finish off the season against Wolves on the 23rd of May. Liverpool finish off their season with some lesser competition as well and could still make Champions League.