Anthony Martial on the ball against Liverpool.

Liverpool 2 Manchester United 0

Sunday 19 January 2020 18:28

Manchester United fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool during Sunday’s Premier League clash at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s men emerged victorious from the match thanks to Virgil Van Dijk’s first-half effort, while Mohamed Salah sealed it at the end with a breakaway goal after United had dominated much of the second half.

The first chance of note came in the ninth minute when Sadio Mane connected with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick, but the attacker’s tame header went harmlessly wide of David De Gea’s post.

Yet, United weren’t so fortunate five minutes later, when this time a Liverpool head powered the hosts into the lead. Dutch defender Van Dijk rose highest in the box to connect with Alexander-Arnold’s in-swinging corner and the well-placed effort gave De Gea no chance, and presented the Merseysiders with an early lead.
The first-half's controversial moment involved this challenge from Van Dijk on De Gea.
Liverpool were on top and it took some excellent defending from Luke Shaw to stop them grabbing a second, via Mane. Soon after, Liverpool thought they’d extended their lead when Roberto Firmino curled an effort past De Gea, causing United’s players to erupt in anger at referee Craig Pawson.

The official appeared to put his whistle to his lips to indicate a foul by Van Dijk in the build-up, yet the official didn’t blow and Firmino knocked the ball in. However, VAR looked at the incident and correctly judged that it was a foul by the Liverpool no.4 on De Gea.

The hosts were also left frustrated moments later when Georginio Wijnaldum found the back of the net from a rapid counterattack. Yet, the midfielder was left forlorn as the strike was rightly ruled out for offside.

Liverpool had been the better side for most of the half, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men grew into proceedings in the latter stages of the opening 45 minutes.
First Anthony Martial put the ball just wide with a curling effort, before Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross was inches away from being touched in by Andreas Pereira at the back post.

Our no.15 then tested Alisson from distance, while minutes before the break De Gea made an excellent stop with his feet to again deny Mane.

After the interval, Liverpool started the quicker with Firmino coming close, before Jordan Henderson’s effort from distance was pushed onto the post by an outstanding De Gea save.

The Spaniard was putting in an excellent display and was on hand soon after to stop Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s driven effort.

After a disappointing start to the second period, United were sparked into life after Fred’s driving run from midfield just before the hour-mark, which finished with the Brazilian knocking the ball just wide of Alisson’s near post.

Then Martial fired the ball over from a well-worked chance, which presented the Frenchman with a shooting opportunity inside the box but our no.9 couldn't keep it on target.
Greenwood and Martial battle for the ball.

United continued to push Liverpool back and Martial and Fred again tested Alisson, just after Mane cut inside and came close from inside the box.

Ole sensed the game was still there for United and threw Juan Mata and Mason Greenwood on in the 74th minute, in the hope of grabbing a late equaliser.

Within minutes it looked to be an inspired substitution and Greenwood so nearly got his head onto Martial’s dipping cross.

With this renewed attacking threat, the visitors looked more dangerous than ever, especially with Daniel James flying down the left flank. Klopp was forced into a reaction himself and replaced Mane with defensive midfielder Fabinho in the last 10 minutes.

Martial came close to grabbing a second-half equaliser, but hit his shot over the bar.

The latter stages of the game proved to be frantic as Liverpool dropped deep and United continue to press forward. However, it was the hosts who found the net.

Alisson launched the ball down the pitch in injury-time and it fell to Salah, who ran forward from his own half. The Egyptian managed to get his shot away under pressure from James and wrapped things up, with what proved to be the last kick of the game.


Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson (c), Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Lallana 66); Salah, Firmino (Origi 82), Mane (Fabinho 82).

Subs not used: Adrian, Matip, Jones, Minamino.

Goals: Van Dijk 14, Salah 90+3.

Booked: Salah.

United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire (c), Shaw (Dalot 87), Williams (Greenwood 74); Matic, Fred, Andreas (Mata 74)); James, Martial.

Subs not used: Romero, Bailly, Jones, Lingard.

Booked: Matic, De Gea, Shaw.

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