Report: Liverpool 4 United 0
Manchester United suffered a 4-0 defeat to rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah both struck in the first half, with Sadio Mane also on the scoresheet after the break, before Sala added a fourth late on.
The Reds will look to bounce back in the hunt for a top-four place with a trip to Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime.
FIRST HALF – HOSTS GO AHEAD
United kicked off in a feverish atmosphere and found themselves a goal down in five minutes. A quick break by the hosts saw Sadio Mane play Salah in behind, before the Egyptian teed-up Ruben Dias to convert from close range in the centre of the box.
While everyone knows about the huge rivalry between these two sides, the seventh minute saw a moment of true unity between everyone in the ground, when a minute’s applause took place to pay respects to Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner Georgina following the tragic passing of their new-born baby boy. Observed impeccably by all, the Liverpool fans further showed their support with a chorus of 'You’ll Never Walk Alone'.
Paul Pogba’s evening came to an early end after just 10 minutes of play, as he limped off injured and the Reds were forced to make a change. Jesse Lingard was his replacement as the Frenchman made way, appearing to have an issue with his right leg.
Liverpool doubled their lead shortly before the midway point in the half when Salah burst through the backline to latch onto a pass from Mane and strike into the corner. David De Gea made an excellent save from Mane shortly afterwards, but the striker was flagged offside – as was Diaz when he had the ball in the net on 35 minutes.
As the half-time whistle went, it was the home side on top.
SECOND HALF – MANE SEALS IT
Ralf Rangnick made his second substitution of the evening at the interval, with Jadon Sancho coming on for Phil Jones at the start of the second period as the boss opted for a change of shape and a return to a back four.
The beginning of the second half was delayed by a number of minutes, however, as referee Martin Atkinson had issues with his communication headset – which these days is a vital bit of kit to communicate with the VAR officials as well as his on-field assistants.
Once play did resume, Anthony Elanga was part of a bright move early on for United which forced a corner down the right flank, but Liverpool were able to deal with the danger from the set-play. A strong clearance also followed after Lingard won a free-kick on the same side of the pitch, having been fouled Andrew Robertson.
Sancho then looked to cut inside from the left wing, beating his man before unleashing a shot towards goal. Sadly he did no quite catch hold of it, leaving Alisson to make a comfortable stop.
The Brazilian was called into action again shortly after the hour-mark, making a double stop to deny Marcus Rashford and Elanga. The flag then went up against the pair, but replays showed both had been onside.
Despite the positive spell, Mane then hit United with a sucker punch on 68 minutes. A break led by Robertson, then saw Diaz pick out the Senegalese striker to finish for 3-0.
Hannibal was introduced for a fellow academy product in Elanga as United’s final substitute. Late on Sala then lifted a ball into the net for Liverpool’s fourth.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho (Milner 86), Henderson, Thiago (Keita 80); Salah, Mane, Diaz (Jota 70).
Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Gomez, Jones, Tsimikas, Origi.
Goals: Diaz 5, Salah 22, 85, Sane 68.
United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Jones (Sancho 46), Maguire (c), Lindelof, Dalot; Pogba (Lingard 10), Matic; Fernandes, Elanga (Hannibal 84), Rashford.
Subs not used: Henderson, Bailly, Telles, McTominay, Mata, Garnacho.
Booked: Hannibal, Fernandes.