Dubai: Liverpool 7 Manchester United 0. Nobody would have predicted this. Not even in their wildest dreams. The Reds produced a dominant performance to thrash their fierce rivals in the Premier League clash at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were relentless in their pursuit of victory and never took their foot off the gas. United struggled to answer the questions posed by the Merseysiders and they outclassed the visitors from start to finish.
Liverpool’s resurgent form has seen them move ominously close to a Champions League spot while this massive defeat must have ended Erik ten Hag’s slim prospects of winning the title. This 7-0 loss equals United’s biggest ever defeat, which last happened against Wolves in 1931.
It was their heaviest defeat in the history of this fixture, and it could have a wide-ranging effect on their campaign, despite only being their second defeat in 21 games. Their renaissance under the Dutch coach already has the tangible reward of the Carabao Cup but Liverpool unleashed a brutal reality check on their progress with a severe thrashing.
They returned to vintage form and chalked up a fifth straight Premier League clean sheet to boot. Dutchman Cody Gakpo and Uruguayan Darwin Nunez - two United targets nabbed by Liverpool - inflicted the defeat with two goals each, and Mo Salah hammered a double of his own to complete United’s misery. This was Liverpool’s third consecutive Premier League victory and a perfect weekend for them, having been heartened by defeats for top-four rivals Tottenham and Newcastle.
They began with aggressive intent, and a full-throated Anfield behind them. United struggled to find their feet early on. The hosts took the lead just before halftime through Gakpo’s fierce shot. It was Liverpool’s first shot on target and sent Klopp’s men into the interval with their tails up. United had looked like taking control, having come from behind to defeat Barcelona and West Ham in the previous 11 days.
Liverpool doubled their lead within two minutes of the restart through Nunez, capitalizing on a loose pass from United’s Luke Shaw. United’s collapse was complete a few minutes later with a stunning Liverpool break, culminating in Gakpo netting an angled shot.
Failed to clear
Fifteen minutes from time, Nunez got his second after United failed to clear a Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick. Klopp’s men continued to cut United to ribbons, with Salah netting his 129th Premier League strike for the Reds to become their highest Premier League goalscorer passing Robbie Fowler and then sub Roberto Firmino fired home the seventh to send The Kop into raptures.
Liverpool are now very much in the chase for the Champions League places, standing only three points behind Tottenham with a game in hand while United remain third but heavily bruised mentally and physically after this mauling.