Liverpool raced to a 4-0 lead in the first half and a Paul Pogba red card in the second half only added to Manchester United’s misery.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool thumped a clueless Manchester United 5-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday, largely inspired by a breathtaking hat-trick from Mohamed Salah. Liverpool raced to a 4-0 lead in the first half and a Paul Pogba red card in the second half only added to United’s misery. It was a demoralising result for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his boys, as the 90 minutes illustrated the gulf of difference between the two sides. Most of the visitors’ goals came as a result of individual errors, but it cannot undermine Liverpool’s scintillating performance, particularly in the first half. Their intense high pressing was too much for the home side to deal with in the opening period.
Manchester United tried to start on the front foot and got the first big opportunity of the match. After four minutes, a fluid passing move made room for Bruno Fernandes, arriving in space on the right inside the penalty box. Disappointingly for the home side, the Portuguese attacking midfielder scooped his shot over the bar into the East Stand. From there on it was one-way traffic for Liverpool.
Liverpool immediately scored with the opener seconds later. In the fifth minute, United were caught badly in their own half, as Salah created a clear opening for Keita to convert in front of a stunned Stretford End. Soon Roberto Firmino almost grabbed a second, two minutes later, but was stopped by David De Gea. The Merseyside Reds kept up the pressure and broke through again after 13 minutes.
The second goal was largely down to individual errors. Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw got themselves into a tangle, as the ball bounced to Keita, who fed Trent Alexander-Arnold steaming up in the space on the right. His low cross was turned in by Diogo Jota.
United then attempted to claw their way back into the match. Scott McTominay, Cristiano Ronaldo hit shots over, while Shaw struck one just past the post, and Mason Greenwood’s long shot was saved well by Alisson. Marcus Rashford also had a volley saved and from there on Liverpool yet again got back in the front foot.
The visitors tripled the lead after 38 minutes and luck had a big part to play in it. After Liverpool moved the ball quickly in front of United’s defence, a blocked Salah shot rebounded to Keita. His cross from the right was smashed home by the Egyptian. At the end of the half, Liverpool grabbed the fourth when Salah got his second after receiving a Jota pass inside the penalty box.
In an attempt to turn the tide in United’s favour, Solskjaer made a half-time change, bringing on Pogba for Greenwood. But, Liverpool players robbed the ball from the Frenchman in the 49th minute, as Jordan Henderson curled a fabulous through pass behind United’s defence for Salah, who completed his hat-trick by turning it past De Gea to leave Old Trafford shellshocked.
Almost immediately, Ronaldo had the ball in the back of Liverpool’s net with a curling shot from Maguire’s long pass. But to United’s dismay, VAR ruled the goal out as offside. United’s evening went from bad to worse when substitute Pogba was sent off after 59 minutes for a foul on Keita. After a bit of delay, the red card was shown and United were reduced to 10 men. There were no more goals in the remaining minutes, as the one-sided match finished 5-0 in Liverpool’s favour.