Manchester United did not manage to remain unbeaten in both matches against Liverpool this season, as they lost 2-0 at Anfield on Sunday night. The goals came from Virgil van Dijk inside of the first quarter of the match, whilst Mohamed Salah confirmed the victory into the stoppage after a swift counter-attack.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer side tried to change things a bit and play in a sort of a 3-4-1-2 formation, in order to stop the incredible right flank of Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold. In the end, it did not really work out as Liverpool managed to create danger in other ways.
Liverpool Are Champions Of England
It was obvious before this match and it is even more obvious right now. Liverpool are simply ridiculous this season. After 22 matches played, they have 64 out of 66 possible points, a 16-point cushion on Manchester City with a game in hand. They have not lost in their last 39 Premier League matches and they could become champions in March. In fact, they could not win a single game until early March and they would still sit atop of Premier League standings.
Jurgen Klopp’s side demonstrated against United why they are the best team in the league, especially in the first half, when it seemed a miracle that they had scored just one goal. Such a huge difference in the league could also mean that Liverpool can ease off a little bit and prepare better for the latter stages of Champions League.
Man United Keep Struggling With Set-Pieces
We have said this a couple of times before and we got another confirmation today – you can see how much clubs pay attention to detail just by looking how are they doing at set-pieces. And it is obvious Man United are not good at them, as well as they are not good at creating a real pattern of play when having possession.
The Devils conceded their eighth goal from set-pieces, when Van Dijk scored with a towering header. No one really followed him properly and Brandon Williams was there supposed to defend that area. All of the above tells a clear story of a lack of clarity what United are supposed to be doing in these situations and they were rightly punished. Not a surprise, considering how much Liverpool are actually getting from set-pieces in the past 18 months.
Striking Partnership Not Good Enough
Man United had to start with a striking partnership of Daniel James and Anthony Martial which is simply not good enough against a side like Liverpool. Sure, it is not their fault entirely for being put into such positions, following Marcus Rashford’s injury and Solskjaer’s decision to change the formation. But the fact that Martial had one shot on target and James was completely out of the game is a clear indicator of how much are United lacking in attack.
Henderson’s Underappreciated Brilliance
After the game, everyone was talking about that Allison’s assist for Mohamed Salah’s goal, about Van Dijk’s brilliance in attack and defence, or even about the fact that Andy Robertson managed to find solutions for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. But it was another brilliant match by Jordan Henderson in the middle of the pitch that has to be brought up. Henderson was distributing balls around and screening in front of the defence, in what is not his ideal position and he has been really upping his game since Fabinho got injured several weeks ago.