Liverpool 2-0 Man United: Reds go 16 points clear after crucial win

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Liverpool struggled to make their chances count but a goal in either half ensured a 2-0 victory over Man United at Anfield to go 16 points clear.

Liverpool 2-0 Man United

Premier League (22), Anfield
January 19, 2020

Goals

Van Dijk 14′ (assist – Alexander-Arnold)
Salah 90+3′ (assist – Alisson)


Amid uncertainty over United’s setup as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fielded both Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams, the Reds endured a slow start at Anfield as they attempted to hold possession.

Their best opportunities early on came via set-pieces, and Virgil van Dijk made it count before the quarter-hour mark as he rose above Williams and Harry Maguire to head home and lift an initially muted Kop.

Liverpool should have been 2-0 in a blistering stretch as Van Dijk challenged David de Gea for a high ball and, with the Spaniard failing with a weak effort to catch, Roberto Firmino curled home—only for the goal to be overturned for a ‘foul’.

The linesman’s flag then rightly ruled out a stunning team goal that saw Gini Wijnaldum squeeze it past De Gea after a phenomenal pass from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the Reds rampant throughout.

Fortune and the imperious Alisson kept Andreas Pereira from equalising with two efforts late on, while a fine stop kept out Sadio Mane when one-on-one as the half ended at 1-0.

HT: Liverpool 1-0 Man United

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 19, 2020: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool came out the blocks like a side possessed as the second half got underway, with Mohamed Salah miskicking with a close-range effort before Jordan Henderson saw a left-footed shot cannon off the post via De Gea’s touch.

The clinical edge was lacking as Mane squeezed another shot just wide, while Anthony Martial served a warning as he blasted over the bar from close range.

Klopp reacted with a familiar change as Adam Lallana replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the No. 20 urging his team-mates to pick up the intensity.

Oxlade-Chamberlain hammered the bench in frustration as he took his place in the dugout, with the manager taking a cautious approach as he eases him back.

The final 10 minutes heralded the return of Fabinho from injury, with the Brazilian tasked with providing stability to a game slipping out of Liverpool’s grasp.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 19, 2020: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mate goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was a nervy end with Van Dijk needing to be at his best at the back, and Salah secured the two-goal victory with a finish underneath De Gea from Alisson‘s long-range assist.


TIA Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk

Referee: Craig Pawson

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

Subs not used: Adrian, Matip, Jones, Minamino

Man United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Matic; Williams (Greenwood 74′), Pereira, (Mata 74′) James; Martial

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

Next Match: Wolves (A) – Premier League – Thursday, Jan 23, 8pm (GMT)

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