Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield United
Premier League (20), Anfield
January 2, 2020
Salah 4′ (assist – Robertson)
Mane 64′ (assist – Salah)
Sheffield United are one of the most grippingly authentic sides in the Premier League; a squad of few egos, largely plucked from obscurity, led by a hometown hero who opted for a training session in Stanley Park on the morning of the game.
They also presented Liverpool with one of their toughest tests in the first half of the season, and arrived on Merseyside with a point to prove after a 2-0 defeat to Man City last time out.
It mattered little as the Reds came out the blocks immediately, and Salah broke the deadlock with the first chance of the game, punishing a slip by George Baldock to turn home Andy Robertson‘s low cross.
Liverpool dominated the entire first half, with the midfield—unimpeded by an injury that saw Naby Keita replaced by James Milner before kickoff—particularly impressive as the hosts controlled with 71 percent possession and stifled any threat from United.
The attacks were slick and fast, and the chances mounted up, with Salah drawing a stunning save from Dean Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum firing just over after shimmying into space, and the goalkeeper again denying the No. 11 later on.
HT: Liverpool 1-0 Sheffield United
- Keita’s groin injury forces change before kickoff; Milner comes in
- Salah scores 10th league goal; Mane follows up to secure win
- Reds make more passes than any side in a single Premier League game
- Alisson records fifth successive league clean sheet
- Liverpool go 365 days unbeaten in the league; 13 points clear at the top
Liverpool kept control after half-time with United showing little attacking intent, instead seemingly hoping for mistakes to bubble up, though the hosts clearly didn’t get the memo as Roberto Firmino fired just wide with a wicked effort from range.
Man United loanee Henderson was almost embarrassed for a second consecutive meeting, but Salah’s dinked crossed evaded everyone and came back off the post with the ‘keeper rooted.
A rare long ball into the box for the Blades was comfortably collected by Alisson and the Brazilian set in motion a stunning back-to-front move that ended with a one-two between Salah and Mane, the latter benefiting from a rebound to fire home for 2-0.
It was another truly commanding performance from Liverpool as their cruised to a 19th league victory in 20 games, restoring their lead at the top of the table to 13 points with a game in hand.
TIA Man of the Match: Jordan Henderson
Referee: Paul Tierney
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson (Lallana 88′); Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah (Elliott 90+2′), Mane (Origi 78′), Firmino
Subs not used: Adrian, Phillips, Williams, Jones
Sheffield United: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O’Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; McGoldrick (Sharp 65′), Mousset (McBurnie 65′)
Subs not used: Verrips, Jagielka, Besic, Osborn, Robinson