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Standout Keita & Klopp’s best win? – Last word on Man United 0-5 Liverpool

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Liverpool produced a near-perfect performance as they tore Man United apart on their way to a record win at Old Trafford, with any number of standouts.

Few expected Liverpool to come away from Manchester with such a convincing win, but goals from Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah made light work of United.

It handed Jurgen Klopp his 200th win in charge of the Reds, reaching the milestone quicker than any other manager in the club’s history.

But was it, in fact, his very best victory as Liverpool boss?

After the game, This Is Anfield’s Jack Lusby (@LusbyJack) spoke to Karl Matchett (@karlmatchett) and Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) to assess the many positives.

 

Where does that rank among Klopp’s best wins?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 24, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Liverpool won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

KARL: Very high overall and probably top of his domestic matches.

It wasn’t just the scoreline and the opposition – though obviously without those things this is just another Watford – but the fact it was so much control, so much dominance, so much…ease of victory.

Let’s be honest, the Reds could have scored another three if they had wanted to, or if Jones and Mane had passed to each other toward the end.

We didn’t need to and that’s the biggest humiliation for them, which in turn makes it all the more impressive for us.

Could see it coming a mile off, but still…to actually see it executed was immense, and that makes it the best on the scale of Klopp’s league showings.

Overall, probably below Barcelona, maybe City at home in Europe and the final itself, which wasn’t as fun but was just a perfect job-done showing and yielded a trophy.

HENRY: It has to be right up there with the very best ever. I mean, 5-0 away to Man United is genuinely the stuff of dreams. As in, I’ve literally had dreams about that happening!

The performance was bordering on perfection, whether it be the defensive quality, midfield control or ruthlessness in the final third.

In the past, Liverpool have been guilty of being timid and wasteful at Old Trafford, but they were absolute killers on Sunday. Every single one of them.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reacts after the final whistle during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Sunday October 24, 2021.

Is it as big a win as the Champions League final or the victory over Barcelona? No. Were United as strong as City when we beat them 3-0 in Europe? No.

Regardless, I’m not sure I’ve enjoyed a game more under Klopp, in terms of sheer domination for 90 minutes against the team I hate more than anyone, so it could be number one.

JACK: I was watching in an airport on my phone, so couldn’t enjoy it as much as I perhaps could have, but come on…it’s 5-0, at United.

Personally, I have a soft spot for the 4-1 at Man City in 2015 – that was the game that really announced Klopp’s arrival – but this was a better all-round victory.

I’d agree with Karl that it is Klopp’s best domestic win, and perhaps second only to the Barcelona 4-0 for me.

 

Aside from the hat-trick hero, who stood out for you?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 24, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker celebrates his side's fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Liverpool won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

KARL: Many of them! I have to probably pick out Alisson, Keita and Firmino as the top three.

Bit weird picking the goalkeeper after we’ve battered them but it’s easy to forget at a goal up, and soon after they started to flow, United did have a few moments with all that attacking talent and Ali made a couple of stops and some great claims to keep them at bay.

Keita was marvellous. Lots of fun space-finding movement between United’s ineptitude and lovely rolled finish for the goal.

He was always available as the extra man on that side of the attack, he did the ‘Elliott’ role very well between midfield and attack.

And Bobby…love him. Every bit of him. Superb.

HENRY: Alisson is in the form of his life at the moment – he looks unbeatable and about 7’6″ at times – while Konate was faultless after being thrown in under big pressure up against Ronaldo.

Alexander-Arnold was a joy, as always, while Van Dijk and Robertson were back to their very best after a disappointing showing in Madrid.

Similarly, the midfield answered their critics in the most empathic way imaginable, with Henderson so much better after a disappointing start to the season.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (right) scores their side's fifth goal of the game, completing his hat-trick, during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Sunday October 24, 2021.

That pass to Salah would be shown for years to come if it was Gerrard, as is the case with his one to Sturridge at Fulham.

Keita was the pick of the midfielders, though, and I’m so happy for him after he got some bizarrely unfair stick last week.

He scored, assisted, was involved in another goal and was relentless off the ball – I just desperately hope his injury isn’t too serious.

A special mention to Firmino, too, who was at the peak of his powers on Sunday. This was the player we saw between 2017 and 2019, holding the ball up, making selfless runs, using the ball brilliantly and working tirelessly for the cause.

He was a definite Man of the Match contender, even though he didn’t score or assist.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 24, 2021: Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo (R) tackles Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

JACK: Since Karl and Henry have covered every player apart from Curtis Jones, I’ll single out the substitute for well-deserved praise.

He had built up a head of steam with his run of starts against Norwich, Brentford, Porto and City, then missed the next two games due to an injury mismanaged on duty with the England under-21s.

Regardless of already being 2-0 up, coming in 27 minutes into the game against United at Old Trafford will have been a tough task for the 20-year-old – but he bossed it.

Jones was an improvement on the midfielder he replaced, James Milner, and should keep his place for the next run of games if Fabinho is not fit to return.

 

And which was the pick of the goals?

Liverpool's Naby Keita (centre) celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game with team mates during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Sunday October 24, 2021.

KARL: The first one for me!

Six passes from centre-back to scoring from the penalty spot, all of them inch-perfect, quickly made, into space and runners already anticipating it.

It made a mockery of whatever shape United were trying to hold, it had a runner from deep which is one of the few regular flaws I feel our approach has had over the last few years and it quietened down the din from the deluded thousands who thought they had a chance.

The fifth was close because it was press, brilliant pass and hat-trick, but the first one was top for me.

HENRY: The fourth was the best for me, not only because of its quality but also because it really did end the game as a contest before half-time.

Everything about it was so slick.

Jota’s pass was precise; Firmino’s hold-up play and trickery bamboozled the hilariously out-of-sorts Maguire; Robertson’s pass to Jota and the Portuguese’s run into box were perfectly timed, the latter’s pass to Salah was selfless and the finish was world class.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their side's fourth goal of the game during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Sunday October 24, 2021.

There were great moments about every goal, but that was my personal favourite. Ronaldo’s disallowed goal may have pipped them all, though!

JACK: The diversity in these selections says it all about the quality and context of the win.

I loved them all, but I’m going for Jota’s to make it 2-0, largely for the way Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw bumbled into each other to let Keita have the ball.

Oh, the joys of it.

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