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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, August 22, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson looks dejected as Manchester United score the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man United 2-1 Liverpool: Reds out-fought as slow starts continue

Though blighted by injuries, there was no excusing Liverpool’s awful display at Old Trafford as they were out-fought by Man United on the way to a 2-1 defeat.

Man United 2-1 Liverpool

Premier League (3), Old Trafford
August 22, 2022

Goals

Sancho 16′
Rashford 53′
Salah 81′ (assist – Carvalho)


For all the talk of slow starts and United’s woeful form in the leadup, it was a shocking start from Liverpool at Old Trafford.

A calamitous defence, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk struggling along with the incoming Joe Gomez, allowed a direct and aggressive United through on a number of occasions.

There was an early warning as Anthony Elanga blasted against the post when one on one with Alisson, but Jadon Sancho made it count as a flailing back line – and a lazy Van Dijk – allowed him the time and space to convert from inside the area.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, August 22, 2022: Manchester United's Jadon Sancho celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

An awful exchange between Alisson and Harvey Elliott, which led to the goalkeeper clearing for a throw-in, summed it up for a side lacking any presence in midfield or up front.

There were opportunities late on, and Liverpool could have had an equaliser as Bruno Fernandes’ desperate hack struck Lisandro Martinez on his line, but it was a deserved lead for United at the break.

HT: Man United 1-0 Liverpool

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, August 22, 2022: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino looks dejected during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There was no let-up from a proactive Erik ten Hag after half-time, with Anthony Martial introduced for Elanga, and more surprisingly there were no changes from Jurgen Klopp despite his issues in midfield.

It soon got worse for Liverpool, and it was an abysmal defence at it again, with Gomez mindlessly dropping back to play Marcus Rashford onside and through for a solid finish beyond Alisson for 2-0.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, August 22, 2022: Manchester United's Marcus Rashford scores the second goal past Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That forced Klopp into action, and not before time, as Fabinho replaced a wholly off-colour Henderson with just over 30 minutes to play.

It seemed as though there was no way back into the game, but the introduction of Fabio Carvalho gave the Reds some impetus, and it was his involvement that led to Mo Salah‘s header to bring it back to 2-1.

With nine minutes left on the clock, though, it wasn’t enough, as Liverpool slipped to their first defeat of the season with just two points to show for their three games.

Assistant boss Pepijn Lijnders will be signing copies of his book, Intensity, on Tuesday, but that’s the only intensity Liverpool have shown this season so far.


TIA Man of the Match: Harvey Elliott

Referee: Michael Oliver

Man United: De Gea; Dalot (Wan-Bissaka 85′), Varane, Martinez, Malacia; McTominay, Eriksen (Van de Beek 85′); Sancho (Fred 71′), Fernandes, Rashford (Ronaldo 85′); Elanga (Martial 46′)

Subs not used: Heaton, Maguire, Shaw, Garnacho

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson (Tsimikas 85′); Henderson (Fabinho 59′), Elliott, Milner (Carvalho 73′); Salah, Diaz, Firmino

Subs not used: Adrian, Davies, Van den Berg, Phillips, Bajcetic, Clark

Next match: Bournemouth (H) – Premier League – Saturday, August 27, 3pm (BST)

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