Football column

Match Review: Analysis of the traditional Premier League match – up between Manchester United and Liverpool

Manchester United Stamen
David de Gea
29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Victor Lindelof
Harry Maguire
23 Luke Shaw
39 Scott McTominay
17 Frege
11 Mason Greenwood
18 Bruno Fernandez
10 Marcus Rashford
Cristiano Ronaldo
11→6 Greenwood→Paul Pogba
10→20 Rashford → Diogo Dallo
18→21 B. Fernandes → Edinson Cavani
Liverpool Stamen
66 Trent Alexander-Arnold
Ibrima Konate
Filgil van Dijk
26 Andrew Robertson
14 Jordan Henderson
James Milner
Navi Keita
11 Mohamed Salah
20 Diogo Jota
Roberto Firmino
7→17 Milner→Curtis Jones
8→15 Keita→Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
9→10 Firmino → Sadio Mane

Liverpool vs Manchester United has become a traditional match-up, now known as the National Derby.

This season, the two teams clashed in the ninth game of the season.
In this article, we’ll take a look at this historic clash and the turning points that separated the two teams.

Pre-match analysis of the match – up between two very different sides

Liverpool are still unbeaten in the Premier League, while Manchester United have lost two of their last three games.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp started new signing Ibrima Konate at centre-back for the first time since the fifth round against Crystal Palace. The newcomer, who has played just one league game this season, started the first game of the season. Mane, who has scored five goals in eight league games, was also left out of the starting line-up.

Manchester United started with a full squad, with the exception of the injured Raphael Varane, who has been impressive for the club so far.

Manchester United will be looking to take advantage of their home advantage against a Liverpool side who are in good form.

Let’s take a look at the starting line-ups for both teams.

Manchester United’s home game against Liverpool

It must have been a nightmare for the Manchester United supporters. Liverpool beat the home side 5-0. It was the first time in the history of the Premier League that Manchester United had lost by five goals. And to lose so badly to their long-time rivals for the league title, the damage is immeasurable.

Naby Keita gave the visitors the lead in the fifth minute of the first half, followed by Jota’s goal in the 13th minute.

The first two goals of the game took a heavy toll on the home side, and with Manchester United showing no signs of life, Liverpool took complete control of the game.

It was 4-0 at the end of the first half before Mohamed Salah scored his third goal of the game in the 50th minute to make it 5-0. In the 60th minute, Paul Pogba was also sent off. With Paul Pogba also sent off in the 60th minute, Manchester United didn’t have the energy to fight back and the game was over.

It was a game that will be remembered for years to come. Despite the differences in their pre-match form, both teams are undoubtedly among the best in the Premier League.

So how did they end up so far apart? Here are the four turning points that separated the games.

Point 1: The home team failed to take their chances in the first half

The home side had a great chance to win the game early in the first half, but they failed to convert.

Four minutes into the first half, Flegge picked up a loose ball in midfield and immediately passed it to Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese legend dropped the ball to Mason Greenwood, who in turn played it to free man Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese midfielder’s shot went wide.

It was a mistake that might not have gone unnoticed in the early stages of the game. However, it would have made all the difference to the game had the Portuguese midfielder been able to convert his big chance.

Manchester United had dominated the game for most of the time (only three minutes) before the chance came. If B Fernandes had scored, the home side could have been in control.

It’s nonsense to think about ifs in sport, but Manchester United could have been the team to win the game by a historic margin.

Point 2: A crucial error in the defensive line

Even though the away team conceded a goal in the fifth minute of the first half, this was not enough to decide the outcome of the game.

Naturally, Liverpool came out firing, but United countered with some sharpness (although not enough to create any big chances) and the home side did not look discouraged.

The home side did not look discouraged, however, when a rough cross from Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson was met by centre-back Harry Maguire and flanker Luke Shaw. The ball spilled and was taken by Naby Keita. The England defender then sent a cross into the penalty area for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was free on the flank. It was not difficult for Diogo Jota to slot home a good cross.

It was a shame that a mistake in the defensive line led to a second goal just after the first, when the game could have gone back to the home team.

Point 3: The away team did not take any chances.

The second goal seemed to have settled the game, but there was a small opening for the away team.

In the 27th minute of the first half, James Milner, who had been a strong presence in midfield with his aggressive defending and solid ball distribution, was forced off with a hamstring injury. The veteran midfielder was replaced by youngster Curtis Jones, who was clearly uncomfortable with the ball and nervous about the big occasion.

Despite scoring two goals in the first half, Liverpool were unable to control the ball for long periods.

However, Manchester United were unable to exploit the opportunities created by the away team. The first three goals came in the 38th minute as Liverpool began to dominate possession.

Between the 26th minute when Milner was substituted and the 38th minute when the third goal was scored, Manchester United had the better of the chances. Again, it was a case of if, but if Manchester United had been able to hit back in that period, the home side might have had a chance to take the points.

Match Summary: The home side failed to capitalise on their chances

In this article we have looked at the three turning points that divided the game.

In retrospect, the game could have been very different had Manchester United been able to convert one of their many chances early in the first half.

It was a classic Liverpool victory. United were beaten by their rivals and their manager is now facing questions about his future. On the other hand, the away team were not so happy with their win, with Naby Keita and James Milner both out injured and the midfield shaky.

It’s a big difference, but it’s still one game. What matters now is what we do about it. It will be interesting to see what happens next for both teams.

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