Liverpool go back atop of the Premier League after defeating Manchester United for the first time in the league in four years. LFC Transfer Room’s Anthony (@antstonelake) looks at a remarkable win for the Reds and gives his Player Ratings.
Liverpool came out of the blocks firing – determined not to let Manchester United get up to their usual tricks. Jose Mourinho’s United side set up exactly as expected, employing a high-block to try and stop Liverpool from getting any space within the box.
Just as Liverpool looked to lose the gas of their blistering opening, Fabinho managed to chip a lovely pass over the entire United defence straight onto the foot of Sadio Mane who put the Reds ahead.
Ten minutes later, United were level. An absolute gift from Alisson. A Romelu Lukaku cross looked super simple for the Liverpool keeper but he fumbled straight into the path of Jesse Lingard who gave United a chance.
Liverpool stuck it out until half-time and came back out to the second half raring to go. A plethora of shots from distance didn’t trouble United at all and forced Jurgen Klopp into a change. Xherdan Shaqiri came on for Naby Keïta.
It took the Power Cube all of 144 seconds to score the goal to put Liverpool into the lead. Less than ten minutes later he had put it beyond all doubt by doubling Liverpool’s lead.
The 3-1 win sees Liverpool record their first victory over Manchester United in the Premier League since 2014.
Alisson – 10
As. Beautiful. As. Ever.
His first really costly mistake of the season gave United the gift of an equaliser but other than that was solid throughout as always.
Picked himself up after his mistake well and recovered well to be straight back at his best.
Nathaniel Clyne – 10
His first Premier League start of the season and against Manchester United of all teams. Nathaniel Clyne was confident and secure throughout the 90 minutes at Anfield.
He was faced with a tough match-up against a Marcus Rashford that was clearly up for the game. He dealt with the young Englishman well and now looks like a decent squad option.
Clyne also equalled his tally for shots in his entire Liverpool career, having two shots against United. Neither came to much, however.
Virgil van Dijk – 10
Virgil lead out the Reds as captain this evening and was his usual self in controlling everything from the defence.
He set the tone early on, completely throwing Lukaku off the ball with ease and from then on the Belgian striker didn’t really have much chance against Liverpool’s record signing.
80% pass accuracy from centre-half is always impressive but then again, van Dijk never fails to impress.
Dejan Lovren – 10
There was actual, real-life people trying to blame Dejan Lovren for Manchester United’s goal. The actual truth is that Lovren had an extremely solid game against United. Whether or not that’s down to van Dijk is another question but the facts remain simple.
Lovren was secure and had no issues in making a defensive impact on the game. He won more aerial duels (4) than any other player on the pitch (Firmino also had 4.)
Andy Robertson – 10
Even in the post-match interviews, Jose Mourinho couldn’t help but compliment Andy Robertson…
Mourinho: “I am tired of looking at Robertson, he makes like 100 sprints per minute. Absolutely incredible.”
He never stops running and that was all he needed to do to make his impact this evening. Defensively sound as always. Stops Marouane Fellaini from having an open header at 1-1.
Despite not having the best of games going forward, Andy Robertson was still one of the best players on the pitch and that is a true testament to his ability.
Fabinho – 10
The best player on the pitch today. Fabinho was absolutely everywhere. Not only was he pressing at every opportunity and making tackles left, right and centre. He was also making things happen in attack.
It’s not what he’s known for but Fabinho was a creative maestro against United, putting the ball on a dime for Sadio Mané to give Liverpool the lead in the first half.
People are finally starting to understand why Klopp took his time to integrate Fabinho into the side. This result is exactly why.
Gini Wijnaldum – 10
Had a load of shots. All of them straight at David De Gea or over the bar. Not even bothered. Still beautiful.
Naby Keïta – 10
Naby Keïta could quite possibly be one of the most intelligent footballers we’ve seen in red for some time. Every time he gets the ball, the feeling consumes you that he’s going to do something amazing with it.
His end product may have been lacking today but the threat of a player like Naby is invaluable to the side.
Mohamed Salah – 10
Mo got massively marked out of the game by United. The organisation of the United defence was directed towards stopping Mohamed Salah from having his usual level of influence on the game.
It opened up for him in the last ten minutes after Liverpool had taken the two goal lead but it was too late for him to make much of a stamp on the game.
Sadio Mane – 10
After going eight games without a goal, Sadio Mane scored Liverpool’s opening goal with an insanely cool finish.
He continually made strong runs to try and break the Manchester United back-line but just like Salah, the organisation of the defence got the better of him for the most part.
Roberto Fimino – 10
Another absolutely beautiful man.
Roberto Firmino was well up for the United game and you could clearly see that. His influence did not go unnoticed at all. His pressing was second-to-none, like always.
He also had some of the silkiest footwork I’ve ever seen to fashion an effort on goal. Which was easily saved by David De Gea (but let’s not talk about that.)
Jurgen Klopp – ∞
Absolute genius. Einstein would wish he could make substitutions like Jurgen Klopp.
Town – 10
Never coming back.
Xherdan Shaqiri – 10
THE POWER CUBE WINS IT.
Little Xherdan Shaqiri single handedly brought Liverpool out of the limbo of another draw with Manchester United with two goals in ten minutes.
Shaqiri’s goals were extremely fortunate, relying on deflections to carry them into the back of the net. Literally no Liverpool fans will care, though. It means’s we’ve beaten United in the league, a feeling that has been missing for way too long.
Jordan Henderson – 10
Comes on late, runs around a bit, still gets a 10. Why? Because we’re top of the league, that’s why.