When the twenty-two players returned to the locker room at the half-time, all wondered how the score could still be the parity between Liverpool and Manchester United, as the difference in level between the two teams seemed huge. 


The Red Devils experienced a real ordeal from the start of the match against the high pressing and structured men of Jurgen Klopp. The Red Devils could not get out the balls properly and put their game and were content with long balls in front. Liverpool took advantage of the space left by United to accelerate and combine quickly but lacked precision in the last move. In the middle, the trio Wijnaldum-Fabinho-Keita took control of the midfield and was never presented in their transmissions forward.

Also Read: Liverpool vs Manchester United: The Eternal Rivalry

An armored United lasted almost 80 minutes, but Anfield was too much for Mourinho’s ultra-defensive approach. Liverpool left United cornered with a tremendous intensity, although with more pressing than accuracy in the final shot. Klopp’s side fetched eleven shots and seven corners in 45 minutes, generated many by a great Fabinho, more and more comfortable in the English schemes. It was the same Brazilian who assisted Sadio Mane to turn the effort into a goal on 24th minute.

United played with courage and chaste in defense, but blurred and shy in the attack, and taking oil from nothing. Lingard tied before the break taking advantage of a bad mistake by Alisson. Mourinho signed the same script for the second half and, in truth, almost succeeded. But the entry of the Swiss-born in Kosovo, Xherdan Shaqiri, overflowed and defined without complexes, taking advantage of two rebounds in the 73rd and 80th minute and broke the lock for Liverpool.

With the win, Liverpool extends one of their best starts in the Premier League and sinks the ‘Red Devils’ that move 11 points away from the Champions League spot. The difference increases to 19 points with Anfield, something unheard for 28 years, since 1990.

The winner: Fabinho, an outstanding performance in a perfect role
Finally perfectly integrated into the team and acclimatized in this new environment, Fabinho delivered a performance of high standing against Man Utd. As much in the recovery as in the orientation of the game, the Brazilian was at his supreme best. His bright opening for Mane allowed Liverpool to find the fault for the first time, and his partnership with the Senegalese was also surgical throughout the match. In this role, behind Wijnaldum and Keita, as a regulator and organizer of the game, he was irresistible, including 75% of his passes forward. He could have even scored with a heavy shot from thirty meters, but De Gea interposed. One thing is certain, the future looks bright for Klopp and his midfielder.

 

Image Credit: Twitter Manchester United

The loser: Jose Mourinho
The “Special One” opted for a system with three defenders in 3-4-2-1 for this Premier League giant clash. Obviously, this tactical choice did not pay, either in the midfield where Matic and Herrera were completely dominated, or within this strengthened defense, but struggling. At half-time, he decided to go back to four behind, and bring in Fellaini. Pogba still had to sit on the bench. The team never knew how to get out of the opposition pressure and very often just swinging in front. The addition could have been much heavier for the Red Devils and Mourinho, who conceded 36 shots. If the title is already largely out of reach, the top 4 is also gradually becoming a sweet dream. Manchester United is 11 points behind Chelsea, the 4th team in the league race.

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