Manchester United vs Liverpool: Match Analysis

After a gruesome loss to Brighton and Brentford, Erik ten Hag’s United sank to the bottom of the table with no goal from the players; the only goal came from Macallister’s error. That’s how bad it was. To make the situation worse, Brentford players ran more than the United players, who ran only 95.4 km the entire game. So, such an occurrence begs the question: where did United go wrong? And as you would imagine, various media outlets had their say – some were logical, while others seemed like they had been waiting for United to crumble.

Ten Hag giving instructions to United players. (credit:

Nevertheless, the team’s next game, against Liverpool, would be a make or break. Before the match, thousands of fans with one voice marched through the streets of Manchester, chanting “Glazers out!” It’s one of the ways to engender a bright future for the club. Well, immediately after the team sheets got released, it wouldn’t take something extraordinary to notice that the manager made some big and bold calls – he set up in a 4-2-3-1, dropping Harry Maguire, Fred, Luke Shaw, and Cristiano Ronaldo. But did that decision change anything?

First Half

The game kicked off at 8 pm, and as any other passionate fan, I believed we could pull off the unexpected. My belief was justified seeing how we started strongly, winning possession almost immediately and trying to break Liverpool’s low block. Our biggest chance of the first half came when Scott Mctominay passed the ball deep into Liverpool’s defensive third, which Bruno settled on, though he lost balance. However, he sent the ball to Elanga, who had only Allison to beat.

You probably think he buried it at this point, but let us leave that thought for another match because he hit the woodwork. Regardless of how annoying the miss was, there were a few positives so far – we defended as a unit, broke Liverpool’s high line, made the most of the spaces we got, and played a smooth counter-attacking football. Do my last two observations remind you of how we played under any manager?

Varane-Martinez Supremacy for United

Liverpool did try to get the better of us, but it seemed ten Hag got the centre-back pairing right this time – at least, for the style of play we adopted in the game. Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez ensured Trent’s crosses and other attempts were futile. In fact, the “5’9” Martinez won the most aerial duels in both halves. So, height is not a reasonable standard for predicting a centre-back’s abilities.

Varane stood his ground throughout the match.

Well, United’s big break came when we played an amazing transition football that saw Elanga outrun his marker and pass to Sancho, who calmly sent Allison the wrong way, beating James Milner and Virgil Van Dijk to score! That goal sent Stretford End to Cloud 9. But, as implied earlier, we stuck to a plan and reaped the result.

Sancho delivering a calm finish against Liverpool. (Credit: The Indian Express)

Second Half

The second half started with even more drive as we frustrated Liverpool on all fronts. If you have noticed, David de Gea is not an ideal keeper when it comes to playing from the back; it is one of his flaws, which has cost us severally. However, he must have followed instructions because his only duty was to distribute the ball, which was not too successful. But it came in handy as Liverpool could not exploit the weakness.

With Anthony Martial coming on in the second half, we were in for a smooth ride since his link-up play with our wingers – Sancho and Rashford, is part of what we anticipated in the new season. And in the 67th minute, Martial beat Van Dijk to play Marcus Rashford on, who outpaced the Liverpool defenders to beat Allison brilliantly.

Rashford loves scoring against Liverpool.

Final Thoughts on Manchester United vs Liverpool

Despite scoring two goals, we kept our heads in the game because everyone knew the Liverpool players were not ready to give up that easily. This was evident when Bruno, the captain, almost scored an own goal; thankfully, Martinez was there to clear the line! Late in the game, Salah pulled a goal back, which did not count because United played as a team until the final whistle.

Though Martinez was the official man of the match, I had a different opinion because Tyrell Malacia was unbelievable. He had a 93% pass accuracy, made crucial tackles to nullify Mo Salah (who was the main threat), and won several duels. Overall, ten Hag and the entire team deserve credit. The boys put up a show, played for the badge, and followed the script to the latter.

Tyrell Malacia’s stats against Liverpool. (Credit: BBC Sport)

Manchester United have bought Casemiro, and it doesn’t seem our window has ended due to more intriguing rumours each day. Where do you think we will finish this season?

Author: Eghons Azeke

My name is Eghonghon. I am a fun-loving, hardworking and self-motivated writer who supports the biggest club in the world!

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