FT: Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United

Sadio Mane 24′ Xherdan Shaqiri 73′, 81′ // Jesse Lingard 33′

Mourinho: “They [Liverpool] are a better team than us.”

“The players gave everything”…

“I am tired of looking at Robertson, he makes like 100 sprints per minute. Absolutely incredible.”

“Liverpool deserved their victory but it’s hard for my players to work as hard as they did and then lose”

“I think we can [claw back gap to top four, 11 points]. What gives me that belief? We played away to Liverpool, Chelsea and City, the three best teams apart from Tottenham. We can get more points in second part of season.”

“We have lots of players who are always injured. And not just with me, before me. When you are permanently injured, physicality is hard to get.”

Comparing LFC to his Porto: “The best team in defensive transition. They fought like dogs.”

“I’m more than happy with the players’ effort and attitude on the pitch. I assume the responsibilities for the defeat. They gave absolutely everything.”

VOTE FOR MAN OF THE MATCH

POST-MATCH

Liverpool have come away from Anfield back on top of the Premier League table exorcising the demon that is Jose Mourinho with an amazing team performance.

Xherdan Shaqiri is the man of the hour with his quick-fire brace firing Liverpool back into pole position in the title race.

Two brutal deflections but two well deserved goals see Liverpool beat Manchester United for the first time since 2014. IT TRULY IS CHRISTMAS.

The goal that Manchester United scored was an obscenely lucky one that was gifted to them by Alisson who fumbled a cross into the path of Jesse Lingard.

FULL-TIME: LIVERPOOL 3-1 MANCHESTER UNITED

90+2′ It’s YNWA

You’ll Never Walk Alone now has it’s turn on the lips of those inside Anfield.

90+1′ Just three added.

90+1′ “Don’t sack Mourinho”

The chant that rings around Anfield is one in support of the Manchester United manager…

90′ Henderson with a shot

Also over the bar. Liverpool just ticking down the seconds.

89′ 33 to 5

Attempts for the two sides tonight. Liverpool with 33 and United only managing five… Liverpool battering them.

87′ Not long now

Liverpool are quite happy just to sit back and see the game out, remember this would be the first time since 2014 that Liverpool beat United.

85′ United’s final sub…

Juan Mata comes on for Jesse Lingard. No Pogba at all today. Hmmm.

84′ Fellaini…

with the worst shot of the evening. Closer to the corner flag than Alisson.

84′ LIVERPOOL SUB

Jordan Henderson replaces Sadio Mane.

83′ Wijnaldum shoots again

Straight at De Gea again. Liverpool well on top now and cruising to all three points.

81′ LIVERPOOL 3-1 MANCHESTER UNITED

ANOTHER DISGUSTING DEFLECTION BUT AGAIN NO-ONE’S ARSED LIVERPOOL ARE WELL ON TOP NOW.

79′ Manchester United sub.

Anthony Martial is coming on for Ander Herrera.

Also, it took Shaqiri all of 144 seconds to score.

77′ Anfield rocking

Allez, Allez, Allez is rocking around Anfield as Lee Dixon claims that it’s the loudest he’s ever heard Anfield. It’s bouncing inside the stadium.

76′ Lingard.

He takes a first time shot and absolutely skies it. Jeers from all round Anfield directed at the 26-year-old child prodigy.

75′ Wijnaldum drives

He pushes forward and forces a shot wide with his left foot. It’s a huge fifteen minutes for the Reds now.

73′ LIVERPOOL 2-1 MANCHESTER UNITED

XHERDAN SHAQIRI HAS SCORED WITHIN MINUTES OF COMING ON FOR LIVERPOOL. IT’S OFF THE UNDERSIDE OF THE BAR BUT NO-ONE CARES BECAUSE THE REDS LEAD!

71′ Fabinho shot

Fab thumps the ball towards goal, De Gea catches the ball easily.

70′ A nervy final 20 awaits

Shaqiri finally comes on for Keita and there’s less than 20 minutes left now. Jose Mourinho’s game-plan being executed to perfection.

68′ Wijnaldum shot

BUT IT’S STRAIGHT AT DE GEA.

67′ Shaqiri coming on…

It’s Naby Keita coming off for Xherdan.

64′ ROBERTSON

A brilliant header from Andy Robertson denies a certain United goal and a clear header for Fellaini.

63′ THIRTEEN

Thirteen corners for Liverpool so far and literally nothing happening from any of them.

62′ Two corners

Two corners in quick succession come to nothing, United standing their ground well.

59′ Salah being marked out

United are doing a number on Mo Salah today, he’s being marked out of the game completely.

58′ Weird Clyne stat:

Clyne shots in the last two minutes: 2

Clyne shots in the rest of his Liverpool career: 2

58′ And again…

Clyne goes for another but this one’s out for a goal kick.

57′ Clyne shoots

Clyne tries one from about 35 yards and it gets deflected and out for a corner.

54′ United time-wasting already…

Bailly goes down following Firmino’s shot and takes two whole minutes to realise that it was his back hurting and not his head.

52′ Vital De Gea save.

Firmino with some amazing footwork finds himself in shooting space and De Gea gets down so quick to deny Firmino. Keita’s follow up is blocked.

50′ Frustration

The trick for Liverpool here will to be not to get too frustrated at the fact that United will try and hold out for a draw at Anfield. Chances will come with pressure.

48′ United back to a four

United have gone back to a more traditional back four with the introduction of Marouane Fellaini.

46′ Back underway

Liverpool are attacking the Kop in the second half, they’ll be hoping that it will provide the extra boost needed to get the victory.

Fab Fabinho

Only 97% of the vote…

United substitution

Maraoune Fellaini is coming on for the second half…

First half fan reaction

“United will be happy with a point now”

Chances are, he’s right, United may well be happy with a point now but Jurgen Klopp will most certainly not be.

First half player ratings:

Alisson – 5 – mistake for the United goal uncharacteristic of him but nevertheless.

Nathaniel Clyne – 6

Dejan Lovren – 6

Virgil van Dijk – 6

Andy Robertson – 7 – always gives 110% and that’s the exact case here.

Gini Wijnaldum – 6

Naby Keita – 7 – trying to make things happen, running around a lot and getting on people’s nerves. Does well to survive a challenge from Lukaku.

Fabinho – 9 – our best player in the first half. Created the goal and has been absolutely everywhere too. He’s pressed, he’s passed and he’s even had a shot or two. World class performance from Fabinho so far.

Mo Salah – 6

Sadio Mane – 8 – breaks his eight game scoring duck with a fabulous finish. Could have had a second.

Roberto Firmino – 6

HALF-TIME: Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United

45+1′ Two minutes added.

45′ Stagnating a bit here.

Nothing really happening at the moment, Liverpool enjoying possession in midfield. Trying to make something happen before half-time but nothing’s getting through United’s high-block at the moment. Fabinho has a got out for a corner.

42′ Alisson save.

Herrara tries his luck from distance and Alisson is equal to it despite an awkward deflection.

41′ A bit unsure now.

The Reds are probably looking forward to half-time now. United are much more into this game since the goal and Jurgen Klopp will want to get his lads in and calm them down a bit.

39′ Lukaku booked.

A wild challenge on Naby Keita sees Romelu Lukaku booked.

37′ Fabinho shining

Some really good press from Fabinho, he tries to play Mane through but nothing comes of it. The Brazilian has been our best player so far today.

34′ Absolute gift.

Liverpool will have to show some character now to get back into the lead. Shocking from Alisson but the Reds need to pick themselves up straight away and get back to it.

33′ 1-1.

Jesse Lingard equalises for United thanks to an error from Alisson.

30′ Pushing for a second

Liverpool haven’t settled for their one goal advantage. The Reds are fully pushing for a second goal here, not letting up pressure on United. At. All.

28′ Lovren over…

The resultant corner falls to Dejan Lovren after the ball pinged around in the box a little. The Croat can only launch the ball over the bar.

27′ Dalot booked.

Diogo Dalot is the first player booked this evening thanks to a heavy challenge on Andy Robertson.

25′ 1-0 TO THE REDS

SADIO MANE PUTS LIVERPOOL AHEAD AGAINST UNITED! Fabinho plays an absolutely loving chip pass into the box taking every single Manchester United defender out of the game. Mane breaks his EIGHT game goalless duck with an amazing finish. De Gea had no chance.

22′ Control

Liverpool firmly in control here, no chances in the last few minutes but Fabinho had a lovely tackle on Jesse Lingard and Andy Robertson shows his unmatchable work ethic to track back and win the ball back for the Reds…

20′ NINE???

Liverpool have had nine shots here in the opening 20 minutes… United have only one.

19′ Catching our breath.

Finally a chance to catch our breath here as the last few minutes have been dominated by some end-to-end midfield action. No clear-cut chances for either side just yet but the Reds look much more likely.

16′ Exactly what we expected to happen

Manchester United have set-up at Anfield exactly how we expected them to and the Reds are facing little surprise and as a result of that they are well equipped to deal with what United are offering here.

15′ Salah…

Salah tries his luck now, with his shot going well over the bar. Liverpool desperate for something to happen early here…

12′ Fabinho mis-hit…

Mane drives straight at United going past them like a knife through butter but the Senegalese winger plays the ball back to Fabinho who mis-kicks his shot absurdly.

11′ What a frantic start

It’s been a manic start to the game at Anfield with Liverpool absolutely hammering United back into their own box. Chances for both sides (kind of).

United get a reprieve after Liverpool fail to capitalise on their third corner of the game.

9′ De Gea again…

De Gea forced into another save. This time it’s Fabinho with the effort that comes off a useless clearance from Lindelof.

8′ BIG Virgil

Huge cheers for today’s captain as Virgil van Dijk makes easy work of out-muscle-ing Romelu Lukaku

6′ DE GEA SAVE!

Firmino forces a good save from David De Gea, with Mo Salah going down on the rebound but nothing given by the referee.

Typical world-class performance from De Gea against us incoming?

4′ United goal ruled out.

Liverpool escape as United have a goal ruled out for offside. Lukaku penalised and it was a perfect decision from the linesman.

2′ Corner to LFC…

An early corner after Salah picks out Firmino. However it comes to nothing…

KICK OFF!

Underway at Anfield… stay tuned for all the matchday coverage.

LATE CHANGE FOR UNITED

Chris Smalling has been injured in the Manchester United warm up! Eric Bailly will now start for United with Phil Jones taking the position on the bench…


A reminder of team news:

Mourinho expected to park his figurative bus…

Liverpool fans are collectively expecting United to play a very negative game at Anfield today. It’s the same tactic that United have employed each time that they have played the Reds in the last few years.

What else would you expect from Mourinho, though?


Liverpool’s unfortunate record vs United

Liverpool haven’t beaten United in the League since 2014. Victory in the Europa League in 2016 sating the appetite for victory against the Red Devils temporarily.Embed from Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp will be seeking to get his FIRST EVER win against United in the League, with the latter side always settling for nothing more than a draw.Embed from Getty Images

It’s been a tough fixture every time that it’s come up for Liverpool in the last few years and the added pressure that a victory would send Liverpool back top won’t be helping the dressing room atmosphere.

The only consolation is that Liverpool are most certainly a team on the rise, whereas United are dwindling under Mourinho, playing football that is not attractive and not even getting results anymore.

Only 25 minutes until kick-off.


Arsenal lose…

Arsenal have lost 3-2 to Southampton to end their long unbeaten run. Liverpool loanee Danny Ings scored a brace against the Gunners as Southampton climb out of the relegation zone with the victory.

There aren’t any real implications on today’s game with Arsenal losing other than the fact that United could close the gap between them and Arsenal from eight points to five.


Fan reaction to team news


Record setters?

Liverpool have the chance to set a club record today. Should the Reds avoid defeat, they will set the club record for games unbeaten in the Premier League. The current tally of games if 17, tied with that of Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool side through 2008.
Embed from Getty Images


TEAM NEWS IS OUT!

Liverpool are lining up as follows: Alisson, Nathaniel Clyne, Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Andy Robertson, Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.

United: David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Diogo Dalot, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford.

REACTION

The statement of intent is clear from Jurgen Klopp. A very positive and attack minded midfield consisting of Keita, Wijnaldum and Fabinho is something that fans have been yearning for.

Jordan Henderson’s omission is surprising but Jurgen Klopp may finally be ready to fully integrate both Fabinho and Keita into the starting line-up more consistently than he has done in the past months.

Nathaniel Clyne starts at right-back as expected after both Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold have both gotten injured in the last couple of weeks. It’s time for him and Dejan Lovren both to step up.

Manchester United’s biggest story in their line-up is the fact that Paul Pogba only makes the bench. This could be a sign of things to come from Jose Mourinho’s team though. They line-up ready to play the expected high-block system that Mourinho has frequented when playing against Liverpool in recent years.

The front three is as normal for the Reds, but fans will be hoping that Sadio Mane can find his shooting boots after missing a plethora of chances against Napoli in midweek.

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