Brilliant Reds show Manchester United only grows bigger on an awkward night for Red Devils

A match so predictable and yet the reality was absolutely amazing.

o plenty for a tense title run-in game. So much for the challenge for a Champions League spot. So much for Manchester United’s pride in stopping Liverpool from achieving their 20 titles or improbably improving their trebles.

The fact that these are the two most successful teams in English football has been reduced to a mere historical quirk, as if United were a bygone force from the past, as Liverpool instead inflicted them with their worst aggregate score of the entire Premier League era.

Worse, that 4-0, which followed October’s 5-0 to 9-0, only got so high because Liverpool just decided to get back in the mood. The truth was that a fight between these two sides looked as good as over by the fifth minute.

It was left to Liverpool to try things, to see what they could do to contribute to the goals.

Mohamed Salah may justifiably be named Player of the Season again, but it was no coincidence that against this Manchester United he ended his poor scoring streak – and then added another.

Some of it was hard to believe for a game between two supposedly elite clubs. There were so many questions in a game where the outcome was always beyond doubt.

How could United’s immense expenses leave them with such a starting XI? How could a supposedly “defensive” five-man defense offer so much space? What do you do in training? Has the gulf between these two clubs ever been so great?

It was ridiculous.

Within four minutes any semblance of an idea that United could at least turn it into – or even dig in – a small fight was vaporized by a single attack from Liverpool. They were everywhere.

Harry Maguire stepped forward despite no one following, leaving enough room for Sadio Mane to set a pass. He could have apparently picked any number of options as well, as it wasn’t just one player who outscored Diogo Dalot, it was two.

Salah and Alexander-Arnold almost got in each other’s way, except unlike United in general, Liverpool players have a very clear idea of ​​where they need to be. Alexander-Arnold went inside, Salah took the ball out and Luis Diaz had the easiest finish.

It was like the Old Trafford game in October, but hard to say if it was actually worse for it. It looked so easy for Liverpool. Paul Pogba’s only contribution was walking off injured at the time. It saved him from being overly associated with it.

Alisson’s turn to Bruno Fernandes already hinted at a mood where Jurgen Klopp’s side were willing to try things just because they could, culminating in that bold, screwed-up assist from Mane.

It was already a perfect match for Thiago, who no longer controlled a game so much as expressing himself on a canvas.

The move to that great second started with an excellent ball to Alexander-Arnold that resulted in glorious one-touch football.

When it got to Mane, and like so much that happened in that match, you could see what he was going to do, but it was still incredible when it came. Even Salah seemed surprised, although of course he checked back at the end.

That had become United. They’re the perfect opponent when you’re on a bad run.

It got so bad for them that for the third time this season against either Liverpool or City they felt the opponent declared. They had done enough. They had scored enough goals – against United, the most successful club in the Premier League.

That allowed for the briefest of danger as Rangnick’s side rallied a little in the second half with Jadon Sancho and the side returned to their usual formation. There was just this growing concern that if United managed to get one, it could be a very different game.

And what happened? Within just minutes, Liverpool simply reinforced it, a move saw Mane deflect the ball just into the bottom corner.

Closing was probably harder than it made it look, but that pretty much sums up the game. It just looked like there wasn’t much of a challenge.

On the other hand, there wasn’t. It was like that the whole game.

From the first moments, Liverpool had the freedom to play with the pitch. There was hardly any pressing. There was just space everywhere. It ensured the game ended as it began, with a Liverpool pass that opened the entire United box.

Salah was yet to claim a second place, taking the aggregate score to a remarkable 9-0.

That means Liverpool City are one game more played, although the champions can rectify that against Brighton tonight.

Statements like this usually give the impression that these run-ins are some kind of super-intense race where teams have to compete step-by-step, especially when you’re faced with games as theoretically awkward as Manchester United.

But that’s all United is now: a theory, an idea, a brand.

They are not a footballing challenge for a team like Liverpool. You were shown the reality of the level. That made it as incredible as it was predictable. Brilliant Reds show Manchester United only grows bigger on an awkward night for Red Devils

Fry Electronics Team

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