Five things we learned from Manchester United vs Liverpool

Manchester United shocked Liverpool to a 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Monday night thanks to goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford. They rode out a late rise from Liverpool who pulled one back via Mohamed Salah but couldn’t find an equaliser.

Here are five things we learned:

Malacia becomes a fan favorite

One of the biggest pluses for United was the performance of Tyrell Malacia, the left-back signed by Feyenoord’s Erik ten Hag this summer. On the surface it seemed an unnecessary transfer as left-back was a position well filled by Luke Shaw and Alex Telles, but from this evidence it was obvious to see the qualities Ten Hag liked in the young talent .

A constant threat down the left, Malacia counted on the supply line to Mohamed Salah to snip out high balls while almost constantly charging forward and making clever overlapping and underlapping runs that didn’t always get picked but helped improve the game to stretch and give Marcus Rashford space. Additionally, he made those runs knowing that Salah would remain isolated on the counterattack should things collapse, a sign of his confidence in himself, his teammates and their game plan.

Some of the biggest roars of the night came as Malacia made strong challenges and there was a feeling he could be a popular figure at Old Trafford for months and years to come.

Tyrell Malacia wants to challenge Andy Robertson strongly


Slow starts continue to plague Klopp’s side

Whether Jurgen Klopp wants to hear it or not, there are now seven consecutive Premier League games in which Liverpool have conceded first, including all three this season.

Great mentality or not, no team can take three points every week – the Reds have fallen behind at half-time in every game of the 22/23 season so far, which is clearly unsustainable when honors are the goal.

It took about half an hour for the visitors to really get going, producing some combination play and aggressive pressing, which immediately made them look more dangerous and capable of threatening the United defence.

The actual shot on goal did not come until the 67th minute, when they were already two goals behind.

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp after full-time

(AFP via Getty Images)

De Gea takes no chances

David de Gea got into all sorts of trouble at Brentford last week when he tried to smash the ball in a complicated way from his back along with his defenders and defensive midfielder Christian Eriksen on the day. Erik ten Hag has since revealed the plan wasn’t to go exclusively short, but to go long when things got too risky – either De Gea ignored the message or the manager didn’t get it across properly.

Anyway, this time De Gea wasn’t messing around. Almost his entire first-half spread went long, bypassing the Liverpool press and revealing the high line. The keeper was written off in a couple of quarters last time out, but if he can find the balance between risk and reward like this, he will avoid many of the pitfalls that come with Ten Hag’s possession game.

David de Gea clears a cross


Skippers are one concern among many

Liverpool have had a fair number of injuries, true, but the players on the pitch are still mostly senior internationals and too many are three games a season off pace.

The best choice in a negative sense was once again captain Jordan Henderson after the midfielder had a very poor start to the season.

Here he was moved to the base of the trio, Fabinho left out, but the No14 seldom coped with the pace of United’s game and pressing down the middle and was unable to pursue Fernandes in the No10 role , as he continued and failed to provide the platform in front of him for possession.

The curtain on his performance came when he was substituted minutes after gifting United his second – his initial control was poor and he missed two attempted tackles within strides before Rashford stepped through to score.

A week is a long time in football

A week ago, Gary Neville warned United would end up in the bottom half of the Premier League this season, while Jamie Carragher effectively wrote off new signing Lisandro Martinez as too small to play in the English top flight. Tonight they led the praise from Ten Hag’s side.

The Sky Sports duo weren’t the only ones to end United’s season both individually and as a team. Not that this performance should mask the club’s many cracks in terms of recruitment, debt, facilities and many other factors; but it has shown that cohesion and confidence are wonderful things – United have played with both here and transformed.

A similar reaction was seen at Arsenal last season when they lost their first three games; There was uproar and calls for Mikel Arteta’s head but they had a respectable season. Football discourse may never be sane, rational, or have any sense of perspective or proportion, but these few days should serve as a reminder that the extreme reactions are almost always exaggerated. Five things we learned from Manchester United vs Liverpool

Fry Electronics Team

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