darwin nunez manchester united

‘A reality check’ – Ten Hag slams ‘unprofessional’ Man Utd display as Liverpool hit seven

Manchester United capitulated in the second half as Liverpool hit their bitter rivals for seven on a chastening evening at Anfield.

Liverpool started the brighter before Manchester United grew into the fixture as the first half wore on, with Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford squandering chances to give the visitors the lead, while Casemiro saw a goal chalked off for offside.


Liverpool crucially struck just before the interval, Andy Robertson drifting inside before sliding a ball down the left channel to find the run of Cody Gakpo. The former Man Utd target cut inside his man, before firing low into the bottom corner from inside the area.

Having scored just before half time, Liverpool doubled their advantage within two minutes of the start of the second. United gave the ball away in a poor area in their own half, before making a few half-attempts to win it back. The ball eventually came to Harvey Elliott who put in a quality cross for Darwin Nunez who poked home from close range.

Three minutes later and it was 3-0 as Liverpool carved United open once more. A Manchester United attack broke down on the edge of the Liverpool box before the hosts launched a devastating counterattack. Mohamed Salah received the ball and scampered down the right, before the Egyptian slipped the ball into Cody Gakpo. Despite the narrow-angle, the Dutchman produced a sublime finish to beat David de Gea and end the game as a contest.

The Red Devils were beaten 4-0 on their last visit to Anfield, and in the 66th minute, they found themselves 4-0 down once more, and again it was a superb counter. Having dispossessed United, Liverpool broke with pace, before the ball eventually dropped invitingly to Mohamed Salah who crashed an unstoppable strike in off the underside of the crossbar.

The defensive disasterclass continued for United as Darwin Núñez nodded home his second and Liverpool’s fifth following an arcing Jordan Henderson cross, before Man of the Match Salah added a sixth with six minutes to play.

There was still time for Roberto Firmino – who announced that he will be leaving the club at the end of the season – to add a seventh to condemn their bitter rivals to their joint-worst result ever.

Speaking afterwards, an ‘angry’ Erik ten Hag admitted was damning in his assessment of his side’s second-half performance.

“I think we played a decent first half. One mistake in organisation just before half-time,” he told Match of the Day.

“Second half it was just not us. It was not our standards. We didn’t play as a team. It was unprofessional. Yes [I am angry]. Definitely.

“I am surprised because I have seen the last weeks and months this team is resilient and has a winning attitude. Second half we didn’t have a winning attitude at all. We didn’t stick to the plan and we didn’t do our jobs.

“We didn’t track back and it was really unprofessional. We have seen in the past we can bounce back. After Brentford, after Manchester City. This is definitely a strong setback and is unacceptable. I’m really disappointed and angry about it.

“It is a reality check. We have to take this strong.”

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