Van Dijk and Salah scored as Klopp’s men outclassed the Red Devils at Anfield – Premier League preview, brought to you by Dashing…
When the dust settled on a glorious night for the Anfield faithful, Liverpool had not only vanquished the old enemy but they had also pulled 16 points clear of the chasing pack at the top of the Premier League table.
Goals from Virgil Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah helped Klopp’s men register a 2-0 win over a Manchester United side who are the only team to take points off them this season, in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford.
Liverpool were brilliant in parts but also had to see off a brief period of resurgence from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men in the second half. Liverpool themselves were guilty of wasting a host of chances, especially in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were guilty of spurning easy chances while David De Gea had to pull off a brilliant save to deny a rasping shot from Jordan Henderson.
Manchester United started the game with three men at the back to contain a dangerous Liverpool front three. But they were very flat for most of the match, with the absence of Marcus Rashford having a telling effect on their attacking gameplan.
Liverpool hit their stride early in the game and had the opening goal handed to them on a platter. Virgil Van Dyk rose majestically over his counterpart Harry Maguire to head past David De Gea, off a corner. He was allowed to waltz into the penalty area too easily for Solskjaer’s liking.
The home side then had a second goal disallowed just 11 minutes later, for a foul on De Gea in the build up. Such was Liverpool’s dominance that another 10 minutes Georginio Wijnaldum seemed to have scored, only for the offside flag to keep United in the game.
But Liverpool did allow some leeway for Manchester United, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka almost finding Andreas Pereira with a ball across the box.
The second half signalled an onslaught on De Gea’s goal by Liverpool. Salah, Firmino and Mané all went close to doubling Liverpool’s lead but were kept bay.
At the other end, as the pressure abated, Anthony Martial nearly restored parity on the night. A swift exchange on the edge of the Liverpool box with Pereira allowed the Frenchman to accelerate through on goal, but blazed over the bar with just Alisson to beat.
Despite United mounting some pressure on the Reds towards the end of the game, they could not fashion many clear cut opportunities and it was left to Salah to score a second on the counter after the entire United defence were camped in Liverpool’s half of the field.
The Egyptian managed to break a hoodoo against United, thereby sparking joyous scenes at Anfield.