It’s never easy against *them*, is it? While this Liverpool side is streets ahead of the Manchester United team they faced at Anfield, even the most ardent optimist in Liverpool Red could have foreseen a tight contest.
Jürgen Klopp’s side started slightly uncomfortably, before a Virgil van Dijk header seemed to settle early nerves. The hosts began to find their rhythm and with chances arriving more frequently, only VAR could prevent Roberto Firmino from doubling Liverpool’s lead.
As the clock ticked into the second half, both Mo Salah as Sadio Mané dragged wide, when they might have expected to beat David De Gea.
But it was Salah who finally netted a Liverpool second, to kill off the old enemy right at the death. United performed well, and Ole Gunnar Solskjær night feel his team were unlucky.
But the truth is, there is a gulf in quality between Liverpool and Manchester United right now, and the scoreline was probably the fairest reflection of the game.
Here are your ratings:
Ali 7.5 — The best ‘keeper in the world showed he has claimed that very title from his Spanish opposite number, with a late assist (!) to add to his clean sheet.
Trent 7 — If there were any concerns that United may seek to expose our right hand side on the counter-attack, Trent rarely looked troubled.
JoGo 8 — Very, very impressive performance from the young man. Read the game superbly at times.
Big Virg 8.5 — As we seem to be forced into this comparison at the moment, Vidic used to fall apart against Liverpool. Van Dijk proved he is currently head and shoulders above (pun intended) every other central defender this world has to offer, in the Premier League’s flagship contest. Man of the match.
Robbo 6.5 — Couple of dodgy touches first half, but improved after the break and should have had an assist when Salah dragged wide.
Ox 7 — Given the one contentious starting spot by Jürgen Klopp, the Ox did not let his side down. His tackling is superb for a midfielder who is considered offensively-minded.
Hendo 7.5 — It is becoming a regular occurrence that Jordan Henderson steps up to the plate as Liverpool look to see out games. Unlucky to see De Gea tip an effort into the post, as well.
Gini 8 — Phenomenal but typical Gini display. Tireless, intelligent, essential.
Mo 8 — Heading into injury-time, Salah’s had been a brilliant all-round performance, marred by a missed opportunity at the start of the second half. The Egyptian put that right to seal the points.
Bobby 7.5 — Very unfortunate that a terrific strike was ruled out by VAR. Link-up was superb but rightly substituted as his influence faded.
Sadio 6.5 — Not Mané’s greatest display, but even then on another day he scores a brace. Two big chances fell to his weaker left foot, unfortunately for the Senegalese.
La La Land 6 — Did not retain possession in the middle of the park as effectively as he had been recently.
Fabs N/A — The Brazilian’s return from injury began with a crunching tackle.
Divvy N/A — At this point we are overdue a late Origi winner out of nowhere.