Liverpool 4-0 Manchester United: Player ratings as Thiago oozes class and Salah finds scoring touch

Don Kopleone rates the Reds as they once again blew away with ease the rivals that once offered a stern test.

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This always felt like it might be a battering. Rarely has a match between those great old rivals Liverpool and Manchester United had as little billing as this one.

Pundits knew Liverpool were winning this game. Liverpool fans knew they were winning this game. United fans, more than anyone else, knew Liverpool were winning this game. But, as embarrassing as United were, Liverpool were good, especially in the first-half.

Luis Díaz opened the scoring after five minutes, when Harry Maguire and Diogo Dalot decided to abandon defensive duties. United suddenly could not get a foot on the ball, and Jürgen Klopp’s side had a second after a superb team move. Sadio Mané somehow found Mo Salah who stroked home to double the lead.

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For the second time in a week, Thiago Alcântara delivered as good a 45 minutes as has ever been seen by a central-midfielder, and could relax a little after the break.

A lackadaisical start to the second-half was the only negative of the night for Liverpool. But then Mané stepped up with a weak-footed finish to halt any potential shift in momentum, and sealed the points for his side.

There was still time for Salah to seal his brace after a superb pass from substitute, Diogo Jota. The Reds are back atop the league table. Their oldest foes are light years away. The only disappointment? Traffic stopped me from getting over to Anfield. Gutted.

Your ratings, after a five-star four-nil:

Starting XI

Ali 8 – Closed off two one-on-ones when United might have inadvertently found themselves in on goal. Fired some genius passes.

Trent 7 – Defensively sound, far less influence in attack than might have been expected, but to what extent can that be attributed to the gulf of class between these teams?

Joel 7 – One loose second-half pass but defensively sound. Our defence won’t have as little to do very often.

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Big Virg 6.5 – Screamed at by Klopp after a couple of overly-casual mistakes just after half-time.

Robbo 7.5 – Key to jump-starting the hosts’ engine when complacency crept in a little at 2-0.

Hendo 7.5 – First to every loose ball in central areas.

Fab 8 – Helped dominate midfield. Sparkled with one mazy run before Díaz was deemed offside, cancelling out the Colombian’s back-post tap-in.

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ThiaGOAT 9.5 – Just absurdly good at this sport. I can’t find enough superlatives to describe the dominance he exudes over the midfield, both with and without possession. Man of the match.

Mo 8 – First open-play brace of the calendar year? Confidence restored, he loves netting against United.

Sadio 8.5 – The Senegalese’s pass for Salah’s first was jaw-dropping, and his finish for third was not bad, either! At the top of his game right now, excelling in a central role.

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Luis Suárez Díaz 8 – A goal and an assist in your first Liverpool game against Manchester United? It doesn’t get much better.

Subs

Di-no-goal 7.5 – A superb through ball for Salah’s brace, and the energy you’d expect.

Nabs 6.5 – Hopefully appreciated his rest after a superb Sunday showing. One very late challenge might have seen the Guinean land in trouble, though.

Milly N/A – Could that be the last time James Milner is brought on to see out a big game at Anfield?


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Don Kopleone

Scouse, not Sicilian.

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