Ten-man Manchester United suffered one of their worst defeats in recent memory as rivals Liverpool piled pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 5-0 thrashing at Old Trafford.
United’s performance was nothing short of a shambles as Liverpool feasted on some inept defending and questionable tactics, going ahead after five minutes through Naby Keita’s low finish having been released through on goal.
Diogo Jota made it 2-0 (13) at the far post from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s centre after miscommunication between Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw, before Mohamed Salah scored for the 10th straight game in all competitions, converting near post from Keita’s pass (38)
United were “kidding themselves” by pressing Liverpool, according to Gary Neville on co-commentary after recent criticism at their lack of defending from the front, leaving gaping holes at the back as Liverpool scored a fourth just before half-time through Salah’s low, pinpoint finish from just inside the box (45+5). The jeers that greeted Manchester United at the break were ear-splitting.
Salah completed his hat-trick, touching past David de Gea from Henderson’s excellent pass (49), and the hosts went down to 10 men as half-time substitute Paul Pogba saw red for a high tackle on Keita, who was brought off on a stretcher (60).
United somehow saw out the game without more damage, but having conceded 11 goals in three games, and sitting eight points off the top of a Premier League they had promised to challenge for after a busy summer window, pressure on Solskjaer is at an all-time high.
Liverpool move second after a dazzling display, and remain unbeaten since May.
Full report to follow
Manchester United go to Tottenham on Saturday Night Football in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 5.30pm on October 30, while Liverpool visit Preston in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night at 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Football, before hosting Brighton in the Premier League at 3pm on Saturday.
It does not get much easier; United face a formidable set of fixtures over the next six weeks as they look to keep pace in the Premier League and ensure Champions League qualification, with Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and the Manchester derby looming domestically.
October 30: Tottenham (a) – Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 2: Atalanta (a) – Champions League, kick-off 8pm
November 6: Man City (h) – Premier League, kick-off 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 20: Watford (a) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
November 23: Villarreal (a) – Champions League, kick-off 5.45pm
November 28: Chelsea (a) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
December 2: Arsenal (h) – Premier League, kick-off 8.15pm