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Erik 'Seven' Hag; Man Utd out of title race; concedes seven against arch rivals Liverpool

By Real11 - Mar 6 2023 202 Views
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Liverpool annihalate Manchester United; close in on top four finish

Liverpool achieved a historic victory over Manchester United, securing their biggest win ever against their arch rivals with a resounding 7-0 triumph at Anfield.

The goals came from a range of players, with Darwin Nunez scoring twice, along with Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah, also scoring two goals each, and Roberto Firmino netting a late goal. This win not only earned Liverpool three valuable points towards a top-four finish, but it also put an end to the notion that third-place United could contend for the Premier League title. This defeat extended United's dismal record at Anfield, having only scored one goal on their last seven visits and not winning there since Wayne Rooney winner in January 2016.

Sunday's game was a spectacle that captured the attention of football fans worldwide. Liverpool's emphatic 7-0 victory has put Jurgen Klopp's team firmly on course for Champions League qualification.

Just one week after ending their six-year trophy drought by winning the Carabao Cup, which sparked talk of a quadruple this season, United were humbled by their arch-rivals at Anfield. The brace from Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez, along with Salah's two goals and a late strike from Firmino, lifted Klopp's team to fifth place, only three points behind Tottenham with a game in hand. This result has also established Liverpool as favourites to finish in fourth place.

Despite controlling much of the first half and missing several good opportunities, Manchester United fell behind to a goal from Gakpo in the 43rd minute, after which their performance deteriorated rapidly. By the 50th minute, Liverpool had extended their lead to 3-0, and United ultimately suffered a more comprehensive defeat than in their previous matches against Liverpool, losing 5-0 and 4-0 last season.

Manchester United's struggles at Anfield continued, as they have only scored once in their last seven games at the stadium and have not secured an away victory against Liverpool since 2016. Although this was meant to be the day when they could compete with their old rivals on an equal footing after years of being overshadowed, it turned out to be a familiar tale of disappointment. By the end of the game, Liverpool fans were chanting "we want eight" to emphasise their complete dominance.

While this defeat will not affect Manchester United's current position in third place in the league, it is a significant victory for Liverpool. After appearing to be out of the running for a top-four spot, they are now closing in on Tottenham and seemingly poised to overtake Antonio Conte's team.

Erik ten Hag has been widely praised this season for his tactical acumen and decision-making on the touchline, but his recent error at Anfield proved costly for Manchester United. By deploying Marcus Rashford as the lone striker, playing Bruno Fernandes out wide on the left, and using Wout Weghorst as a No. 10, ten Hag missed an opportunity to exploit Trent Alexander-Arnold's defensive weaknesses.

While Fernandes is a skilled No. 10 who excels at creating chances for his teammates, his lack of pace makes him less effective when deployed out wide. As a result, Alexander-Arnold had one of his easiest matches of the season. Had Rashford been utilised on the wing, he could have pushed Alexander-Arnold to defend against someone running at him and exploiting the spaces he often leaves behind.

Overall, ten Hag's tactical oversight allowed Liverpool to avoid being tested, and it ultimately cost United dearly.

Ten Hag's tactics in Manchester United's defeat to Liverpool were questionable. He played Netherlands forward Weghorst in a position he had played before, which took Fernandes away from his impactful position. This made United less effective and gave Liverpool an advantage in defending. By the time Ten Hag changed his approach in the second half, it was too late as United was already 3-0 down.

However, the defeat may work in Ten Hag's favour by exposing some weaknesses in the team, including the lack of a proper centre-forward and a reliable right-back. This could bring some realism to United and counter the optimism of a new era at the club.

Liverpool's new arrivals, Nunez and Gakpo, struggled initially but showed promising performances against United. Gakpo scored four goals in his past six games for Liverpool after failing to find the net in his first six weeks at the club, while Nunez has four goals in his last four games after a difficult period following his club record transfer from Benfica.

Both players are talented and have a determination to score goals, but their rough edges are being smoothed off with every performance. Playing alongside Mohamed Salah seems to be accelerating their progress. Although they are different players from Mane and Firmino, they could enjoy similar success for Liverpool in the future.

 

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