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Reds Column III

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Manchester United vs Liverpool

After going down 1-0, Liverpool Fc (The Reds) rallied back strongly to defeat the hosts Manchester United Fc 2-4 in the Premier League.

For the rescheduled Premier League clash with the hosts Manchester United Fc, Roberto Firmino was named in the starting line-up.

Prior to the rescheduled game which was postponed due to Security Breaches; hundreds of Manchester United Fc (The Red Devils) Fans protested outside the Old Trafford Stadium.

To prevent the fans from getting inside and/ or storming the pitch, stronger security measures were been implemented which included a stronger policing presence outside the stadium.

For the rescheduled fixture itself; the versatile Brazilian Forward came in place of Sadio Mané as Jürgen Klopp opted to make just one change to the Team that defeated the hosts Southampton Fc.

Young Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher and Divock Origi returned to the bench after recovering from their respective injuries.

The Reds knew that victory over the hosts Manchester United Fc (The Red Devils) will take the Reds to within four points of Chelsea Fc (The Blues) as they are in the fourth place of the Premier League 2020-21 Table (following the Blues 0-1 shock home loss to Arsenal Fc).

However, the Reds have not beaten the hosts Red Devils since March 2014.

Playing at their Home Ground, the Red Devils started well.

Alisson Becker nearly committed an absolute howler as his pass did not reach its intended target and left Cavani with what appeared to be a simple tap-in but the Uruguayan put it wide in the 5th minute.

Things only got worse for the sleepy Reds as a side footed cross from Bruno Fernandes was deflected in to the net by Nathaniel Phillips in the 9th minute following a neat assist from Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The Goal though was accredited to Bruno Fernandes.

The Reds tactics to pass the ball out from the back was clearly not working as each time the Reds were horribly under-pressure.

During the First Half; the Reds were awarded a Penalty by Referee Anthony Taylor after an alleged challenge by Eric Bailly on Nathaniel Phillips but another contentious VAR checkup, the decision was revered and the ball given back to Dean Henderson as Goal Kick in the 27th minute.

Shockingly, there were no VAR check-ups on a possible handball inside the Penalty Box prior to the incident!

Diogo Jota later had his shot denied by Dean Henderson following an assist by Andrew Robertson in the 33rd minute.

The Reds soon levelled the scoreline through Jota after Nathaniel Phillips squeezed the ball from the Red Devils Defenders and struck his shot but the ball was diverted to the net with a backheel by Jota in the 34th minute.

After a challenge from Paul Pogba on Jota just minutes before the First Half, the header to the top left corner of the net from Firmino gave the Reds 1-2 lead after a brilliant assist by Alexander-Arnold with a cross following a set piece situation.

The Brazilian showed his importance to side as he got there ahead of his marker and powered home the header to give the Reds the much needed lead at half time.

Despite starting poorly, the Reds were in the driving seat leading 1-2 at Half Time.

Soon after the Second Half began, Firmino doubled the lead for the Reds to make 1-3 after Dean Henderson parried an effort from Alexander-Arnold following an assist by Firmino and the Brazilian then sidefooted home in the 47th minute.

The Reds will need one more Goal to feel safe as there was still a long way to go and the Reds Devils looked to get more chances to get back in the game. So, clearly attack was the best form of defence for the Reds.

Diogo Jota had the chance to make it 1-4 for the Reds but his effort hit the the post following an assist by Firmino following a fast break in the 59th minute.

After having many chances to kill the game off, the Reds conceded the Goal and let the Red Devils get back in the game.

Edison Cavani played the ball through to Marcus Rashford and the Englishman slotted the ball into the bottom right corner of the net in the 68th minute.

The Red Devils grew in confidence with each counter attacks.

In the 73rd minute, Sadio Mané and Curtis Jones replaced Georginio Wijnaldum and Diogo Jota. Considering the circumstances; it was a very strange substitution to take off Jota.

Salah finally provided the much needed fourth Goal for the Reds as the Egyptian raced onto a through-ball from Curtis Jones to finding himself one-on-one and sidefoots home into the bottom left corner of the net.

Neco Williams then replaced Salah with just minutes for the game to finish.

The Reds sealed a memorable comeback 2-4 win over the hosts and old enemies Red Devils.

The result also meant that the Reds are firmly in control in the race to secure the Top-four spot and Klopp’s first win as Reds Manager at Old Trafford.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 6: Almost gifted a Goal to Cavani but could not do anything with the either of the Goal conceded. His distribution was not on spot but stepped up to clear the danger when needed.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 9: Made strong interceptions, provided crosses especially the only resulted in giving the Reds before Half Time and defended well.

Rhys Williams – 6: Looked calm and composed amidst the Red Devils attacks.

Nathaniel Phillips – 7: Showed superb mental strength to recover from his early own Goal especially by providing the assist that levelled the scoreline. The Englishman also defended well.

Andrew Robertson – 7: Looked lively and regular outlet at the Left Flank.

Midfield:

Georginio Wijnaldum – 6: Showed solidity in the midfield engine and looked to get the Reds on the front foot.

Fabinho – 7: Admirably shielded the defence and pass the ball to the forwards quickly.

Thiago Alcântara – 7: Did not had much time in possession during the First Half but found his range of passes and used them effectively during the Second Half.

Forwards:

Diogo Jota – 7: Started the game quietly but burst into life as the game progressed. Scored the leveller with a clever backheel.

Roberto Firmino – 8: Scored a brace despite struggling to make an impact early in the game and after his first Goal, the Brazilian looked firmly in control of the Goal.

Mohamed Salah – 7: Scored the fourth Goal for the Reds that secured the win. Whenever there was any room to manoeuvre, the Egyptian made the Red Devils Defenders looked frightened.

Substitutes:

Sadio Mané – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact.

Curtis Jones – N/A: Looked like a surprising decision to bring on the youngster, when experience was needed in the midfield. Despite not having sufficient time to make an impact, his assist lead to the fourth Goal.

Neco Williams – N/A: Just game time.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 8: Resisted the temptation to make massive changes to the side that defeated the visitors Southampton Fc.

The Reds were even more relentless after Second Half and the Gaffer made the substitutions at the right time keeping in mind of the upcoming fixtures

Klopp finally picked up his first win as a Reds Manager at Old Trafford and the Reds looks firmly in control in the race to secure the Top-four berth.

The win over their old arch-rivals and hosts Red Devils has also provided the perfect springboard for the Reds ahead of their final few games.

 

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