|Jadon Sancho celebrates after firing United in front at Old Trafford on Monday night. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
When Eric Ten Hag acknowledged the dominance of Manchester City and Liverpool upon his arrival in the premier league, but quickly followed that up with a sensational statement: “but eras do come to an end”, many felt he was trying to be a Mourinho but you should have a rethink now.
One game doesn’t necessarily atone for all the embarrassment Manchester United have faced in the past, especially in the opening two games where they lost to Brighton at home and scandalously at Brentford, but the strong win over Liverpool on Monday night will go down as a statement victory.
Liverpool have played three and won none, this is the first time under Jurgen Klopp that the Kops would be down and under after three games and losing 2-1 to Manchester United when it could even have been more means Liverpool must now introspect and figure out where the problem lies.
In fairness to Klopp, Joel Matip and Ibrahim Konate are unavailable in defense; he doesn’t have the luxury of Tiago Alcantara and Naby Keita in midfield and the duo of Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez are unavailable due to injury and suspension respectively.
They say you’re as good as you are on the day, Manchester United were swashbuckling in their demeanor, commanding in displays and assured in possession; every prediction before the game flew out the window right from the opening stages and Liverpool never looked like getting in there.
Ten Hag raised few brows with his team selection, Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo were left on the bench and Luke Shaw lost his place in the starting line up to Tyrell Malacia; Raphael Varane rolled back the years, won every single aerial duel and commanded his area, Lisandro Martinez fought and won his ground duels and Liverpool just couldn’t respond.
Jadon Sancho sat James Milner down for the opener and Liverpool needed Alison to prevent them from falling further behind in the first half. The second half wasn’t different, United rolled over Liverpool and Marcus Rashford got on the end of a tidy Anthony Martial pass to make it 2-0 to the hosts.
Mo Salah scored his traditional goal late on but it was too little too late for United to lose the maximum points. The addition of Casemiro will add grit to the United midfield and should Anthony join from Ajax, you just might not be able to write off Manchester United off this season.