Premier League
Liverpool2Man Utd0

Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United: Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah goals secure win

Mohamed Salah
As a Liverpool player, Mohamed Salah has now scored against 23 of the 24 Premier League teams he has faced more than once in the competition, only failing to do so versus Swansea City

Liverpool's procession towards their first title in 30 years continued with a hard-fought win over Manchester United at Anfield that extended their lead at the top of the table to 16 points with a game in hand.

The hosts were the superior side but faced late United pressure as they defended Virgil van Dijk's 14th-minute header, before wrapping up the win in style in injury time when goalkeeper Alisson's long clearance set Mohamed Salah clear to score and spark wild celebrations among supporters now convinced that long wait is coming to an end.

Liverpool could have emphasised their superiority as Roberto Firmino had a goal contentiously ruled out by the video assistant referee for Van Dijk's challenge on David de Gea, while the United keeper touched Jordan Henderson's shot on to the post and Salah missed an open goal from six yards.

United, who had striker Marcus Rashford ruled out for a lengthy period before kick-off with a back injury, actually had chances of their own. Andreas Pereira turned wide of an open goal in the first half and Anthony Martial shot over the top from an inviting position after the break.

It came as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side rallied in the second half, but it was to no avail and Liverpool march relentlessly on, with 21 wins from their first 22 games.

Liverpool simply unstoppable

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the second goal against Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday
Liverpool have scored in all their Premier League games this season

It is simply a case of when the coronation comes as Liverpool reeled off yet another win en route to the Premier League title. They are not only doing their own job but watching in satisfaction as the chasing pack - chasing from afar it must be said - fall further behind, with dropped points for Manchester City and Leicester City on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

There was rare anxiety around Anfield in the closing minutes before the sweet release of Salah's goal - Alisson rightly running the length of the pitch to join in the celebrations after his long clearance sent the Egyptian clear to score.

Liverpool could have wrapped up victory more comfortably, but with the imperious Van Dijk at the back and menace up front, it is hard to see how they can be stopped in one game - and they certainly will not be in this title race.

And, of course, victory was made even sweeter as it was at the expense of Manchester United, the old foe who famously fulfilled Sir Alex Ferguson's promise to knock Liverpool off their perch.

United now trail Liverpool by 30 points and this is not a gap that flatters Klopp's men.

The gulf is not only huge between Liverpool and United. In the Premier League context, it is huge between Liverpool and the rest of the Premier League.

Man Utd trail in mediocrity

Anthony Martial
Martial had Manchester United's best chance but fired well over when in on goal

Manchester United may point to the fact they were in with a chance of gaining a point until the closing moments here but any suggestion they matched Liverpool is an exercise in delusion.

In United's defence they are without key players such as Rashford, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba but they now trail Liverpool on and off the pitch by an embarrassing margin.

Solskjaer's side were clinging on for so much of this game and squandered the big opportunities when they came in the shape of those chances for Pereira and Martial.

Martial's wild finish was symptomatic of his performance. United were counting on him even more in Rashford's absence but he simply failed to deliver. He was laboured and lack-lustre.

United did close down Liverpool's potent full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson for large parts of the game but there is a glaring lack of quality that has been exposed so often this season.

Liverpool found it was a very long way back to title glory once momentum had been lost and too many poor decisions made.

On this evidence, it does not look like it will be any easier for Manchester United.

Man of the match - Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk (left) has scored eight league goals for Liverpool since joining in January 2018, the most of any Premier League centre-back in that time

'The energy was incredible' - what they said

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "It's a big relief, I was really happy with 85-90% of the game, we were brilliant. We dominated the game, especially in the first half. The energy they put on the pitch was incredible.

"On a normal day we would have scored three times in the first half and in the second half until 65 minutes we should have been more clear.

"But then United have obvious quality, played a bit more football and we had to defend. There were little mistakes here and there, we didn't use possession well enough and so the game stays open.

"Then we scored a wonderful, wonderful goal at the end, a really good feeling."

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Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United: Liverpool played sensational football - Klopp

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "The players gave us everything. Today we hung on a bit at the start of second half, but the last 25-30 minutes we pressed them and pushed them back. I'm disappointed with conceding from a corner and with the last kick - but very many positives.

"I felt in the second half we performed really well against a good team and at a difficult place.

"We didn't have quality with our finishing or last pass. Fred was absolutely top and David de Gea. As a team we worked together as a unit."

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Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pleased with 'many positives'

91 from 93 - Liverpool's incredible run and other stats

  • Liverpool have won consecutive home Premier League games against Manchester United for the first time since winning three in a row between September 2008 and March 2011.
  • Manchester United have lost nine of their last 16 away Premier League games (W3 D4 L9), failing to score in eight of those games.
  • Liverpool have taken 91 points from the last 93 available to them in the Premier League (P31 W30 D1).
  • Liverpool became the first team since Arsenal in 2001-02 to score in their first 22 Premier League matches of the season - the Gunners went on to score in every game and win the title that season.
  • Liverpool have kept seven consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time since December 2006 (seven in a row).
  • Since the start of last season, Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has more Premier League assists than any other player (21).
  • Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson became the first Reds goalkeeper to assist a Premier League goal since March 2010, when Pepe Reina assisted against Sunderland.

What next?

Liverpool travel to Wolves on Thursday, 23 January (20:00 GMT) while Manchester United are at home to Burnley one day earlier (20:15).

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 12Gomez
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 15Oxlade-ChamberlainSubstituted forLallanaat 66'minutes
  • 14Henderson
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 11SalahBooked at 90mins
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forOrigiat 83'minutes
  • 10ManéSubstituted forFabinhoat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Fabinho
  • 13Adrián
  • 18Minamino
  • 20Lallana
  • 27Origi
  • 32Matip
  • 48Jones

Man Utd

  • 1de GeaBooked at 25mins
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 5Maguire
  • 23ShawBooked at 72minsSubstituted forDalotat 87'minutes
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 17Fred
  • 31MaticBooked at 8mins
  • 53WilliamsSubstituted forGreenwoodat 74'minutes
  • 15PereiraSubstituted forMataat 74'minutes
  • 21James
  • 9Martial

Substitutes

  • 3Bailly
  • 4Jones
  • 8Mata
  • 14Lingard
  • 20Dalot
  • 22Romero
  • 26Greenwood
Referee:
Craig Pawson
Attendance:
52,916

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamMan Utd
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home16
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home11
Away5
Fouls
Home7
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 2, Manchester United 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Manchester United 0.

Booking

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

Goal!

Goal! Liverpool 2, Manchester United 0. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alisson following a fast break.

Attempt saved. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Attempt blocked. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jordan Henderson.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

Foul by Adam Lallana (Liverpool).

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Diogo Dalot replaces Luke Shaw because of an injury.

Foul by Adam Lallana (Liverpool).

Luke Shaw (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Adam Lallana (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nemanja Matic (Manchester United).

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Divock Origi replaces Roberto Firmino.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Fabinho replaces Sadio Mané.

Offside, Manchester United. Aaron Wan-Bissaka tries a through ball, but Mason Greenwood is caught offside.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

Attempt blocked. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sadio Mané.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Mason Greenwood replaces Brandon Williams.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Juan Mata replaces Andreas Pereira.

Booking

Luke Shaw (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nemanja Matic (Manchester United).

Offside, Manchester United. Andreas Pereira tries a through ball, but Fred is caught offside.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Alisson.

Attempt saved. Fred (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fred.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Adam Lallana replaces Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Fred (Manchester United).

Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum following a fast break.

Foul by Sadio Mané (Liverpool).

Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nemanja Matic (Manchester United).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool22211052143864
2Man City23153564273748
3Leicester23143648232545
4Chelsea2312383930939
5Man Utd239773627934
6Wolves2381053430434
7Sheff Utd238962522333
8Tottenham238783631531
9Crystal Palace237972226-430
10Arsenal2361163032-229
11Everton2385102633-729
12Newcastle2385102234-1229
13Southampton2384112942-1328
14Burnley2383122638-1227
15Brighton2367102631-525
16West Ham2265112634-823
17Watford2358102034-1423
18Aston Villa2364132944-1522
19Bournemouth2355132036-1620
20Norwich2345142345-2217
View full Premier League table

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