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Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool: Salah hat-trick as Solskjaer's side thrashed

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Old Trafford

Liverpool humiliated Manchester United and their under-pressure manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as they handed out a thrashing in front of a stunned Old Trafford.

On a day of acute embarrassment for United and Solskjaer, 10 years and one day since they lost 6-1 at home to Manchester City, Liverpool emphasised the vast gulf between the sides in brutal fashion.

Mohamed Salah was predictably their main tormentor as the Egypt forward claimed a hat-trick, the first of which meant he had scored for the 10th successive game.

Solskjaer cut a dejected figure as he and his players faced the full fury of their own fans, especially at half time, after an insipid and disorganised performance.

The worrying signs were there for United after five minutes as Liverpool sliced them open when Salah set Naby Keita through to score at the Stretford End.

Diogo Jota then slid in at the back post unmarked to add a second from Trent Alexander-Arnold's delivery eight minutes later.

Liverpool were tearing United apart and the irresistible Salah got his first when he thumped the ball into the roof of the net from Keita's cross then beat David de Gea with a low effort to give Jurgen Klopp's side a four-goal half-time lead.

Many Manchester United fans left at the break and Solskjaer's response was to send Paul Pogba on for Mason Greenwood, but on a day when nothing went right for United even that mainly cosmetic move backfired horribly.

Salah raced on to Jordan Henderson's superb pass to complete his treble five minutes after the break then Pogba was sent off for a reckless lunge at Keita that saw Liverpool's midfielder taken off on a stretcher.

The rest was a formality as Liverpool cruised to victory in front of thousands of empty red seats deserted by the home supporters.

Liverpool back to their ruthless best

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Mohamed Salah is now the top-scoring African in Premier League history with 107 goals

Liverpool were always going to come back stronger from the suffering of last season, when injuries and the worst run of home form in the club's history saw them drawn into a dogfight for a place in the Champions League.

They rallied superbly to finish third and carried that good form into this new campaign, with an ominous composure about Klopp's side from the first day.

With Virgil van Dijk back in defence and Salah playing at a level that suggests he is the world's best player, they are a ruthless machine and how United felt that power.

Bruno Fernandes actually missed a very good chance to put United ahead before Keita opened the scoring but once Liverpool got ahead, Solskjaer's side had no answer.

With Salah as the main weapon, they cut through United at will, reducing both their players and the crowd to nervous agitation every time they went forward.

Salah is in the form of his life and this United defence was an open invitation to him and Liverpool's range of attacking options.

In the last eight days alone, Liverpool have scored 13 goals in three games on their travels, taking in the 5-0 win at Watford and the 3-2 victory against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

This was Liverpool looking as formidable, confident and dangerous as they did when they won the title in 2019-20. It is shaping up to be a three-horse race along with Chelsea and Manchester City for the title and this was the performance of true thoroughbreds.

The only downside to their day was the injury to Keita, injured in a two-footed challenge by Pogba in what is a cruel blow to the midfielder given he has been showing the best form of his stop-start Liverpool career.

What now for Solskjaer?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks on as Manchester United lose to Liverpool
Manchester United have lost by a margin of five or more goals at Old Trafford without scoring themselves for the first time since a 5-0 defeat at home to Manchester City in 1955 under Matt Busby

Solskjaer was in defiant mood after United came from two goals down to beat Atalanta in the Champions League but there is a frailty and confusion about this team that means they will constantly fall short - and this inevitably puts further pressure on the manager.

There are defeats that carry greater significance than others and the sight of United chasing shadows five goals down while Solskjaer stood helplessly on the touchline being taunted for long periods by joyous Liverpool fans made this one of those days.

Any defeat to Liverpool is painful for United fans. When the defeat is as comprehensive as this one and in front of their own supporters, it is a day that will cut deeply to every part of Old Trafford.

It was a defensive shambles, with poor communication and lack of understanding about what the team is trying to do cruelly exposed by Liverpool. As a result, this game was effectively over within 13 minutes.

Solskjaer has praised the backing of United's fans and the Stretford End largely stuck with him and the team but there is no disguising the fact there were loud jeers at half time and by the time the final whistle sounded, huge sections of the stadium were deserted.

There was also a lack of discipline in the United performance, Cristiano Ronaldo perhaps fortunate to escape a red card for kicking out at Curtis Jones while he was on the floor then Pogba - presumably sent on to restore some slight semblance of order - getting one for his challenge on Keita.

United have been steadfast in their backing for Solskjaer but the shock waves of this result will have questions being asked more strongly than ever about his position by everyone from the club's hierarchy to their fans.

Player of the match

Mohamed SalahMohamed Salah

with an average of 9.22

Manchester United

  1. Squad number1Player namede Gea
    Average rating

    3.87

  2. Squad number7Player nameCristiano Ronaldo
    Average rating

    2.87

  3. Squad number21Player nameCavani
    Average rating

    2.86

  4. Squad number10Player nameRashford
    Average rating

    2.75

  5. Squad number11Player nameGreenwood
    Average rating

    2.63

  6. Squad number29Player nameWan-Bissaka
    Average rating

    2.49

  7. Squad number18Player nameBruno Fernandes
    Average rating

    2.46

  8. Squad number39Player nameMcTominay
    Average rating

    2.43

  9. Squad number20Player nameDiogo Dalot
    Average rating

    2.31

  10. Squad number2Player nameLindelöf
    Average rating

    2.30

  11. Squad number23Player nameShaw
    Average rating

    2.26

  12. Squad number17Player nameFred
    Average rating

    2.23

  13. Squad number5Player nameMaguire
    Average rating

    1.92

  14. Squad number6Player namePogba
    Average rating

    1.75

Liverpool

  1. Squad number11Player nameMohamed Salah
    Average rating

    9.22

  2. Squad number8Player nameKeïta
    Average rating

    8.41

  3. Squad number20Player nameDiogo Jota
    Average rating

    8.41

  4. Squad number9Player nameRoberto Firmino
    Average rating

    8.28

  5. Squad number66Player nameAlexander-Arnold
    Average rating

    8.21

  6. Squad number4Player namevan Dijk
    Average rating

    8.18

  7. Squad number5Player nameKonaté
    Average rating

    8.15

  8. Squad number26Player nameRobertson
    Average rating

    8.12

  9. Squad number14Player nameHenderson
    Average rating

    8.11

  10. Squad number1Player nameAlisson
    Average rating

    7.82

  11. Squad number17Player nameJones
    Average rating

    7.75

  12. Squad number10Player nameMané
    Average rating

    7.65

  13. Squad number7Player nameMilner
    Average rating

    7.63

  14. Squad number15Player nameOxlade-Chamberlain
    Average rating

    7.61

Line-ups

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 29Wan-BissakaBooked at 86mins
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 5MaguireBooked at 55mins
  • 23ShawBooked at 41mins
  • 39McTominay
  • 17FredBooked at 45mins
  • 11GreenwoodSubstituted forPogbaat 45'minutesBooked at 60mins
  • 18Bruno FernandesBooked at 46minsSubstituted forCavaniat 62'minutes
  • 10RashfordSubstituted forDalotat 62'minutes
  • 7Cristiano RonaldoBooked at 45mins

Substitutes

  • 3Bailly
  • 6Pogba
  • 14Lingard
  • 20Dalot
  • 21Cavani
  • 25Sancho
  • 26Henderson
  • 31Matic
  • 34van de Beek

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 5Konaté
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 8KeïtaSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 63'minutes
  • 14Henderson
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forJonesat 27'minutes
  • 11Salah
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forManéat 76'minutes
  • 20Jota

Substitutes

  • 10Mané
  • 12Gomez
  • 13Adrián
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 17Jones
  • 18Minamino
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 27Origi
  • 32Matip
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
73,088

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home12
Away19
Shots on Target
Home4
Away8
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 0, Liverpool 5.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 0, Liverpool 5.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Scott McTominay with a headed pass.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Diogo Dalot with a cross.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Curtis Jones (Liverpool).

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Curtis Jones (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mohamed Salah with a through ball.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

  9. Post update

    Diogo Jota (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United).

  11. Post update

    Offside, Manchester United. Fred tries a through ball, but Edinson Cavani is caught offside.

  12. Booking

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Diogo Jota (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United).

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) left footed shot from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Scott McTominay with a headed pass.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Robertson (Liverpool).

  19. Post update

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Curtis Jones (Liverpool).

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