This season has been one of trials and tribulations for Liverpool and their beleaguered fans, but there may still be light at the end of the tunnel as Jurgen Klopp’s men put up a truly scintillating performance to tear Manchester United apart at Anfield.
Braces from Cody Gakpo, Darwin Núñez and Mo Salah, along with Roberto Firmino’s late goal, secured an utterly dominating 7-0 victory in this Premier League grudge match, marking the biggest win in history of this legendary match.
It was a sobering afternoon for Erik ten Hag’s side, who had been in fine form since the season resumed after the World Cup and at one point even looked like they might start to pressure Manchester City and Arsenal at the top. of the Board.
Klopp had called United a ‘results machine’ in the build-up to this game and even in his wildest dreams, the German surely wouldn’t have envisioned a performance and result like this.
It will not only go down as one of the all-time great wins for Liverpool in this game, but one of the greatest Premier League results in history and will be remembered for decades.
“No words,” a beaming Klopp told Sky Sports after the win. “Spectacular football game. Remarkable. The start of the game was exactly what we needed: super front foot, super lively, super active. We played the best football against the in-form team.
“In the second half, the start was pretty good, the finish was pretty good, everything was pretty good. That’s football, it can happen.
“As I said before the game, United have played a great season and we’re not really happy with our season so far, but that doesn’t mean anything for the game because we still have to play this one and today we were clearly the best team at the moment and we got three very important points. It feels good.”
As phenomenal as Liverpool was a game, Manchester United was just as chaotic.
Ten Hag has faced a number of setbacks since arriving in April 2022 but it is surely the nadir of his time in charge of the club and extinguishes any lingering hopes United had of inserting themselves into the title race. .
Former United captain Gary Neville called the performance a ‘mess’ and ’embarrassing’ on Sky Sports coverage of the game and there will have to be some serious soul-searching in the United dressing room if the team are to bounce.
“We’ve had setbacks in the past and we have to come back because that’s what Manchester United is,” a gloomy Bruno Fernandes told Sky Sports after the game. “We can go down but we have to go up because we know how good we are.
“We know that today we didn’t show and we didn’t perform at our level, but we know that this team is really good and can do very good things. Today it wasn’t but I’m sure this team will still do great things with the fans I have to appreciate for their support.
“We’ve set a really good standard for ourselves, now it’s just about getting back to it because the fans deserve it and we deserve it. We’ve done a lot better than today in the past and we’ll do much better in the future.”
But it was Liverpool’s day and a raucous Anfield gave the players a thrilling full-time ovation, the moment no doubt made all the sweeter given the team’s struggles this season.
To add even more shine to the occasion, Salah’s two goals took his Premier League tally for Liverpool to 129, surpassing Robbie Fowler’s record for the club.
“It’s very special,” Salah told Sky Sports of his achievement. “I can’t lie, this record has been in my head since I got here. I think after my first season I was still chasing that record, so to get it today against United with that result is amazing.
“I come home to celebrate with the family and have chamomile tea and sleep.”
Despite all the problems Liverpool have had this season, the side have now climbed to fifth in the league and are just three points behind Tottenham in fourth and last place in the Champions League with one game less.
“It was the push we wanted, it puts us in the right direction,” Klopp added. “Everyone should know that we are still here. It wasn’t for a while, but tonight was a real demonstration of what we can be and what we need to be from now on.
The win also comes at the best possible time, as Liverpool try to build momentum ahead of the Champions League second leg against Real Madrid in 10 days.
Any chance of overturning a 5-2 deficit at the Bernabeu still seems slim, but Liverpool and their fans will now have more hope than ever that this unlikely feat can be accomplished.