Manchester United seemingly hit rock bottom as they were humiliated by bitter rivals, Liverpool, 5-0 at Old Trafford today.
Goals from Naby Keita and Diogo Jota had Liverpool 2-0 to the good inside 15 minutes and Mo Salah cruised to a hat-trick, giving the Mersysiders a five-nil lead inside 50 minutes.
Paul Pogba was given a straight red for a dangerous challenge not long after coming off the bench, and Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal disallowed for offside to round off a nightmare afternoon.
Here’s three things we learnt from today’s game:
United’s defensive woes have been well documented since the start of this season; today’s performance was quite simply a defensive shambles.
Players being unnecessarily dragged out of position, committing embarrassing individual errors and a general lack of shape cost United dearly.
It wasn’t so much a case of Liverpool putting on a masterclass, as United making it so easy they simply couldn’t help themselves.
Man United's defensive stats this season 👀 pic.twitter.com/jV9hltKMYK
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) October 24, 2021
Ranking last for tackles per game and errors leading to shots as well as 18th for clean sheets, United’s true defensive incapability’s were laid bare against Liverpool.
United million miles off the top
Today’s game showed us just how far United are off the true top teams in this league, it wasn’t even remotely competitive.
Liverpool were without key men Fabinho, Sadio Mane and Thiago while resting first choice centre back Joel Matip and even still looked levels above a United team at full strength.
While certainly in the title race, Liverpool may not even be the best team in this league and with games against the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea coming up, we could see plenty more cricket scores if things don’t change fast.
As Paul Scholes warned midweek, Jurgen Klopp will have been rubbing his hands together watching United limp over the line against Atalanta in the Champions League, but not even he would have thought it would be that easy for his side.
Some Man United fans actually abused Paul Scholes for stating a fact.pic.twitter.com/kLvfLHagTC
— UtdFaithfuls (@UtdFaithfuls) October 24, 2021
Quite simply, that was a sackable performance and we could now see a major turning point with the fans’ confidence and support in the manager.
It mustn’t be lost that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer overall has done a great job in his three years at the helm and doesn’t deserve the abuse he receives from certain sections of the fanbase.
But it now seems the club are going backwards under his tutelage and there can be no excuses for a performance as bad as that against your biggest rivals.
Jose Mourinho was sacked after a defeat to Liverpool in 2018, could we see the same fate for his replacement? With more tough fixtures coming up its hard to imagine Ole surviving much longer.