Manchester United travelled to Anfield to play Liverpool, with Erik ten Hag looking to extend his run of wins.
Against United’s bitter rivals, the United boss named David de Gea in goal. Raphael Varane was a doubt to start the game but the Frenchman partnered Lisandro Martinez in the heart of the team’s defence.
Luke Shaw passed a late fitness test to start the game. Diogo Dalot was given the nod ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Casemiro, Fred and Wout Weghorst completed United’s midfield trio. Marcus Rashford led the line with Bruno Fernandes and Antony on the left and right wings respectively.
Here are three things we learned from Manchester United’s 7-0 thumping against Liverpool.
Antony very wasteful in the final third
As the Red Devils went into the break a goal down, something that stuck out of the match was how wasteful the front men were, but none more so than Antony.
The Brazilian found himself in plenty of promising positions during attacking phases but could not come up with the goods.
Antony’s crossing especially in the opening 45 minutes can only be described as lazy and casual. He constantly failed even to beat the first man with his attempts.
Antony is known for his trickery and flair football but it felt he was overdoing it and at times, this came at the expense of the team and the creation of more productive opportunities.
The 22-year-old was easy to defend against. His over-reliance on his left foot was all too predictable and Liverpool’s defenders effectively neutralized whatever little threat he had.
The Brazil international was woeful in his take-ons and it’s a surprise he was not one of the first people to be taken off.
Combine Antony’s poor display with an equally defensively frail Dalot showing and the right flank was rendered entirely useless against Liverpool.
Extremely costly defensive blunders
Ten Hag’s men were the architects of their downfall against Liverpool.
All of Liverpool’s goals came from defensive lapses and calamities at the back. For the first goal, Dalot gets dragged out of position leaving Fred to cover his part of the pitch. Fred failed to get tight to his man before Cody Gakpo put the ball into the back of the net.
The second and third goals came from United repeatedly failing to clear the ball and cheaply losing possession inside their own box- something that could also be used to describe how the fourth goal was conceded.
For the fourth, Antony gave the ball away from a set-piece build-up to set Liverpool on the counter-attack. Salah was all too happy to score from the ensuing transition.
United’s lethargic and pathetic defending is undoubtedly something Ten Hag will be keen to point out after the game.
Yeah, we fully deserve this. Defensively shocking and look so unserious.
— UF (@UtdFaithfuls) March 5, 2023
What has happened to this defence?! We've been SO good, so together…but their heads are absolutely gone. Totally gone. Shaw and Varane have been so consistently good, Martinez too.
— United Peoples TV (@UnitedPeoplesTV) March 5, 2023
The manner in which United conceded all goals was reminiscent of life under Ralf Rangnick, when the Reds were serial capitulators in big games.
Several players failed to turn up
It could be argued that none of United’s players turned up nor gave a good account of themselves.
In what was eventually a 7-0 thumping, even United’s best players put in their worst displays.
Casemiro and Martinez had their worst games in a United shirt. Shaw and Dalot were both atrocious as was De Gea. In truth, the same could be said about all those on the pitch.
Plenty of questions will be asked over the coming days and a response will be required.