5 underperforming players crumble under Liverpool’s merciless attack in a shocking Premier League bout
On Sunday evening (5th March), Manchester United suffered their worst-ever defeat in the Premier League era, with a score of 7-0 against Liverpool at Anfield stadium. Despite being in third place and having a ten-point lead over sixth-placed Liverpool, United failed to perform as expected in one of the most renowned stadiums in football. Prior to the game, Erik ten Hag’s team had an impressive record, having lost only once in their last 22 games in all competitions.
After nine minutes of play, Antony tested his fellow countryman Alisson with a strong shot, giving his team an encouraging start. In the 23rd minute, Andrew Robertson’s teasing cross into the box almost resulted in a goal for Liverpool, but Lisandro Martinez’s impressive sliding tackle prevented his team from going behind.
However, in the 43rd minute, Liverpool’s January signing Cody Gakpo broke the deadlock by receiving Robertson’s pass, cutting inside, and curling the ball into the bottom-right corner.
Liverpool did not settle for the one-goal lead and came out with a fierce attack in the second half. They quickly doubled their lead through Darwin Nunez, who headed in a cross from Harvey Elliott after a scramble inside the Manchester United box.
In the 50th minute, Gakpo and Mohamed Salah exchanged passes before Gakpo calmly chipped the ball over David De Gea, extending Liverpool’s lead to 3-0. Manchester United were unsettled by the two quick goals and left themselves vulnerable to further damage.
In the 66th minute, Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool’s fourth goal of the match with a first-time half-volley after Darwin Nunez’s deflected pass came to him. Nunez then added the fifth goal in the 75th minute, skillfully directing Jordan Henderson’s cross into the top-right corner with a delicate header.
Salah scored his second goal of the night in the 83rd minute, tapping the ball into an unguarded net after a smart pass from Roberto Firmino. With this goal, Salah became Liverpool’s all-time leading scorer in the English top flight, with a total of 129 Premier League goals.
In the 88th minute, the final goal of the night was scored by Roberto Firmino, who managed to beat both David De Gea and Diogo Dalot from a difficult angle. The 7-0 defeat at Anfield was Manchester United’s worst in 92 years, with their previous loss by the same scoreline occurring on Boxing Day in 1931 to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Here are five players who had a poor performance in Sunday’s shocking Premier League match:
5 Raphael Varane
During Sunday’s match at Anfield, Raphael Varane, a five-time Champions League-winning center-back, was ineffective. He appeared hesitant, unable to keep up with Liverpool’s attacking trio, and lost possession cheaply at times. Given his experience and ability, he should have performed better and prevented the opposition from easily entering the box whenever they wanted.
According to statistics, the former Real Madrid defender, Raphael Varane, lost possession nine times during the match, and completed 24 passes with an accuracy rate of 75%. He only attempted one long ball, which went astray. Defensively, Varane made only two clearances and attempted one tackle throughout the game.
4 Luke Shaw
Luke Shaw, Manchester United’s left-back, had a strong start in the first half, regularly penetrating dangerous areas and attempting to create chances with his crosses. However, his performance significantly declined in the second half, as Mohamed Salah effortlessly passed him multiple times. Throughout the match, Shaw misplaced four crosses, committed three fouls, and lost possession 14 times. He also had a low success rate with his long balls, misplacing two out of three attempts, and lost five ground duels.
#3 Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford, who had been in excellent form recently, came into Sunday’s match with high expectations. He had scored in the previous Sunday’s Carabao Cup final victory against Newcastle United and appeared lively in the midweek match against West Ham United.
Casemiro, who has been one of Manchester United’s standout players in the 2022-23 season, did not perform up to his usual standards in the Liverpool game. He had difficulty keeping up with Liverpool’s midfield, made several cheap giveaways, and did not utilize his vast experience to assist United when they were in desperate need. Throughout the game, the former Real Madrid star only completed 21 passes with an accuracy rate of 61.8%. He also lost possession 13 times, was dribbled past once, committed one foul, and lost three duels.
1 Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes vs Liverpool | Better than kdb??? 🔥👊 pic.twitter.com/cSY1oH0i0b— ₂₅ (@SanchoBalling) March 5, 2023
Despite being one of United’s most influential players in recent seasons, Bruno Fernandes had a forgettable outing against Liverpool. In addition to missing a golden opportunity to score, the Portuguese midfielder was often involved in senseless arguments with opposition players and looked visibly dejected throughout the game.
Fernandes had a tough outing against Liverpool, as he gave the ball away 14 times, lost six of eight ground duels, committed three fouls, and was caught offside twice. In addition to missing a crucial chance to score, he also seemed to be engaged in pointless arguments and appeared to be dejected for much of the game.