- Manchester United have been beaten 4-2 by bitter rivals Liverpool.
- The midweek fixture came after the original game was postponed due to United fans entering Old Trafford and protesting against the Glazers’ ownership.
There were further protests outside the Man United’s stadium ahead of last night game, with beefed-up security and police presence preventing fans from disrupting the game.
As gathered by EKO HOT BLOG , Listed below are major talking points from last night’s game.
Defensive mistakes cost United
Harry Maguire arrived on crutches and in a boot, making his prospects of playing before the end of the season very unlikely.
And United’s defensive frailties were exposed as three mistakes cost them four goals, and the game.
United have been determined to concede goals from set-pieces in almost every game this season and last night was no different.
Diogo Jota poked in a scrappy goal from close range after the Red Devils failed to clear the ball from a corner and ten minutes later Roberto Firmino escaped Paul Pogba’s marking to head in from a free-kick.
The third was simply a calamity which included Fred causally giving away the ball away on the edge of the area, Luke Shaw getting caught trying to dribble his way out of trouble, and Dean Henderson spilling the ball for Firmino to tap in.
United looked shaky through the middle without the usual presence and anchoring of Maguire.
While chasing a third goal, United were caught on the break and Mohammed Salah finished an easy one-on-one.
Henderson in the spotlight
Yesterday we saw the good and bad of Dean Henderson, in the same way we have seen the good and bad of David De Gea in recent seasons.
The first two goals Henderson could hardly do anything about and he showed that he is ready to take the No.1 reigns from club legend David De Gea, whenever that may be.
He made some vital saves in both halves and his distribution was good in a performance that had shades of De Gea to it.
But he also displayed some of De Gea’s poorer qualities in the last few seasons, spilling a shot that really should have been dealt with better for the third goal.
Mohamed Salah is one of the most clinical finishers from one-on-one positions in the league, but Henderson made it easy for him with the fourth goal as he could have come further off his line to close the striker down.
Henderson is still young with plenty more to learn and there are few goalkeepers in the world better to study than De Gea.
Not much to choose from off the bench
In a week where a lot of talk surrounded Manchester City’s title-winning squad, a lack of options off the bench for United side was clear to see.
Aside from Mason Greenwood who did make a difference when he came on for Fred in the 63rd minute, United had few players they could choose from to help push the side to get something out of the game.
After the Leicester City game on Tuesday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said they would need to make some signings if they wanted to catch their cross-city rivals.
And yesterday’s game was evidence of that as Ole’s only other substitution was to bring on Nemanja Matic for Eric Bailly towards the end of the game.
Better defending would have prevented a loss last night but Ole needs more options to change the side’s shape and style going forward when they are losing.
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