Manchester United suffered a heavy Premier League defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford and had Paul Pogba sent off on a day to forget for the Reds whose fans have gone silent online.
Jurgen Klopp’s side did the bulk of the damage in the first half with four goals, without reply. Naby Keita swiftly opened the scoring before Diogo Jota and a brace for Mohamed Salah compounded the agony.
Salah completed a hat-trick for the visitors before substitute Pogba was shown the red card 14 minutes after coming on as a half time replacement.
Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal ruled out by VAR for a marginal offside call as nothing went right for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
FIRST HALF – REDS ROCKED
The manager asked his team spring from the blocks and convert chances. He got one response but critically not the other. United had the first massive opportunity of the match after four minutes when a lovely, fluid move made room for Bruno Fernandes, arriving in space on the right. Crucially our Portuguese midfielder scooped his shot over the bar into the East Stand.
To make matters worse, Liverpool immediately struck back with the opener seconds later. We were caught on the hop and Salah created a clear opening for Keita to convert in front of a stunned Stretford End.
The Reds were rocked and under pressure and Roberto Firmino almost grabbed a second, two minutes later, but was foiled by David De Gea. But it was only a temporary respite as the Anfield outfit kept up the pressure and broke through again after 13 minutes.
This time, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw got themselves into a tangle and allowed Keita to steal the ball and feed Trent Alexander-Arnold steaming up in the space on the right. His low cross was steered home by Diogo Jota.
We attempted to claw our way back into the fixture. Scott McTominay, Cristiano Ronaldo hit shots over, Shaw had a skidding effort just past the post and Mason Greenwood’s curler was pawed away by goalkeeper Alisson.
Marcus Rashford also had a volley saved but the 19-minute spell didn’t bring the important goal and Liverpool responded by making it 3-0 after 38 minutes. The visitors passed the ball around and a blocked Salah shot rebounded to Keita. His cross was smashed home by danger-man Salah.
There was a fiery end to the half that saw Ronaldo and Fred yellow-carded before Liverpool grabbed a fourth in fadded-on time as Salah got a second, when left alone to steer a Jota pass wide of De Gea.
SECOND HALF – POGBA SENT OFF
Solskjaer made a half-time change, bringing on Pogba for Greenwood. However, Liverpool’s engine room robbed the Frenchman in the 49th minute and Jordan Henderson curled a piercing pass around United’s defence for Salah who scored his hat-trick by nudging past De Gea.
Ronaldo almost immediately had the ball in the back of Liverpool’s net with a curling shot from a Maguire pass but VAR ruled the goal out after some delay.
It went from very bad to worse for United when substitute Pogba was sent off after 59 minutes for a foul on Keita and United were reduced to 10 men.
The midfielder was initially booked by referee Anthony Taylor but the official was asked to review the challenge on the pitchside monitor and changed his decision to a red card. Keita was then taken off on a stretcher.
United went to a five-man defence when Diogo Dalot come on for Rashford after 62 minutes in a bid to survive the last half hour without further damage,
Sub Edinson Cavani hit the bar, from a Scott McTominay header, as the Reds sought a consolation goal but it was a painful day for United.
United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire (c), Shaw, McTominay, Fred Greenwood, Fernandes (Dalot 62), Rashford (Cavani 62), Greenwood (Pogba 45), Ronaldo
Subs not used: Henderson, Bailly, Matic, Lingard, van de Beek, Sancho.
Bookings: Ronaldo, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, Fernandes, Wan-Bissaka.
Sent off: Pogba
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson (c), Milner (Jones 26), Keita (Oxlade-Chamberlain 63); Jota, Salah, Firmino (Mane 76).
Subs not used: Adrian, Gomez, Minamino, Tsimikas, Origi, Matip.
Goals: Keita 5, Jota 13, Salah 38, 45, 50
Source: Commentary on manutd.com