Man Utd 0-5 Liverpool: player ratings, man of the match, heroes & villains as pressure mount on Solskjaer

The Red Devils suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of their fiercest rivals on Sunday, on an evening that will live long in the memories for both sets of fans.

Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring their fifth goal. Credit: Getty.
Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring their fifth goal. Credit: Getty.
Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring their fifth goal. Credit: Getty.

Manchester United suffered one of the most embarrassing losses in their history on Sunday, with Liverpool coming away from Old Trafford with a 5-0 win.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were four up at the break thanks to Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah’s brace, with United providing their old foes with a helping hand courtesy of some shambolic defending.

Salah then made it five not long after the break, and netted a hat-trick in the process, before Paul Pogba received a straight red card for a dangerously high tackle.

The visitors then dominated possession for the latter stages without really searching for a sixth in what was an utterly embarrassing evening for Solskjaer and Co.

The heroes

  • Naby Keita: The No.8 was something of a surprise selection at Old Trafford given he was hauled off at half-time during the midweek win over Atletico Madrid. But Keita justified his selection after he slotted the ball past David De Gea in the fifth minute, before he set up Salah’s goal later in the first period.
  • Ibrahima Konate: Prior to Sunday, the defender had played just 90 minutes in the Premier League, but he gave a solid performance for the Merseysiders and dealt effectively with the threat of Cristiano Ronaldo. 

The villains

  • Harry Maguire: Any of United’s back four could and should be on this list, but as captain Maguire must be held to a higher standard than the rest. He was simply awful against Liverpool - jointly at fault for the first goal, booked in the second period and found out of position on several occasions.
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: It’s tough to see a way back after a result of this magnitude. It was the first time in Premier League history that the Red Devils have conceded four in a first half, while Salah became the first away player to score an Old Trafford hat-trick since 2003. Solskjaer’s defence look fragmented and his side void of confidence, while the manager’s tactical set-up once again has to be questioned.
  • James Milner: The 35-year-old performed much better than his last showing against a Manchester side, when he should have been sent off against Manchester City. However, his afternoon was cut short on Sunday when an injury forced him to be replaced in the 27th minute.
  • Paul Pogba: Less than 15 minutes the Frenchman was on the field before he was dismissed for a reckless challenge on Keita. He only compounded Solskjaer’s problems further and demonstrated the sort of ill-discipline he’s previously been criticised for.
Paul Pogba sees red for United: Credit: Getty.
Paul Pogba sees red for United: Credit: Getty.
Paul Pogba sees red for United: Credit: Getty.

Player ratings:

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea 6; Wan-Bissaka 4, Lindelof 3, Maguire 3, Shaw 3; McTominay 4, Fred 3; Greenwood 4 (Pogba 46; 3), Fernandes 5 (Cavani 62; 6), Rashford 5 (Dalot 63 6); Ronaldo 4.

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson 6; Alexander-Arnold 7, Konate 7, Van Dijk 7, Robertson 8; Keita 8 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 62; 6), Henderson 8, Milner 7 (Jones 27;7); Salah 9, Firmino 9 (Mane 75; 6), Jota 7.

Man of the Match

It’s difficult not to give it to Salah, but the way Firmino linked the play was phenomenal and he was the catalyst for Liverpool in the early stages. So we’ve just decided to award the Brazilian the man of the match award ahead of the No.11

What’s next?

The Red Devils have a rare week until their next game, which is against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday (5:30 kick-off). The majority of top-flight clubs are involved in midweek League Cup action, but United’s elimination in the last round means they have six full days to prepare for the trip to Spurs.