Liverpool demonstrated class this afternoon in the biggest game of the English soccer. The Reds defeated archenemies Manchester United with 3-1, reclaiming the top spot in the Premier League standings.
The hero of the day was Xherdan Shaqiri who came in during the middle of the second half and scored two goals in just 10 minutes on the field.
Liverpool was a much better opponent and they deserved to win, as they outplayed United in almost every aspect of the game.
Jurgen Klopp was thrilled with the way his team played.
“Over the moon about the performance. The way the boys played tonight was outstanding.” the German stated after the match. “We saw the line-up of United and their quality. The plan was to be brave and chip the ball behind the lines.”
And Liverpool’s first goal came after such a situation when Fabinho found Sadio Mane in the middle of the box with a superb pass after which the Senegalese player routinely scored.
Klopp himself said that he couldn’t think for a better way to score than this one.
“The first goal was if you could have drawn it would have been the goal. It’s so deserved. Top, top first-class team.”
All liverpool goal!! Love when the commentator said: “.. cometh the hour, cometh the mane! 😁🔥 🍻@sadiomaneofficiel @shaqiri
#Lfc #liverpool #ynwa #Liverpoolfc #anfield #premierleague #epl #thisisanfield #WeAreLiverpool #sadiomane #xherdanshaqiri pic.twitter.com/jNQyqWZtAY
— Farawayred (@farawayred) December 16, 2018
It was a deserved reward for the home team’s commanding performance in the first 15 minutes. They forced United to defend with all their players in the box for almost 10 minutes since the referee blew his whistle.
But only nine minutes after that, in the 33rd minute, Alisson Beker, L’pool’s goalkeeper made it possible for the Red Devils to level the score after his big mistake. He didn’t react well, and instead of grabbing the ball, it got away right on Jesse Lingard’s foot, who executed this chance with the utmost calmness.
Liverpool continued as if nothing happened, starting to pressure the guests again, but the halftime quickly arrived and the players headed for their locker rooms.
The second part of the contest started with the home team increasing the pace and trying to score, but nothing really happened. The only chance worth mentioning was Firminho’s, but the Brazilian blew that away.
Liverpool’s luck changed in the 70th minute when Klopp decided to go all the way and increase the stakes, by replacing Keita with Shaqiri, making it his offense more powerful, but exposing his back line.
Three minutes later, the Swiss international, made a shot from the middle of the box, and the ball deflected off one United player, hitting the bar before entering the goal.
— Zinterista Marina Nerazzurrita (@ZinteristaMarin) December 16, 2018
Seven minutes later, Shaqiri did the same thing, just from some couple of yards further from the previous spot. T this time the ball struck Eric Bailly, deceiving Davide De Gea and finishing in United’s net for the third time.
“It was an amazing win and important, too. We played very well. In the second half, we did more than Manchester United – we tried and tried. In the end, we fully deserved to win this game.” former Bayern Munich player said at the press conference following the match.
Mourinho and his team disappointed a little bit, as they once again displayed a pale performance, without energy and a player who will be the leader on the field. Romelu Lukaku was beneath all standards, Nemanja Matic also, while the only bright spot was Marcus Rashford, who give everything he had to change something, but unfortunately for him, that didn’t happen.
“The strongest team won, but they won in the period when they were not stronger than us.” Mourinho told after the game. ” In the moment when the game was going down, Liverpool’s intensity was dying”
Liverpool is back in the first place of the English Premier League with 45 points, one more than Manchester City, who is second. United is in the sixth position, 19 points behind the biggest rival.
They will be traveling to Cardiff next week, while Liverpool has one tough task, also on the road, against Wolves.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.