Liverpool win at Old Trafford
Liverpool put in one of their best performances of the season to beat Manchester United 4-2 at Old Trafford and revive their top four hopes.
Two goals for Roberto Firmino, either side of half-time, means Liverpool’s fate is in their own hands – something that seemed so unlikely just a few days ago.
Man United took the lead after just 10 minutes when Bruno Fernandes’ shot with the outside of his foot was inadvertently turned in by Nat Phillips.
The hosts made an excellent start and had Liverpool on the back foot, with Alisson very lucky to not have been punished for a misplaced pass that gave Edinson Cavani a major chance to score.
However, Liverpool grew into the game and pinned United back. They thought they had won a penalty when Eric Bailly rashly brought down Phillips but the decision was overturned as the defender got some of the ball.
The Liverpool defender was heavily involved as his shot from a corner was instinctively flicked goalwards by Diogo Jota in the 34th minute, who levelled the scores.
On the stroke of half-time, United were undone again by a set piece. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free kick was met by Firmino at the back post, who lost Paul Pogba and headed into the roof of the net.
Two minutes into the second half, Liverpool were 3-1 up and it was a goal made of Man United’s making.
Fred played a loose pass but United recovered the ball, until Luke Shaw was dispossessed. Alexander Arnold struck a shot that was straight at Henderson, but the goalkeeper parried the ball into the path of Firmino, who made no mistake.
At this point, Liverpool were rampant and could have scored more. Jota hit the post after he was clean through on goal, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side survived. Marcus Rashford then halved the deficit after he was played in by Cavani.
But as United pushed for an equaliser, Liverpool broke and Mohamed Salah finished past Henderson to wrap up the points and score his first ever goal at Old Trafford.
It was his 21st Premier League goal of the season and 30th in all competitions. It was the Egyptian’s 124th goal in 200 Liverpool appearances, only Roger Hunt and Gordon Hodgson scored more.
What it means?
Liverpool won at Old Trafford for the first time since March 2014.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are four points behind Chelsea with a game in hand, but the Blues face Leicester and if Liverpool win their final three games, then they will usurp one of the two sides above them.
The Reds have a favourable run of fixtures, facing an already-relegated West Brom on Sunday, Burnley and Crystal Palace on the final day.
It was United’s sixth home league defeat of the season and their second in a row after Tuesday’s loss to Leicester. They have conceded 27 home goals in the Premier League this season, the most since 1969/70.
33% of United’s Premier League goals conceded this season have been from set pieces (14/42).
Featured image: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford. (Photo by Dave Thompson – Pool/Getty Images)