Lessons Learned From The Man Utd-Liverpool Game

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After an unfortunate 4-3 defeat over Liverpool, Manchester United advanced to the FA Cup semi-finals last Sunday afternoon, joining Man City, Coventry City, and Chelsea. Amad Diallo, who was sent off with a yellow card for celebrating by removing his shirt, sealed the victory for Ten Hag’s side at the last minute after coming back from being down 2-1 earlier.

For Anfield, all the expected questions are burning: Can Liverpool still overcome its loss of points and win the Premier League? And what lessons could be learned from the team’s most recent defeat? Read on!

Highlights From The Game

In a pre-match interview, a Man Utd fan suggested that the team should “just go out there and attack,” and it seems like Ten Hag’s side truly heeded the advice. Early on, Scott McTominay immediately launched into a lead in the first ten minutes of the game, volleying the goal just after Caoimhin Kelleher had parried from Alejandro Garnacho for Liverpool.

The Anfield team then responded in kind, changing course and kicking the lead back to them at 2-1 by half-time thanks to efforts by Alexis Mac Allister and Mohamed Salah. But unfortunately, those efforts fell short, and Liverpool squandered more than one chance to widen the gap from United, including one from a five-on-two counter attack.

These whiffs gave Man Utd the momentum they needed to catch up by the 87th minute when Antony scored for the second time this season. Marcus Rashford nearly won it all for United with the final kick of normal time, nor was he able to find the net in the first half of extra time, giving Liverpool a brief hope that they would cinch it for their side once Harvey Elliott defeated Andre Onana from an impressive 25 yards after deflecting off of Christian Eriksen. 

But unfortunately for Liverpool, Rashford reached his target in the second extra period after a clean setup from McTominay, paving the way for Diallo to breakaway and seal the deal with Man Utd’s last gasp of breath.

Liverpool’s Growing Injury List Is A Problem

It’s easy to dismiss last Sunday’s game as a “bad day in the office” for Jurgen Klopp, but there are some real concerns underlying it all – specifically, its ongoing injury list crisis. 

Currently, eight players are still out from a peak of twelve, and their expected returns are all over the place: 

  • Thiago Alcantara – After sustaining a muscle injury in the defeat at Arsenal on 4 February, Alcantara has continued to sit out with no known return date. Klopp said there was no timescale and that it had to be based on his medical progress, which was “not a short-term thing.” 
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold – Sidelined since 10 February, Alexander-Arnold was recently hopeful for his return as he continues to take steps in his knee ligament recovery.
  • Diogo Jota – Jota has also been out with a knee injury, but Klopp suspects he’ll be back around the same time Alexander-Arnold is.
  • Curtis Jones – Limping off the field in the 34th minute, Jones sustained an ankle injury but should be back soon. 
  • Alisson Becker – Liverpool’s goalkeeper is expected to remain out until after the March international break following a muscle injury incurred at training.
  • Bobby Clark – In the second leg of Liverpool’s Europa League tie against Sparta Prague, Clark took a knock and swelled his ankle. His return date is unknown.
  • Ben Doak – The forward suffered a knee injury several months ago and required surgery for treatment. Recovery is ongoing.
  • Joel Matip – The centre-back also required surgery after an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament, and he is continuing rehabilitation at the AXA Training Centre. So far, there is no word on his return date.

To make matters worse, the 4-3 game at Old Trafford also generated three new injury concerns in Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, and Cody Gakpo, who were experiencing pain in the groin, hamstring, and knee, respectively. All in all, it’s beginning to look like an incredibly uphill battle in the current state of events, which may well start to encourage roster changes for Liverpool.

Who Is Favoured To Win?

The title race continues to tumble on, and in many ways it still seems like it could be anyone’s season. Manchester United may have won last Sunday, and they also finished in the top four last season, even claiming a trophy along the way, but the reality is that Ten Hag’s second campaign is likely no better. 

Does Liverpool still stand a chance of winning the Premier League? Well, that depends; one of the many advantages of non UK betting sites is that all the information out there is considered in odds calculations, which makes it crucial to understand those fine details before making a wager. As things currently stand, Liverpool has a challenge ahead of them, but it’s by no means impossible. 

The Anfield team entered the season as leaders, and they want to keep that record, cutting off Man City’s aims for an unprecedented fourth consecutive win, hoping to give Klopp a perfect send-off instead. But now they will have to face each other before heading off against Arsenal after. 

If Liverpool can come out ahead of these two games, the rest of the pathway is essentially clear; the team knows it can take it all if Arsenal just slips once. Whether or not this plays out in this way, though, remains to be seen.

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