Manchester United effectively granted Manchester City their Premier League title when they lost 2-1 to Leicester City at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
The Red Devils did look like they would come back yet again after going down a goal when Mason Greenwood equalized Luke Thomas’ early effort. However, that was not to be when Caglar Soyuncu’s header ensured that the Foxes would take home all three points and United were mathematically incapable of catching up to City.
While it was certainly a loss felt by United given that yet again their rivals have clinched the title that they traditionally had a hold over, the pathos was also felt by Liverpool supporters and for intriguing reasons.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær elected to field a relatively weaker lineup for this game after the strong team that won away to Aston Villa on Sunday. This was largely to avoid fatigue given that Harry Maguire had already picked up an injury and Liverpool awaited them in less than two days.
As such, the likes of Brandon Williams and Donny van de Beek got their rare start while youngsters Axel Tuanzebe and Mason Greenwood manned important areas. Further still, the likes of Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga were given debut Premier League starts on each flank.
The loss did hit hard, but it also meant that Leicester City got a strong hold on that third-place in the Premier League table. This certainly impacts Liverpool who are desperate for a Champions League spot and will have to fend with the likes of Chelsea and West Ham United for that final slot.
As such, many Liverpool fans took to Twitter to blame Solskjær and company, even going as far as to claim that this was done on purpose so as to ensure that they would not attain Champions League football for next season.
People are saying dock Utd points, but seem to forget that United have a full squad of good players to pick from, and liverpool on Thursday. surely that is why teams have full squads, just for situations like this. I wonder what people would have said if United won.
— Gordon Hill (@gordonhill54) May 12, 2021
Liverpool didn’t even get the chance to go to Old Trafford as champions 😂 pic.twitter.com/FSUklDK0c5
— FootballFunnys (@FootballFunnnys) May 11, 2021
Man Utd lose to Leicester, knowing they’ve probably ended Liverpool’s Champions League hopes. pic.twitter.com/009ZFi9mQd
— David Brent Music (@DavidBrentMovie) May 11, 2021
Ole sent Liverpool to the Europa league before we even kicked a ball against them this week.
My fkn manager pic.twitter.com/L9OtTlhEni
— 20LEGEND (@20LEGEND__) May 12, 2021
Guardiola makes nine changes against a team fighting for a top four place and nobody opens their mouth.
Solskjaer makes ten changes against a team fighting for a top four place and they want to dock us points for jeopardising the integrity of the league.
— Annemarie Dray (@Anna__Dray) May 12, 2021
Of course, Solskjær had already predicted that something of this sort would occur when the congested fixture list was first announced and as such took anticipatory bail.
All in all, if United do beat Liverpool in their next meeting, it will certainly be an intriguing affair, with the Merseyside Reds reduced to competing for the Europa Conference League position instead.