Manchester United suffered their joint-worst league defeat in their history as they succumbed to a 7-0 riot against Liverpool at Anfield.
Erik ten Hag’s side, especially in the second-half, looked like a shadow of the outfit that as early as last week appeared to be back to the United of the old days.
Numerous things went wrong for the team during this fateful away game and isolating just three is vital to understanding how the whole thing may not have been that unpredictable after all-
1. No Technical Security
United were sloppy on the night and opened the door for Liverpool to build direct and fast attacks. Their failure to retain possession in the middle of the park kept inviting pressure from the hosts.
Simply put, no player in their midfield was capable of providing the cover and safety that is integral to a central-defensive midfielder in the modern game.
Further, they weren’t comfortable carrying the ball and getting it out of their defensive third; the pressure and goals kept piling up as a result.
2. De Gea Absent
Much has been said of David De Gea as of recent, especially some of the more “elite” saves he has made. The all-time cleansheet accolade is certainly a testament to his quality.
Still, in this game the Spaniard might as well have not been in the front of the net at all, considering that 7 out of Liverpool’s 8 shots comfortably landed at the back of the net.
While some of the finishes were certainly exceptional, De Gea is heavily to blame for the massive defeat.
11 games in a little over a month were bound to catch up to the squad sooner or later but against Liverpool, it appeared as if the whole weight of the tiredness came collapsing on the players all at once.
The likes of Bruno Fernandes appeared both physically and mentally exhausted and United’s work rate off the ball was that of a bunch of players who were tired of existing.
Against a side like Liverpool, this was a recipe for disaster. Having said that Ten Hag will be happy that this damage was not done in front of the Barca games and the Newcastle United final.