Liverpool 2 Man Utd 0. The Red Devils' lack of quality is jarring
But it’s time to stop laughing and back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side as they take on the undefeated Liverpool. Yes, back United against Liverpool.
Forget your hatred for the Old Trafford side just this once. If you need a reason, here’s one: there will be no end to the gloating from Reds fans all over the world if they manage to finish the season unbeaten.
It’s still four months until the end of the season but already, there are claims that this current Liverpool team are the greatest in the Premier League, and they haven’t even matched the achievements of United’s treble-winning side, Arsenal’s Invincibles or Man City’s centurions. The Reds’ fans have even hailed Jurgen Klopp as their greatest manager ever, and he hasn’t even won a Premier League title yet!
Just go onto Twitter and search the words “Liverpool greatest”. But before you do that, you might want to get a barf bag ready. And eye-wash.
And that’s just Twitter. We haven’t even taken into account the other social media platforms.
As a United fan, I understand that my team wouldn’t be considered a likely contender to score be the first this season to score a win against the Reds, and this sentiment is probably shared by my fellow Red Devils fans.
But what are the options? Tottenham Hotspur and Jose Mourinho had their chance last week but their bus broke down even before it could reach the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Leicester City have also failed, which could hint at Brendan Rodgers’ secret Liverpool-loving ways.
Arsenal have such a disjointed team that fixing all the plot holes in the latest Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker, seems an easier task. And does anyone believe that a Chelsea side lacking any superstars can achieve that?
Man City and Guardiola might want to prove a point or three, but the next time they face Liverpool would be in April, and that’s three more months of gloating from Liverpool fans. Also, Liverpool might secure the title by then, which means that Guardiola will probably be more focused on the Champions League.
So that leaves Manchester United, the only team that Liverpool hasn’t played and defeated this season, to end the Reds’ unbeaten run as well as to stop them winning the title without a single loss.
And as comical as Jesse Lingard and Co have been, they remain the only side to have taken points off Liverpool when they did so in October after coming so close to beating the Anfield outfit. Only poor marking from Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young (nothing new here) allowed Adam Lallana the space to hit a lucky equaliser late on.
On a more positive note, neither Rojo or Young are expected to play. The Argentinian appears to have been completely sidelined while the United captain has seen his spot usurped by the young Brandon Williams, which has led him to consider joining fellow outcasts Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan.
Perhaps, Young can provide one final contribution to the club he has served for nine years by taking Lingard with him, but I digress.
Williams, only 19, has impressed tremendously and is now considered the club’s first-choice left-back, even ahead of Luke Shaw. But he is hardly the only young player to have impressed this season, though. Fellow teenager Mason Greenwood, 18, has already netted 10 goals in all competitions. While it is unlikely Greenwood will start against Liverpool, he has learned plenty from Solskjaer – three of his four Premier League goals have been scored after coming on as a substitute.
They may just be starting their career now, but there’s an opportunity to secure their spot in United’s history books - by putting on a barnstorming performance to help their club end Liverpool’s unbeaten streak.
And it’s not just the youngsters who can do it. Senior players like Harry Maguire, who has come under-fire of late for his lethargic performances, and the often criticised Fred, can turn things around for themselves now.
So yes, Manchester United’s players can rise to the occasion the way they did in October when everyone thought the Reds would steamroll over them. And if they can go one better by beating Liverpool at Anfield, it will be so sweet that the season will probably be celebrated even if United misses out on a top-four spot.
And that feeling of euphoria doesn’t have to be experienced by only United fans. You can unite with us and indulge in it, too, as long as you aren’t a Liverpool supporter.
More importantly, a United win will shut those Liverpool fans up. At least until May.