Premier League 2018-19: 3 takeaways from Liverpool's 3-1 win against Manchester United
The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United is one of the oldest in the Premier League. It has consistently produced electrifying matches, and the fans' passionate support for their team gives an added element of intrigue to the match-up.
Yesterday, both the sides needed a victory but for two different reasons. Jurgen Klopp's side looked to go top of the table while Jose Mourinho's men wanted to close the gap on the top four. A lot was at stake for either team, which ensured a thrilling encounter at Anfield.
Liverpool looked sharp right from the word go, with the front three linking well to create problems for United's back five. It was all about United's defense against Liverpool's attack in the opening quarter of the match.
The Reds got the reward for their efforts as Sadio Mane latched on to a Fabinho pass to glide past David De Gea. However, against the run of play, the Red Devils went level as an Alisson save fell to Lingard, who slotted home from a close range.
It was a half dominated mainly by the home side, but Mourinho's men came back after the goal and kept better possession of the ball.
The home side were again at their frantic best as the second half began, with Firmino forcing De Gea to make a brilliant diving save. The introduction of Shaqiri was a game changer as the Swiss scored twice to kill the game for Manchester United.
The result has kept Liverpool's unbeaten run going and moved them back to the top of the table. Here are the three biggest talking points from the game:
#3 Regaining the top spot in style
Jurgen Klopp's side had a clear motive before the game: to win and go top of the table. It didn't take long for the home side to make their intention clear as the front three along with Fabinho in the midfield triggered waves of Liverpool attacks.
Manchester United's defenders were pegged back for most of the first half, with Fabinho's chipped pass finding Mane - who beautifully received with his chest and calmly slotted home to draw first blood in the game.
The Reds saw most of the ball and got numerous chances to double their lead. The midfield was pressing high, which caused the Red Devils to make mistakes and give possession away quickly.
Then an Alisson mistake allowed United a route back to the game, with all to play for heading into the second half. Klopp would have been disappointed not taking the lead into the break after such a dominating display.
But they made amends superbly in the second half as the substitute Shaqiri scored twice to ensure all three points for the home side. This was the first time Liverpool had defeated United in seven matches, and it couldn't have come in more stylish fashion.