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5 Manchester United players who underperformed against Liverpool | Premier League 2021-22

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
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Sushan Chakraborty

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s optimistic Manchester United hosted Jurgen Klopp’s in-form Liverpool side at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday.

Given the firepower the two teams possessed, it was chalked down to being a closely-contested affair. In the end, it turned out to be one of the most one-sided affairs in the history of this iconic rivalry.

Thanks to a Mohamed Salah double and a goal each from Diogo Jota and Naby Keita, Liverpool found themselves 4-0 up at half-time. Salah kept up his inhuman form in the second half as well to complete a well-deserved hat-trick, sealing a memorable 5-0 win for Liverpool on Sunday.

As you may have guessed already, almost all Manchester United players massively underperformed in their clash against Liverpool. However, the five we are mentioning today deserve special attention.

Here are United’s top five underperformers in their 5-0 defeat to the Reds.


#5 Victor Lindelof

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

With Rafael Varane ruled out, Manchester United went with Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire at the back. Unfortunately, Lindelof failed to fill the gap left by Varane and was exploited easily by Liverpool’s world-class forwards.

Although not the worst defender of the lot, Lindelof did nothing to justify his inclusion. He was chasing shadows for the entire match and did not give goalkeeper David de Gea the assurance he needed.

Maguire and Lindelof at the back 😭#MUNLIV https://t.co/jBZw9kX81h

First, the Sweden international failed to stop the ball from coming to Diego Jota, which led to Liverpool’s second goal, practically killing the game.

Later, just before the half-time whistle, he lost Jota once again, which allowed the Portugal international to assist Salah for Liverpool’s fourth.


#4 Luke Shaw

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

A month back, Manchester United fans were more than ecstatic with the performances of Luke Shaw. He was dominating the left-hand side of the pitch, both offensively and defensively, looking prepared to have a memorable season.

But against Liverpool, he lost all his bearings and was the second-worst defender on the pitch for the Red Devils.

Luke Shaw probably looking at Ronaldo in disgust saying “I might’ve as well eaten that damn cake“

In the 13th-minute, Shaw was caught up in a mix-up with Maguire and then failed to stop Trent Alexander-Arnold from putting the cross in. Jota swooped in to slot the ball home for Liverpool’s second goal.

Shaw then lost Keita, whose cross allowed Salah to open his account on Sunday, before being caught out of position for Salah’s second.

It was a horror show for Shaw on Sunday afternoon, and the Englishman must find a way to make amends in the games to come.

#3 Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

In all honesty, Cristiano Ronaldo was not one of Manchester United’s worst players in their 5-0 drubbing against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. However, given the stature of the player, we cannot help but hold him accountable for not being a bigger influence.

Thanks to Liverpool’s onslaught, Manchester United's midfielders were not able to feed juicy through balls to Ronaldo, which nullified the Portuguese’s threat. Without the delivery, Ronaldo cut a lonely and frustrated figure in the top half of the pitch, failing to make a telling impact.

Furious by his inability to turn the tide in his team’s favor, Ronaldo was seen booting the ball into Curtis Jones. His act of negligence earned him a yellow, but it could have easily been worse for the legendary number 7.

He did hit the back of the net once in the second half, but his chop-and-shoot was ruled out by an unforgiving VAR call.

Ronaldo is determined to win something with Manchester United this season. But judging by the way things are going, the Portuguese ace might have to settle for a lot less.


#2 Harry Maguire

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was one of the worst players on the pitch against Liverpool. Without Varane, the onus was on him to lead Manchester United’s back-line. Unfortunately, he did nothing to justify the faith Solskjaer has in him.

Harry Maguire Today... 😭😭😭😭😭😭 https://t.co/iwmK9hiG2o

Maguire was out of position for Naby Keita’s opener and tangled with his teammate Luke Shaw to make way for Liverpool’s second. Even after these unforgivable mishaps, he failed to find his footing and was beaten easily by Salah for Liverpool’s third at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Maguire has become a liability for the Red Devils, and he must find a way to turn it around, sooner rather than later.


#1 Paul Pogba

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was left on the bench for Sunday’s blockbuster and was only introduced in the second half. The Frenchman probably could not have done much to overturn Liverpool’s 4-0 lead, but he surely could have kept himself from making it worse.

BREAKING Paul Pogba sent off for Man Utd with Naby Keita withdrawn on stretcher after challenge mirror.co.uk/sport/football… https://t.co/RHAYWrcv7x

Five minutes after coming on, Liverpool's midfielders pressed Pogba out of possession in the middle of the pitch, ultimately teeing up Salah for his hat-trick.

Finally, to add insult to injury, Pogba recklessly lunged at Naby Keita and got marching orders. Even the biggest Manchester United fans would not argue with the referee’s decision of showing the UEFA Nations League winner a straight red.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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