Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United: 4 errors from Jose Mourinho that cost United the game
It was a hard night for Manchester United. Of all the places that the Red Devils would loathe to lose, perhaps Anfield would be the number one. It is also the place where Manchester United have been difficult to defeat in recent times - United had lost just one of the last seven trips to Anfield before Sunday!
However, this season, the tables were turned and the game was important to both clubs for quite different reasons. A win would have put Liverpool top of the table, while for United, it meant closing the gap to the top four.
Mourinho opted for 10 changes to the team that were defeated in midweek in the Champions League. He started with De Gea in goal, with Dalot, Darmian, Bailly, Lindelof and Young making up a back 5. In the middle, the Portuguese opted for Herrera and Matic, while up top, Lukaku continued to lead the line alongside Rashford and Lingard.
Manchester United were pegged back right from the start of play and endured a difficult first 20 minutes. Mane gave Liverpool the lead in the 24th minute, however, United rallied back to level the scores through Lingard in the 33rd minute, and ended the half stronger. Mourinho brought in Fellaini in place of Dalot at the start of the second half, as he switched to a back 4.
Liverpool continued to pile the pressure on United and it paid dividends in the 73rd minute as Shaqiri gave them the lead in the 73rd minute. Mourinho tried to have a go at it by bringing on Martial in place of Herrera, but Shaqiri took the game away from the Red Devils by scoring his second in the 80th minute.
Liverpool went on to win the game, while Jose had quite a few questions to answer because he made these 4 errors which cost Manchester United the game.
Mourinho opted for a 5-2-3 formation, hoping for the pace and power of the front three to counter Liverpool's stellar defence. However, he lost the battle in the midfield by opting for two players against the three of Liverpool. Herrera and Matic were continuously overrun by Keita, Wijnaldum and Fabinho.
Herrera was left with a lot to do defensively because Matic stayed too deep and had to spend most of his time on or near the box. The Serbian could only watch as the Liverpool midfield ran past him with ease and he provided minimal cover for the United defence. Had it not been for the brilliance of Bailly, United would have been in further trouble in the first half itself. Herrera, on the other hand, was overburdened with defensive responsibilities and it meant that he could hardly concentrate on the attacking side of his game. The biggest benefactor of this situation was Fabinho.
The Brazilian had acres of spaces in the opposition half and he dictated the terms with comfort in the first half. Mourinho did change to a 4-3-3 at the start of the second half, however, it did not work to his benefit because of his team selection.