Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez, and Mohamed Salah all scored twice as Liverpool hammered Manchester United 7-0 at Anfield in their Premier League clash on Sunday.
It was a new record set by Jurgen Klopp’s men as the margin of victory in the fixture between the two most successful clubs in English football was a new high.
“It was one of the best performances for a long, long time. Everybody saw what the boys can be,” said Klopp.
“The second half couldn’t start better. From that moment on we were flying and it was really difficult to play against us.”
For Manchester United, it was an evening to forget as it was a record-equalling defeat for the club in a competitive game and their worst loss in 92 years.
With 14 points adrift of league leaders Arsenal in third, United’s hopes of a first league title in about 10 years remain very slim.
“The result is quite obvious. It is unprofessional,” said United manager Erik ten Hag.
“There are many things which make me angry. To concede so easy the goals is definitely one.”
Liverpool has appeared to be a shadow of the fantastic team that came close to winning a historic quadruple of trophies last season.
However, their recent form which has seen them record four wins and a draw in their last five games in the Premier League has helped them get back in the fight for a spot in next season’s Champions League. The side currently sits 5th on the log just three points behind Tottenham and with a game in hand.
“Everybody has to feel us. Everybody has to know we are still around,” added Klopp. “That’s what we have to be from now on”
Liverpool ruthless at Anfield
Cody Gakpo broke the deadlock just two minutes before halftime.
The Dutch international cut inside and struck low into the far corner after Andy Robertson split up the United defense to play him in.
Just after the start of the second half, the Reds added a second goal when Harvey Elliott capitalized on errors by Luke Shaw and Casemiro to cross the ball into the middle of the box where Nunez headed it in before Gakpo started and finished a counterattack to make it 3-0 in the 50th minute.
Manchester United completely lost their composure in the final part of the game, as they would go on to concede four more goals in just 30 minutes. Salah scored in the 66th minute, firing home a volley that hit the crossbar on its way in, and Nunez added his second goal of the day 10 minutes later by backheeling in a cross.
Salah scored his second of the evening with an effortless tap-in after more poor United defense, a goal that makes him Liverpool’s all-time leading Premier League scorer with 129 goals.
“It’s very special, I can’t lie,” said Salah. “This record was in my mind since I came here. After my first season I was always chasing the record.”
Roberto Firmino, who seemed to be having his last season with the Reds, came off the bench to have the final say as he slotted a remarkable seventh two minutes from time.
United carried away by League Cup success
After the humiliating defeat, defender Luke Shaw admitted that Manchester United’s level of play has declined since winning the League Cup.
United won the League Cup after defeating Newcastle United in the final last week, giving them their first trophy since 2017.
“It was completely unacceptable,” Shaw told MUTV. “Our standards have clearly dropped since we won that trophy, and in the last couple of games we haven’t been our normal selves.
“We need to find the good things we were doing before and bring them back because this hurts a lot, and it’s really unacceptable what we did in that second half, we showed no personality and no mentality.”
Former United captain and Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane said the players got carried away by their League Cup success.
“I see the players come here today in the second half, having a laugh and a joke. They’re 1-0 down at Anfield and they’re having a laugh and a joke with the Anfield staff, goalkeeping coach. I don’t like to see all that rubbish.
“I think that circus can creep back in, and the manager and senior players have to keep an eye on that.”