Ten Hag made the risky choice to bench captain Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo, and he was rewarded with a performance that dispelled the crisis surrounding Manchester United while keeping Liverpool winless so far this year.
After 16 minutes, Jadon Sancho rightfully gave United the lead with excellent control and calmness, and eight minutes into the second half, Marcus Rashford capitalised on an Anthony Martial pass to break free and beat Alisson.
With nine minutes left, Mo Salah scrambled in a header to set up a frantic finish, but United held on to give Ten Hag the kind of victory he needs to leave his mark at Old Trafford.
After losing to Brentford by a score of 4-0 and suffering a home loss to Brighton on the first day of the season, Manchester United was at their lowest point. And even though hundreds demonstrated against the Glazers’ ownership before the game, and the chanting persisted throughout, United’s supporters rallied behind a display of intense energy and dedication that frequently intimidated Liverpool.
New £60m signing Before the game, Casemiro was introduced in front of the Stretford End, and how he must have loved the electrifying atmosphere at Old Trafford as United turned the misery of their terrible first two league performances around.
Liverpool extends their poor run as Man United found their 1st win under Erik ten Hag
Liverpool defeated United 5-0 here and 4-0 at Anfield last season, but United displayed more vigour and aggression in the opening 10 minutes of this game than in either of those dismal outings.
Anthony Elanga struck the post after sprinting free for Ten Hag, who used pace to exploit Liverpool’s strong defensive line. Ten Hag could have been up even before Sancho scored.
Every difficulty was met by United with a fervent response. With a forceful challenge on Mohamed Salah right away, Lisandro Martinez set the tone for the game.
Liverpool’s season-opening struggles continued as they were dominated from the start by a motivated Manchester United.
Injury issues plague Jurgen Klopp’s team, and Darwin Nunez’s moment of insanity that earned him a red card against Crystal Palace denied Liverpool the height in attack they might have needed to take advantage of Martinez’s diminutive stature. However, they received exactly what they deserved in this situation: nothing.
When James Milner and Jordan Henderson were left behind as United sprinted into challenges and fiercely competitively contested every ball, Klopp’s decision to leave out Fabinho seemed even more perplexing.
Virgil van Dijk’s bad start to the season continued, making Liverpool’s defence susceptible, notably with a slack defensive play that led to Sancho’s goal.
Liverpool has too much talent and Klopp won’t be in a panic, but two points from their opening three league games is a cruelly disappointing total, and it’s difficult to argue that they deserved more.
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