Premier League, Anfield
January 19, 2020
Goals: Van Dijk 15′, Salah 90+3′Oxlade-Chamberlain’s second starting chance
As was the case at Spurs, Ox was replaced just after the hour mark.
But this was a much-improved performance, important tactically and on the front foot in possession, and his frustration after going to the bench wasn’t needed in this instance, other than for wanting to remain involved.
It was Ox who won the telling corner for the opening goal with his industry and running; and Ox who created several presentable openings with positive passes and bursts into the final third.
With a little more fortune he may have scored in the second half, but it was still a good showing.
Perhaps, though, it just wasn’t the absolutely dominant display he wanted, and which might have prolonged his run in the side.We don’t know what’s a foul anymore
OK, confusion reigns. Van Dijk was penalised, in the end, for a foul on David de Gea to prevent Roberto Firmino scoring his first Anfield league goal of the season.
The referee didn’t think it was a foul initially, but the VAR was certain it was and expressed surprise that it wasn’t immediately blown up for.
None of Graeme Souness, Roy Keane or Gary Neville thought it was a foul, two of which have rarely if ever given anything 50-50 Liverpool’s way.
Yet there seems an inevitability in the modern age that every time the goalkeeper is touched, the whistle blows accordingly.
In truth, it would have been a total shock if the goal was allowed to stand, such is the level of protection stoppers are usually afforded—and it allowed Victor Lindelof (for losing the ball) and De Gea (for not making the subsequent save) to escape further scrutiny.The gulf, the gap
If United thought they were doing well enough to warrant being only a goal behind at the break, the Reds came out determined to rectify that misconception.
Within 10 minutes of the second half it could have been two, three or even 4-0, as the Reds clocked up seven shots without reply in a dominant period where United simply couldn’t touch them.
Jordan Henderson went closest as he smashed a shot against the post, but Mane and Oxlade-Chamberlain also had good chances and Firmino left players sprawled on the floor with a brilliant twisting, turning run in the box.
In that period of the game, the distance between what the two clubs are capable of at this moment in time was made abundantly clear, both on the ball and off it while trying to regain possession.
And while the scoreline remained close, the reality was of the Reds being in a different league to their rivals.Salah finally makes his mark
Mo Salah should have had about four goals—most particularly a close-range effort in the second half which he somehow steered wide after an Andy Robbo cross.
The Egyptian hadn’t scored previously against United and, in the buildup to the game, joked that it was because he was absent on the day that the only game the Reds hadn’t won this season was at Old Trafford.
After a somewhat tight and tense end to the game, Mo made sure none of that mattered: a great show of pace, strength and composure to hold off Daniel James and nutmeg De Gea for 2-0.
That’s 11 league goals for the season, level with Sadio as our top scorer, and his value to the team continues to be shown.“And now you’re gonna believe us…”
The Anfield crowd decided this was the day we’d let it be known: we feel this is the year, this time we’re going to complete the job.
Of course there’s an element of fear in some parts about tempting fate, giving ammunition for any potential errors, but the truth is this team just don’t look capable of losing so much ground. This is very different to 2014.
Sixteen points clear is an enormous gap at this stage, and the form and determination remains entirely intact.
? "And now you're gonna believe us…" pic.twitter.com/SCqqZXha0k
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) January 19, 2020
Liverpool are back in action on Thursday night, away to Wolves, in what will be an exceptionally tough game, likely harder than the away trip to Spurs was.
Until then, though, we can bask in being 30 clear of United, 30 short of sealing the title.
Now you’re gonna believe us.
Alisson Becker claimed a memorable assist as Mohamed Salah sealed Liverpool's 2-0 win over Manchester United - watch the goal now in our free video.
In the final seconds of a hard-fought Premier League clash at Anfield, the Reds goalkeeper released Salah to race away and slot past David de Gea, ensuring a 21st win of the campaign for the leaders.
See the brilliant strike - and the celebrations that followed it - in the clip above.
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And while Klopp would have prefered “we scored more” to prevent tension and nerves creeping in, he was full of praise after an outstanding performance from his side.
“Good game, really good game. We were dominant for big periods of the game and we played outstandingly well,” he told reporters after the game.
“We don’t take it for granted. Either you saw or you don’t score. Even if you miss a chance, you can take positives from it. These situations are outstanding, I’m not frustrated. I would prefer we scored more so it’s not nervous but we are the clear, deserved winner.”
There was also a nod to the Anfield faithful, who broke out into “we’re going to win the league” after the final whistle, and Liverpool fans around the world, with the collective “passion” something he does not take for granted
“I don’t take [the Anfield atmosphere] for granted. There is a lot of passion around the world based on Liverpool Football Club,” he continued.
“It’s why I really love the atmosphere in the stands and on the pitch. If we didn’t play as well, the atmosphere wouldn’t be like this. If the atmosphere wasn’t like this, we wouldn’t play as well.”
Liverpool now have a swift turnaround with a trip to Wolves awaiting on Thursday evening and focus will no doubt remain solely on clinching another three points.
Jurgen Klopp will not deter fans from singing “we’re gonna win the league,” but insists his Liverpool squad must only focus on the task at hand.
Sunday’s 2-0 win over Man United marked the moment, for many in the stands at Anfield, that the title dream became an undeniable, likely reality.
Liverpool only need 30 more points from the next possible 48 to guarantee their status as champions, having taken 46 from the previous 48 on offer.
And as the Kop lauded Klopp’s squad with chants of “now you’re gonna believe us, we’re gonna win the league,” it served as a reasonable response from the manager—”as long as they do their job as well.”
“They can sing whatever they want, apart from my name, before the game is finished. I’m not here to dictate what they have to sing,” he told reporters after the game.
“If our fans would not be in a good mood now, that would be really strange.
“The only thing I can tell you is that we are here to work, it’s as easy as that.
“It’s a very positive atmosphere even in interviews after the game, but I have to keep myself really concentrated, because I know already that on Thursday we play against Wolves.
“That’s the truth. To be honest, I’m only interested in that game and nothing else.
“But, again, of course they are allowed: to dream, to sing, whatever they want. As long as they do their job as well in the moment where we play, all fine.
“We will not be part of that party yet but it’s no problem. We know our job.”
That “very positive atmosphere” should remain throughout the rest of the campaign, because as much as the players cannot risk becoming complacent, neither can those in the stands.
Liverpool still need 10 more wins, and Klopp will be relying on the backing of the Kop to push Liverpool to the title.
Comment and Analysis @ghostgoalMatch report and highlights as Liverpool extend their lead at the top by beating Manchester United 2-0 at Anfield
Last Updated: 20/01/20 11:20am2:59 Highlights: Liverpool defeat Manchester United to go 16 points clear Highlights: Liverpool defeat Manchester United to go 16 points clear
Virgil van Dijk's header helped Liverpool on their way to a 2-0 win over Manchester United at Anfield as they extended their lead at the top to 16 points.
Jurgen Klopp's side had two further goals ruled out before the interval and upped the intensity again in the second half before Mohamed Salah's goal added gloss to the win late on.
The failure to find the second goal until stoppage time made for a nervy finale and United had their moments in the second half with Anthony Martial going close, but there was to be no equaliser.
United do remain the only team to take points off Liverpool this season but - without the injured Marcus Rashford - there was to be no repeat here for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.Player ratings
Liverpool: Alisson (7), Alexander-Arnold (7), Gomez (7), Van Dijk (8), Robertson (7), Henderson (8), Wijnaldum (8), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Salah (7), Firmino (7), Mane (6).
Subs: Lallana (6), Fabinho (6), Origi (6).
Man Utd: De Gea (6), Wan-Bissaka (4), Lindelof (6), Maguire (5), Shaw (7), Williams (5), Fred (7), Matic (4), Pereira (6), Martial (6), James (6).
Subs: Mata (6), Greenwood (6), Dalot (6).
Man of the match: Jordan Henderson.
United had made a promising start too but their early endeavour was soon undermined when they conceded from a corner for the eighth time in the Premier League this season.How Liverpool won it
Trent Alexander-Arnold's delivery from the right found the head of Van Dijk, who had the run on Brandon Williams and Harry Maguire to power the ball beyond David de Gea.Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring as Liverpool marched on at Anfield
The clash between goalscorer and goalkeeper was reprised amid some controversy midway through the first half when Liverpool thought they had doubled their advantaged.
De Gea went up for a high ball after Salah had misdirected his shot, but the United goalkeeper dropped the ball inside the six-yard box under pressure from Van Dijk.
Sadio Mane gathered possession and fed Roberto Firmino, who curled the ball beautifully into the corner only for a VAR review to disallow it for Van Dijk's robust challenge.
By this point, United's flow of counter-attacks were beginning to dry up as the Anfield crowd pushed their team on and the Liverpool advances began to overwhelm the away side.
Georginio Wijnaldum also thought he had found the second goal after latching onto Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's measured through-ball but was correctly adjudged to be just offside.
Andreas Pereira almost had United level against the run of play but he was stretching to reach Aaron Wan-Bissaka's centre and could only divert the ball wide of the post.
At the other end, Mane had a wonderful opportunity to extend Liverpool's lead but his left-footed effort when racing onto Salah's pass was kept out by the right boot of De Gea.
Liverpool came out with even greater intent in the second half and Salah should have scored from Robertson's left-wing cross but could not get the right contact on the ball.
Jordan Henderson then produced a brilliant left-footed shot that was superbly tipped onto the post by De Gea as Liverpool continued to sustain attack after attack.
Jurgen Klopp named the same Liverpool team that beat Tottenham last time out with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain retaining his place in midfield. The interesting changes were on the bench where Fabinho returned to the squad for the first time since November, while Joel Matip was fit enough to make the squad for the first time since October.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stuck with a back four rather than reverting to the back five that secured a point against Liverpool at Anfield – but with a twist. Brandon Williams was pushed further forwards with Luke Shaw coming in at left-back. The big loss was that of the scorer from that first meeting with Marcus Rashford ruled out due to a back complaint.
There was a warning for Liverpool when Fred fired wide and the big chance for United came when Martial blazed over from a good position just before the hour mark.
With the result in the balance, United pushed hard to level things up with Juan Mata and Mason Greenwood being introduced but the clear-cut opening never arrived.
Instead, it was Salah who had the final say, scoring his first goal against Manchester United after racing onto Alisson's clearance up the field and slotting the ball beyond De Gea.Mohamed Salah scored a late second for Liverpool
United and Solskjaer will take heart in a spirited effort. For Liverpool and Klopp, they will take the win and the points that edge them that little bit closer to that long-awaited Premier League title.What the managers said...
Jurgen Klopp: "Big relief. I was really happy with 85 to 90 per cent of the game. It was brilliant. We dominated the game. I didn't like the last ten minutes of the first half but I have learned to take it because the energy level of the boys on the pitch is incredible.
"After half-time, we came out and should have decided the game in that point. United obviously has quality and they ended up putting us under some pressure, playing some football, and we had to defend. We didn't use our possession well enough and the game stays open.
"Everybody should celebrate the situation apart from us. Nothing has changed. We have exactly the same situation, plus three points. It is great, wonderful, unbelievable, but nothing has changed. I will tell you when it feels different. So far, it feels exactly the same."5:27 Jurgen Klopp was happy with the way his side dominated Manchester United Jurgen Klopp was happy with the way his side dominated Manchester United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "You are never happy when you lose a game. First goal, it's disappointing to concede from a set piece. We don't deal with that well enough. I thought we weathered the storm well at the start of the second half and for the last half an hour we were excellent.
"We had the majority of the possession in the second half, pushed them back and created chances. Big chances. We created the pressure. I think they looked nervy. Then after, we send everyone up to get that equaliser and they get that goal."Opta stats
The games keep coming for these two teams. Liverpool are back in Premier League action against Wolves at Molineux on Thursday before facing Shrewsbury away in the FA Cup on Sunday. Their game in hand in the Premier League also comes away from home and will be played on January 29 against West Ham at the London Stadium.
Manchester United also have three more games to play before January is through - in three different competitions. There is home game against Burnley at Old Trafford on Wednesday before an FA Cup fourth round clash against either Tranmere or Watford next weekend. The second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City is on January 29.Win £250,000 on Tuesday!
FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the Super 6 jackpot for the sixth time this season on Tuesday.
Liverpool edged out Manchester United 2-0 at Anfield to go 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League table on Sunday.
Virgil van Dijk thumped the Reds into the lead on 14 minutes when he powered Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner beyond David de Gea.
Roberto Firmino had an effort ruled out by VAR soon after, while Jordan Henderson watched a strike pushed onto the post by De Gea in the second half.
The visitors pressed for an equaliser in the final stages, but the home side made certain of maximum points in the third minute of stoppage-time when Alisson Becker sent Mohamed Salah through on goal – and the Egyptian duly sent Liverpool 16 points in front with a low finish.
Liverpool named an unchanged line-up, electing to field the same starting XI that took to the field in last weekend’s 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur.
However, Fabinho and Joel Matip were back on the substitutes’ bench after recovering from their respective injury issues.
With Liverpool’s nearest challengers in the table both dropping points over the course of the weekend, a raucous atmosphere inside Anfield greeted kick off as the hosts set about strengthening their grip at the summit.
United, though, were so far the only team to prevent the Reds from winning in their previous 21 top-flight outings in 2019-20.
Nevertheless, the home team made the start they craved when Van Dijk crashed in the opening goal with a header from a corner in the 14th minute following an even start.
United required the intervention of Luke Shaw and then VAR to deny the Reds a second soon after.
The visiting defender produced a last-gasp challenge to prevent Sadio Mane a clear strike on goal. A Firmino effort was then chalked off by officials in Stockley Park after it was deemed Van Dijk had impeded De Gea in the build-up.
Georginio Wijnaldum also had the ball in the net when he finished neatly from an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain through ball; however, celebrations were cut short by the raised flag of the referee’s assistant.
United fashioned an opportunity to draw level as the interval approached when Aaron Wan-Bissaka touched an Anthony Martial ball across the face of goal, but Andreas Pereira couldn’t reach it inside the six-yard box.
At the other end, Salah sent Mane bounding into the area. De Gea repelled his low drive with his right boot, ensuring Liverpool’s advantage remained at one goal at the interval.
The Reds picked up where they left off as the second period got under way – and they should have been further ahead inside two minutes of the re-start; however, Salah miscued when Andy Robertson’s low delivery arrived at his feet.
Either side, Henderson’s drive was blocked by Harry Maguire and Mane hoisted over from inside the area.
Liverpool’s captain was then left clutching his head in his hands as De Gea tipped his run-and-shot onto the post, with the hosts coming closer and closer to a second.
Indeed, the Reds registered seven attempts at their opponent’s goal in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Fred did threaten when a United counter resulted in the midfielder prodding wide of Alisson's near post from just inside the box.
Martial had an even better opening on 59, but slashed well wide of the frame of the goal after collecting Pereira’s pass.
Mane then slid a low effort narrowly wide of the upright before Adam Lallana replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Having weathered the early second-half pressure on their goal, United were by now giving Liverpool something more to consider defensively as they probed in search of a leveller.
With just under 10 minutes left on the clock, Mane and Firmino made way for Divock Origi and Fabinho as a frenetic finale ensued.
But it was to be Liverpool’s day as Alisson sprang a counter-attack from a visitors’ corner, sending Salah clean through to finish and increase Jürgen Klopp’s side lead in the game and in the table.
Liverpool FC Women secured an important 1-0 win over Bristol City on Sunday afternoon to move off the foot of the Women's Super League table.
Rachel Furness’ first-half goal was ultimately enough for three points for the Reds after goalkeeper Anke Preuss saved a penalty around the hour mark.
Those moments earned a first victory of the 2019-20 league campaign for Vicky Jepson’s team, who therefore leapfrogged City on goal difference as they aim to climb away from the threat of relegation.
Liverpool made a confident start to the clash at Stoke Gifford Stadium and were inches away from taking the lead within two minutes of kick-off.
Furness’ precise pass through the middle of the opposition defence allowed Rinsola Babajide to line up a low strike across the goalkeeper from the edge of the box that clipped the right post and bounced away.
But Jepson’s side did not have to wait much longer for a crucial breakthrough.
With 13 minutes on the clock, Melissa Lawley found space on the left-hand side and when her shot from the angle caused a scramble in front of the goal, Furness kept a cool head at the back post as the ball fell kindly and whipped it back into the net for 1-0.
Babajide might have doubled that lead soon after but, having broken in behind from the wing, the final finish lacked power and was an easy take for Sophie Baggaley.
Liverpool were threatening persistently but they were served a warning on 27 minutes.
Olivia Chance carried the ball forward to a shooting position outside the area and sent a stunning dipping shot over the reach of Preuss – only to see it crash off the upright and away.
Furness swiped another effort narrowly wide of the post as the first half ended with Jepson’s charges deservedly in front.
There was a more passive nature to the contest initially after the restart – but a frantic three-minute period from the hour mark proved pivotal to the final result.
Ebony Salmon had already looped a long-range hit over the crossbar and drawn a smart save from Preuss from the left before the hosts were awarded a penalty for a foul inside the box.
Charlie Wellings stepped up from 12 yards but was denied by the Liverpool goalkeeper, who moved in the right direction to push away the spot-kick and was alert to the rebound as the Reds eventually cleared.
At the other end, a good stop by Baggaley thwarted Babajide when the forward drove off the right wing and fired a shot towards the opposite top corner.
City kept pushing for an equaliser that would have had significant implications for the standings, while Furness saw an outstanding long-range strike cannon away off the bar.
And Liverpool preserved their slender lead in the time remaining to clinch a vital victory in the Women’s Super League.
Liverpool FC Women: Preuss, Jane, Bradley-Auckland, Fahey, Robe, Bailey, Roberts (Murray, 77), Furness, Charles (Hodson, 69), Lawley (Sweetman-Kirk, 90), Babajide.
Unused substitutes: Heeps, Clarke, Rodgers, Purfield.
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Kickoff at Anfield is 4.30pm (GMT), the referee is Craig Pawson.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum; Salah, Mane, Firmino
Man United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Williams, Andreas, Fred, Matic, James, Martial
Subs: Romero, Bailly, Dalot, Jones, Mata, Lingard, Greenwood? Enjoying our independent Liverpool FC content? Support what we do, get an advert-free experience and enter exclusive competitions with This Is Anfield Premium. Try free for 30 days.
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City dropping two more points means Liverpool are 13 clear of their closest challengers with two games in hand, the first of which comes at home to United.
United are the only team not to suffer defeat to Klopp’s side in the league this season, with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford back in October the sole blemish on the campaign so far.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum; Salah, Mane, Firmino
Man United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Matic; Williams, Pereira, James; Martial
Substitutes: Romero, Bailly, Dalot, Jones, Mata, Lingard, Greenwood