Times are definitely a-changing. Well they’ve definitely changed. Liverpool visit Old Trafford on Sunday with the Reds 8 points clear at the top of the table and Manchester United in the bottom half. Given the dominance that United enjoyed under Sir Alex Ferguson and the mediocrity Liverpool endured during the same time, just 5 years ago this scenario would have been unthinkable. Before the international break Man United suffered a crushing defeat away at Newcastle United, losing 1-0 to a debut goal from Matty Longstaff. We take a look at 3 things Liverpool can learn from the Man United defeat.
Run at the defence
Manchester United looked incredibly shaky at the back whenever the Magpies picked the ball up and drove at their back line. Allan Saint-Maximin had the Red Devils defence scrambling on more than one occasion – United were at 6s and 7s trying to figure out whether to press or not and who should press, this confusion opened up spaces for other attackers. Mo Salah and Sadio Mane will be looking to exploit this frailty.
Marcus Rashford may have scored against Bulgaria over the international break but that is certainly a rarity – from open play at least. The England striker had a torrid time against Newcastle. His movement was as poor as the service to him. The Geordie defence was rarely tested by Rashford as he showed a lack of instinct throughout the game, never getting in front of his marker to win the vital touch.
Set piece woes
United have struggled to create from set pieces in recent games. When they were desperate for a goal against AZ Alkmaar, Rashford stepped up to deliver a late free kick into the box and he ballooned it into the stands. Against Newcastle, they managed to pick out Harry Maguire completely unmarked on the 6 yard box only to see the mega bucks defender nod the ball wide.
There is plenty to learn from the Man United defeat to Newcastle, the good thing is that none of it is anything to be worried about.