Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Atalanta show Liverpool 2 ways to attack Manchester United in 3-2 defeat

Atalanta fell to a 3-2 loss against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. Despite the defeat, they showed Liverpool two ways to get at their rivals.

Liverpool will have had a keen eye on Manchester United vs Atalanta. After all, the Reds will be in the Italians’ place come Sunday.

What they saw was, in the end, a terrific fightback from United. They went in 2-0 at halftime but rallied in the second half to completely turn the game around. As a Liverpool fan, it wasn’t a fun watch.

But that’s not to say there weren’t signs that Liverpool can really get at United this weekend. Atalanta showed two ways in the first-half alone – ways that Jurgen Klopp’s team can excel at.

Atalanta trouble United

Atalanta’s bright start was primarily built on being able to overwhelm United. Importantly, they created overloads on the flanks.

The first goal came that way. Davide Zappacosta managed to get in behind United’s defence and pull the ball back for Mario Pasalic to score.

By the time Zappacosta was with the ball in the box, Marcus Rashford was still 35 yards from his goal. The forward just didn’t track his man back, allowing for that overload.

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It’s the kind of goal that will really give Liverpool confidence for the weekend. After all, much of their attacking player comes from those same overloads. Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah will all interchange on the right-hand side come Sunday – that will worry United.

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

As will Atalanta’s second goal. It was a header from Merih Demiral that he didn’t really need to work for. Harry Maguire was a step short in trying to compete for the ball.

Now, teams do concede from set-pieces from time to time. The worrying thing for United, though, is that they conceded a similar goal to Leicester City last weekend.

Once again, it was Maguire caught short, this time at the back post. If their captain doesn’t improve quickly, the likes of Virgil van Dijk will thrive.

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