Liverpool was everything Manchester United wasn’t: physical, sleek, passionate, and well-coordinated.
Anyone who looked at the form tables before the game knew Liverpool was the favorite. Ralf Rangnick himself stated that his team would have to be at their absolute best to even get a point. Regardless of form or league status, the away fans in the Anfield Road End are hoping for a show of passion, grit, and determination.
If their team is going to lose, they should at least appear to be trying. That memo must have gone unnoticed by the Manchester United players.
Tough road to the top 4 for Manchester United
It is very hard to identify the Manchester United squad that wants to compete for a position in the top 4. A squad that defends like this does not deserve to be competing in Europe’s elite league, as Rangnick observed following their 3-2 win over Norwich City on Saturday. As Liverpool glided past United’s back five on Merseyside, there was more evidence to back up his assertion.
United’s 5-0 setback at Old Trafford earlier this season was embarrassing, and while the 4-0 defeat was not as bad, the performance was not much better.
At times, Liverpool teased United, with Thiago Alcantara at the heart of everything they did well. Rangnick could only hope to have a player of such caliber available for his final five games in charge of United.
Rangnick’s post-game assessment of Manchester United
Rangnick believes that if United’s recruitment in the forthcoming transfer windows is done correctly, they might be challenging at the top again in a few years. The information presented in recent weeks implies the opposite.
Rangnick’s use of a back five, which included Phil Jones for only his second league start of the season and had only rehearsed once in training, was a risky move, and it backfired.
He didn’t receive the defensive stability he wanted as United was ripped apart on Liverpool’s first push forward when Luis Diaz scored, and the formation surrendered any attacking danger he might have hoped for.
The visitors had their best run of the game in the second half after switching to a back four and introducing Jadon Sancho, but Liverpool’s quality quickly shined through as Sadio Mane put the game to bed.
But these players can’t hide behind an unfamiliar system when they’re missing the essentials of energy, aggression, and toughness.
It was a game that validated all that everyone already knew about the current state of these two squads. Liverpool is battling on all fronts for an unprecedented quadruple, while United is fighting for a place in Europe.
The inevitable change of Manchester United management
It is very difficult to find and execute a magic fix for the possible new manager of the red devils, Erik ten Hag. The decision has not been finalized yet. Things could take up so much time to straighten out.
Though there are still chances for Manchester United to climb onto the top four, they seem dead inside by the way they carry the game. They almost play as if the season is already over. Things could go possibly go south in their game against Arsenal and Chelsea who are just above them on the table position. Manchester United would probably be facing a dismal end to the season if they are not playing seriously.