Liverpool have kept their top four hopes alive by beating bitter rivals Manchester United 4-2 at Old Trafford, with Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino (two) and Mohamed Salah on the scoresheet for the Reds.
Jurgen Klopp’s men fell behind to an early deflected Bruno Fernandes strike, but drew level through Jota’s clever flick minutes after seeing a penalty overturned by VAR.
Firmino ended his goal drought with an excellent header on the stroke of half time, before extending Liverpool’s lead with a poacher’s goal minutes after the restart.
Marcus Rashford presented the Red Devils with lifeline back into the game on 68 minutes, but Salah put the game beyond doubt with an emphatic finish in injury time.
It is a vital win for Liverpool in their quest for Champions League football as they beat their rivals away from home for the first time since 2014, as it is now back-to-back Old Trafford defeats for Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
Full Match details
Manchester United and Liverpool met for the third time this season following the 0-0 earlier on the year and the 3-2 win for United over their rivals in the four round of the FA Cup.
The game was originally meant to be played two weeks ago but due to fans protesting in the amidst of the European Super Cup the game was postponed with a new date set in play days later. Fast forward 14 days later and – as expected – fans gathered outside Old Trafford venting their anger at the owners of Manchester United, but despite the protests, the game went ahead.
The game ignited into life in the 10th minute when Fernandes gave the hosts the lead after some poor defending from Liverpool. The Portugal international wrapped a right-footed effort towards goal, but his strike took a huge deflection off Nat Phillips, diverting the ball in the wrong direction and past a helpless Alisson.
Liverpool were then awarded a penalty just before the half hour mark after referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot after Eric Bailly was adjudged to have fouled Phillips inside the box.
After a lengthy consultation with VAR – and having been sent over to the touchline monitor to review the challenge – the decision was overturned after replays showed that Bailly had made contact with ball before colliding with Phillips.
Liverpool scored a deserved equaliser in the 34th minute.
United failed to clear a corner, and Phillips showed good feet to spin in the box and squeeze off a low shot. Jota reacted with a clever back heel, diverting the ball past Dean Henderson to make it 1-1.
Klopp’s men’s second goal came from Firmino on the stroke of half-time after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s inch perfect free kick was met at the back post by the Brazilian striker, who panted a firm header past Henderson after some lax marking from Paul Pogba.
Firmino didn’t have to wait long to bag his second of the game, as within minutes of the start of the second half, the ball was put into back of the net again as United were punished for some sloppy defending. It all came when Luke Shaw made his way into midfield before been tackled by Alexander-Arnold. The right back aimed for goal, and Henderson should have made a routine save, but he spilled the ball straight into the path of Firmino, who tapped home from close range.
In the 68th minute, Rashford gave United a lifeline and a way back into the game after getting onto Edinson Cavani’s pass before rolling the ball past Alisson.
Substitute Mason Greenwood came so close to equalising for the Red Devils as both his shots on goal were blocked from close range. The first was destined for the bottom corner, but Phillips cleared his effort off the line, making up for his error in the first half. The rebound fell back into the path of the young striker, but his second-strike hit Rhys Williams.
The game was put to bed in stoppage time when Reds’ substitute Curtis Jones sent Salah through on goal, as Liverpool broke rapidly from a United attack.
Salah raced through on goal before curling the ball past Henderson into the far corner for Liverpool’s fourth.
It is now back-to-back home defeats for Manchester United.
Liverpool are now within four points of fourth place Chelsea, and, having played a game less than the Blues, the race for Champions League football is set to go down to the wire.
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