Man Utd ‘played with 10 men’ against Liverpool due to ‘lazy’ starlet

Micah Richards has torn into Manchester United winger Antony for his reluctance to defend against Liverpool – claiming the Red Devils were playing parts of the match with 10 men due to the Brazilian forward’s questionably high positioning. The BBC pundit was utterly astounded by the lack of communication between Diogo Dalot and the £86million summer signing from Ajax, who failed to help out his full-back as Andy Robertson steamed forward to set up Liverpool’s opening goal at Anfield.

Robertson enjoyed a fine afternoon for the Reds as he set the tempo with his relentless runs upfield and desire to press Manchester United.

But his commitment to the cause was not matched by his marker Antony, who seemingly opted against tracking back to nullify the Scotsman as Liverpool profited down the flanks.

Cody Gakpo fired home the opener just before half-time and he helped himself to a second after the break as Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah also scored braces before Roberto Firmino added a seventh.

Yet for Richards, United’s struggles were typified by Antony’s refusal to defend – something he could simply not wrap his head around.

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Richards said on MOTD2: “There was no communication between Diogo Dalot and Antony.

“At times, it was like they were playing with 10 men because Antony wasn’t doing his work at all down that side.

“I didn’t know if it was tactical at first – Antony’s position – but we all know how good Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are so you would think someone would try and get closer to Antony.

“He didn’t track him to begin with – he was eight metres away – and that was just a little taster of what was to happen.

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“Antony needed to come back into that position but he just doesn’t do it. I was confused as to whether he was just being lazy for his team or his manager was just telling him to stay up there and be a threat on the counter-attack.

“Either way, it just kept happening and happening. As soon as they lose the ball, he just walks. We are talking about one of the biggest games for Manchester United.”

Jadon Sancho was an unused substitute for United and he will now be looking to force his way back into the side ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Real Betis.

Alejandro Garnacho will also be chomping at the bit for more minutes after he entered the fray from the bench in the second half ahead of the England international.

Erik ten Hag says he considers the performance “unprofessional” as he challenged his United players to put things right as he goes in search of his own answers.

“It was a really bad performance and the worst of the year,” said a dejected Ten Hag. “We lost the game at the end of the first half and at the start of the second but you have to keep your head up and we didn’t.

“It’s all about showing discipline and we didn’t, so that’s when you start conceding goals.

“It’s a really unprofessional performance and unnecessary. You have to do your jobs and we didn’t.”

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