THE NOTEBOOK: Robertson was at his best and Klopp right over Elliott
THE NOTEBOOK: This was arguably Andrew Robertson’s FINEST game for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp was vindicated for big call to start Harvey Elliott… and Bruno Fernandes’ performance was an affront to what was required of him
- Rampaging Robertson tore Man United to pieces in 7-0 thrashing on Sunday
- Liverpool boss Klopp made big call to hand Elliott a start ahead of Bajcetic
- Sulking Man United captain Fernandes failed to carry the fight at Anfield
Liverpool brought Manchester United’s bandwagon to a shuddering halt as Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah all scored twice in a record 7-0 hammering of their arch-rivals to boost their Premier League top-four hopes at Anfield on Sunday.
A week after a resurgent United claimed their first trophy since 2017 by winning the League Cup and amid talk of a late title push they were blown away either side of halftime as Liverpool recorded their biggest ever victory in the fixture.
Third-placed United had looked marginally the better side for 43 minutes but it turned into an Anfield horror show for Erik ten Hag’s side as they suffered the club’s worst defeat since a 7-0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1931.
Gakpo’s superb finish from Liverpool’s first attempt on target gave the hosts the halftime lead.
Within five minutes of the restart it was over as a contest with Nunez’s header making it 2-0 after some comical defending allowed Harvey Elliott to cross and a lightning counter-attack led by Salah ended with Gakpo finishing in style for 3-0.
Sportsmail’s DOMINIC KING takes a look at some of things you may have missed.
Rampaging Liverpool full back Andrew Robertson tore Man United to pieces on Sunday
Robertson at his best
Jose Mourinhyo’s final press conference as Manchester United manager was in Anfield’s press auditorium after his side had been whacked.
One of the abiding memories is how he waxed lyrical about Andrew Robertson, running up and down the left flank like an Olympic sprinter.
That was December 2018, when he was still climbing the ladder and fighting to cement his reputation.
Here in March 2023, you saw Robertson tear United to pieces once again and this, arguably, was his finest performance for Liverpool.
His movement and subsequent demand for Alisson to pass to him in the 43rd minute changed the course of this contest.
Robertson’s assist for Cody Gakpo’s opener was his ninth of the campaign, more than any defender in the Premier League. Only Kevin De Bruyne (17) has more in all competitions.
Plane crazy stunt
Fools and their money are always parted, so a penny for the thoughts of those – we can only assume they are Liverpool ‘fans’ – who paid to hire a plane and have it flown over Anfield early in the first with the slogan “FSG Out – Klopp In – Enough is Enough”.
Enough of what exactly?
Liverpool’s season hasn’t gone to expectations but the perception that Fenway Sports Group have been bad for the club is piffle.
If they want an idea of what bad American owners look like, they only had to hear the chanting from the away end of “We want Glazers Out.”
Liverpool fans flew a banner over Anfield before the Reds’ game against Manchester United
Klopp right with Elliott call
A big call from Jurgen Klopp to hand Harvey Elliott a start ahead of Stefan Bajcetic, who has been such a revelation of late, but the decision was more than vindicated.
There are going to be bumps in the road as Elliott progresses but he is a young man with huge potential and this display, full of invention and graft, was superb.
A lifelong fan of the club, he will know the magnitude of this win.
The right colours
We are in an era when football kits can look like they have been designed by toddlers who have been given a piece of paper and a box of crayons, so there was something heart-warming about the colours Liverpool and Manchester United wore.
United at Anfield should always be white shirts, black shorts and white socks with the hosts in all Red.
Here, then, was a scene for the traditionalists.
What a pity United couldn’t live up to past heritage with this abomination of a performance.
Sulky Fernandes embarrassing
A Manchester United captain on Merseyside has the responsibility to carry the fight and lead by example but Bruno Fernandes did nothing of the sort.
United captain Bruno Fernandes theatrically feigned that he had been struck in the face
His performance, especially in the second period, was an affront to what was required of him, the low point being when he theatrically feigned that he had been struck in the face.
He looked to give up as Liverpool’s goals went in and while he did a brief TV interview immediately afterwards, he refused to take any more questions as he scuttled for the team bus.
Perhaps Fernandes was sulking about where he was deployed on the field.
Quite why Erik Ten Hag chose to put him on Trent Alexander-Arnold, rather than challenge the England right-back with Marcus Rashford’s pace, was a mystery.
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