Why Man United's body language enraged Roy Keane and Gary Neville
Fernandes’ petulant sulking, Shaw flailing his arms and De Gea’s stare of fury… Man United’s body language enraged both Keane and Neville in their Anfield disaster, and it’s not hard to see why!
- Manchester United suffered one of the worst defeats in their entire history, losing 7-0 at Liverpool on Sunday
- Club legends and Sky Sports pundits Roy Keane and Gary Neville blasted the body language of the players
- Sportsmail analyses the reactions of the United players in the lead-up and aftermath of each Liverpool goal
Roy Keane said they were no better than ‘schoolboys’. Gary Neville said they ‘lost their shape, discipline and their heads.’
Both were raging at captain Bruno Fernandes, with Keane using the word ‘disgraceful’ to describe his body language and Neville furious at his ‘whinging’.
The post-mortem after Manchester United’s atrocious 7-0 defeat at Liverpool was brutal with these club legends stunned at what had just unfolded at Anfield.
United’s second-half capitulation was a serious reality check on the progress that has been made under Erik ten Hag this season.
Any notion that United could kick on and challenge Arsenal and Manchester City in the Premier League title race was shown to be laughable.
Manchester United endured one of the worst results of their entire history as they lost 7-0 to bitter rivals Liverpool at Anfield
Slumped shoulders and dejected expressions were the order of the day as United capitulated during the second half
United legend Roy Keane (left) described some of the United body language as ‘disgusting’, while Gary Neville (right) reserved most of his ire for captain Bruno Fernandes
It looked as though even the more senior players in the side gave up as Liverpool ripped them apart repeatedly after the break.
Arms were waved in impotent anger, at one another and at nobody in particular. There were sharp words exchanged and uncomfortable glares. But far worse were some of the more nonchalant reactions, a kind of numbness at the nightmare unfolding around them.
LIVERPOOL 1-0 MANCHESTER UNITED – CODY GAKPO 43mins
Liverpool’s opener came at the perfect time. United were enjoying their best spell of the game having successfully weathered early Liverpool pressure.
Bruno Fernandes guided a header across goal and wide of the far post, before Marcus Rashford was unable to get enough purchase on a volley in a great position.
So United are very much in the game when Andrew Robertson plays a brilliant through pass in behind Fred, who is caught in the wrong position, and down the left channel.
The defenders react quickly but Raphael Varane is caught off-balance as Gakpo skips inside him before curling his shot into the far corner.
Luke Shaw raises his arms in frustration but the reaction from most of his team-mates is more one of annoyance that they’d conceded right before half-time having started to get on top.
We do see Bruno Fernandes on the right-hand side of the below grab react in a similar way – the first of many such gestures as the afternoon would progress.
Cody Gakpo curls Liverpool into the lead just before half-time and against the run of play. Luke Shaw (on six yard line) and Bruno Fernandes (right) are the two who react by waving their arms in frustration.
Most of United’s other players don’t really react – although the timing of the goal is bad, the situation can be retrieved
Fernandes cut a figure of frustration as he walks back to the half-way line following Gakpo’s opening goal for Liverpool
LIVERPOOL 2-0 MANCHESTER UNITED – DARWIN NUNEZ 47mins
Half-time gave Ten Hag the opportunity to reset things and remind United of what they’d done well in the 15-20 minute spell prior to Gakpo’s opener. The game was very much still retrievable at this point.
But all that goes out of the window when Darwin Nunez doubles Liverpool’s lead just two minutes after the break.
It stems from a very sloppy Luke Shaw pass on the left-hand side under no pressure that is intercepted by Harvey Elliott before it can reach Casemiro.
Shaw realises his mistake and tracks back but Liverpool instead work the ball infield and from there it’s a comedy of errors by United.
Wout Weghorst slides in and gets a touch that doesn’t win the ball back for United before Casemiro slips and stumbles all over the place as first Jordan Henderson and then Fabinho pinch the ball off him.
Somehow Liverpool keep the move going and Shaw is unable to clear Mohamed Salah’s initial cross, allowing Elliott to dink in another cross and Nunez to head home having got free of Varane and Diogo Dalot.
The game isn’t beyond United at this stage but you see the negative body language creep in. Shaw once again throws up his arms in exasperation, while Fernandes seems to be appealing to the assistant referee for a hopeful offside.
The rest look stunned while Dalot is tangled in the back of the net. It’s not the last time he ends up there.
United are the architects of their own downfall for Liverpool’s second goal, just after half-time, with Luke Shaw playing a sloppy pass under no real pressure to gift possession to Harvey Elliott
Given the number of white shirts in position, United should deal with it from this point but Casemiro stumbles and Liverpool cleverly keep the move alive
Nunez heads home and Shaw can be seen raising his arms in exasperation, while Fernandes appeals for an offside in vain
LIVERPOOL 3-0 MANCHESTER UNITED – CODY GAKPO 50mins
This was the goal that really broke United’s resolve. Coming just three minutes after Liverpool’s second, it turned a still vulnerable advantage into the makings of a rout and sapped their spirit.
The worst thing was that it came from a United attack, with Fernandes putting in a really poor cross from the left and then waving his arms when Liverpool cleared it.
United are in serious trouble when Salah is set clear down the right, with Lisandro Martinez slipping over to allow the Egyptian to play the through ball from which Gakpo delivers the most exquisite dinked finish from a seemingly impossible angle.
This time it’s David de Gea who explodes with rage – shouting first at Martinez, who was unable to recover and block Salah’s pass, and then Shaw, who has his back to him.
De Gea first throws an arm in anger and then puts his two palms out as if to ask: “How the hell did we allow that to happen?”
De Gea’s reaction aside, there’s very much an air of resignation about United’s body language now. They know the game is lost and the afternoon could be about to become even more humiliating. It is.
Liverpool’s third goal stems from a United attack, with a poor cross by Bruno Fernandes intercepted to spark the break
When the backtracking Lisandro Martinez slips over, Mohamed Salah plays a through ball into Cody Gakpo to score
It’s David de Gea this time who explodes with rage, ranting first at Martinez, then Shaw and finally anyone within earshot
De Gea aside, the reaction of the United players is forlorn, as if realising that the afternoon is now lost with no way back
LIVERPOOL 4-0 MANCHESTER UNITED – MOHAMED SALAH 66mins
This goal also originated in Liverpool’s own penalty area. United’s Alejandro Garnacho won a corner with a deflected shot from an inside left position but Fernandes was livid at him for not looking up and picking him out.
When Fernandes eventually crosses following the short corner routine, it’s easily cleared and Antony is bumped off the ball, setting Liverpool away.
There is a definite element of fortune – Scott McTominay intercepts one pass on the slide but when Nunez gets to the loose ball and again looks for the forward pass, the ball flicks off McTominay and sits up perfectly for Salah.
No faulting the Egyptian’s finish, however, smashed home off the underside of the bar.
You can’t slate United’s players too much, they do track back after the ball is lost. The reaction this time is less anger but more one of resignation, as if absolutely everything is going against them, even the break of the ball.
De Gea is left sitting on the turf helpless to stop Salah’s rocket, Shaw wears an embarrassed look, while Antony can be seen asking questions of a team-mate as United’s players trudge back for the restart.
Liverpool’s fourth was a counter-attack from their own penalty area. Though United track back, they can’t stop the Reds
There are a few small reactions as Salah crashes the ball home but by now it’s a disconsolate mood in the United ranks
Antony questions a team-mate as United return to their half for the resumption as Scott McTominay looks downbeat
David de Gea was left floored by the ferocity of Salah’s shot while Luke Shaw wears an embarrassed expression
LIVERPOOL 5-0 MANCHESTER UNITED – DARWIN NUNEZ 75mins
This is the worst yet. Garnacho sloppily gives the ball to Fabinho and Liverpool aren’t really going anywhere until Fernandes petulantly grabs hold of Salah to commit a needless foul.
His reaction is to fling his right arm in the air and glare at the referee but he can have no complaints. It’s precisely this kind of reaction to a decision against him that elicits such criticism from Keane, Neville and others.
Instead of resetting into a defensive position to deal with the coming free-kick, Fernandes always seems keen to continue the argument with the officials.
It’s something we’ve seen a lot of recently, especially after he conceded a penalty in the second leg with Barcelona. Another United legend, Peter Schmeichel, hit the nail on the head speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live.
‘Bruno looks a little bit frustrated by the position he plays in and he may feel he’s not getting everything out of his talent playing that position,’ Schmeichel said.
‘Also the fact he doesn’t have a position. Where is Bruno playing? What is his position in that team?’
United only half deal with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick and when the ball is delivered back into the box, Nunez is afforded a free header and loops the ball home.
Once again, it’s Fernandes who is the most expressive, making a gesture to question why the marking was so loose. The rest slope away with slumped shoulders, as if trying to process what’s going on.
Darwin Nunez heads Liverpool into a five-goal lead and United shoulders slump further – Fernandes is the most expressive
The Portuguese wants to know how Nunez was allowed to coast in and head home given the number of white shirts in the box
LIVERPOOL 6-0 MANCHESTER UNITED – MOHAMED SALAH 83mins
This is shocking defending by United. With Shaw moved into the middle when Tyrell Malacia replaced Martinez, there’s an enormous gap at left-back when Garnacho and Marcel Sabitzer are both taken out of the game.
Elliott has acres of space to run into and there is an element of fortune as Shaw’s attempted clearance rebounds straight into the path of Salah, who is left with a tap-in.
But the fact Malacia is so reluctant to get across and close down Elliott running in, believing it was the duty of Sabitzer, spoke to the sapped confidence in United ranks. Malacia has only been on the field a few minutes, too.
Shaw reacts in disbelief at his misfortune, while Sabitzer raises his arms in frustration too. De Gea has his hands on hips and the TV cameras catch him holding that angry pose for a very long time as Salah celebrates. The Spanish keeper just stares into space in absolute fury.
Malacia and Sabitzer can be seen in debate over whose responsibility it was to deal with Elliott.
Hilariously, Dalot ends up in the back of the net once more, having flung himself across in a token effort to block Salah’s goalbound shot.
On the touchline, Ten Hag is motionless with a thousand yard stare.
United are opened up once again with Harvey Elliott in acres of space and Tyrell Malacia reluctant to go out to him
Shaw and Marcel Sabitzer give the most animated reactions as the former’s clearance deflects straight to Salah to score
Malacia and Sabitzer seem to be engaged in debate over who should have been in the left-back role to deal with the danger
De Gea stands with his hands on hips for some time as Liverpool celebrate, the United keeper quietly seething
LIVERPOOL 7-0 MANCHESTER UNITED – ROBERTO FIRMINO 88mins
Can it get even worse for United? You bet it can.
Two minutes from time and Roberto Firmino completes a rout of historic proportions. It comes from more lost United possession in midfield, with Salah unlocking their defence with a very good through ball.
The chance appears to have passed for Firmino as his touch takes him away from goal but with De Gea not protecting his near post, there is a way through for the Brazilian’s shot.
Shaw once again throws up his arms but the others are long since resigned to their fate.
Oh, and guess who’s tangled in the back of the net again – yep, it’s Diogo Dalot, and that’s a hat-trick.
Liverpool’s seventh goal sees Roberto Firmino squeezing his shot home from a tight angle, to the annoyance of Luke Shaw
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