Manchester United barely put up a fight against Liverpool. The Reds absolutely embarrassed their hosts at the Theatre of Dreams with a sublime display. The most damning part of the monumental 0-3 defeat for Manchester United against Liverpool was that it looked over with even 20 minutes yet to go.
The last 20 minutes of the match moved into what is termed in American Sports as garbage time, the period where teams are playing out the clock. There didn’t seem to be a single flicker of hope from David Moyes’ Manchester United.
Everyone knows there have been changes this season at United, huge changes, but not in a long time have the 11 men looked so forlorn on the pitch, so beaten and so early too. Managers speak of the need to take the positives at the end of big damaging losses, but it was a Manchester United performance in nothing but name today. They were absolutely clueless from start to finish; it may well go down as not the final nail in the coffin of David Moyes reign, but perhaps the first. United were gifted two weeks to prepare for the match and a full squad to pick from. But everything looked second rate about them today. Only once was Simon Mignolet pressed into action while. At the back and the midfield, United were chasing shadows.
It is of course a total disservice to Liverpool that at the end of a 3-0 victory over the bitterest rivals Manchester United, people come out talking about Manchester United. The Merseysiders played very well today. There was vim and vibrancy about the movement and interplay of Luis Suarez and his lieutenants Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge. Sturridge in particular, was the one, going past the Red Devil players like it was for fun.
Where Liverpool looked to have intuition and sharpness, United lacked creativity and speed. There were doubts over capabilities of Marouane Fellaini. Today’s game confirmed that he is not good enough.
Michael Carrick, his midfield partner, shirked responsibility and only could watch hopelessly as the quicksilver Liverpool attackers took it in turns to play in behind him and launch several shots.
There ought to be a goal when Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, Adnan Januzaj and Robin van Persie are in the line up, but somehow the quadrilateral looked too weak in possession. Januzaj is the only source of optimism in this sorry excuse of a season, while the other three mentioned are barely on nodding terms with each other.
United were without any a game in a week before this one. There weren’t any significant injuries to speak of. With as much time to prepare for a game as is conceivably possible in the modern football calendar, this was United as fresh as it could have been. It might even be regarded as what actually David Moyes is capable of extracting from his players. For United supporters, it doesn’t give the fanbase much hope that the rest of the results will go United’s way in the coming weeks.
Liverpool arrived and laid a championship marker with Steven Gerrard a tower of strength in the midfield. It will after decades satisfy the Merseysiders to watch United disappear in their slipstream but winning at Old Trafford just is not hard as it used to be.