Liverpool quickly returned to the top of the Premier League table with a superb 3-1 victory over Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
Jurgen Klopp’s side looked dominant in the early stages and took the lead through Sadio Mane. However, a mistake from Alisson gifted an equaliser to Jesse Lingard shortly after.
Liverpool needed a spark and sent on Xherdan Shaqiri, and the Swiss winger proved to be the hero of the day as he netted twice to earn his side all three points.
Here are four things we learned from the match.
1. Fabinho Is Ready to Be a Star in the Premier League
After arriving during the summer for over £40m, Fabinho struggled to settle in Liverpool. He was widely criticised by fans, and was even deemed by some to be unable to adapt to the tempo of the league. However, he certainly proved all his doubters wrong against United.
Fabinho may have been playing as a defensive midfielder, but truthfully there was no blade of grass which the Brazilian did not cover. He recovered possession with ease and offered his side some superb creativity from deep.
United simply could not deal with Liverpool’s midfielders, and Fabinho enjoyed arguably his finest outing in a Liverpool shirt to date. If he continues to perform like this, he could be viewed as the signing of the season.
2. Alisson Is Human
Alisson has been in inspired form for Liverpool since making the switch from Roma during the summer. He has earned ten clean sheets already, and many described him as the finest goalkeeper in the world.
Whilst it is important not to overreact to one poor performance, Alisson’s costly mistake cannot be overlooked. He failed to deal with a routine cross and pushed the ball directly to the feet of Jesse Lingard, who netted his side’s equaliser. The goal gave United a confidence which they had been lacking beforehand, and Alisson is lucky his mistake was not decisive.
The Brazilian is undoubtedly one of the world’s top shot stoppers, but he proved against United that he is human. He can be beaten.
3. Injured or Not, United’s Defence Needs Work
United’s defence has been struggling with injuries in recent weeks, and the situation worsened as Chris Smalling suffered an injury during the warm up. Eric Bailly was a late replacement, which certainly was not ideal for the Red Devils.
Regardless of the personnel, United’s defence were simply not good enough against Liverpool. They lacked leadership and communication and were often the architects of their own downfall.
Mourinho was desperate to sign a centre back during the summer, and he will be using performances like this one as an example of why he needs new recruits.
4. Paul Pogba Is in Trouble
Paul Pogba did not even play against Liverpool, and that is a huge issue. His omission from the starting lineup dominated headlines before kick-off, but the fact that he was an unused substitute throughout shows that the Frenchman is in trouble at the club.
Mourinho clearly did not believe that Pogba was capable of transforming the outcome of the match, despite United struggling in midfield. Whether it was a tactical omission or not, Pogba’s future at the club will continue to dominate headlines.
There would be no shortage of suitors if United did opt to part ways with Pogba, but it seems increasingly unlikely that both Pogba and Mourinho will remain at the club for much longer.