It’s time for matchday 3! Old rivals go head-to-head at Old Trafford on Monday night as Manchester United take on Liverpool in the Premier League.
Theatre Of Screams
It’s the worst start to a season Manchester United have ever had in the Premier League. 6 goals conceded and 1 scored (an own goal) in their opening 2 games, with no sign of things getting better. They currently sit rock bottom of the Premier League table.
The first game of the season against Brighton was supposed to mark the beginning of a new era at Old Trafford. With Erik ten Hag in the hot seat, a man that United fans had coveted for a long time, there was understandable optimism around the famous old stadium ahead of kick-off.
It looked, for a moment, like fans were right to have some hope. United started brightly and would have been ahead had Bruno Fernandes converted a great opportunity inside the opening 10 minutes.
Then, things started to unravel. The Red Devils slipped back into the same bad habits that blighted their campaign last year and soon enough, Brighton were in front. Ex-United player Danny Welbeck squaring the ball across the 6-yard box for Pascal Gross to tap in at the back post.
Just 10 minutes later, Brighton’s lead was doubled, and it was that man Gross again. A swift attack found Solly March on the right. His shot could only be parried back into danger by David de Gea, where Gross was waiting to pounce for his, and The Seagulls’, second goal of the game.
A scrappy own goal gave United some hope, but the game ended 1-2. The worst possible start.
And it was about to get worse.
Matchday 2 was a trip to West London and a meeting with Thomas Frank’s Brentford. It took only 10 minutes for Josh DaSilva to opening the scoring, his long range shot squeezing underneath David de Gea and into the United net.
The Spaniard was at fault for the 2nd, too. His pass out from the back to an under pressure Eriksen led to the ball being stolen in a dangerous position. Mathias Jensen showing great composure to slide in goal number 2.
Ben Mee added a 3rd from a corner, before Bryan Mbeumo added goal number 4 on the counterattack. It was a first half to remember for the Bees, and one to swiftly forget for Manchester United.
For their own ridiculously high standards, it’s been a slow start to the new season for Jurgen Klopp and his team.
Last season, they pushed Manchester City all the way in the title race, finishing 2nd, whilst at the same time setting their sights on an unprecedented quadruple. In the end, they had to settle for the FA Cup and League Cup trophies, with defeat in the Champions League final at the hands of Real Madrid.
But Liverpool have stumbled out of the blocks this season, with 2 draws in their opening 2 games. They currently sit 12th, 4 points behind leaders Manchester City (surprise!).
Their opening game was away to newly promoted Fulham, and it was the home side that took the lead after 30 minutes. Tete’s back post cross was met by Aleksandar Mitrovic, who headed home the opener.
Substitute and new £64 million signing Darwin Nunez equalised off the bench just after the hour mark, before Mitrovic restored Fulham’s lead from the penalty spot after a foul by Virgil van Dijk.
Nunez then turned provider to assist Mohamed Salah, who drew Liverpool level once again from close range with 10 minutes to go. Jordan Henderson nearly won it for the Reds late on, but they had to settle for an opening day point.
Next up was Crystal Palace at Anfield and the first home game of the season. A big chance to get that first win and the season up-and-running, perhaps? Enter, Wilfried Zaha.
The Ivorian winger found himself one-on-one with Alisson after some neat work from Eberechi Eze. He kept his cool, opened his body and tucked the finish beautifully into the far corner for the lead.
A moment of madness came in the 2nd half, with front-man Darwin Nunez being sent off after a headbutt on Joachim Anderson. But despite the man disadvantage, Liverpool found the equaliser just a few minutes later.
Luis Diaz picked the ball up the on left, cut inside, danced past several Palace players before unleashing a bullet of a strike into the back of the net.
Zaha missed a guilt-edged chance to win it for The Eagles late on, but the points were ultimately shared.
JD Predicts…The Reds Run Rampant
While Liverpool have started the season slowly, United have started it appallingly. With their confidence on the floor, we can’t see past a Liverpool victory, despite their current injury issues and the suspension of Darwin Nunez.
Klopp’s Reds will still show up with plenty of firepower in a fixture they won 5-0 last season. As a result, we’re going with a 0-3 away win to Liverpool. Salah to bag a brace and Diaz to get the other.
How do you see this one playing out? Let us know on the socials and make sure you’re locked into @JDFootball for all the latest ahead of the big match!
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JD Football | November 21, 2023