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Mohamed Salah became Liverpool’s record scorer in the Premier League, putting the boot in Manchester United’s chances of joining the title race with a humiliating and historic 7-0 defeat at Anfield.
The future of the Reds’ forward line paved the way as Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakbo scored twice to demolish their arch-rivals with a scoreline that was the biggest victory in the game’s 211-game history.
Three of their goals came in seven minutes either side of the first half leaving the visitors, who had not won on this ground since Jurgen Klopp’s first encounter with them in January 2016, reeling.
Then, Salah, who would soon become the last player to stand in Liverpool’s famous front three, provided a timely reminder of the standards the pair must meet with two goals of their own – either side of Nunez’s header – to overtake Robbie Fowler as the player. The club record in the Premier League with goals 128 and 129.
Substitute Roberto Firmino, who told the club on Friday that he would not seek a contract extension and would end his eight-year stay in the summer, applied the finishing touches with the seventh.
Our biggest ever win against Manchester United. pic.twitter.com/8q5co1HGrx
– Liverpool FC (LFC) March 5, 2023
An absolute mess
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville told Sky Sports: “An absolute mess.
“It can swallow you up here at Anfield. I’ve experienced it myself, but it’s never been to that level. You might lose 2-0, you might lose 2-1, you might lose 3-1 – don’t lose 7-0.
“You can’t go 7-0 down at Anfield if you’re a Manchester United player or team.”
After the final whistle, Neville added: “Those first 40 minutes were what I would call a classic away performance at Anfield, where I thought Manchester United had weathered the storm and looked like they were going to score that goal and move on.”
“But they only conceded at half-time. The second half was a disgrace, a mess, that nobody embodied more than the captain, Bruno Fernandes, who I think was awkward at times in this game.
“But I have to say it’s not their usual performance, it’s not their usual spirit, it’s not their usual form and it is [manager Erik Ten Hag] I’m sure he’ll deal with it very quickly like he’s dealt with other difficult situations this season.”
Referee Roy Keane
Former United captain Roy Keane said the players would be “ashamed” of their performance.
He told Sky Sports: “Obviously a very bad day, a really shocking day. The goal before half-time and the second half.
“United, the big players… used all the words, embarrassed. He didn’t show any leadership skills especially the big guys. The goals they scored were shocking.”
“Tough day, tough for United. Thank God I’ve never been part of a team that was beaten for so much playing for Manchester United.
“The players will be embarrassed, no doubt ashamed of their performance. Particularly in the second half when the going got tough, they just lost. To give up so many goals…”
Sky Sports colleague and former Liverpool player and coach Graeme Souness was hugely impressed by the Reds’ display in the second half.
He said: “Liverpool were great in the second half. I said in the first half, take this as 0-0, you have to win in the second half, but I didn’t expect that.
“After the second or third goal, Manchester United were second after all, and the result does not satisfy Liverpool.
“they [United] Only he did not compete in the second half, and Liverpool ran over them directly.