Mohamed Salah was back to his best with a brace while Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane also scored as Liverpool hammered Manchester United to move top of the Premier League. Here’s how the players performed…
Alisson – 7
Showed his confidence with a Cruyff turn in the third minute and was rarely troubled otherwise. Made an easy save from Jadon Sancho at the start of the second half before producing a double stop from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga which would have counted despite the assistant’s offside flag.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
Came to blows with David De Gea in the aftermath of the first goal but didn’t get carried away in the derby atmosphere. Defended well against Sancho including in a one-v-one against his England teammate early in the second period. Good range of passing and delivery on set pieces as ever.
Joel Matip – 7
Brought back into the side in place of Ibrahima Konate and showed why. Never troubled defensively while also playing a sharp, first-time pass into Sadio Mane which allowed the forward to use the pace of the ball to chip it onto Salah for the second goal.
Virgil van Dijk – 7
In cruise control for the entire 90 minutes. Gave away possession early in the second half which led to a Manchester United corner and a rollicking from his manager, but that was his only misstep. His most comfortable performance against United since the last time.
Andy Robertson – 7
A quiet night by his standards although still raided down the left side as usual while locking things up defensively. Showed his tenacity by winning possession with an interception which led to the crucial third goal.
Jordan Henderson – 7
Back in the team and drove the Liverpool midfield forwards with his energy and bite. Linked-up well with Alexander-Arnold on the right, at times switching into the full-back’s position to get on the ball. A captain’s performance in the derby.
Fabinho – 7
A tower of strength in the Liverpool midfield but also tidy in possession. Nearly assisted Diaz, who scored but was offside, in the first-half with a driving run into the United area. Faded in the second half as tiredness caught up with him.
Thiago – 8
The Spaniard pulled the strings in midfield with his eye-catching range of passing. Always looked in control as he dictated the tempo of the match. Produced a particularly impressive first-half performance by completing 59 of his 60 attempted passes. In all, he made 105 successful passes from 110. “It’s like he’s playing in his back yard with his kids,” said Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher during the second half. Subbed in the 80th minute to a standing ovation.
Mohammad Salah – 8
Who was ever doubting him? Salah looked back to his best after a difficult spell of form. Played a perfect pass to put Liverpool’s first goal on a plate for Diaz and then grabbed the second with a cushioned first touch and finish. Endured a quieter second half along with Diaz and Mane although still put in a shift for the team and wrapped things up with a delightful chip for his second and Liverpool’s fourth.
Sadio Mane – 8
Set Salah in-behind for Liverpool’s opening goal after dropping off the frontline to collect the ball before repeating the trick with a wonderful first-time pass for the second. Came to Liverpool’s need in the second half at a time when United were on top with a well-placed shot into the bottom corner for their third. A high-quality display.
Luis Diaz – 8
Opened the scoring with a simple tap-in after five minutes and had another ruled out for offside. Full of energy and endeavor – a constant threat. His last act was setting up Mane’s second before being subbed in the 70th minute. Diaz already plays like he’s been part of this Liverpool side for several years rather than months.
Diogo Jota – 7
Came on in the 70th minute with the game won but still showed his class playing a perfectly weighted pass into Salah for the fourth.
Naby Keita – n/a
Introduced with 10 minutes left and was shown a yellow card for a nasty tackle on Jesse Lingard.
James Milner – n/a
Helped to see the match out in the final few minutes – and held Bruno Fernandes to account after a poor tackle on Alexander-Arnold.
David De Gea – 5
Left horribly exposed for Liverpool’s first and took his frustration out on Alexander-Arnold, who had lashed the ball narrowly past him in celebration. Stood no luck when Salah burst through for the second and Mane’s finish didn’t give him much hope, either. A deflection off Wan-Bissaka for number four completed a miserable night. Must be getting fed up with repeatedly scooping the ball out of his net in these games.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 4
Ineffective at right wing-back in the first half, he was moved to left back for the second to try to contain Liverpool’s dominance down that side and did well to initially stymie that avenue of attack, even getting forward to support Sancho. But couldn’t keep Salah from scoring the fourth in the end and needed a big tackle to stop the Egyptian completing his hat-trick. Had a terrible time against Liverpool earlier this season and while this was a slight improvement, it still wasn’t great.
Victor Lindelof – 3
Two errors played a big part in two of the Liverpool goals. Jumped forward in an attempt to play offside on Diaz but that only served to give the Liverpool man a good three yards head start to run through for the first goal. Then his poor pass towards Elanga allowed Robertson to spring forward to set up the third.
Harry Maguire – 3
Had a nightmare against Liverpool in October and was at fault for the opener inside five minutes here, backing off Mane to give him space to feed Salah to cross for Diaz. Was stood off the Senegal star again in the second half when Mane swept in a third. Another wretched night for the backline – and team – he leads.
Diogo Dalot – 4
Had the unenviable task of trying to contain Liverpool’s right flank in the first half and endured a tough night with Salah and Alexander-Arnold in those areas. He was badly caught out for the first goal and on his heels for the second. The fact he was moved to the other side of the pitch for the second half summed up his struggles. Another unconvincing outing.
Phil Jones – 4
A shock selection with Ralf Rangnick desperately looking for ways to bolster his backline but it very much looked like this was just his second start of the season inside five minutes when he was out of sync with his fellow centre-backs as Liverpool carved through their visitors . When Liverpool scored the second he must have been wondering what he’d done to upset Rangnick to expose him to this. Threw himself in front of a Diaz cutback and gave his all but talk about being thrown in at the deep end… Subbed off at half time.
Nemanja Matic – 4
Matic has been a fine midfielder in the Premier League but at this stage in his career he looks a good couple of yards off the pace when he comes up against a midfield as slick as Liverpool’s. Passed around in the build-up to the first goal and couldn’t win it back for the second. Got back to stop Liverpool scoring a third in the first half from a counter goal over-run in the center of the park.
Paul Pogba – n/a
Sent off 15 minutes after coming on against Liverpool in October. Lasted even less time on the pitch here because he was forced off with an injury on 10 minutes. If it lasts a few weeks, it could be the last we see of him in a Man Utd shirt.
Anthony Elanga – 6
The brightest of Man Utd’s starters. Came up with a rare moment on the front foot in the first half when he got the better of Alexander-Arnold, set the tone by winning a corner at the start of the second half and saw a shot stopped by Alisson. Ultimately it didn’t amount to much – but they were highlights of United’s attacking display here.
Bruno Fernandes – 4
Almost caught Alisson out twice early on but the energy in his game had evaporated by the end of the first half. “It’s a joke that, honestly,” sighed Gary Neville as Fernandes was beaten to a loose ball by Henderson. When he did have the ball at his feet, he was way below his inspiring best. Managed to nod the ball into the path of Sancho for one effort but not the display his team needed.
Marcus Rashford – 4
Played as United’s solitary striker but was starved of the ball until the 37th minute when his touch let him down from a long ball over the top – just his seventh touch of the game. Had a better look at goal just after the hour, when he shot straight at Alisson in the box but this wasn’t a dangerous center forward display. Roy Keane liked it to the performance of a child.
Jesse Lingard – 5
Thrust into the action after just 10 minutes but barely had a kick as Liverpool dominated the first half, with only seven touches before the break. Saw just a little more of the ball in the second half but didn’t make his mark. Tough to do that against this Liverpool side but a missed opportunity to impress.
Jadon Sancho – 6
A bright spark, at least. Sent on for the second half and immediately showed intent, scuffing United’s first shot of the match at Alisson and relishing the chance to run at Alexander-Arnold. Looked the most likely to come up with a response before United’s slight second half resurgence fizzled out.
Hannibal Mejbri – n/a
An eventful late cameo, which saw the Tunisian youngster almost immediately caught in possession for the fourth goal before charging around trying to lay something on Liverpool players and getting booked for a late tackle on Keita. Neville applauded his show of fight.