Liverpool restored their one-point advantage at the top of the Premier League standings after they secured a rather comfortable 3-1 win over arch-rivals Manchester United on Sunday. Jurgen Klopp’s side had come into the game with an eight-match winless league run against their weekend opponents but they managed to cease the streak after substitute Xherdan Shaqiri made the stellar difference with two goals within eight second-half minutes.
Two things we learned:
Liverpool continue their Premier League title pursuit: The Reds had come into this game with a question mark whether they can outclass a United side, which had restricted them from scoring in three-straight league meetings at Anfield. However, they managed to overcome this hurdle within the opening 30 minutes with Sadio Mane netting from a lovely weighted pass from Fabinho over the United backline. Thereafter, United came into the game after an error from Alisson which handed Jesse Lingard a easy leveller but they made amends in the second period with Shaqiri attempting two long-range strikes which found their way past goalkeeper David de Gea after some handy deflection. With the result, the Reds have managed to avoid a defeat against the top six for the first half of the campaign and this should only increase the confidence among the players that they can repeat the feat during the backend to end their wait for a maiden Premier League crown.
Jose Mourinho under threat of getting the sack: The Portuguese tactician has been walking on a tight rope since the successive defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the season and nothing appears to have changed thereafter. Mourinho’s style of play has often associated teams with strong defensive records but that has not been the case with United this term, who have already conceded one goal more than they had allowed during the entirety of the previous campaign. Moreover, the 55-year-old had recently highlighted that the top-four pursuit remains the club’s ambition for the remainder of the campaign but that also appears far off with the current run of form which has dropped them 11 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea before the halfway stage of the season. With the latest defeat at Anfield, it remains to be seen whether the hierarchy will back the Portuguese with transfer funds for the New Year or wield the axe prior to that.
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