Marc OgdenSenior Writer, ESPN FC19:26 GMT3 minute read
Erik ten Hag said his Manchester United players were ‘unprofessional’ in an ‘unacceptable’ performance at Anfield as Liverpool inflicted a 7-0 defeat, equaling the club’s heaviest defeat.
Two goals each from Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah, who became Liverpool’s all-time leading scorer in the Premier League, and one from Roberto Firmino gave Liverpool their biggest win against United and equaled their worst defeat visitors’ all-time record of 7-0 against Blackburn Rovers in 1926, Aston Villa in 1930 and Wolves in 1931.
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United have failed to win at Liverpool since January 2016 and have scored just once in their last seven trips to Anfield, but their performance on that occasion saw them concede six goals in the second half.
And after watching his team capitulate, United manager Ten Hag said the defeat gave the club a reality check just a week after ending a six-year trophy drought by winning the Cup Carabao.
“In the second half, it just wasn’t us,” Ten Hag said. “It was not our standards. We didn’t play as a team. It was unprofessional. Yes [I am angry]. Certainly.
“I’m surprised because I’ve seen over the past few weeks and months that this team is resilient and has a winning attitude.
“In the second half, we didn’t have a winning attitude at all. We didn’t stick to the plan and we didn’t do our job. We didn’t back down and it was really unprofessional.
“We have seen in the past that we can bounce back. After Brentford, after Manchester City. This is definitely a major setback and it is unacceptable. I am really disappointed and angry about this. It’s a reality check. We have to take this hard.”
Former United captain Roy Keane has also slammed his former team, calling them “embarrassing”.
“A shocking day,” Keane told Sky Sports. “The senior players were embarrassing. They showed no leadership skills. A really tough day for Man United and thank God I’ve never lost like this.
“Players will be ashamed when things get tough, they’re gone. I never thought United were back to their best. They gave the teams chances but today Liverpool didn’t let them off the hook.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said the victory, which took his side within three points of Spurs in the top four, was “perfect”.
“No words. It was a spectacular football match. Exceptional,” Klopp said. “We played the best football against the in-form team. “It was a bit wild in the first half, but in the second half the start was pretty good and the end pretty good. Everything was pretty good. It’s football, it can happen, and we got three very important points.
“It was the push we wanted. This puts us in the right direction. Everyone should know that we are still here. It wasn’t for a while, but tonight was a good demonstration of what we can be and have to be from now on. There are 13 games to come, a lot of points to come, but today was perfect.”
. Manchester United confronted reality by Liverpool