English Premier League

A Premier League Classic At Old Trafford

Arch-nemesis Manchester United and Liverpool added a new chapter to their fabled rivalry on Premier League Matchday 31 at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon (April 7). Many expected the visitors to boss proceedings in Manchester. And while they were by far the better team in the first half, United made them really earn their money in the second half. It finally ended 2-2 on Sunday, costing Liverpool their two-point lead over Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table and causing them to slip to second place.

Liverpool Thoroughly Dominate Manchester United In First Half At Old Trafford

The iconic Old Trafford demanded Manchester United make a statement of intent against their bitter foes on Sunday. And in the second minute, they seemingly gave the fans what they wished for. Bruno Fernandes threaded the ball through two Liverpool defenders, sending Alejandro Garnacho clear. The Argentinian took the ball around Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher and found the back of the net, but much to the home fans’ dismay, the offside flag went up right away.

Having endured an early scare, the Merseysiders pulled up their socks and took the game by the scruff of its neck. In the third minute, Dominik Szoboszlai dispatched a piledriver from the left side of the box, drawing a fine save from Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana. The Hungarian got another two excellent opportunities to put the visitors in front in the 11th and 18th minutes, but he failed to hit the target on both occasions.

After a spell of undeniable dominance, Jurgen Klopp’s side got their go-ahead goal in the 23rd minute. Darwin Nunez attacked Andy Robertson’s corner with vigor, flicking it onto Diaz’s path. The Colombian dispatched a venomous scissor-kick to beat Onana at the near post.

In the 36th minute, Szoboszlai gave Mohamed Salah a glorious opportunity to double Liverpool’s cushion, laying the ball to him on the right side of the Man Utd goal.  The Egyptian King uncharacteristically misjudged the bounce and sent it flying over the bar.

It was a thoroughly dominant display from the Premier League leaders, with them registering a whopping 15 shots and allowing none.

Bruno Fernandes’ Bolt From The Blue Instigate Brilliant Man Utd Turnaround

After getting thoroughly outclassed in the first half, Manchester United restored parity just five minutes into the second 45. Receiving a gift from Jarell Quansah, Fernandes went for goal with a first-time effort from the edge of the center circle. Kelleher was well off his line and helplessly watched on as the ball nestled into the back of the net. Club legend Wayne Rooney was the last United player to score from outside the box against Liverpool, with his strike coming nearly two decades ago.

The goal from the Portuguese blasted the game wide open, with both teams frantically exchanging blows over the next 10-odd minutes. Liverpool created a few decent chances but could not apply the finish to go back level. Underdogs United, however, did. Their breakout player of the season, Kobbie Mainoo, scored a belter in the 67th minute, finding the back of the net with a curling effort from the left side of the box.

In the 79th minute, Salah got a fine opportunity to level the score for Liverpool after intercepting Diaz’s rebound. However, with his weaker right foot, he could not find the back of the net. The 31-year-old did get his goal five minutes later, dispatching a cool penalty to make it 2-2 at Old Trafford. With the goal, Salah became the first player in history to score in four consecutive matches at the Theater of Dreams. Both teams pushed for the winner in the last 10-odd minutes, but their finishing was not up to the mark.

United will return to Premier League action with a trip to Bournemouth on April 13. Liverpool, meanwhile, will host Crystal Palace on April 14.


Md Golam Mostafa Tutul Tutul

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