LIVERPOOL - Liverpool brought Manchester United’s bandwagon to a shuddering halt as Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah all scored twice in a record 7-0 hammering of their arch-rivals to boost their Premier League top-four hopes at Anfield on Sunday (March 5).
A week after a resurgent United claimed their first trophy since 2017 by winning the League Cup and amid talk of a title push they were blown away either side of halftime as Liverpool recorded their biggest ever margin of victory in the fixture.
United had looked marginally the better side for 43 minutes before Gakpo’s superb finish from Liverpool’s first attempt on target gave the hosts the halftime lead.
Within five minutes of the restart it was all over as a contest with Nunez making it 2-0 with a header after some comical United defending before a lightning Liverpool counter-attack led by Salah ended with Gakpo finishing in style for 3-0.
With United in disarray Salah got in on the act with a clinical finish in the 66th minute and Nunez then sent a header past a helpless David De Gea in the 75th.
Salah then rubbed salt into United wounds with a close-range effort to score a record 129th Premier League goal for the club before Roberto Firmino came off the bench to make it seven.
Liverpool had thrashed United 4-0 at Anfield last April but considering the reversal of fortunes for the two clubs since that day this result was a major surprise.
United’s sobering defeat, described by Sky Sports pundit and their former defender Gary Neville as a ‘disgrace’ left them in third place on 49 points and surely out of the title race as they are 14 points behind leaders Arsenal.
Liverpool’s fourth win in five league matches lifted them above Newcastle United into fifth on 42 points, three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand.
“It was a fantastic day for everyone,” Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson told Sky Sports. “The performance level from every single player was top quality today which is something that we’ve been missing for a while of course.
“Today you could see the energy levels and everything was back, although to be fair the last few Premier League games had shown we were on the right path.”