After two bad bankruptcies, Manchester United is at the bottom of the Premier League table. The record champion is humiliated on the ground, the superstar wants to leave and the fans are protesting. And then of all things comes the arch-rival FC Liverpool. But something strange happened against the Champions League finalists.
Manchester United shot themselves out of the crisis with a well-deserved prestige win against Liverpool and increased Jürgen Klopp's concerns. The Red Devils won the explosive Premier League duel against Liverpool 2-1 (1-0) with goals from former Dortmund Bundesliga professional Jadon Sancho (16th) and Marcus Rashford (53rd). Man United scored the first three points of the season at home in Old Trafford without football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting XI. For the still winless Klopp team from Liverpool, which slipped to 16th place, Mohamed Salah (81st) met late to catch up.
ManUnited coach Erik ten Hag also took personal risks with the line-up when he banished leading players Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to the bench alongside Ronaldo. But it paid off, Manchester played like a substitute. Liverpool were under a lot of pressure due to the high pressure and rarely showed their dreaded switching moments without Darwin Nunez, who was suspended.
It came as feared. With the bankruptcy after two previous draws, the runners-up and Champions League finalist must now pant after the competition from afar: The gap to Arsenal, who started with three wins, is already seven points, and defending champions Manchester City are already five points ahead.
A larger group of ManUnited fans had protested before kick-off. Their displeasure was directed again against their own club owners. A large number of police officers were deployed around the stadium. Before the duel against the Reds in May 2021, supporters broke into Old Trafford during their protest and ignited plenty of pyrotechnics. The game was the first in Premier League history to be postponed due to fan protests. Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp had demanded in the run-up to the current game that his team would have to get the three points if the game was postponed again. "I really hope it won't happen. But if it does, we should get the points," said Klopp. Now Liverpool FC has to go home without points.
Manchester's hopefuls received great applause before the game: Casemiro was officially introduced to the audience. The Brazilian joined from Real Madrid for €70m but was not yet eligible to play due to visa issues.