Games like Manchester United vs Liverpool have always ignored form. They are the great levelers of the season. Talent and form are replaced by hunger and desire. And so it proved this weekend. Liverpool’s attacking talents were kept quieter than usual, and Man Utd looked more energetic and positive than they have all season.
The game lacked fast flowing football, but the tackles were flying and the counter attacking was sudden and exciting. I’m a Manchester United fan and I’ll stand by the belief that we deserved to get more out of that game than a point. But against this Liverpool team I’ll take 1-1. We’re a long way from being where we need to be, but this showed the potential of the squad. Fred continued to prove he has no business playing in the Premier League and Lindelof looked shaky in a big pressure game. But performances from Rashford and Maguire saw us through. Hopefully this is the kick-start the devils need. Liverpool certainly missed Salah, and even the great hope, Van Djik, looked a little shaky under pressure from Rashford’s pace.
Manchester City will be delighted by Liverpool’s dropped points after their convincing 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace. Aside from a few dangerous looking counter attacks led by Palace’s Wilfred Zaha, Manchester City never looked unsettled. This team really is something special, and if you haven’t watched them play I highly recommend you put on a game. Coaches will be showing videos of this Manchester City team for decades to come.
Man Utd vs Liverpool drew much of the attention this weekend, which is good for Tottenham fans after they watched their team drop yet more points in an unconvincing draw against Watford. All respect to Watford, a much improved team in recent years, but Tottenham should be winning these types of games if they want to be considered a serious threat for trophies in England and abroad. This Tottenham team have lost their energy and their impetus and they look like a team with no desire. The talent they have is undeniable, but talent only takes you so far. Some fresh blood would certainly help, and dropping the unenthusiastic players would send a message. I’m looking at you Christen Eriksen.
Chelsea and Leicester continued their battle for top 4. Although their wins weren’t huge, 3 points is 3 points, and they’ll cherish them all the more after Palace, Tottenham and Burnley all dropped points. Jamie Vardy scored again, further cementing my belief that he is one of the best #9s on the planet.
Perhaps the most interesting result from this week’s fixtures is Sheffield United’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal. An impressive performance in goal for Man Utd loanee Dean Henderson helped The Blades to an impressive victory over an in-form Arsenal.
Next weekend is Tottenham vs Liverpool while the other “big” teams are facing less threatening opposition. Man Utd will be desperate to climb the ladder. After their defeat to Bayern Munich, Tottenham fans will be praying the scoreline against Liverpool doesn’t look more like a cricket score.
Liverpool will deny it, of course, but they’ll feel the pressure of Manchester City breathing down their necks. You expect City to win every game, which means Liverpool have to do the same as they fight for their first league title. Will that pressure prove too much for a Liverpool squad who are aware that every fan is desperate for a first title?