Liverpool defeated Manchester United 3-1 on Sunday at Anfield. The Reds’ win was their first in 10 tries in the Premier League dating back to March 2014.
Xherdan Shaqiri was the man of the hour coming off of the bench to score two deflected goals to give Liverpool the win. Manchester United had levelled the game through Jesse Lingard after he pounced on Alisson Becker’s goalkeeping error.
Liverpool are now 17 games unbeaten in the Premier League while Manchester United sit 19 points behind them.
Nathaniel Clyne Shines
If there was a weak link going into Sunday’s kickoff it was at Liverpool’s right-back position. Nathaniel Clyne hadn’t made a start in the Premier League all season but was called upon after injuries to Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and James Milner ruled them out.
Clyne stepped in and it was if he had been playing all season. The Englishman took Marcus Rashford out of the game and though he was conservative getting forward, Clyne provided solid defence. His work at the back allowed Liverpool to focus more attacks down the left in the second half.
Massive credit to @Nathaniel_Clyne today, first league start of the season to perform like that speaks volumes of his character and professionalism. Did a really solid job.
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) December 16, 2018
In the early stages of the game, Liverpool exploited the right side through Clyne and Sadio Mane. But as the game went on and Clyne tired, Klopp changed tactics and it worked.
Manchester United have no clue on transfers
Manchester United paid over £70 million for Diogo Dalot and Fred in the offseason. Yet, only one was in the squad on Sunday. Dalot managed just 45 minutes and was removed at halftime after a subpar first half.
Jose Mourinho really hooked Diogo Dalot for Marouane Fellaini to complete 7 passes.
I prefer not to speak pic.twitter.com/lWHQfRuWar
— marty (@Martyjhill1) December 16, 2018
A lot of stock was put into former scout Javier Ribalta who left the club after both players were signed over the summer. He reportedly had a lot to do with the signings of both men. However, neither has worked out thus far and the Red Devils look ridiculous for spending such large sums on the duo. It hurts, even more, when Liverpool signed Shaqiri for just £13m from Stoke.
Liverpool’s Moneyball philosophy is working
When Liverpool signed Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, and Luis Suarez a few years back, they proclaimed Moneyball influenced their signings. Only one of the three really panned out and the club was criticised. Since then, Liverpool have reassessed their Moneyball scouting.
Fenway Sports Group owns the Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball team, a franchise known for their Moneyball moves. It only makes sense that Liverpool have adopted the Red Sox’s ways.
Liverpool have spent heavily on certain players like Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane, but Moneyball is about adding quality players for low prices around the star performers. Liverpool signed Andy Roberston from Hull for £8m after they were relegated in 2017. Shaqiri joined for £13m in the summer of 2018 after Stoke were relegated. In total, the duo cost Liverpool £21m. It is just £1m more than Manchester United paid for Dalot.
Shaqiri does it again! His second on the day! pic.twitter.com/c1PMKBSJdO
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 16, 2018
Manchester United have spent a lot of money, but as Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said during the match, it is difficult to tell where the quality is that they paid vast sums for.
Gary Neville: “Liverpool are streets ahead of Manchester United.” pic.twitter.com/NCuv1mDH8d
— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) December 16, 2018
The Red Devils were holding on for much of the game and the team’s stars that continue to be looked upon as top performers like Romelu Lukaku and Rashford were nonexistent. Although Lingard scored, it is worrying for Red Devils supporters that it was his first goal since January of last season.