‘Turgid’ Man Utd lambasted for not ‘going for the jugular’ at Liverpool

Date published: Monday 18th January 2021 6:58 - Robert McCarthy

Manchester United have been criticised for not “not going for the jugular” during their goalless draw with an injury-hit Liverpool on Sunday.

The match at Anfield pitted the league leaders against the reigning champions but was a largely underwhelming affair.

Reds keeper Alisson made two good stops towards the end of a game where United always looked to be happy with a point.

And BeINSPORTS presenter Richard Keys felt that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men missed the chance to make a real statement.

He told his official website: “Everybody is talking about Liverpool. I get that. They’re the champions and they’re horribly out of sorts.

“I described them as ‘bits and pieces’ on BeINSPORTS – as I discussed the game post match with Andy and Nigel de Jong.

“Those who saw it know what I’m referring to! They are ‘bits and pieces’ right now. The two full- backs are way off. They don’t have a central defender to speak of. Without Henderson in midfield there’s no intensity and they’re mis-firing up top – but the service is awful.

“And for me, that’s largely down to the full-backs. When those two are firing their unstoppable crosses in Liverpool are an entirely different prospect.

 

“So why didn’t United go for the jugular? The minute the team sheets came in – and he saw that Henderson was playing at centre-back – Solakjaer should’ve ripped up his game plan and started again.

“United are better than Liverpool right now. They went into the game as the form team in the country. They should’ve been brimming with confidence.

Everything was in United’s favour

“They had more height. McTominay and Pogba. McGuire for set-pieces. The lightening quick reactions of Rashford and Martial. The cunning of Fernandes. It was there to be won. Go and play in Liverpool’s half. Go and do what City would’ve done – and win it three or four nil. Make a statement.

“Instead they were turgid. Dull. Boring. And scared. If Mourinho had served that up he’d have been slaughtered.

“I know there are two sides to the game. I’ve argued that on many occasions when teams have gone into a cauldron – and sat in hoping to nick a point – or three. I get it. I applaud it when it’s done well.

“Mourinho is the master of it. We’ve seen his teams do it time and again – never to better effect than when he took Inter to Barcelona for a CL semi-final 2nd leg with a 3-1 lead and left with the sweetest 1-0 defeat in history. It was classic Mourinho. The benchmark. Inter played with 10 following Motta’s red card in the 30th minute. Messi, Ibra, Xavi – none of them could find an answer.

Liverpool were there for the taking

“If United had gone to Anfield with Liverpool at their breathtaking best I could understand a rear guard action to protect and maybe steal. But, as I’ve already said, right now they’re not. The Champions were there for the taking and United bottled it.

“Do you remember all the nonsense from the Class of ‘92 when Solskjaer got the job? ‘Never again must a manager here betray our traditions. Ignore our DNA. Try and impress on us his own beliefs’. My goodness. What was that we saw at the weekend?

“By Monday Solskjaer was talking about the ‘fantastic, disciplined’ job Pogba did. Really? Doing what exactly? Why wasn’t he at the other end of the pitch proving that he can boss big games – not just games against Burnley?”

READ MORE: Neville highlights problem area, says Man Utd need two signings

 

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