Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool: Red Devils produce a fine display out of NOWHERE – Daily Mail

By Martin Samuel for MailOnline
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The merest flick from Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford was away.
It had been 997 minutes since his last goal for Manchester United. January 22nd against West Ham. Rashford had only Alisson to beat but a long run in which to consider that. It is said he has lost his touch in such situations. That he doesn’t finish. That’s why he’s ended up on the wing. 
Yet this was a different United, and a different Rashford as a result, too. He looked his old self once more. And so he buried it, as he would have done as a teenager, first breaking into the team under Louis Van Gaal wjen he had the bravery of youth and anything seemed possible. Maybe it still is.
Manchester United shocked Liverpool with a scintillating 2-1 victory at Old Trafford, recording their first points of the season
Rashford let Alisson advance and slotted it past him cool as you like. And that was enough. United then had a two goal lead and, while Liverpool pulled one back and reduced more than a few nerves to shreds during five minutes of additional time, they held. This could be a game-changing 90 minutes for the club, and its manager Erik ten Hag. The fans were still advocating insurrection against the owners but, on the pitch at least, there was harmony.
This was a Manchester United team that worked, and in more ways than one. It functioned, certainly, fully deserving its first win of the season, one that leaves Liverpool still looking for theirs. But it also tried. It ran around. Apologies for the simplification but it’s true. 
Simply by running, United were much better than against Brentford. They were better tactically and technically, too, of course. But running helps. That’s why it’s a bottom line requirement; why ten Hag made it central to what he demanded from his team after the humbling defeat at Brentford.
Jadon Sancho maintained his composure and found the bottom corner to fire Manchester United ahead in the 16th minute
The well-worked opener from the Red Devils winger capped off an outstanding first-half display from Erik ten Hag’s side
Man United: de Gea, Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia, Eriksen, McTominay, Elanga, Bruno Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford. 
Subs: Maguire, Ronaldo (86′), Martial (45′), Fred, Heaton, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka (86′), van de Beek (86′), Garnacho
Goals: Sancho (16), Rashford (53) 
Yellow cards: Alexander-Arnold 
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Elliott, Salah, Firmino, Diaz.
Subs: Fabinho (59′), Adrian, Tsimikas 85′), Carvalho (73′), Bobby Clark, Bajcetic, Phillips, van den Berg, Davies.
Goals: Salah (82) 
Yellow cards: Varane, Dalot, Fernandes 
Referee: Michael Oliver 
And of course there were hearts in mouths when Liverpool scored with nine minutes remaining, a Luis Diaz shot blocked and then converted by the head of Mo Salah. Yet United merited their three points. Ten Hag at last had a team playing as he wished, all fury and press. They shook Liverpool and mapped out the blueprint for the rest of the season, too. United cannot slip back into old ways now. This has to be what they do. 
They cannot be the only elite team in this league, maybe across the top leagues of Europe, that doesn’t press and get about opponents. Everyone looked better for it: from Lisandro Martinez at the back, to Rashford up front, taking his tally against Liverpool to five goals in 11 games. No-one can accuse him of being a flat track bully with that record. He just needs to become reacquainted with what he was.
There was a whiff of cordite in the air and a mood of revolution both inside and outside Old Trafford throughout this game. 
Beyond the walls of the stadium thousands marched against the regime of the Glazer family, while inside ten Hag named an XI that pointed the way forward for the club under his stewardship. He went without some very big beasts. 
Gone, Cristiano Ronaldo. Gone, the captain, Harry Maguire. Gone, Luke Shaw and Fred. All relegated to the bench – a reaction to a quite terrifying start to the season, culminating in a four-goal loss to Brentford in which the barest minimum of effort was missing.
This could not have been more different. Manchester United outran Liverpool, out-pressed them and, largely, outplayed them, too. They led by a goal at half-time and it was thoroughly deserved. Not until the final five minutes before half-time did Liverpool claw their way back into the game and this always looked like being United’s night. United chasing, United harrying. 
Marcus Rashford just kept onside as he broke free of the Red’s defence and fired United 2-0 up midway through the second
Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool struggled at the back as Manchester United continually cut through their high defensive line
United hustling and closing and bullying Liverpool off the ball. This was all about ten Hag at last getting a tune from his players. It was the best they have played, not just this season but for the many months towards the end of the last one, too. United back then drifted as if without anchor.
Yet from the moment this match kicked off the change could be seen, and felt. The supporters still sang that they wanted the Glazers out, or worse, but it was hard for them to stay focussed on their hatred when, from nowhere, they had a team worth cheering again. Last year, United came into this fixture in similarly poor form and were swept aside. 
They couldn’t even raise their game against their greatest rivals. So this was significant. The least that should be expected of United is that they get up for the visit of Liverpool, and they did. 
Anthony Martial returned from injury and impressed off the substitutes bench, providing the assist for Rashford’s goal
They tore into tackles, pressed from the first man, allowed Jurgen Klopp’s weakened team no time on the ball. And it worked. Liverpool were rattled. James Milner looked his age, Jordan Henderson lacked the invention needed in the heart of midfield, the forwards could barely get a touch.
United? They were better without Ronaldo, better without Maguire. Ten Hag may have been forced into these changes by unacceptable form but, having made them, he should have the courage of his convictions and not go back. 
In the seventh minute, Trent Alexander-Arnold made a mistake that let Marcus Rashford in, and then hauled him down. It was a sign of things to come, Alexander-Arnold’s defensive limitations always apparent against the speed of United’s forwards, particularly Anthony Elanga until Martial replaced him at half time. 
Mohamed Salah clawed one back for Liverpool to produce an exciting finish as Jurgen Klopp’s side looked to rescue the loss
In the tenth minute, United should have scored. A fabulous break down the right flank saw Bruno Fernandes poke the ball past Joe Gomez, finding Elanga in space on the left. His shot beat Alisson, but not the post, the ball flying out with almost as much speed as it went in. Yet Liverpool were rocking and five minutes later the home side went ahead.
It was a lovely move again, quick and incisive, with Christian Eriksen finding Elanga on the left and the young man cutting the ball back for Jadon Sancho in the middle. He had the time to switch from one foot to another as Virgil Van Dijk stood off, and Milner dived in. Sancho’s touch left Milner chasing down air and Sancho had time to pick his spot. The stadium erupted, as did Milner who could be seen giving Van Dijk a rare dressing down.
At the back, United were much improved too, not least new signing Lisandro Martinez. Small he may be but he played big here, reading the play well and making some huge blocks. One was from Salah after 40 minutes, one of the few times he got in the game early on. A minute later, from a Liverpool corner, Milner headed in the direction of goal only for Fernandes to hone his accuracy with a bizarrely directed attempted clearance. On the line Martinez was equal to that, too.
By the end, songs about the Glazers had been replaced by pure celebration. The fans may hate the owners but they really hate Liverpool and this was a rare opportunity to demonstrate that without fear of cocky rebuttal – their first win in this fixture since March 2018. Attention now shifts west to the Champions League finalists with two points from three matches. For now, the heat is off United – and it will stay that way if they continue playing like this.
New signing Lisandro Martinez was labelled ‘outstanding’ by commentator Gary Neville thanks to his impressive performance
The win climbs Ten Hag’s side up to 14th in the Premier League table while Liverpool sit just two places above the drop zone
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Relive all of the live build-up and coverage from Manchester United’s 2-1 win against Liverpool, provided by Ben Willcocks and Oliver Salt below.
Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for the crunch Premier League clash between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford, including all the pre-match build-up. 
Host commentator
Host commentator
Host commentator
That’s it! 2-1 United – what a performance from Erik ten Hag’s side.
90 – Still five minutes for Man United to hold out!
86 – ON: Ronaldo, Van de Beek, Wan-Bissaka. Rashford comes off.
85 – ON: Tsimikas, OFF: Robertson
82 – De Gea makes a smart save to deny Carvalho but Salah fires in the rebound emphatically.
Fernandes holds on to the ball to slow down the game, causing a heated discussion between him and the Egyptian.
Game on! 2-1 United
80 – Robertson crosses in dangerously but Fernandes charges back to clear as Alexander-Arnold winds up to shoot in the area.
77 – Martinez hits the deck with cramp but finds his feet and looks to continue for United.
76 – Rashford cuts inside with ease and carves Liverpool’s defence apart, but his strike is fired over Alisson’s crossbar.
74 – Fernandes is booked for a pretty shameful dive in the penalty box.
73 – ON: Carvalho, OFF: Milner
71 – ON: Fred, OFF: Sancho
69 – Neville lauds Martinez for his performance at the back, as the ex-Ajax centre-half continues to hold off Liverpool.
67 – Fabinho has an effort on goal with his head from Liverpool’s deep corner, but De Gea dives down to hold on to the Brazilian’s attempt.
65 – Liverpool continue to look dangerous going forwards as Elliott breaches the United defence – but the youngster is adjudged offside.
Right the Reds off at your peril…
62 – Martial breaks free of Liverpool’s back line again and dazzles Gomez with quick feet, but the Frenchman can’t quite find the final pass to release Sancho.
59 – ON: Fabinho, OFF: Henderson
56 – Alisson keeps Liverpool in the game with a great save.
Rashford almost has a second as he shoots towards Alisson’s far corner, but the Brazilian just gets a hand to it.
53 – Martial slots through Rashford on the centre circle and the English forward beats the onrushing Alisson with an excellent finish.
VAR checks for offside but the goal is given.
2-0 United!!
48 – Klopp’s side have dominated the early stages of the second-half, but United hold firm to keep it at 1-0.
Neville: ‘It was outstanding. I’m actually proud, watching them. The goal was composure and quality. It’s a great goal in any match. They cut Liverpool open, he sits Milner and Alisson down then puts it in. Something none of us expected.’
Fernandes gets Old Trafford under way in the second-half.
ON – Anthony Martial
OFF – Anthony Elanga
Bruno Fernandes’ half by numbers vs. Liverpool:

30 touches
9 final third passes
2 key passes
2 chances created

He’s playing like it’s 20/21. 🪄 pic.twitter.com/WtDgzgsKuW
👎 Bad news if you're a Liverpool fan.

👍 Great if you're a Manchester United fan!

📅 This run stretches back to September 2014.#BBCFootball #MUNLIV pic.twitter.com/v61z4xLcfq
Manchester United head in for half-time 1-0 ahead, as Klopp charges down the tunnel to address his side’s poor performance.
Who predicted that scoreline?
45 – Dalot slides in on Diaz too aggressively according to the referee and the Portuguese full-back picks up a booking just before half-time.
42 – Fernandes is incredibly fortunate not to score an own goal!
The United captain intends to smash the ball clear from a Liverpool corner but skews his clearance – and Martinez is firmly hit on the line on his shoulder.
Liverpool must be wondering how that stayed out!
40 – Salah has his first shot of the match in the area, but Martinez charged out to block the ball behind for a corner.
The Egyptian’s half chance came at the end of a really nice move from Klopp’s side – Liverpool are finally growing into this game.
39 – Milner and Fernandes scrap in United’s half for the ball and the Portuguese midfielder wins a free-kick, after getting floored by the Liverpool veteran.
Probably the right call not to brandish a booking…
36 – Liverpool have slowed the play down in a bid to keep hold of possession, but United’s high press is forcing them back.
Klopp seems to be missing Fabinho to anchor the midfield but the Reds are slowly finding a foothold in the match.
34 – The Red Devils catch Alexander-Arnold high up the pitch again and send a long ball towards Elanga, but Alisson charges out to thump the ball into the stands for a throw-in.
31 – Diaz and Dalot are having a great battle on Man United’s right-hand side, but the Portuguese full-back does very well on this occasion, thwarting the winger’s charge into the area and blocking the ball behind for a corner.
Liverpool’s first corner of the match doesn’t amount to anything.
29 – Alexander-Arnold and Salah link up on the right hand side and Egyptian crosses it in towards Henderson, who fluffs his volley on the penalty spot.
26 – As Diaz accelerates away from Varane, the Frenchman chops him down to squander the break and is rightly carded for the strong challenge.
25 – Alexander-Arnold trips Elanga on the wing and is likely put into the book.
That’s been long overdue, and Liverpool need to find a way of supporting the right-back.
Jadon Sancho gives Manchester United the lead 🔥pic.twitter.com/er2wuQcazN
20 – Manchester United have another chance but Rashford’s shot is blocked behind for a corner.
Liverpool’s high line is being exposed consistently by United. The Reds looked rattled and Klopp may need to change something…
19 – Diaz slaloms through United’s defence on the edge of the box after a nice one-two with Milner but can only direct the ball off target.
Great link up play from Liverpool.
16 – Man United are 1-0 up!
Eriksen slots the ball through to Malacia, who drags the ball back to Sancho on the penalty spot and the England star composes himself to find space and slot the ball past Alisson.
They fully deserved the lead. 1-0 to United.
14 – The gameplan for Manchester United seems to be to target Alexander-Arnold, who has been caught a couple of times in the right back position.
Malacia nearly had the better of him and wanted a foul when he was brought down, but the referee thought little of it.
10 – McTominay releases Fernandes running in behind and the midfielder cuts the ball back to Elanga, who has a glorious chance to put United 1-0 up.
The Swede drags the ball slightly too wide and hits the outside of the post. So close for United!
7 – Alexander-Arnold is bumped off the ball by Rashford and trips the England star as he looks to power into the penalty area. The right-back is fortunate to escape a booking.
Eriksen’s free-kick hits the wall and goes behind for a corner.
6 – Milner is found by Firmino in the penalty area and nearly fashions an opportunity but Varane deals with the danger by knocking the Liverpool star off balance.
Milner asks for the penalty but rightly nothing is given.
4 – Rashford breaks clear of the Liverpool line, but Van Dijk catches up with the forward and tackles him as he prepares to shoot.
Great early sign for United as they break the Reds line already.
2 – Martinez is fouled for a challenge on Salah near the halfway line – and quickly bumps the Egyptian after he gets up.
Looks like the centre-half wants to make his presence known.
Harvey Elliott kicks off for Liverpool.
The much-anticipated derby is almost upon us.
Who are you backing?
No doubt Ten Hag is excited by the arrival of Casemiro. Red Devils fans will hope he can help turn the tide next week against Southampton.
🗣 "He is the cement in between the stones."

Erik ten Hag describes Casemiro as the player he has been looking for at Manchester United pic.twitter.com/kDZq6Vg1SQ
Ronaldo headed over to the touchline to share an embrace with Keane and a handshake with Neville – but made sure to blank ex-Liverpool star Carragher while he was at it.
The Portuguese forward starts on the bench ahead of the clash with Liverpool.
Gary Neville 🤝
Roy Keane 🫂
Jamie Carragher 👀

Cristiano Ronaldo blanks @carra23 🤣 pic.twitter.com/x8uhdCfSRB
Salah may be without his former star team-mate Sadio Mane, but he is delighted with his side’s new-look attack and expects Liverpool to continue scoring bags of goals.
The Egyptian said in an interview with Sky Sports: ‘I was with Bobby [Firmino] and Sadio for five years. We always try to give our best and help the new guys. Sadio was a great player, he gave everything for the club.
‘When you lose someone who was in the starting XI for six years, something has to change. But Darwin [Nunez] will do great and Lucho (Luis Diaz) is doing great since he came.
‘I never thought of it as competition between me and Sadio. Even last season, I was a few goals and assists above him but my target was for myself. I know what I want, individually and collectively, and I go for it.’
Carragher is confident Ronaldo will exit Manchester United by the transfer deadline, especially after his benching against Liverpool tonight.
He said on Sky Sports: If I’m being honest, I don’t think Ten Hag wants Ronaldo around the place. As soon as he’s got options, he’s put him on the bench. In two week’s time, I think he’ll be gone.’
Although he has made the bench, Fabinho was not deemed fit enough to start for Liverpool against Manchester United.
Carragher believes his omission will be a major blow, saying: ‘It’s a blow Fabinho being out. It’s a big pitch to get around, so I’m glad the energy of Harvey Elliott is there, although Fabinho didn’t play in the game last season. Firmino’s back in, Jurgen says he’s done well in training.’
Footage shows thousands of fans chanting ‘We want Glazers out’ outside the stadium.
#MUFC fans chanting “We want Glazers Out” outside Old Trafford #MUNLIV pic.twitter.com/oBMFXM345D
Liverpool have taken to the pitch to start their warm-ups.
Just over half an hour until kick-off!
Van Dijk revealed he needs no extra motivation ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Manchester United, even though the Reds have endured a poor start to the season.
He said: ‘You don’t need extra motivation for tonight. It’s a massive game, obviously we want to start winning again. Two draws isn’t good enough for us. We’ll give it our all. These stats that come out (about conceding the first goal), everyone is paying attention to it but we’ll try not to concede obviously.’
When asked whether it was a good time to play Manchester United, the Dutchman replied: ‘It’s a game on its own. Today maybe there’s a bit more pressure on both teams but it’s something we live with. We’re confident and we can’t wait to be out there, competing at the highest level. We’re feeling good.’
As expected, Ten Hag has kept faith in Martinez despite him struggling in Manchester United’s 4-0 thrashing by Brentford last weekend.
When questioned about the centre-back’s lack of height by Carragher and Neville on Sky Sports, the Dutch boss said: ‘I don’t think it’s necessary to change it because data shows he dominates the ground and aerial duels.
‘I worked with him a lot and I thought the same but really quickly he turned it around facing bigger strikers in Europe and it was never a problem. I could have swapped 11 players at half time, the whole team was bad and it was unacceptable.’
 
A central three of Milner, Henderson and Elliott keeps Fabinho on the bench, as Gomez is preferred over Phillips following his cameo against Crystal Palace last Monday.
Of course, Nunez is not in the squad following his red card for headbutting Joachim Andersen, so Firmino comes in at centre-forward for Jurgen Klopp.
Ronaldo, Maguire and Shaw make way for Elanga, Varane and Malacia, as Martial stays on the bench following his return from injury.
Eriksen looks to partner McTominay in a double pivot in defensive midfield, with Martinez preferred again despite his horror show against Brentford last weekend.
Manchester United: David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Scott McTominay, Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Elanga
SUBS: Tom Heaton, Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fred, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Donny van de Beek, Alejandro Garnacho
Liverpool: Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Harvey Elliott, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz
SUBS: Adrian, Harvey Davies, Fabinho, Kostas Tsimikas, Fabio Carvalho, Bobby Clark, Stefan Bajcetic, Nathaniel Phillips, Sepp van den Berg
Manchester United have conceded more than four goals on seven separate occasions in the Premier League since the start of last campaign. No team has done so more times during this period.
Will Liverpool make is eight tonight…?
Roy Keane insists the fans’ animosity towards the Glazer owners has been ongoing ‘since day one’.
He told Sky Sports: ‘A lot of people are saying Manchester United fans aren’t happy with the owners because they haven’t won many trophies in recent years, but they weren’t happy with the Glazer family since day one.
‘It’s been ongoing and there doesn’t seem to be an end to it. The fans are frustrated.’
Manchester United legend Roy Keane feels there’s no hope for his former club tonight if their star players don’t turn up.
He also admitted that the goals they’ve been conceding have been ‘so poor’ and that defensively they’ve been ‘all over the place’.
What does this mean for Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire, who are each reportedly on the chopping block?
🗣 "They need a huge performance."

Roy Keane says Manchester United need their big players to turn up to stand a chance against Liverpool pic.twitter.com/3M3P1x1RIY
1 – Manchester United have won just one of their last 12 Premier League games against Liverpool (D6 L5) and are winless in eight meetings, since a 2-1 win in March 2018. Mersey-Paradise. pic.twitter.com/2udAzEdTqu
Footage of the angry Manchester United fans at Old Trafford…
Supporters throwing cans of beer at a coach followed by chants of “murderers”. @TheAthleticUK #MUFC #MUNLIV pic.twitter.com/NrOSpubTbA
As expected, Manchester United fans are protesting ahead of the crucial clash with Liverpool.
The major protest is against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club with the American’s blamed for overseeing year’s of mismanagement, poor recruitment, and lack of investment.
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to start on the bench against Liverpool, alongside Manchester United captain Harry Maguire.
Anthony Martial is likely to replace the Red Devils wantaway, having recovered from his hamstring injury.
The Frenchman impressed in pre-season and scored in United’s 4-0 thrashing against Liverpool in Bangkok.
Manchester United are interested in signing Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, according to a report.
Erik ten Hag’s side are looking to add another shot-stopper to their ranks after they allowed Dean Henderson to leave on loan, with first-choice David de Gea in poor form at the start of the Premier League season and only Tom Heaton is reserve after Dean Henderson joined Nottingham Forest on loan.
Ex-Reds legend Jamie Carragher believes the pressure is on Liverpool to produce a winning performance tonight at Old Trafford, more so than Manchester United.
He said if United grabbed a point from the match, Red Devils fans would leave quite pleased.
The former Liverpool star said: ‘I think the result might be more important for Liverpool tonight in terms of trying to close the gap to Man City. If United got a point in this game I think United fans would be quite pleased with that. 
‘I think it will be a really tough game for Liverpool. It’ll be a big blow if they don’t get three points.’
Is he right?
🗣 “I think it will be a big blow for Liverpool if they don’t come away with the three points.”@Carra23 says the result is more important for Liverpool as they face Manchester United at Old Trafford this evening. pic.twitter.com/2w6wt6qERX
He’s unlikely to play a part tonight, but Eric Bailly could well be on his way out of Old Trafford come the end of the window.
Marseille are hotly pursuing a loan deal with an option to buy the Ivorian.
🚨| Marseille remain in talks with Manchester United over the signing of defender Eric Bailly.

[via @skysports_sheth]. pic.twitter.com/Y1tArXkbgk
Confirmed back in the squad, Anthony Martial could be handed a first start for Manchester United in ten months, having spent the final portion of last season on loan at Sevilla.
His last start was against Villarreal away whilst Michael Carrick was caretaker manager at Old Trafford.
The Frenchman is still a major doubt having just returned from injury, but he would certainly be a major boost for United considering his form in pre-season.
If they dodge defeat tonight, Liverpool would go five games unbeaten in the league at Old Trafford for the first time since 1927…
Out of respect, Manchester United are waiting for PSV to finish their Champions League play-off against Rangers before launching a bid for Cody Gakpo.
It is also believed that United are not necessarily after just one of Gakpo, Antony and Christian Pulisic…
🚨| Manchester United remain interested in a permanent deal for PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo and a loan for Chelsea's Christian Pulisic.

Gakpo and Pulisic are not necessarily seen as alternatives to Antony.💰

[via @skysports_sheth]. pic.twitter.com/wtnpLuUKOL
He won’t be in action tonight, but Casemiro has arrived at Old Trafford ahead of his expected unveiling tonight.
Assuming all goes to plan, the Brazilian will be in the squad to face Southampton at St Mary’s next weekend.
Casemiro has arrived at Old Trafford.#MUFC pic.twitter.com/BuW4SjLrzK
Marcus Rashford admitted life at Old Trafford has been extremely challenging in the last 12 months.
He said: ‘It’s been tough don’t get me wrong, especially last season we didn’t reach the heights we could have reached and we didn’t reach the standards we were capable of.
‘It’s something to work towards and I think definitely right now the team is a work in progress so we have to understand the situation that we’re in and just keep pushing ourselves every day.’
"Whatever the situation is, I have to give 100%" 💪

Marcus Rashford admits it has been tough at Manchester United with the club's struggles but the dedication and commitment remains the same. pic.twitter.com/BXEtZqmRGN
Manchester United have not given up on signing Frenkie de Jong – and fresh reports from Holland and Spain suggest club officials will fly to Barcelona in a last-ditch attempt to get a deal over the line.
United grew frustrated in their summer-long pursuit of the Barca midfielder, Erik ten Hag’s No 1 target, but remain convinced there is a chance they will be able to strike a deal in the final week of the transfer window.
United’s £70million signing of Casemiro reduced their need to sign a midfielder, however Ten Hag has expressed his desire for de Jong to reunite with him at Old Trafford after their time together at Ajax.
Paul Merson feels all the Manchester United players need to do tonight is ‘run around’ and ‘give it their all’, as the odds are so heavily stacked in Liverpool’s favour.
With confidence of a win at an all-time low, the ex-Arsenal midfielder feels United fans want to see hard work and effort more than anything else.
I wonder if the players will see that as an advantage?
🗣 “All they’ve got to do is run around.”

Paul Merson says Manchester United have an advantage when they face Liverpool. pic.twitter.com/De7fIXuc4d
Mohamed Salah insists that playing against Manchester United is ‘always a special game’, even though the Red Devils have yet to pick up a point so far this season.
Labelling the two bitter rivals as ‘probably the biggest teams in England, history wise’, the Egyptian admits he loves playing in the illustrious derby.
But Salah also feels there will be plenty of pressure riding on Monday clash, considering Liverpool have already handed Man City an advantage in the title race.
🗣 "Maybe the biggest two teams in England, history wise."

Mo Salah says that Manchester United vs Liverpool is always a special game no matter the timing pic.twitter.com/4ncpxBq13B
Manchester United produced a surprise 4-0 win against Liverpool in Bangkok during pre-season, kick-starting Erik ten Hag’s reign with a bang.
Of course, their fortunes have spiralled since, but the Red Devils showed hunger and desire against their bitter rivals in Thailand and the result raised plenty of eyebrows in pre-season.
Although Jurgen Klopp named a Liverpool side without Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara, Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Man United ran riot and will be looking for a similar performance at Old Trafford tonight.
Jadon Sancho and Fred scored in the opening half an hour to put United 2-0 ahead before forgotten man Anthony Martial made it three at half-time. Substitute Facundo Pellistri then scored his side’s fourth in the 76th minute.
The intricate passing and quick movement shown on the day has eluded Man United so far this season, and Ten Hag will need plenty of that to overcome Liverpool tonight.
Casemiro has implored Cristiano Ronaldo to stay at Manchester United following his £70million move from Real Madrid.
The Brazilian will not feature tonight against Liverpool, as Erik ten Hag bids for his first points of the season at Old Trafford.
Casemiro’s arrival could well convince the Red Devils wantaway to stay in Manchester and tonight’s result and performance will likely play an important role in his future ahead of the transfer deadline.
The defensive midfielder said: ‘I haven’t talked to Cristiano, I hope he stays because he’s one of the best players in all the time. He’s incredible. 
‘I want to bring my values ​​to Manchester United, everything that Real Madrid taught me, to win from day to day, from every training session. I want to experience the Premier from within. I enjoy everything I have.’
Bruno Fernandes believes there is no better time for Man United to bounce back than against Liverpool this evening.
‘I have been saying this to a lot of people, there’s no better game to bounce back than playing against probably the biggest rival that we have,’ Fernandes told MUTV.

‘It’s Monday night, at a full stadium with big support from our fans like always, so we have to be prepared. 

‘We know we have to give something back to them, it was a tough season, [the] last one, and a tough beginning of this season but we have to bounce back, and this is the right time to do it and we have to do it [tonight].’
Patrice Evra has admitted Manchester United need a ‘miracle’ to get the better of Liverpool at Old Trafford tonight.
‘Things can’t get any worse despite Liverpool next. Against Liverpool we will need a miracle,’ he told Betfair.
The only positive thing is Liverpool haven’t won a game yet, so they also don’t look ready yet. Since [Sadio] Mane left, there’s been a big gap there. Mane was as important as Salah for the team. Klopp has to adapt the team in a different way. It’s interesting, United can surprise everyone but it’s going to be tough.
‘Maybe this match can boost the players’ confidence. Liverpool are not at the level of Man City at the moment, and I know they will get back. I’m positive about Liverpool turning things around, and it hurts me to say that.
‘Last year, I remember they struggled when Van Dijk was injured, but they still went toe to toe with City for the league title, so they will come back and I trust Klopp and Liverpool. Now, I don’t trust Man United.
‘We are touching rock bottom right now, it wouldn’t surprise me if we beat Liverpool. We can’t do anything worse.
‘Last season, Liverpool won 4-0, but it could have been more, it was like a training session. If Liverpool are arrogant, we can beat them. But if Liverpool come into this game motivated after they haven’t won any of their first two then they will destroy us.’
Here’s how tonight’s teams have fared in their last five meetings. It certainly makes better reading for the Merseyside club!
19 April 2022: LIVERPOOL 4-0 Man United (Premier League)
24 October 2021: Man United 0-5 LIVERPOOL (Premier League)
13 May 2021: Man United 2-4 LIVERPOOL (Premier League)
24 January 2021: MAN UNITED 3-2 Liverpool (Premier League)
17 January 2021: Liverpool 0-0 Man United (Premier League)
Man United supporter Adam Stott sums up why fans are choosing to protest during this evening’s game…
🙏 “We want to be heard.”

🤬 “The more fans that vent their anger, it’ll gather more momentum.”

👊 “It feels like a momentum's building and we want to capitalise on it.”#MUFC fan Adam Stott explains why he and other fans will carry out their #EmptyOldTrafford protest tonight. pic.twitter.com/gklx2dTSAN
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has come out in defence of Liverpool after their shaky start to the Premier League season, arguing that without them the league would be ‘a procession’.
‘I thought Fulham were amazing on the first day, the way they put pressure on Liverpool,’ Wright told the OTB Cadbury FC Roadshow.
‘The reason why they’ve done that, is that they know that Liverpool have chased down a Man City side that are imperious. If it wasn’t for Liverpool this f***ing league would be s***. 
‘Simply because [City] have beaten them on two occasions by one point, and then they hammered them out of sight. If it weren’t for Liverpool it would be a procession.’
Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has told Erik ten Hag not to play Cristiano Ronaldo against Liverpool tonight.
United’s all-time top goalscorer has urged the Red Devils boss to get energy on the pitch, which would mean leaving out the 36-year-old’s former team-mate for the game.
Via the Times, Rooney said: ‘I wouldn’t play Cristiano Ronaldo, and I wouldn’t play Marcus Rashford.
‘If I was in Ten Hag’s position my main concern would be getting energy on the pitch, and United’s failure to recruit a number nine means they relied on Ronaldo against Brentford, even though he hadn’t trained a lot with the team. 
‘He looked like he needs time to get match fit. ten Hag needs energy from his side and that may mean dropping Ronaldo.’
Sportsmail columnist Danny Murphy believes United and Liverpool would be in completely contrasting states right now had the former beaten them to Jurgen Klopp in 2015…
The biggest compliment I can give Jurgen Klopp is that every Manchester United fan who barracks him tomorrow night would actually love to have him at Old Trafford.
There’s little doubt Klopp’s move to Liverpool in 2015-16 instead of replacing Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford — as United had considered — has changed the history of both clubs.
I’m convinced if Klopp were manager of United, they wouldn’t have gone five years without a trophy — and Liverpool wouldn’t have won everything, unless they’d somehow managed to get Pep Guardiola instead!
Read more of Murphy’s column here:
Jurgen Klopp has played down the impact of Liverpool’s 9-0 aggregate win over Manchester United last season on tonight’s clash between the two sides.
United finished in sixth place and were on the wrong end of 5-0 and 4-0 drubbings by rivals Liverpool last year.
Yet Klopp was quick to dismiss the impact of those results on this evening’s showdown. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: ‘I don’t think about these kind of things.
‘It makes life not easier when you arrive there now. It’s already a very, very, very important game – as if it wasn’t important enough before – for United and for us as well, we are not over the moon about our start. 
‘In all the media, everywhere, everyone will remind United about the results we had last year. But I knew last year they wouldn’t help for next year.’
Read more: 
Manchester United have cancelled a meeting that was planned to take place ahead of their clash with Liverpool on Monday night due to security concerns.
The match is expected to be met with protests from United fans unhappy with the Glazer family’s ownership of the club.
Players were supposed to meet at the Lowry Hotel ahead of the match, but it was called off around 1pm as fans were already gathering.
According to reports in the Manchester Evening News, the protest is expected to be a ‘big one’, and supporters have already barricaded them outside the Lowry while chanting ‘we decide when you play.’
Read more: 
Even though it did not spell the end for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it definitely represented one of the proverbial nails in his Manchester United coffin. 
Liverpool were 4-0 up by half-time and in dreamland as their supporters taunted Old Trafford with a variation on their ‘Ole’s at the wheel’ chant.
Salah’s hat-trick ensured Liverpool enjoyed one of their best days at Old Trafford in recent memory. Sir Alex Ferguson was watching on from the stands and looked physically sick throughout. Sir Kenny Dalglish was also watching on and he looked significantly more delighted. 
Click below to read Martin Samuel’s report from that fateful day last October
Erik ten Hag insists he is still the right man to bring back the glory days to United despite the club’s horrendous start to the season.
Ten Hag has lost his first two Premier League games to Brighton and Brentford, leaving United second bottom of the table going into Monday’s clash with Liverpool.
It has put Ten Hag under pressure far earlier than he could ever have expected, but the Dutchman won’t change his masterplan and insists he will get it right. 
‘I’m not here for myself, I’m here to restore the club,’ said Ten Hag. ‘I knew before that this is a challenge and I wanted this challenge.
‘I knew before that it was going to be hard, but I wanted that because in my career everywhere the start was difficult but I got it done – and I’m convinced I (will) get it done here as well.
‘I chose this project. I knew it was a process and I will stay consistent to the philosophy and to the plan we had. I keep confidence in the co-operation I have in the players and also the coaches and the directors.’
As if the sight of Manchester United in the bottom two of the Premier League isn’t shocking enough, Liverpool languishing in the lower half of the table after two games has come as another big surprise.
It has been a poor start to the season for United and Liverpool as they prepare to go head-to-head, but the comparisons end there.
The last decade has seen Liverpool surge ahead of their big rivals on and off the pitch as United’s era of domination came to an end.
Sportsmail’s Chris Wheeler looks at the gulf that has opened up between English football’s most successful clubs here:
Incredibly, despite their nightmare start to the season United can leapfrog Liverpool by coming out on top at Old Trafford tonight.
Victory for Ten Hag’s men would likely move them up into 14th place, although a three-goal win would lift them to 13th.
Liverpool, meanwhile, can rise to eighth by getting the better of United, seventh if they score two goals in the process and sixth if they triumph by three goals.
Their respective outlooks for the season are likely to look a whole lot different come full time this evening.
Graeme Souness has claimed Manchester United’s ‘bottlejob’ players will use fan protests against the Glazer family as an excuse if they lose to Liverpool on Monday night.
He said on talkSPORT: ‘Liverpool will benefit from it, the Man United players won’t, so they will have to have that in mind and the job is hard enough for the Man United players right now.
‘You’ve got Man United players who are looking for an excuse right now. You’ve got some people who you would not want to be in the trenches with.
‘It will only give Liverpool a lift and be an excuse to those weak players that play for Man United, who have not stood up, who have been bottlejobs. That’s last year and they’ve shown signs of it this year.
‘Take responsibility, deal with the disappointment that comes along and then grow and become a bigger player going forward.
‘Right now, what you are seeing is Man United players looking for excuses, they’ll be blaming the manager, blaming this demonstration, they’ll be blaming anything they can apart from holding the mirror up, looking at themselves in that mirror and saying, “could I have done more?”‘
Read more:
As if there wasn’t enough going on, United are also set to unveil new signing Casemiro while their supporters protest ahead of tonight’s game.
The Red Devils confirmed on Friday that they have an agreement in place to bring the 30-year-old midfielder to Old Trafford from Real Madrid in a deal worth £70million. 
Casemiro reportedly bid farewell to Real supporters in Spain on Monday morning before flying out to Manchester to be welcomed by United supporters later in the evening.  
The omens are certainly good for Liverpool against United right now…
🔴 @LFC are looking to win four consecutive #PL matches against Man Utd for the first time since January 2002#MUNLIV pic.twitter.com/2IRZrdtSTS
United will be without Victor Lindelof and Facundo Pellistri for tonight’s encounter, while Anthony Martial is a doubt to feature despite recovering from a hamstring injury.
Liverpool have no new injury concerns to report, but Jurgen Klopp still has Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahima Konate, Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Calvin Ramsay and Caoimhin Kelleher sidelined.
Darwin Nunez is also suspended following his sending off against Crystal Palace last week.
The 1958 group of United’s supporters have urged fans to make their displeasure towards the Glazers known tonight…
Tonight, we make a statement.

If you are entering the ground we need to unite!

Stretford Upper & Stretford Lower.

J stand & K.

North stand & South.

Don’t just wait for TRA. Get involved and let’s hear all sides of OT support in unison.

Be loud, be United in one voice🇾🇪 pic.twitter.com/Qql5eoeZrq
An estimated 10,000 Man United supporters are planning to march before kick-off against owner Joel Glazer tonight amid fears that splinter groups will also try to invade the pitch and block access to Old Trafford.
United and Liverpool’s meeting back on May 2 of last year was called off when protests led to fans clashing with police, while other supporters held up the team bus.
On that occasion the match was rescheduled, with Liverpool winning 4-2, but Klopp feels his side should not be made to squeeze an extra fixture in again when they would be blameless for any cancellation.
‘I really hope it will not happen but if it happens I think we should get the points,’ he said. 
‘We have nothing to do with the situation if (United) supporters don’t want the game to happen. We can’t just rearrange the game again and try to fit it in somewhere in an incredibly busy period.’
Sportsmail understands that Harry Maguire is facing demotion to the bench for United tonight, with Erik ten Hag expected to start Lisandro Martinez alongside Raphael Varane at centre-back.
Ten Hag has been training with Martinez and Varane in central defence over the past week, meaning Maguire could be dropped from his starting lineup against Liverpool.
Read more here:
So much is at stake for Manchester United and Liverpool as the two great rivals prepare to lock horns once again at Old Trafford tonight.
Both sides are in desperate need of a victory after failing to earn one in their first two outings, with United getting Erik ten Hag’s reign off to the worst possible start in defeats against Brighton and Brentford.
Liverpool, meanwhile, were held to frustrating draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace, leaving them trailing in the wake of title rivals Manchester City already.
Neither team can afford to slip up again this evening, meaning it should make for a fascinating 90 minutes. And if that’s not enough, the home support are also planning a mass walkout in protest towards their ownership.
We’ll have updates on that protest, team news and more throughout the day here on Sportsmail.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

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