‘Obliterated’: Liverpool hand Man Utd record drubbing as Salah hits three to add to Ronaldo and Solskjaer woes
Manchester United slipped to one of the most damaging defeats in recent memory as Mo Salah hit a hat-trick and Liverpool ran riot at a despondent Old Trafford to win 5-0 and pile the pressure on United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
A rampant Liverpool were out of sight by half-time, pummeling the hosts into submission with an opening blitz which brought goals from Naby Keita and Diogo Jota inside the opening quarter of an hour.
With United’s defense in disarray, Salah got his first of the afternoon on 38 minutes – meaning the Egyptian has now scored for a remarkable 10 games in a row in all competitions for the Reds.
⚽️ Mohamed Salah▶️ 1st player to score in 10 successive apps for Liverpool ▶️ 105 PL goals, the most by an African player, passing Didier Drogba pic.twitter.com/IdrCRsSmQW— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) October 24, 2021
A frustrated Cristiano Ronaldo escaped with a yellow card as he kicked the ball into a grounded Curtis Jones just before the break, although there was still time for Salah to strike again in first-half injury time and make it 4-0.
📸 Ronaldo lashes out at Curtis Jones pic.twitter.com/Q0wDz1CbpA— Matchday365 (@Matchday365) October 24, 2021
United departed the pitch with boos ringing in their ears as OleOut was already trending by the time the Norwegian had followed his players into the dressing room after a woeful first 45 minutes from his team.
United just running about. Liverpool passing round them with ease. Embarrassing first-half. Liverpool far, far too good.— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) October 24, 2021
Manchester United fans leaving Old Trafford at the half 😮 pic.twitter.com/ETWe7r9ObO— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 24, 2021
Solskjaer ordered his men out early ahead of the second half, also introducing Paul Pogba for Mason Greenwood.
But the Frenchman merely added to the calamity on show at Old Trafford, being caught dawdling in possession in midfield as Jordan Henderson played in Salah for the Egyptian to seal his hat-trick after 50 minutes and make it 5-0.
3 – Mohamed Salah is the first away player to score a hat-trick at Old Trafford for over 18 years, since Ronaldo did so for Real Madrid back in April 2003 in the Champions League. Ballon. pic.twitter.com/E9kOIRThgF— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 24, 2021
Summing up United’s afternoon, Cristiano Ronaldo then saw a goal ruled out for offside as he thought he had at least pulled one back for the humiliated hosts.
Meanwhile on the touchline, cameras caught the presiding mood in both camps as a glum Sir Alex Ferguson puffed out his cheeks and shook his head while Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish was seen in high spirts.
Compounding matters, Pogba was sent off for a dangerous, studs-up lunge on Keita just 15 minutes after the World Cup winner had been brought on in a vain attempt to turn things around. The severity of the challenge was such that Keita was taken off on a stretcher.
Liverpool were mostly content to keep the ball among themselves in a training exercise for the remainder of the game, saving the battered hosts more damage in a contest which would have been waved off long ago were it a boxing bout.
Many of the United faithful had already streamed out of the stadium by that point as their Liverpool rivals gleefully gave a rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ from the away end.
Online, the knives were well and truly out for Solskjaer – with many claiming this should be the last nail in the coffin for a man who has struggled to bring anything like the consistency required from his team to challenge for the Premier League title.
Up in the TV studio, former United defender-turned-pundit Gary Neville called the result “an absolute shocker.”
“It’s been building now for a few weeks against half-decent teams. As soon as they play a proper team, they’ve been obliterated, pulled to pieces, dismantled.
“That’s a poor reflection upon the manager, the staff and the players,” added Neville.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks shell shocked at full-time 😳 pic.twitter.com/4RTh2DEnnp— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 24, 2021
🗣 "That was a shocker, an absolute shocker. As soon as they've played a proper team they've been obliterated." @GNev2 says Manchester United's performance is a poor reflection on everyone involved at the club pic.twitter.com/baL7Lv72KL— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 24, 2021
According to the stats men, the win was the biggest ever for Liverpool at Old Trafford and the first time United have lost by 5 or more goals to nil at home since February 1955, when they were battered by the same scoreline by Manchester City.
5 - Manchester United have suffered their heaviest ever defeat at home to Liverpool, whilst it's the first time they have lost to-nil by 5+ goals at home since February 1955 (5-0 v Man City). Erosion. pic.twitter.com/ZeGo6Lm69M— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 24, 2021
The win for Jurgen Klopp's impressive Liverpool moved them to within one point of Chelsea at the Premier League summit, while United remain eight points off the pace down in seventh, having suffered three defeats in nine games thus far this campaign.