Man Utd Bounce Back, Arsenal Struggle

Manchester United secured a 4-1 victory over Real Betis in Europa League, while Arsenal was held to a 2-2 draw by Sporting Lisbon.

The 7-0 defeat to Liverpool was a night to forget for Manchester United supporters, but the team have responded admirably. Their 4-1 victory against Real Betis in the Europa League last-week tie will hopefully give them some respite and the means to quickly move on from that dark evening at Anfield. This Saturday, they will be hoping to leapfrog Arsenal into fifth if they can manage to beat Southampton at Old Trafford. Sunday provides a tricky match between Fulham and Arsenal, with both sides looking to continue their charge towards Champions League qualification next season. After promising beginnings so far as the Premier League returns following winter break, fans can look forward engaging battles across these couple of days.

The past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions for Manchester United fans, who were celebrating their return to glory after carrying the Carabao Cup. Hope was high that this much needed trophy would be the beginning of another era of success, and many were even counting on a serious push towards the title. However, these hopes were quickly crushed with a devastating performance by Liverpool that took place either side of half-time – arguably one of the most embarrassing defeats in club history as it marked the largest margin in fixture between the two teams yet. Unsteady and rocked with defeat, Manchester United has certainly been able to feel the emotional discrepancy between highs and lows this week.

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp‘s sentiment after the match could not have been more fitting – there truly are “no words” to describe the Reds’ performance. Starting off a bit wild in the first half, it seemed as though their opponents’ form was about to overwhelm them. However, all that changed when Gakpo made a remarkable effort and his superb finish gave Liverpool the lead right before halftime. Clearly inspired by this, they were super lively in the second half and played great football all-around; they controlled possession and even managed to score another goal before it was said and done. After 90 minutes of quality play, both organizers and fans left satisfied; it was truly a remarkable victory!

After a five-minute delay, the game was quickly back underway and Darwin added to Liverpool’s tally on the score board with an unstoppable header. United’s defense was in disarray which allowed Liverpool to instantaneously launch a lightning counter-attack with Salah leading the charge. Gakpo slowly approached goal and he made his mark with a stylish finish to put Liverpool 3-0 up. All of this excitement had occurred within the first 66 minutes of kick-off but there appeared to be no end in sight and Salah scored a fourth before Nunez headed home past an overwhelmed De Gea; astonishingly enough, there was still more action to come.

Mohamed Salah’s record-breaking 129th Premier League goal for Liverpool was the salt in United’s wounds as the Reds topped off their seventh consecutive victory against their long-time rivals with Roberto Firmino adding a cherry on top from the bench late on. The differences in power between these two clubs since that fateful night of April 2022 couldn’t be more striking, back then it was 4-0 to Liverpool and things have only continued to get worse for United ever since while Klopp’s side have enjoyed considerable success. As if that wasn’t humiliating enough, by the time Firmino scored there were only a few United supporters left to witness it.

The result of United’s disappointing defeat against Liverpool was too much for Sky Sports pundit and former defender Gary Neville to bear, who vocally labeled the match a ‘disgrace.’ Desperately needing points to stay in contention for the title, the loss puts United a daunting 14 points out of first place – with Arsenal having played one more game. Nevertheless, Liverpool still were able to regain some pride following their score, as it not only granted them the victory but also pushed them ahead of Newcastle United into fifth place in the table with 42 points. Tottenham Hotspur remain three points above, but the Reds possess an advantageous match in hand.

The captain of Liverpool, Jordan Henderson, was right when he stated that it was a fantastic day for the team and their performance level was top notch. The energy levels were high and they were on the right path in terms of how they were playing, evident after a few Premier League games. Both clubs have a long history with each other, going as far back as 1895 when they last encountered a 7-1 victory over United in the second tier – quite the achievement! Today’s result was no exception to this success story and cements Liverpool’s dominance throughout this match. It was clearly evident who the better team on the pitch was and what potentially the outcome would be before kick off.

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