Manchester United vs Liverpool (FA Cup): Review

Introduction

After a drab 0-0 draw just a week ago in the Premier League, United and Liverpool were set to battle once again for FA cup glory. The trophy is considered to be one of the oldest trophies in world football. Manchester United, who hadn’t won any honors’ since 2017, needed a win for a shot at some silverware. For Liverpool, this trophy would have been a silver feather as they last grabbed it in 2006, beating West Ham on penalties.

Players battling out
Players battling out

Line Ups

Manchester United

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson
Defense: Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw
Midfield: Mctominay, Pogba, Rashford, Van de Beek, Greenwood
Attack: Cavani

Liverpool

Formation: 4-3-3

Goalkeeper: Alisson
Defense: Alexander-Arnold, R. Williams, Fabinho, Robertson
Midfield: Alcantara, Milner, Wijnaldum
Attack: Salah, Firmino, C. Jones

Read our preview where were accurate enough to predict the lineup apart from 1-2 players.

First Half

The match kicked off and the tempo was evenly poised as both the teams tried to open up spaces. Early on, Rashford tried a few driving runs with Shaw trying to cross into the 6 yard box. Unfortunately, Fabinho was cleverly defending the crosses while Trent and Robertson were trying to create chances upfront. However, it was Greenwood first who came close on the 13th minute from a tight angle to which Alisson saved from his foot. Mo Salah opened up the scoring in the 19th minute from a through ball from Firmino, with a calm 1v1 finish over Henderson.

Greenwood and Cavani celebrating ( Manchester United)
Greenwood and Cavani celebrating ( Manchester United)

Man United pressed harder after conceding and the equalizer came from Greenwood in the 27 min through a long ball from Rashford. It was a clever long pass that was well controlled and shot across into the far bottom corner. It was Manchester United then dictating the tempo on the pitch. They came close twice through Pogba once in the 44th min and again in the 47th min just before HT.

Both teams looked dangerous in the first half however, both Klopp and Solskjaer would have expected their teams to be much more clinical in the final third.

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Second Half

The second half kicked off and it took Man United only 4 minutes to go ahead as Rashford capitalised on Greenwood’s pass. Rashford had a clear run at the goal and curled it into the bottom corner. Even though Alisson got a hand to it he couldn’t clear it out. The Game swung its strides again as Mo Salah scored his and Liverpool’s second in the 59th min. Liverpool reacted well and were not down for long. After the equalizer. Milner and Trent Alexander-Arnold came close to scoring but failed to convert in the final thirty minutes. The match was exciting and evenly poised for late drama action as both teams were looking to take the lead again.

Salah scoring for Liverpool
Salah scoring for Liverpool

Both teams made changes in their attack as Liverpool introduced Mane & Origi in the attack and Man United made a double change bringing in Fred and Bruno Fernandes to make an impact in the final third. In the 78th min, Fred scruffed a pass to Cavani. Who indeed was fouled at the edge of the 18-yard box. Fernandes stepped up to take the free-kick and scored brilliantly by curling the ball over Thiago at the far post. Alisson, albeit at full stretch, could not keep it out. Man United came close to scoring their fourth in the final minutes. A great ball in the middle of the box by Fernandes was headed by Cavani only to be bounced off by the woodwork. Alisson was beaten, yet lucky to see the ball not go into the net.

Conclusion

After having a good run in the league games and showing increased confidence. Ole’s Reds advanced. Liverpool on the other hand has tricky fixtures and some big games coming up. Having just won a title after 30 years, Liverpool will look to bounce back and retain their title. Man United who is at the top of the league for now will need to show character and resilience. Many have predicted that they won’t be at the top for long. Regardless, one’s thing’s for sure, they’ll be advancing to the next round of FA cup action.

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