For Manchester United fans, it is the hope that kills them. The hope Ole Gunnar Solskjær can find the answers, that the flickers of promise from his tenure can morph into meaningful momentum, that the romance inherent in his appointment can somehow override the problems and the drift at the top of the club.
Virgil van Dijk headed home from a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner in the 14th minute, and the hosts had two efforts ruled out after crossing the line. Mohamed Salah doubled their advantage in injury-time following a quick counter from a late United corner. Virgil van Dijk admitted Liverpool targeted Manchester United’s vulnerability from set-pieces after he scored a header from a corner on Sunday.
The Dutchman bullied Fred and Brandon Williams in the area – who were marking zonally – as the cross came in, before heading past David de Gea. Liverpool have now gone 39 Premier League matches without defeat, and United remain the only top-flight team to have taken points from Jurgen Klopp’s side this season—they drew 1-1 at Old Trafford in October.
Liverpool also have a game in hand to come on closest challengers Manchester City and could have been more comfortable winners after seeing two first-half goals ruled out and a host of clear chances go astray.
Manchester United are the only team to take Premier League points off the European champions this season, but it rarely looked like lightning would strike twice once the hosts went in front on 14 minutes.
Jamie Carragher asked Van Dijk on Sky Sports after the match whether Liverpool set out to exploit United’s vulnerability from set-pieces.
And the Holland international revealed that they did;
“We tried to find the near post and it worked. Fantastic delivery and the timing was there. I’m delighted. It’s never easy – today I was marked by two opponents.
“We had chances today. We had to find a way through. You need to find the right spaces and throw your body on the line.”
On the decision which canceled the second goal of Liverpool, Van Dijk added:
“I didn’t jump with my hands up [on De Gea] – it’s difficult.
“If VAR gives it we just have to accept it and carry on. I didn’t think it was a foul. I expected it to be a goal.”
Talking about the potential title win, Van Dijk added;
“The title is not won yet,” “We won’t get carried away – we cannot and we won’t.”