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Liverpool vs Manchester United - What is the way forward for United after 7-0 drubbing?

Last updated: 06 Mar 2023
Moti Prakash 06 Mar 2023
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  • Manchester United were beaten 7-0 by rivals Liverpool at Anfield
  • How will Erik Ten Hag's side react?
  • And what is next after the embarrassing defeat?
erik ten hag
Erik ten Hag needs a reaction from his players (Getty Images)

A week on from lifting the first trophy of his reign as Manchester United manager, Erik Ten Hag now has a completely different task in hand after a sorry 7-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.

Dutch coach Erik Ten Hag has been handed the opportunity to revive Manchester United's fortunes as one of the greatest European clubs with his appointment as the manager ahead of the 2022-23 season.

The three-time Eredivisie winner with AFC Ajax, who turned the Dutch champions a challenging side in European football, took the challenge well and delivered the first trophy for Manchester United since 2017 - a Carabao Cup.

Manchester United blanked Newcastle United 2-0 to break their trophy drought and add a league cup to their decorated cabinet. However a week on things are not so rosy following a drubbing at the hands of Liverpool

Manchester United 7-0 drubbing - A reality check 

Ten Hag's tactical reforms, which included the big decision to remove the England defender Harry Maguire as their regular captain and make new recruitments, paid off well for the most successful side in the Premier League. 

But Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool forwards - Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo - outperformed United in every department in the Premier League clash at the Anfield to hand their traditional rivals a reality check. 

The 7-0 drubbing against Liverpool equalled their joint-heaviest defeat in the Premier League. But the last two vs. Wolves (in 1930) and Blackburn Rovers (in 1926) came nearly a century ago. 

The shambolic all-round display opened up plenty of questions around Ten Hag's United: 'did the club take the foot off the gas?', 'are United fully prepared to face the big clubs', are some which the Dutchman would want to answer in the coming weeks.

The much-improved United, however, have looked like the club which can turn the game around in the second-half in the ongoing season across all competitions. 

But Sunday was different as the home side looked more comfortable in the final 45 minutes after their new recruit Gakpo handed the opener at the brink of half-time. 

Klopp's men struck six past United's most successful goalkeeper David de Gea in the final half with the talismanic Salah toying with their best defender Martinez down the wings. 

The situation saw United losing their heads with one of their most influential players Casemiro continuing on his sluggish start from the first-half. 

Ten Hag had the likes of Jadon Sancho and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the bench but decided against using them. 

It was a day when the Dutchman's notes or tactical abilities were laid to rest by a club which has not been in the top four of the Premier League 2022-23 throughout the season.

What is the way forward for United?

Ten Hag admitted that United played unprofessional and unacceptable football against Liverpool, displaying lack of winning intent. 

United will have quick amends to make ahead of their home leg in the Europa League against Real Betis on March 9. 

The Spanish club are currently at the fifth spot in the league and have lost their previous six European games against English opponents. It will, however, be the first time that United take on the Andalusian side in a major competition.

United are short-priced favourites at 1.45 (Stake) to bounce back with a win over Betis.

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