Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

Xherdan Shaqiri came off the bench to make a dramatic impact and score twice, giving Liverpool a hugely deserved 3-1 win over Manchester United at Anfield

And here is Daniel Taylor’s match report from Anfield:

Enjoy/weep over/neutrally savour that and I’ll leave you to enjoy the rest of your weekends. Thanks for your company and what, whichever your affiliation, was quite an afternoon. Bye!

Here’s Mourinho:

“They are a strong team, they showed they had the strongest team, but it’s hard to concede two goals in the moment we conceded and it’s even harder the way they happened. I think our difficult period of the game was the first 20 minutes when we couldn’t work with their fantastic intensity, speed and pressing.

“After that we were quite calm in the game, quite controlled. They attacked much more than us but the game was going into a dynamic where they were really frustrated, centre-backs shooting into the stands from 30 yards, and we felt we could win. But it was two easy balls for [Shaqiri] and because of the [deflections] we had no chance.

Can he fix this?

“What do you mean by fix? If you mean win the title, of course not, I can’t fix it. We can still finish top four. For sure we will finish in the top six like all the historically top six teams but the best we can get is fourth position.”

Are the players are giving everything for him?

“What is that? Play for me? Are you calling the players dishonest? You are asking me if they are dishonest. I believe they are honest and you believe they are dishonest. A footballer has to give everything every day, every minute, it doesn’t matter about the manager or anything else. I don’t call them dishonest at all. Tye players on there today gave everything. Liverpool is the better team, we cannot compare with their intensity and physicality. But in spite of that we were in the game, until we conceded the third.”

Van Dijk: “We had the bigger chances, they were pretty dangerous sometimes on the break but we dominated the game and won deservedly. We were a bit expecting something else [system-wise from United] but we were prepared and know all about their strengths. We were ready for the game and we did well.”

Mane: “We are very happy, we played great football today from the beginning and created many chances. We deserved to win. [Conceding the equaliser] is part of football, but we are Liverpool, we never give up. The ground was behind us and we focused more than ever.”

Liam Curson has a song in his head: “I’m not even a Liverpool fan, but here’s a new terrace chant for Shaqiri based on his popstar namesake: ‘I never really knew that he could play like this, He makes me want to say in Spanish, nuevo trabajo para Mourinho, en la mañana hasta luego’. You’re welcome!”


“Man of the match for me has to be Fabinho,” writes Chris Healy. “I don’t think he’s put a foot wrong all afternoon. Brilliant midfield performance. Bad news going forward for Jordan Henderson. Robertson continues to be brilliant game after game. What a player.”

I agree. It was between Fabinho and Firmino, and by the end I think the excellent Fabinho edged it.

As I said, Liverpool weren’t looking hugely likely until Shaqiri came on and made them much less predictable – but then United were hardly posing them any questions at all. That shirt looks like a lead weight on so many of them. This is now their worst start to a season in the Premier League era and there is absolutely no sign of things getting better. That Pogba spent the entire game on the bench speaks of the deep-rooted dysfunction at the club.

Jurgen Klopp is enjoying this. Fist pumps in front of the Kop, hugs with every player within radius. Then a headlock and joyous bellow into Shaqiri’s ear as they head down the tunnel. “Liverpool toyed with United but I’m not surprised,” says a withering Roy Keane.

Full-time: Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United

Salah swishes a late effort – Liverpool’s 36th to United’s six – over and then ... that’s it! Liverpool regain top spot – and United slink further into total mediocrity.

90+1 min: A Mata effort is deflected wide after some sharp work from Martial ... but the man it came off was Fellaini. No corner. We’re amid just three added minutes.

90 min: An “ole!” move from Liverpool ends just as those should – with Henderson taking control and spooning a shot high.

88 min: Sir Alex Ferguson is sitting next to David Gill – and how disgusted at this directionless rabble must both of those guys be.

86 min: “A goal from a chap who Liverpool picked up for less than £15m – the type of world-class player who United desperately need but showed absolutely no interest in buying ...” notes Martin Pelan of Shaqiri.

His Instagram story game wasn’t strong enough, apparently.


85 min: And when United do get a little sight inside the box – after an immediate error by Henderson – Fellaini slices it towards the corner flag. Juan Mata will come on for Lingard now but it’s not going to change a thing.

84 min: Let’s be clear here – this scoreline is entirely fair. Except that United really are lucky to have scored one. Mane comes off, to rapturous applause, and on comes Henderson.

Goal! Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United (Shaqiri 80)

He has done it again! Incredible! It’s via another deflection but they won’t care. It’s that extra bit of composure they needed from Shaqiri – he advances towards the box but, instead of taking aim from 25 yards, plays a cute ball in for Firmino. He can’t quite find Salah with a first-time flick and the ball spins out perfectly for Shaqiri to ram it, with a small snick off a defender once again, past De Gea from the edge of the area. Game over!

Xherdan Shaqiri makes it 3-1
Xherdan Shaqiri makes it 3-1 Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images


79 min: Herrera whizzes a dangerous ball behind everyone. United must press now, of course, but it’s cut out for Liverpool to do what they do best on the counter. Martial, not Pogba, is introduced in Herrera’s place now for the salvage operation.

77 min: Paul Pogba ... does not look like coming on any time soon.

75 min: Wijnaldum drags wide as Liverpool look to finish this off. It’s bouncing in there now. They’d been applying almost all the pressure without really looking like scoring, bar that Firmino toe-punt, and those long-range shots had become rather wearing. Shaqiri found a cutting edge straightaway!

Goal! Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United (Shaqiri 73)

What an impact! It might even be his first touch! Mane skins Herrera one-on-one at the left byline and drills across low. It deflects off Matic and De Gea has to make a sharp reflex stop with his left foot – but it runs out to the right side of the box, where Shaqiri is running onto it and lashes it, via a snick off Young, in off the crossbar. Anfield goes berserk – and what a substitution that was!

Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri scores after coming on as a sub
Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri scores after coming on as a sub Photograph: Matt West/BPI/REX/Shutterstock
Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates scoring their second goal
Shaqiri celebrates scoring their second goal Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters


71 min: Fabinho drills Liverpool’s 45,677th shot from range. De Gea saves in relative comfort again.

70 min: “Liverpool look certain to break the deadlock. Putting on a game-changing player could help speed things up though. Any chance of Phil Jones seeing action?” quips Peter Oh.

Next best thing – here’s Shaqiri for Keita, an attacking move for sure. They need that extra guile.

69 min: De Gea dives upon a Wijnaldum pot shot and you feel Liverpool need rather more than this.

68 min: I think we will see Xherdan Shaqiri shortly. Those spaces between the lines he likes to operate in are perhaps the ones where Liverpool need to improve in this half.

66 min: United now threaten and Robertson does *superbly* at the back stick to stop a cross landing on Fellaini’s head. Two corners follow, easily their most sustained spell of pressure in this game, but the danger ends when several players are caught offside.

63 min: Salah, in an attempt to improve on Robertson, now scuffs an even worse flag kick from that side, but Liverpool keep up the pressure and Van Dijk’s snap-shot from 16 yards spins wide off a defender. Yet another left-sided corner is then dealt with, this time by the head of Lukaku. Liverpool have wasted so many of them today.

62 min: ... which is Liverpool’s best for some time, a short ball to Salah catching United unaware and Matic doing very well to stop Lovren converting his cross at the back stick. Robertson gets another go to deliver from the left side and it is, again, pretty poor.


61 min: Van Dijk has an effort charged down but United are defending well enough for long shots to be all the home side currently have. But they’re not really getting themselves up the pitch at the moment, which is a worry, and concede another corner ...

59 min: A lengthy, fairly sterile spell of Liverpool passing ends with Lovren larruping one 20 yards over the bar from range. The crowd literally groaned as they realised he was trying it.

57 min: Clyne takes aim from 30 yards, it’s deflected and spins behind. Can Liverpool make one of these corners count at last? Nope – United have, in fairness, defended those well all afternoon.

56 min: Rashford looks bright down the left in this half, while Liverpool seem to have cleared their heads somewhat. It’s heating up nicely.

54 min: The resulting corner sees United stretched, with Bailly off the pitch completing some treatment, but they survive.

52 min: Fine save from De Gea! Firmino, who has looked the best player on the pitch for long periods, shows incredible strength and footwork to weave through *four* United players in the box and toepoke one towards the far corner ... but De Gea sticks out a strong hand and Mane is thwarted by Bailly, who takes a knock in the process, as he tries to convert the rebound!


51 min: ... which Fabinho wins in the air at the far post, and the ball squirms off a Manchester United defender – and off a hand, is the plaintive cry from the crowd – and away.

50 min: Herrera rather agriculturally stops Salah freeing himself on the left – it’s a yellow and a dangerous set-piece ...

49 min: Mane clips a tasty delivery from the right byline but Darmian defends it well, flicking it away with Firmino looking interested.

48 min: Early forays down the flanks for both sides lead to nothing, although Young seems to have taken some sort of knock during it all and is walking a bit gingerly.

46 min: It’s a 4-3-3 for United now, which I imagine they’ll be much more comfortable with. Fellaini’s presence in the midfield should be a plus.

Naby Keita battles for possession with Marouane Fellaini
Naby Keita battles for possession with Marouane Fellaini Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


Peeeeep! Liverpool commence half number two

Can they raise it again?

Here come Jose’s cavalry! Fellaini is on for Dalot at half-time!

Matt Dony is not enjoying himself. “I do love Jose as a character. He’s entertaining, and the league is a better place for him being here. But I flipping hate watching Liverpool play Jose’s teams. This is going to end badly. It always seems to end badly. As if a dark, rainy Sunday isn’t depressing enough already.”

Five or six minutes until they’re back out for the second half – time for a quick dash to the kettle/fridge if you like but don’t go far ... this should be a cracker, based on the first 45.

“Defensively he’s not up to it, nowhere near good enough,” is Roy Keane’s take on Ashley Young, with reference to Mane’s goal but by no means only that.

Half-time: Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United

A much better half than we might have feared! And one Liverpool really should be leading. For much of a breakneck first half-hour they were all over United and scored a fine goal through Mane. But United were given a lifeline when Alisson let a cross squirm away and Lingard snaffled it up. It’s looked like more of a contest since then and you’d have to say that, all things considered, Mourinho will be by far the happier manager with this scoreline.

45 min: Fabinho has his latest dig but it flicks wide off Lindelof. A chance for Liverpool before half-time? Not for the first time, Robertson’s flag kick is undercooked.

44 min: Maybe Mourinho’s reactive ‘the team with the ball will make a mistake’ take on football is underrated,” ponders Paul Fitzgerald.


42 min: Alisson catches the ball, this time, after a Herrera shot is deflected. United, although the inferior side, look like competitors in this game now.

41 min: Now Firmino really should receive a booking for a tactical foul on Rashford, who was galloping through the middle after a mistake from the Liverpool front man. No card is forthcoming, which seems very odd, and Mourinho certainly lets the fourth official know about it.

39 min: Yellow card for Lukaku after a heavy one on Keita that has left the midfielder writhing. His foot wasn’t high – I think he’s actually a bit unlucky to be booked, it looked worse than it actually was.

Liverpool’s Naby Keita is fouled by Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku
Liverpool’s Naby Keita is fouled by Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters


37 min: And you wonder, now, what that will do to the game. United were rocking and very deservedly behind. Now they’ll feel like they have got away with one – and how will that change both sides’ mental states? Fabinho sees a shot gathered by De Gea as Liverpool look to show that they’re just fine, thanks very much.

35 min: It’s wet out there and I wonder if that ball just slipped from Alisson’s grasp. Either way, it’s a screw-up and the only kind of incident United looked remotely capable of scoring from. What a gift – but they’ll take it!

Goal! Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United (Lingard 33)

Well, well, well! United spring forward and Lukaku gets a chance to deliver from the left. He whips it low and Alisson makes a hash of it, seemingly dropping the ball onto his own knee and watching in horror as it pops out – Lingard is alert, slides in and crashes the loose ball into the net!

Liverpool’s goalkeeper Alisson spills the ball to the feet of Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, who scores
Liverpool’s goalkeeper Alisson spills the ball to the feet of Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, who scores Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters
Liverpool’s Vigil van Dijk holds his head in his hands.
Liverpool’s Vigil van Dijk holds his head in his hands. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA
Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring their first goal with Diogo Dalot
Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring their first goal with Diogo Dalot Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters


33 min: Bailly concedes another corner, which Liverpool play short and then waste. I’d say United could do with Pogba here, if he’s tuned in – they need somebody to get on that ball in the middle and impose himself.

31 min: Well that was something, Herrera sliding Lukaku into the right side of the area, but his attempted ball across is more hopeful than full of information and Liverpool clear.

30 min: Now we really do have to examine United’s structure and approach, because they just aren’t in this, haven’t offered a thing. I’m not sure they are on track to get hammered here but if they don’t buck up they’ll lose comfortably, no doubt.

27 min: It turned out United hadn’t quite steadied the ship after all, eh? They have to be careful not to let this get away from them now and Dalot takes a booking for a desperate foul on the bursting Robertson not far outside the area. It’s a great area to cause danger for a second ... and Lovren has a half-chance at the near post after Firmino plays it back across, but lashes over!


Goal! Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United (Mane 24)

There it is! Liverpool work the ball patiently from a throw-in and Fabinho dinks a *delightful* ball over their defence, from 10 yards or so outside the area, towards Mane’s run. The forward, unattended by the United back line, controls brilliantly and lashes under De Gea. They deserve it!

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane scores their first goal
Liverpool’s Sadio Mane scores their first goal Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters
Liverpool’s players celebrate
Liverpool’s players celebrate Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp on the touchline
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp on the touchline Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters


22 min: Although United haven’t really got on the ball yet, there are enough signs that they may have doused that early Liverpool fire.

20 min: They do earn yet another corner though, via Robertson. The left-back takes it himself but it doesn’t beat Rashford at the near post.

19 min: Clyne is looking sharp enough for, effectively, a fourth-choice right-back and getting well involved in some fairly tight buildups down that side. Liverpool haven’t really worked a good opening since that flurry around the 10-minute mark though.

17 min: A lull? Sort of, although I can’t say the tempo has dropped much. United won’t have minded the few minutes of fairly shapeless play we’ve just seen.

14 min: Now Firmino has his fourth (!) shot of the game, but it’s his worst and poses no threat. United are currently being overrun in that central midfield area.

12 min: Mane is allowed to carry the ball an extraordinary distance, right up to the 18-yard line and down the centre, before any United player tries to deter him. Eventually Fabinho skies one well over. The away side need to get a bit of a grip at the moment.


11 min: United clear another Liverpool corner and, for the first time really, we have a moment to breathe.

9 min: Close again for Liverpool – twice! Lindelof makes an error and, quick as a flash, Mane sets Salah away into space. He just can’t quite get the ball out of his feet and has to work it back towards Fabinho, whose drilled effort is tipped wide by De Gea. From the corner the ball bobbles off a couple of heads and Young has to clear from in front of the line! This is a whirlwind start.

7 min: Firmino has another go – and De Gea saves! It’s a daisycutter from 20 yards and the keeper gets down low to his left and tips it away. Mane tries to retrieve the ball but can’t quite find a team-mate. Straight down the other end and Rashford thuds a long-range one down Alisson’s throat. All sorts going on at the moment.

6 min: Matic doesn’t hear a shout at the far post and concedes an unnecessary corner. This time Firmino times his run well and makes a connection, but his header skids wide. It’s a really fast, slightly manic start at Anfield.


4 min: A very high tempo so far, both teams looking to use their speed in behind. United win a free-kick out on the left touchline in a decent position – it’s whipped in low towards Lukaku, who air kicks it as it flies beyond him and into the net! But he was a couple of yards offside and, even though he didn’t touch the ball, clearly attempting to play it and right in Alisson’s eyeline. No goal.

Romelu Lukaku swings and misses before being ruled offside.
Romelu Lukaku swings and misses before being ruled offside. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA


3 min: Salah finds space and lays right to Firmino, whose shot is deflected behind. Looks like Salah has started at centre-forward! The corner is smuggled away.

1 min: It does, indeed, look like three (/five) at the back for United.


Peeeeep! Here. We. Go!

United, left to right, get this show on the road.

The teams are on their way out! Mourinho, very animated, virtually shoves his lads down the tunnel. The atmosphere is *hot*. We get going in a few minutes ...

Fans of Liverpool show their support before kick-off.
Fans of Liverpool show their support before kick-off. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


No harm in starting off small.

Mark Childs delves back almost three decades for his favourite memory: “New Year’s Day 1989 – another false dawn of new kids such as Russell Beardsmore beat Liverpool 3-1. Notable because I’ve never experienced a stadium instantly snap from largely disinterested and hungover to raging hatred as we scored three quick goals to come back from the seemingly inevitable 1-0 defeat.”

Late change for United – Bailly in for Smalling

Smalling had been a doubt beforehand and has seemingly pulled up again. So it’s a last gasp propulsion into the breach for Eric Bailly! Not ideal at all, timing-wise more than anything else.


Roy Keane, in the Sky studio, says he is not Clyne’s biggest fan – a variant of which phrase I’m pretty sure he has uttered before! – and that United ought to target him. Jamie Carragher is a bit surprised at *how* defensive Mourinho’s lineup looks. It’s all conjecture for now.

“Lots of good memories for this fixture,” reminisces Bobby Moore. “The brilliant thumpers of Gerrard & Riise come to mind, as does Dirk Kuyt’s five-yard hat-trick. Can’t recall much about the more recent meetings, oddly. Allez allez allez!”

A similar note from Philippa Bowe Smith:

“We are due for a classic and mighty clash – last year’s encounter was mind-numbingly dull and everything football shouldn’t be. But we all know football loves to overturn all ‘well, this should be...(easy/thrilling/boring/fun etc. etc.)‘ pre-match predictions. Isn’t that why we love it so? Though my nerves wouldn’t mind an easier ride and the certainty that Liverpool can and will keep building on recent form ...”

“I’m afraid I’ve come to associate this fixture with what commentators would call ‘intriguing tactical battles’, i.e. incredibly boring,” writes Adam Kline-Schoder, quite reasonably. “To steal a joke I read somewhere, I’m hoping that this will finally answer the question we’re all dying to know the answer to: how can Mourinho keep throwing his players under the bus if it is most assuredly parked? In all seriousness, I’m hoping for a cracker. It’s got potential, and I’m optimistic!”

That’s the spirit!

Mourinho on whether it’s actually four or five at the back for United – will he tell us? “No.”

On Pogba: “I make many decisions. I think the team with Herrera, Matic, Lingard, lost some qualities but became more intense without the ball and that’s what we need to play against such a fast team like Liverpool.”

Klopp: “We have to be creative but we have to defend well. Their counterattacks will be quick so our protections will need to be spot on. It will be a proper fight, that’s for sure.”

The two managers before kick-off
The two managers before kick-off Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters


“I remember a clinical and thoroughly ugly 2-1 Utd win last season where Lukaku overpowered Lovren on long balls,” says Souradeep Sengupta. “If Van Dijk lets the ‘world’s best defender’ be isolated against Big Rom again, Lingard and Rashford could capitalise.”

Yes, a very good point, Lukaku may well fancy this one.

“This looks like United are playing a 5-2-3 but in actual fact it’ll probably be more of a 7-50 yards of open space-3,” laments David Flynn. “Another rough afternoon ahead for us United fans.”

I’m always struck by how positive United’s support always are, both home and away, inside a stadium. It’s quite different outside!

Write to me. It’s Christmas! Particularly interested in hearing your memories of this fixture over the past few years – it feels that we’re due a classic. And why not today?

Hey, read this from Jonathan Wilson. It’s about Liverpool’s steadier, less heavy-metal style this season. Yes, Alisson is shining and yes, Van Dijk is brilliant – but there’s more going on than that:

The Alpine Klopp has done it at St Mary’s – Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints have indeed downed Arsenal 3-2. What about the, errrrm, German Klopp?

He has! In an 8-0 Ajax win over De Graafschap. It’s only a 40-minute flight from Amsterdam, could Jose get him on loan for the second half?

United’s injury issues have bitten today, just as Liverpool have had to reshuffle a touch. They’d have liked Luke Shaw to start at left-back, I’m sure, but Matteo Darmian has to take that mantle. There’s no Marcos Rojo either.

We’ll re-focus on this one in a moment – but Charlie Austin seems to have won it for the Saints against Arsenal. It’s 3-2 there.

As we speak there are two other top-flight games going on. Chelsea are 2-1 up at Brighton while Southampton and Arsenal are locked at 2-2. Ben Fisher has the last knockings of the latter:

Team news

Liverpool: Alisson; Clyne, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Subs: Mignolet, Henderson, Sturridge, Moreno, Lallana, Shaqiri, Camacho.

Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Smalling, Lindelof, Darmian; Herrera, Matic; Rashford, Lingard, Young; Lukaku. Subs: Romero, Bailly, Valencia, Fellaini, Mata, Pogba, Martial.

James Milner doesn’t make it, so that’s a first league appearance of the season for Nathaniel Clyne! For United, Paul Pogba is back on the bench. Subplots galore!


Here it is – the great battle of the north-west, an affair to stir the senses and breathe fire into the soul.

That’s not been strictly true in recent years. Riveting, high-thrust meetings between Liverpool and Manchester United have become a bit of a rarity this decade but this – this has the ingredients to be very different. Will this be the afternoon that, in many eyes, rubber-stamps the power swing back in Liverpool’s favour that has taken place of late? Or will it be one of those days when United look for long enough like the United we used to expect, the one most of us remember, the one that – per Sir Alex – knocked Liverpool off their perch for, more or less, a couple of decades?

Either is possible although it’s Liverpool who really have the bit between their teeth. Win here, in front of what will surely be a highly eager Anfield crowd, and they’ll go top again – really rubbing things in. Nobody is suggesting they’ll have it easy. United haven’t been horrible in their last three league games – 2-2 draws against Southampton and Arsenal along with a 4-1 win over Fulham – but the sense persists that they never truly cut loose, that they summon their fire and brimstone to avoid all being completely lost but are too cowed to produce across 90 minutes. Can cheery Jose Mourinho change that?

Mourinho has only beaten Jurgen Klopp twice, which might suggest to some of you that the managerial guard has already firmly changed. In a couple of hours we might find out just how big the gulf is between Liverpool and their big regional rivals, 16 points behind after just 16 games, too. But I sense we’re in for a nailbiter whichever way it swings.

So stay close – it’s kick-off in an hour or so – and send in your emails and tweets to the addresses above. Does this feel like a particularly significant moment in this rivalry? Tell us!