Liverpool vs Manchester Utd Final Football Score 05 March 2023
A vociferous Anfield atmosphere awaits to welcome old foes Liverpool and Manchester United on Sunday afternoon a renewal of hostilities with major implications on the respective Premier League title and top-four faces. Both behemoths enter the showdown on a high, with the Reds seeing off Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 in the top flight, while Erik ten Hag’s men came from behind to sink West Ham United 3-1 in the FA Cup.While meetings between the familiar faces of Liverpool and Manchester United are always eagerly anticipated, Liverpool and Wolves must have been sick of the sight of one another by the time that Wednesday rolled around, as they engaged in their fourth on-field battle since the turn of the year.
Following a controversially disallowed goal for Darwin Nunez – with ex-Wolves man Diogo Jota adjudged to have fouled Max Kilman – two quickfire Liverpool strikes from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah got Jurgen Klopp’s side back on track following dissatisfactory results against Crystal Palace and Real Madrid. Slowly but surely creeping up the ranks and threatening to upset the top-four apple cart, a wildly inconsistent Liverpool – who have just four wins to boast from their last 12 games – have risen to sixth spot in the table and are six points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, albeit with a match in hand.
Even with their powers waning, one constant that has not changed this season is Liverpool’s Premier League record at Anfield, with the Reds losing just one of their last 35 top-flight games in front of their own supporters and taking 13 points from the last 15 on offer – keeping clean sheets in their most recent three such games. Keeping Wolves at bay made it four successive shutouts in the Premier League for Klopp’s crop, who have also gone unbeaten in their last seven Anfield contests against Big Six sides, but taking a leaf out of Real Madrid’s book would not go amiss for their title-challenging adversaries.
Seeking to emulate Liverpool’s EFL Cup and FA Cup double from the 2021-22 season, a Man United side who have already got their hands on the former were at risk of crashing back down to earth when Said Benrahma put West Ham ahead in their FA Cup fifth-round tie. However, a Nayef Aguerd own goal sparked a late rally from the Red Devils, who struck through Alejandro Garnacho and Fred in the dying embers to book a quarter-final date with Fulham and keep their hopes of a Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and EFL Cup quadruple alive – Liverpool will be in no mood to offer any tips in that quest, though.
Not since putting Leicester City to the sword 3-0 have Man United taken to the pitch in the Premier League, but their third-placed standing is still safe for the time being, and each of their last four games – all in four different tournaments – have ended in victory. For all of Liverpool’s staunch defensive action – domestically at least – Man United travel to Anfield having scored at least twice in each of their last 12 games across all competitions, and their tally of 23 points taken since the World Cup is the most in the Premier League. However, instability on the road is still bedevilling the Red Devils – who have actually conceded more Premier League goals (20) than they have scored (17) away from home this season – and they have failed to beat a ‘Big Six’ side in a Premier League away game in their last seven attempts.
Following a trio of humiliating defeats in which they conceded at least four goals each time, Man United ended their Liverpool hoodoo with a 2-1 win over the Reds at Old Trafford back in August, but not since the earliest days of Klopp’s reign in January 2016 have they left Anfield with all three points in the bag – former Evertonian Wayne Rooney scoring the only goal that day.No surprises should be sprung regarding Liverpool’s injury situation here, with all of Thiago Alcantara, Luis Diaz, Joe Gomez and Calvin Ramsay set to miss out, while Naby Keita’s knock will need assessing, but the soon-to-be free agent was never likely to make the first XI here.
Arthur Melo’s wait for his maiden Premier League appearance also goes on as he builds up his match fitness, but Klopp is still faced with a number of healthy selection dilemmas – none more so than in attack, where Diogo Jota was a livewire against Wolves but may not be considered for a third successive start in the space of a week – ex-Man United target Cody Gakpo may therefore return. Harsh demotions could also come the way of Harvey Elliott and Kostas Tsimikas as the experienced pair of Andrew Robertson and Jordan Henderson return, while Salah is just one goal away from equalling Robbie Fowler’s all-time Premier League record of 128 for Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Man United have several confirmed absentees of their own in Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen, while Mason Greenwood is still not being considered for a return to first-team activities either. Neither Jadon Sancho (illness) nor Luke Shaw (knock) were involved in the FA Cup win over West Ham, but the duo should not be sidelined for long and will push to return for the trip to Old Trafford – the latter will come in for Tyrell Malacia should he prove his fitness.
All of Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Fred, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford are primed to return to the first XI after being named on the bench in midweek, as the latter aims to become just the fourth Man United player to score in six successive Premier League games after Eric Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ruud van Nistelrooy.There is no way Liverpool will struggle to attract top players this summer if they aren’t in next season’s Champions League but if they want someone who also has offers from clubs who have qualified, it could be a deciding factor.
I don’t think it would affect the decision of Borussia Dortmund and England midfielder Jude Bellingham, though, to pick out just one player who has been strongly linked with the Reds. If he is keen on going to Liverpool in the first place, then Bellingham will surely believe that his presence would help the club be back involved in the Champions League the following campaign. He only turns 20 in June so I doubt he would be bothered about missing out for one season in that competition because he has got so many years ahead of him to play in it. If Klopp does need to persuade Bellingham – or anyone else – he can always point at his record with Liverpool. So far, the Reds have finished in the top four in every full season since he took charge in October 2015. If they don’t make it this time, then there is nothing to suggest it is anything other than a hiccup.
What happens on Sunday will not decide anything, either. There will still be 13 games to go and the teams immediately above Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle, are blowing hot and cold. So, if Liverpool lose, their hopes of finishing fourth will not be all over. They still have to play Spurs at Anfield, and they have been in a similar position before where they successfully chased teams down in the final few weeks – they did it 2021, when they needed a injury-time goal from their goalkeeper to keep them in the hunt.They managed the second half of their Carabao Cup final really well in that respect, and it’s not just down to tenacity – they have become a well-balanced, well-coached and determined team.