Finally, there are signs of life at Manchester United.
Against a backdrop of protests against club ownership, United displayed intensity and spirit as they beat fierce rivals Liverpool 2-1 on Monday to claim their first point in the Premier League this season.
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Jadon Sancho in the 16th minute and Marcus Rashford in the 53rd minute won at Old Trafford, providing some relief to under pressure manager Eric ten Haag, who made a big statement in his team’s selection by ousting star striker Cristiano Ronaldo. And the captain of the club was Harry Maguire and Manyata.
“I wanted a different attitude and that’s what I saw him bring to the pitch,” said Ten Haig, who began his stint at United amid some turmoil at England’s biggest club. “But this is only the beginning.”
Suddenly, the heat is upon Liverpool, widely expected to be a title contender again this season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side still waiting to win after three games and now only two points ahead of United in the standings. is behind.
Mohamed Salah consoled in the 81st minute, but it was yet another low-level performance from Liverpool after draws with Fulham and Crystal Palace, even though it was their first league defeat in 2022.
“In the warm-up, I heard this stadium being the quietest and they wanted something to lift them up,” said Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson. “And we gave it to them.”
Historically the biggest game of English football, it was preceded by a pre-match protest by thousands of United fans angry with the direction and position of the club under the owners of the 17-year-old Glazer family.
Supporters called on the US-based Glazers to sell the club as they moved to Old Trafford and then gathered in a crowd outside the storied stadium in front of a large police presence. Many people stopped as soon as the match started.
United were under pressure after losing to Brighton (2–1) and Brentford (4–0) to open the season, and players fed up with a frenzied atmosphere quickly impressed Liverpool.
“The game started exactly as everyone expected, which United fans had hoped for. They were behind us,” Klopp said. “They started off a little bit more aggressive than us.”
An offseason signing Lysandro Martinez, a centre-back who has come under heavy criticism in recent days, was particularly impressive and set the tone by rattling Salah in the first minute, then at Liverpool after getting up off the ground. moved forward. Later in the first half, Rafael Varane, who replaced Maguire, virtually fielded rugby-battered Luis Diaz, to roaring approval from United fans, even though it earned him a booking.
Sancho’s goal came in United’s best spell of the game, with the winger pretending to shoot James Milner, cutting back inside and showing superb restraint to land a shot in the corner, Virgil van Dijk oddly motionless in front of him. It was the seventh consecutive Premier League match that Liverpool had lost.
The stadium exploded again when halftime substitute Anthony Martial played through Rashford and the striker ran towards the field before placing a quiet end inside the pass.
United had to fight back several times, but hung on to end an eight-match winless run against Liverpool and a four-match losing streak in the league until the end of last season.
It is down to United to put together similar struggling performances starting in Southampton next weekend. Ten Haag would have Casemiro, whose $60 million signing from Real Madrid was completed on Monday, available for that game and the Brazilian midfielder was presented on the field before kickoff.
With more signings potentially before the end of the transfer window, things could be looking up for the 20-time English champion’s record.
“We have to produce in every single game as we are today,” Sancho said.