It was Xerdan Shaqiri who provided with two stunning goals to get Liverpool to ease past their fiercest rivals, Manchester United. It was a match in which Liverpool dominated throughout but and a final score of 4 goals to 1 justifies their dominance. Well, even before the kick-off the battle started as Mourinho said,

It’s Liverpool first team versus Manchester United kids, they have not been able to beat us for the last two years, today they will think they have a chance

Mane’s calmness

You just can’t laugh your opponents off and think your youngsters are better facing them. It could be a tactic not to play the full strength squad before the Premier League against virtual title competitors but there is no way they could have gone through the match without a demolition with such an inexperienced squad. Injury to goal-keeper Karius meant that teenage goal-keeper Grabara started for Liverpool but with Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah in the starting eleven meant that there was enough to give Manchester United a headache or two in the opening minutes of the game.

It was in the 27th minute that Salah was fouled in the penalty area and the referee had no reluctance to give a penalty to Liverpool. Who else would have taken it for Liverpool other than Sadio Mane and who else could have finished it in such a cool fashion other than him? It was the first goal on the score sheet for Reds.

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Pereira’s magic

After the first goal and in the drinks break Mourinho came to the referee to appeal of a clear penalty that was not given but the referee did not answer. An answer came later, not from the referee, but Andreas Pereira just about three minutes later. When Mitchell was fouled inside the 25 yards, a free-kick was given to United and Pereira grabbed that chance of an equalizer with both hands. It was a spectacular kick from 25 yards in which even the goal-keeper did not move. Manchester United fans were back at their vocal best.

Shaqiri-Sturridge partnership

Xerdan Shaqiri was splendid throughout the game and in the 65th minute when he received a long ball inside the penalty area, he cleverly set it up for Sturridge and Sturridge obliged to put it in the nets with his first kick of the match. Liverpool was back at the driver’s seat and another goal followed another penalty kick when Andy Robertson was fouled inside the penalty area in the 72nd minute. Ojo put the ball in the nets with oozing confidence and was all falling apart for Manchester United in the all-important encounter.

Trademark Xaqiri overhead kick

Then in the 82nd minute came the best moment of the match. It was a ball inside the penalty area of Manchester United and a flying pass came to the Xerdan Shaqiri whose bicycle kick will be a symbol of what is to come in this year’s Premier League for Liverpool fans. It was a stunner and a goal which reflected a beautiful technique, balance, and charisma of this Swiss footballer.

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It was a complete domination by Liverpool for the entire 90 minutes. The way their team is combining up, and with the likes of Firmino, Salah, Mane, and Shaqiri as their attacking options, it makes them the best in the title race this season. But only time will tell whether they would be able to keep this form going over the next whole year?

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