Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Liverpool on Monday, August 22, 2022, in the English Premier League game played at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England.
Manchester, England Finally, Manchester United is showing signs of life.
In spite of demonstrations against the club's ownership, United put up a fiercely competitive display on Monday to defeat fierce rival Liverpool 2-1 and earn its first Premier League points of the year.
A victory at Old Trafford thanks to composed goals from Jadon Sancho (16th minute) and Marcus Rashford (53rd minute) will provide some relief for under pressure manager Erik ten Hag, who made a bold statement by leaving out club captain Harry Maguire and star scorer Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ten Hag, who began his employment at United in the midst of a crisis at England's top club, said: "I wanted a new approach and that is what I saw them deliver on the pitch." But this is only the beginning.
With Jürgen Klopp's squad still without a victory after three games and now behind United in the rankings on only two points, the pressure is now on Liverpool, who was widely anticipated to be a title contender again this season.
Even though this was Liverpool's first league loss in 2022, they once again played below par after drawing with Fulham and Crystal Palace. Mohamed Salah scored a consolation goal in the 81st minute.
They needed something to cheer them up since the warm-up was the quietest I have ever heard in this stadium, according to Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson. And we handed it to them.
A pre-match protest by thousands of United supporters who were upset with the direction and status of the club under its owners of 17 years, the Glazer family, before what is historically the greatest game in English soccer.
As they made their way to Old Trafford, the fans chanted for the American-based Glazers to sell the team. They then assembled on the concourse outside the legendary stadium in front of a sizable police presence. Many stayed as the game started.
After opening-season losses to Brighton (2-1) and Brentford (4-0), United was under pressure, and the players benefited from a hysterical environment that appeared to have an impact on Liverpool early on.
"Everyone's and United fans' expectations were met at the game's opening. They were after us, claimed Klopp. They came out a little more aggressive than we did.
In the opening minute, Salah was collided with by Lisandro Martinez, a center defender who was signed summer and has received a lot of criticism lately. After getting up, Martinez then barged at Salah, setting the tone for the game. Raphael Varane, who came in for Maguire later in the first half, almost rugby-tackled Luis Diaz to the ground, amid roars of appreciation from United supporters even though it resulted in a booking.
The winger displayed excellent poise to fool James Milner by seeming to shoot, cut back inside, and fire a shot into the corner while Virgil van Dijk oddly stayed immobile in front of him. Sancho's goal came during United's finest period of the game. Liverpool had trailed in a Premier League game for the sixth game in a row.
When Anthony Martial, a halftime replacement, put through Marcus Rashford and the attacker ran toward the area before calmly finishing inside the near post, the stadium roared once again.
Even though United had to defend strongly at times, they managed to hold on and snap an eight-match losing skid versus Liverpool as well as a four-match league losing streak that dates back to the conclusion of the previous season.
It's up to United to put together a streak of similarly valiant performances, beginning against Southampton the following Saturday. For that game, Ten Hag will be allowed to use Casemiro, whose $60 million transfer from Real Madrid was finalized on Monday. Casemiro was introduced on the pitch prior to kickoff.
Things might be improving for the record 20-time English champions with more additions conceivably coming before the end of the transfer season.
Sancho stated, "We simply have to deliver like today in every game."