A new trio of strikers is gradually appearing at Anfield

Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, and Darwin Nunez all scored twice as Liverpool humiliated Manchester United 7-0.


The construction of a new side after tearing down an existing one is one of the more difficult managerial tasks in football. It has been reasonable to question whether Jurgen Klopp was capable of assembling another Liverpool team as his first squad has aged. Even a record win over Manchester United is insufficient to claim that a new Liverpool is taking shape, but it felt much closer at the end of the game than it had at the start.


Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah, and Cody Gakpo all scored twice, but that wasn’t the only contributing factor. This season, the front three were uncommon in their coherence and zip. It is obvious that work needs to be done. A front three consisting of Salah, Nunez, and Gakpo gives the impression that there might be hope for the future, perhaps for the first time. The midfield is not what it once was, an awkward combination of the aging and the developing with little in between.


Gakpo’s acquisition for an initial sum of £35 million was heavily contested. Had Liverpool merely selected him because he was readily available and reasonably priced? Was the forward line really the top priority given the condition of the midfield? How did he fit in, then? Diogo Jota’s return to fitness seemed like something Liverpool was waiting for for a significant portion of the season, but his inclusion would have meant Nunez or Gakpo would not have played.


Michael Owen sympathises with Cody Gakpo after £40m man’s quiet outing in Liverpool draw at Chelsea | Daily Mail Online

Gakpo arrived at Liverpool with many doubts after great performances at World Cup 2022.


Gakpo and Nunez haven’t exactly had the smoothest transition to life at Anfield. Both are slightly out-of-the-ordinary footballers who defy expectations. Gakpo is not quite as good in the air as his height would suggest he should be and is rather more technically gifted. Nunez is a master volleyer but appears to sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇ ᴛᴏ ʜɪᴛ clean ground balls. Both require the audience to mentally readjust their expectations and adjust their focus.


Salah has appeared out of sorts since the Cup of Nations a little over a year ago but has managed to score 22 goals this season despite that. He overtook Robbie Fowler as Liverpool’s top Premier League scorer against Manchester United. With a central striker who is more conventional than Roberto Firmino or Jota, he has had to alter his approach, but perhaps the adaptation is on the horizon.


Mohamed Salah, kỷ lục Liverpool và ác mộng của MU

Salah is Liverpool’s top scorer after scoring twice against his favorite opponent.


The key was Gakpo’s first move. Up until that point, the game had been fairly even: bitty, occasionally sᴘɪᴛᴇꜰᴜʟ, and more interesting due to the sense of ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀ and potential that lurked beneath the surface than due to anything that had actually occurred. However, when Andy Robertson was given the green light to move forward and Diogo Dalot went to meet him, Fred found himself floating awkwardly, half-picking up Gakpo who had stayed wide but was still adamant about staying in the spotlight. As a result, a channel between him and Raphael Varane was created, which Robertson gleefully exploited. Gakpo’s initial touch created a shooting opportunity, and his subsequent touch expertly placed the ball in the bottom corner.


Fantastic’ Cody Gakpo scores ‘quality’ goals for Liverpool against Manchester United, who were linked with him before Reds swooped in – Bdtype Rss

Gakpo had a delicate first touch and finish to help Liverpool open the scoring.


That was a very good goal, but his second, Liverpool’s third, which he skillfully whipped in from a tight angle following a run by Salah, was even better. Typically, both of Nunez’s goals were headers. Salah handled both of his goals very well. When Liverpool is good, they are still very, very good. This season, more than a third of their 47 league goals have come in just two games.


However, given how well Liverpool’s front three performed, United’s collapse was appalling. By lining up in a 4-2-3-1 with Wout Weghorst behind Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes and Antony wide, they contributed to their own demise. It’s fair to sᴀʏ that Weghorst is not your typical No. 10. His strange walking style causes him to slant backward constantly, as if an opponent who cannot be seen is grabbing hold of his shirt. If there is any pigeon-like strutting similar to Paul Gascoigne, the subsequent use of the ball shows very little of Gascoigne. Through-passes with a slide rule are not a strength.


He does bring diligence to the press, though. It has worked in the past, but in this instance United’s lack of flank ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛ allowed Liverpool’s full-backs to advance largely unchecked by either of the wide players who lacked that diligence.


Far worse was that they completely forgot the fundamentals, especially for the second goal when Harvey Elliott finally crossed for Nunez to head in after at least three missed opportunities to clear. Many people were likely incensed by Fernandes’ apparent surrender after Stefan Bajcetic passed him in the buildup to the sixth goal, and Antony was no better when he allowed Salah to run past him in the buildup to the third goal. Luke Shaw might feel as though he wasn’t given much protection, but the full-back isn’t particularly proud of this performance. The possibility that United could still challenge for the title has now been eliminated.


Manchester United Soccer – Manchester United News, Scores, Stats, Rumors & More | ESPN

Man Utd seemed to have given up hope of winning the Premier League after the defeat at Anfield.


There are probably many United-related ideas that can be disregarded. It was sʜᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ to see how people’s shoulders dropped and the lack of basic professionalism in the last 30 minutes. It’s possible that Old Trafford’s culture hasn’t changed as much as it had seemed. Liverpool, on the other hand, might think that things haven’t changed as much as they had seemed to. Maybe a new team is starting to form.

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