The Roar
The Roar


'Darkest day': United concede FIVE, but Solksjaer vows to fight on as Salah storms Old Trafford

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24th October, 2021

Mohamed Salah has scored a hat-trick and Paul Pogba was sent off as Manchester United were ripped apart by relentless rivals Liverpool in the Premier League while West Ham United edged Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City won at Brentford.

The 202nd meeting of two of English football’s biggest rivals will live long in the memory after Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool ran amok and recorded the club’s biggest win at Old Trafford amidst a string of firsts.

Never before at United gone 4-0 down at half time, it was Manchester United’s equal-heaviest defeat ever in the Premier League and their largest margin of defeat against Liverpool at home.

Salah became the first player in the Premier League era score a hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford and he is the first Liverpool player ever to score against Manchester United in three consecutive matches at Old Trafford.

Naby Keita’s opening goal was the also earliest Liverpool have ever scored at Old Trafford.

The Reds were as impressive as United were poor, with scintillating Salah’s treble complementing early goals from Naby Keita and Diogo Jota in a 5-0 rout in which substitute Paul Pogba was sent off.

Legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson was seen shaking his head in disbelief after the fifth goal, with the visiting fans chanting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s name during an embarrassing display that will test the hierarchy’s support of their manager.


A cacophony of boos met the half-time whistle and the Egyptian magician completed his hat-trick five minutes after the restart, with Pogba’s red card for a poor tackle on Keita compounding matters.

For a moment it appeared Cristiano Ronaldo might off be red carded when he kicked fiercely at the ball when it was trapped under Curtis Jones.

Ronaldo forcefully kicked out and it led to a scuffle with Liverpool players.

Former Man United player Owen Hargreaves, speaking on Optus Sport, said the United fans couldn’t believe what they were watching.

“About 20 minutes in, they turned – they could feel the nervousness of the players. In possession, defensively, they were all over the place. Today, United showed their level.

“You’ve got to praise Liverpool, they played absolutely fantastic, they showed what champions play like. They came here as a team and put on a performance. United showed they are miles off reaching the level of Manchester City and Liverpool.


“The gap between the two teams is just so significant, it is unbelievable.

“Liverpool came here and played like champions, consistent all across the pitch, dominated every phase of the game, offensively compact, they pressed the ball, patterns of play, everything. They showed what they are. United showed today they are a long way off reaching that level.

“City are consistent. Liverpool are consistent. Chelsea in a short space of time are consistent. Manchester United today, sadly, showed they are not ready to compete to be a Premier League champion. That, in the manner in which it happened, will surprise everyone.”

“Liverpool were exceptional,” said Michael Owen, who played for both.

“Liverpool have got about 16 or 17 players they can call upon that are just top class. We’ve seen if they have a lot of injuries like last season it affects them, but they’ve got a core group who don’t really weaken the side.

“Chelsea and Manchester City might have bigger squads in terms of depth, but in terms of top 16 players in one place, you’d do well to beat Liverpool. They’ve got experience, they’ve won together, they’ve struggled together and come out of it again, they’ve gone through thick and thin together. They go onto the pitch believing they’re the best. They pretty much are.”

Solskjaer said the loss is his “darkest day” as manager but will carry on.


“I have come too far to give up. I am not built that way,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

“The feeling we have had is we were getting where we wanted to be but in the last few weeks results haven’t come and we have hit a brick wall. We have conceded too many easy goals and that is a concern.

“I am still thinking about tomorrow’s work, we are all low. This is the lowest I have been but I accept the responsibility, that is mine and mine going forward.”

Solskjaer maintains he can guide Manchester United to better times ahead.

“I do believe in myself, I do believe I am getting close to what I want with the club,” added Solskjaer, who took over as manager in 2018,

“The results lately haven’t been good enough. Hands up, that brings doubt in anyone’s mind but I have to keep strong and I do believe in what we have been doing.”

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire apologised to the club’s fans.

“It hurts. The boys are devastated, it is not good enough, nowhere near good enough,” he told BBC Sport.


“I am not here to analyse the game. It is not good enough. Our fans stuck with us throughout. We apologise to them, they deserve more. We have to move on and we have to improve.

“At the moment I am hurt, disappointed, I am looking at myself, every player should do. Every player has to look at themselves because to lose that game in the way we did is nowhere near good enough.”

Earlier on Sunday, Michail Antonio continued to make Tottenham his favourite opponent as he fired West Ham to a 1-0 win at the London Stadium.

The Hammers striker enjoys playing against Spurs more than any other club and bagged his sixth goal against their capital rivals late in the second half to earn a derby-day win.

Antonio got the better of his marker Harry Kane at a corner and poked home his seventh of the campaign in all competitions.

Youri Tielemans showed why Leicester are desperate to tie him to a new contract and James Maddison scored his first goal of the season as the Foxes sank Brentford 2-1.


Belgium international Tielemans hit a stunning long-range strike to open the scoring for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Mathias Jorgensen hauled Brentford level but Tielemans then helped tee up Maddison’s first goal since February to secure three points for the visitors.