Shaqiri, Liverpool overrun Manchester United
- Fabinho, Mane team up for terrific opener
- Alisson gaffe cues up Lingard equalizer
- Super sub Shaqiri scores two off the bench
Xherdan Shaqiri scored a pair of deflected second-half goals as Liverpool went back into first place with a 3-1 defeat of Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.
Sadio Mane scored the Reds’ other goal, as the leaders moved to 45 points. Jesse Lingard scored for Manchester United, now 11 points adrift of the Top Four.
Jose Mourinho kept Paul Pogba on the bench for the entire 90 minutes.
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Mohamed Salah dribbled Ashley Young into the grass with a cutback before earning a corner for Liverpool in the second minute.
Romelu Lukaku was pushed offside by Sadio Mane, making a free kick goal offside because the Belgian’s air kick rightly put off Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker.
The first half-dozen minutes were chaotic, with Liverpool claiming for a penalty at one end when Salah hit the deck and Alisson collected a long distance effort from United at the other.
Fabinho rocketed a shot wide with a partial deflection. Young then made a goal line clearance on the ensuing corner as Liverpool ravaged the Manchester United box.
Mane got Liverpool’s much deserved breakthrough when Fabinho sent a sensational ball over the top to meet the Senegalese striker, whose technical work in turning it past De Gea was top notch. It was Liverpool’s 11th shot attempt of the first 25 minutes.
There was such little danger from United, which makes the equalizer all the more stunning in our story. Lingard started a move to Lukaku, and Alisson couldn’t corral an easy ball. Lingard followed it up for 1-1.
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Only Bernd Leno and Asmir Begović (3) have made more errors leading to Premier League goals this season than Alisson.
Letting it slip it out. 😳 pic.twitter.com/N2XVLTVWRx
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 16, 2018
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David De Gea made a fine low save and Young blocked Mane’s big at a rebound in the 53rd minute, as Liverpool took advantage of a waylaid Eric Bailly.
Liverpool had a pair of corner kicks around the 62nd minute, including a near miss by Dejan Lovren.
Fabinho stung a 30-yard shot at De Gea in the 71st minute, but the United keeper stayed with the swerve for a difficult catch made to look easy.
Mane then set-up the winner by cooking Ander Herrera on the left flank, cutting his effort toward goal. De Gea kicked it back atop the box, where Shaqiri zipped it off Young, then the cross bar, and finally into the goal.
Shaqiri then put it to bed with a second deflected goal, ripping this 81st minute effort off Bailly’s ankle and past a flying De Gea.