MX23RW : Friday, April 3 00:29:37| >> :120:5549:5549:
Jan 19, 2020 at 4.30pm UK at Anfield
Attendance: 52,916
Man UtdManchester United
van Dijk (14'), Salah (93')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Live Commentary: Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Liverpool extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 victory over Manchester United.
Live Commentary: Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United - as it happened
© Reuters

Goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah have earned Liverpool a 2-0 victory over Manchester United in Sunday's Premier League fixture at Anfield.

After a relatively quiet opening, Van Dijk powered a header into the top corner after meeting Trent Alexander-Arnold's set piece.

Both teams wasted opportunities in an entertaining encounter before Mohamed Salah ended his goalless streak against United in the closing seconds of the contest.

Find out how all of the action unfolded on Merseyside courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Premier League between Liverpool and Manchester United. With Manchester City and Leicester City both having failed to win this weekend, Liverpool have the opportunity to extend their lead to 16 points with victory over their fierce rivals, who are looking to close the gap to fourth-placed Chelsea to two points.

As the two sets of players make their way out onto the pitch, let's see who features in each starting lineup...

LIVERPOOL XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

LIVERPOOL SUBSTITUTES: Adrian, Matip, Fabinho, Lallana, Minamino, Jones, Origi

MANCHESTER UNITED XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Matic, Fred; James, Pereira, Williams; Martial

MANCHESTER UNITED SUBSTITUTES: Romero, Bailly, Jones, Lingard, Dalot, Mata, Greenwood

KICKOFF:  United get us underway!

While the decibel level is high in the stands, it has been a quiet start on the pitch with neither side managing to put together anything significant in the final third.

United are starting to get on top now. While a free kick on the right came to nothing, the visitors soon launched a move down the same side, but James's low cross towards Martial was cut out by a defender.

Liverpool's first extended spell of the game comes courtesy of a corner, but United had little problem with dealing with the eventual delivery.

YELLOW CARD!  The first yellow card of the game goes to Matic, and it is an easy decision for the referee with the United man lifting his boot six feet in the air towards Wijnaldum's head.

While United are mainly operating with a back four, Williams is sometimes tracking back to form a five. It's an interesting move from Solskjaer, who will naturally be fearful of Liverpool's full-backs.

We still haven't had much in the way of goalmouth action. Apart from a weak Liverpool header which rolled well wide of the post, neither goalkeeper have been giving any cause for concern.


Virgil van Dijk scores for Liverpool against Manchester United in the Premier League on January 19, 2020.© Reuters

GOAL!  Liverpool take the lead! Alexander-Arnold's outswinging corner finds Van Dijk, who leaps above Williams to power a header into the top corner of the net. De Gea had no chance.

That will frustrate Solskjaer. United had been matching their hosts, but it's a whole different ball game now. Liverpool have the momentum.

The home side win a set piece on the right and Alexander-Arnold is again the man to take. Naturally, he aims for the towering Van Dijk, but United do just about enough to deal with the danger.

Martial is already beginning to cut a lonely figure in attack. United have to be careful that they do not sit too deep. While Liverpool will likely prefer more space in behind, they will keep a stranglehold on this game if United do not move up the pitch.

United are still making a game of it in the centre of the park, although they have stopped being able to get a crack at the back four of their opponents.

This is a let off for United. Fred can only divert the ball into the path of Mane, who should get his shot away with ease. However, a defender gets back to make an important challenge.

DISALLOWED GOAL!  Well this is controversial. Liverpool have the ball in the net thanks to a delightful finish from Firmino, who found the far corner from 14 yards. However, despite the goal initially being given, VAR chalks it off, deeming that Van Dijk unfairly challenged De Gea for a high ball. It's debatable to say the least.

CHANCE!  Again, Liverpool should be two goals ahead. Salah picks out the run of Firmino, who should score from eight yards. However, the Brazilian's miscues his half-volley wide of the post.

While they remain second best, United are finding a way to stay in this game. It's not pretty, but if they can make it to half time, that will represent a moral victory for Solskjaer and his players.

We are having a bit of a lull in the action, although United do seem to be showing more ambition than they have been for the last 20 minutes. De Gea was booked for dissent in the aftermath of Liverpool's disallowed goal.

There are a few tasty tackles going in now. The referee is opting not to dish out any more cautions, but the next yellow cannot be far away.

DISALLOWED GOAL!  Liverpool have the ball in the net for the third time this afternoon, but they remain 1-0 ahead. Despite a cool finish from an acute angle, Wijnaldum was marginally offside when latching onto the pass.

United are beginning to play at a pace which suggests that they feel fortunate for the double reprieve. They recognise that something needs to change if they are to not only prevent Liverpool eventually getting a second, but remaining in this match in general.

SHOT!  United's first shot in anger comes from Martial, but the Frenchman's shot towards the near corner was always going wide of the post.

CHANCE!  Big chance for United. Martial finds Wan-Bissaka at the back post, and the defender's first-time cutback appears to be perfect for Pereira. However, even on the slide, the midfielder cannot get a strong enough touch to divert the ball into the net from two yards out.

Liverpool are doing their best to calm everything down before half time, but they are only inviting pressure onto themselves. United are finish the first half on the front foot.

SHOT!  Another opening goes the way of Pereira, who forced a solid stop out of Alisson with a strike from 25 yards out. Down the other end...

CHANCE!  Liverpool break quickly and the ball is played into the path of Mane, who is through on goal. The winger should score, but his well-struck effort from inside the area is superbly blocked by De Gea.

There will be two minutes of added-on time.

HALF TIME:  Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United

The half-time whistle goes at Anfield and Liverpool deservedly lead thanks to Van Dijk's header. However, the advantage should be wider, and United will take confidence from how they began to create opportunities during the closing minutes.

A quick reminder of the two benches...

LIVERPOOL SUBSTITUTES: Adrian, Matip, Fabinho, Lallana, Minamino, Jones, Origi

MANCHESTER UNITED SUBSTITUTES: Romero, Bailly, Jones, Lingard, Dalot, Mata, Greenwood

Realistically, no changes are going to be made at the break. Klopp will hold fire with his alterations, while Solskjaer received enough encouragement towards the end of the opening 45 minutes that his current selection can find an equaliser.

KICKOFF:  Liverpool get us back underway.

CHANCE!  How on earth has Salah missed this? Robertson gallops down the left and his low cross evades Shaw and goes into the path of Salah, who is waiting six yards out. However, the attacker manages to scuff a shot wide of the far post.

OFF THE POST!  Liverpool go even closer! Henderson advances forward towards the edge of the area before unleashing a left-footed strike which hits the post and bounces clear.

United surely cannot hold out for much longer. Liverpool are swarming them each time that they have the ball, and it inevitably leads to a threatening attack.

SHOT!  Yet another shot comes in from Liverpool, this time from Oxlade-Chamberlain. However, despite a good connection, De Gea is able to make a comfortable save.

United are all over the place at the back. Firmino twice gets away from Wan-Bissaka in the penalty area, only for the seemingly exhausted right wing-back to make a brilliant block from the eventual shot.

SHOT!  Out of nothing, United almost find an equaliser. Fred storms forward from the halfway line and manages to reach the penalty area, only to fire a weak left-footed effort just wide of the target.

CHANCE!  It should be 1-1! Martial is given far too much space in the penalty area and the striker should find the far corner with a volley. However, the Frenchman wildly sends the ball over the crossbar.

I have no idea how this remains 1-0. There have been so many clear-cut opportunities, with more and more going the way of the visitors. It won't be long before alterations are made.

Yet another opportunity goes begging. Wijnaldum plays Mane clear on the left-hand side, with only Lindelof for company. The Liverpool man just about edges that battle, but he can only direct a weak shot wide of the far post.

Liverpool are ready to make a change. Lallana is ready to be introduced, although it remains unclear who will be taken off.

SUBSTITUTION! Oxlade-Chamberlain is the man to make way. The Englishman looks extremely frustrated making his way back to the bench.

SHOT!  The shots on goal continue to come with regularity. On this occasion, Fred forces a save out of Alisson from 20 yards. It wasn't a difficult stop, but the goalkeeper needed to divert it behind.

It won't be long before United make a change. Solskjaer has plenty of options at his disposal, although it has just been announced that Marcus Rashford could be missing for three months due to a back injury. That's a major blow!

YELLOW CARD!  Shaw is the third United player to go into the book for cynically tugging the shirt of Salah.

SUBSTITUTIONS! United make a double switch, with Mata and Greenwood being introduced for Pereira and Williams.

They have rode their luck along the way, but United deserve a lot of credit for only conceding one goal up until this point. They have given themselves a chance of a point, providing that they are prepared to throw caution to the wind.

It wouldn't surprise me if Fabinho was introduced sooner rather than later. It's the ideal circumstances for the Brazilian to make his return, adding a body in front of the backline.

Just the 10 minutes to go now. There is a growing sense that United are building a head of steam ahead of a strong finish, although they will naturally leave more space for their opponents.

SUBSTITUTIONS! It's Liverpool's turn to make a double change. Fabinho and Origi are coming on for Mane and Firmino.

Liverpool are spending some welcome time in the United half of the pitch. They will hope to eat up some time, forcing United to go long to Martial and Greenwood if they can reclaim the ball.

United have just spent a good 45 seconds stringing about 20 passes together, but a packed Liverpool defence is not allowing them to make any progress into the final third.

SUBSTITUTION! United make their final switch, with Dalot replacing Shaw. The left-back has cramp.

Lallana, rather harshly, is adjudged to have fouled Mata on the left flank. Nothing comes from the resulting set piece, but United have a corner.

There will be three minutes of added-on time.


GOAL!  Game over! After a United attack breaks down, Alisson launches the ball clear for Salah, who is able to hold off the attention of a defender before slotting the ball past De Gea from 10 yards out.

FULL TIME:  Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United

The full-time whistle goes at Anfield and Liverpool have moved 16 points clear at the top of the standings with a deserved 2-0 win over their fierce rivals. While Van Dijk and Salah got on the scoresheet, this was another united performance from the frontrunners, who capitalise on Manchester City and Leicester City failing to win earlier over the weekend.

That will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining us this afternoon, and we hope to see you again soon.

If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.

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Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring for Liverpool on November 30, 2019
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