10 stats that show why Roy Keane is sad about the state of United
Liverpool dominated and destroyed Manchester United 4-0 at Anfield, going to the top of the table. This enraged the United Legend Roy Keane.
The match was never close, as the Reds dominated from the first whistle to half-time and after a quiet first 20 minutes to start the second half, pushed on to dominate until full-time as well. Forget men against boys, this was like when fathers do pretend wrestling moves on their toddlers. Watching Salah run at Harry Maguire was like a grown man fake Chokeslamming a 2-year-old onto a bouncy bed.
Except Maguire and United were given no such luxury as a bouncy bed. Their bodies careened off the Anfield turf as Liverpool beat them this way and that, pulled the flesh from their bones like slow-cooked meat at a barbecue.
Here are some stats that illustrate the gulf in class between Liverpool and Manchester United.
1. Awful odds from the start
Even before the game kicked off, the gulf between the side was evidenced by the odds with United being as long as 8/1. That is a shocking price for a side as big as Manchester United to be when playing anyone, especially a close rival.
2. No shot on goal in the first-half
As the half-time whistle blew the score was only 2-0 but Liverpool’s dominance was total. The highlight of which was a 25-pass move involving 10 of Liverpool’s 11 players (only Virgil Van Dijk didn’t have a touch) that led to their second goal.
But from United’s point of view? They didn’t have a single shot on goal in the first half. Not one. Off or on target.
3. Heaviest Anfield defeat
United’s 4-0 defeat was humiliating for many reasons but chief among them is the fact that this is their heaviest-ever defeat at Anfield in the Premier League era. All those games they’ve played at Liverpool’s home since 1992 and they’ve never been slapped like this, even David Moyes didn’t do it this badly!
4. Fourth time unlucky
United finished the game with just 28.42% possession. This was just the fourth time since the start of 2016/17 that Manchester United have finished a Premier League game with less than 30% possession. The other occasions were against Arsenal in 2017 (24.86%) and then Manchester City in 2019 (28.14%) and 2020 (27.6%)
5. Lowest xG of the season
Before tonight Manchester United’s lowest expected goals (xG) return in a Premier League match was 0.53 against Manchester City. Tonight they ended things with just 0.11 xG against Liverpool, staggering.
6. The worst aggregate scoreline in over a century
Over the two games United have played against Liverpool this season, United have lost 9-0. That is the worst aggregate scoreline against a single opponent since 1892/93 when Manchester United lost 11-0 over both their league games against Sunderland. Over 125 years ago.
7. Seven straight seasons blew away
Manchester United vs. Liverpool has always been one of the most epic showdowns in the Premier League calendar, with games being tight and tense and goals being at a premium. A great example of this is that this season United have conceded more goals against Liverpool than they did across seven straight seasons from 2001/02 through to 2007/08. How far have they fallen?
8. Salah’s history-making haul
No player has scored more goals against Manchester United in a single Premier League season than Mohamed Salah’s five-goal haul this season, and what’s funny is the Egyptian honestly could have bagged a hat-trick and made it six!
In just two games the Egyptian has scored more goals against Manchester United in the Premier League than all but two United players (Ronaldo, 15, and Fernandes, 9) have managed across the entire Premier League season.
9. Getting fully dominated by a front three, again!
All of Liverpool’s front three scored at Anfield. First Luis Diaz scored, then Salah. Before Mané and Salah again scored in the second half. That meant that all of the front three scored, but even more impressive is that all three of the front three got assists too. Salah set up Diaz, Mané set up Salah, then Diaz set up Mané. Diogo Jota even came off the bench to set up Salah’s second.
This is just the second time this season that three players have scored and assisted in the same game for the same team. In the previous instance? When Liverpool beat Manchester United 0-5 at Old Trafford! Then it was Salah, Mané and Naby Keita.
10. 22 points back
The final stat to illustrate the gap between Liverpool and Manchester United is literally the gap between Liverpool and Manchester United. With the Reds in second and the Red Devils in the sixth, that seems bad. But making it worse is the fact that United are 22 (twenty-two!) points behind Liverpool. 22!! That’s more points than Norwich has managed all season.
Roy Keane’s sadness
Ok so the last one isn’t really a stat, but Roy Keane’s emotional discharge speaking to Sky Sports after the game was palpable. “This team’s not even likeable, there’s no soul to this team, you don’t warm to ’em,” Keane said of this current squad.
Speaking of United’s awful form and the player’s reactions in press conferences, Roy Keane lamented: “it’s robotic, there’s no emotion,” the Irishman was clearly frustrated with the lack of application from teammates. “Six or seven, they’ve already left the building. They’ve gone.”
“Man United, fifth or sixth in the league?” The great Irishman said, “Unbelievable.” His bafflement at United’s plight was so intense that many tuning in to hear him rip the team to pieces would have been disappointed.
Instead, Roy Keane’s response to Manchester United was quite simple: “it’s not even angry anymore, it’s just sadness at where the club is at.” And can you really blame him? Could you blame any United fan for being sad? Look at how far they are off their greatest rivals Liverpool (and Manchester City) the (two) best clubs in the world right now.
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