Liverpool vs Manchester United, as it happened: Van Dijk, Salah goals give Reds win

Virgil Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah goals give Liverpool 2-0 win over Manchester United in the Premier League. The Reds are now 16 points clear in the table.

Van Dijk celebrates putting Liverpool in front against Manchester United.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Hello and welcome to the Sportstar's blog of the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United.

This is Aashin Prasad and I will be bringing you the action as it unfolds.

 

Full-time! The referee blows the final whistle and Liverpool makes it 22 undefeated matches this season! 16 points clear at the top with 16 matches left.

90' + 3' GOAAAL! SALAH scores his first career goal against United to seal it! The shirt goes flying! Alisson runs up to greet him first after he set the Egyptian up with a quick release up forward for him.

90' + 2' A corner for United won by Dalot. Poor corner from United and that should be it.

Three minutes of added time. United is pressing for an equaliser.. Can it get it?

90' United on the front foot. Two corners in the space of two minutes.

88' Salah hooks in a cross which is wide of his teammates after Liverpool breaks from a United free-kick.

Final change for United: Shaw off, Dalot on

86' Lallana with a foul on Shaw and he seems to have pulled his hamstring.

84' Matic makes a foul on Lallana and he walks away quickly from the scene. Anfield calls for a second yellow but the referee doesn't oblige.

Double change for Liverpool: Firmino, Mane off; Origi and Fabinho on

82' Wan-Bissaka wins a corner for United. United is making things uneasy for Liverpool. Two United players come together in the corner and fail to direct the ball goalwards.

80' Some nice interchange involving Mata but his final pass is straight at the hands of Alisson.

78' Greenwood swings in a cross into the box for James but its away from the target and goes behind for a goal kick.

77' United break down the left side through James but he can't collect the ball on his stride. He puts in a cross for Greenwood but Van Dijk is there to head it away.

United now go into a 4-2-3-1 formation

Double change for United: Andreas, Williams off; Mata, Greenwood on

71' Shaw gets booked for hauling Salah back by his shirt.

70 minutes gone and still no change for United.

Some sustained pressure from United in the last five minutes but its players struggle to open up Liverpool's packed defensive line.

67' Another save from Alisson after Fred forces through the middle before unleashing a left-footed shot.

67' Martial drives it low from distance and Alisson pouches it safely.

Liverpool SUB: Adam Lallana comes on for Oxlade-Chamberlain after Wan-Bissaka hits a dreadful cross for a goal kick.

62' Mane! How close was that?! Pereira with a poor pass which sets Liverpool on the break and Wijnaldum releases Mane on the left. The Senegalese striker shifts it to his left before trying to squeeze a finish to the far post but misses the goal narrowly.

59' Brilliant move from United as Martial and Pereira combine on the edge of the Liverpool box with a quick exchange which sees the Frenchman through on goal. Martial, however, blasts it over the bar from close range.

57' Chance for United after Alexander-Arnold gives the ball away from a throw in. Fred races towards Liverpool's goal and has room to shoot but his shot is tame and wide.

Mason Greenwood is warming up for United.

55' Firmino sends Wan-Bissaka on the slide before unleashing a shot but its blocked.

Liverpool racks up the corner count. It's 11 at the moment after 54 minutes. United can't seem to get out of its on half.

52' Oxlade-Chamberlain stings a low strike which De Gea safely clings on to.

Lindelof holds his thigh and goes down, but he is back on his feet now.

49' Henderson thumps the ball onto the past with his left foot! Anfield is rocking! It's one-way traffic at the moment as Liverpool attacks the Kop end.

48' Robertson with a superb pick into the box for Salah but, un-Salah like, he puts it wide off the far post. That should have been 2-0 Liverpool.

47' Henderson with a drive from distance and it's blocked by Maguire. Good work from Salah in the build-up inside the box.

46' Liverpool restart the proceedings.

SECOND HALF

As it stands, Liverpool's lead at the top of the table is 16! SIXTEEN with a game in hand.

That's the end of the first half and Liverpool has stamped its authority on its fabled opponent but would be disappointed in the scoreline being just 1-0. United will feel it is still in this contest with the narrow lead.

45' + 2' De Gea fists it away away from van Dijk before Robertson hits it behind for a goal kick.

Eighth corner for Liverpool. Liverpool looking to double its lead in the two minutes of stoppage time.

45' Save from De Gea! Salah finds Mane free on the left and the striker takes a stinging shot with his left foot but straight at the 'keeper. De Gea sticks out his left foot to make the save.

Pereira goes for a shot from distance which Alisson gets behind to collect it.

United with some sustained pressure on Liverpool heading into the half-time break. Can it nick an equaliser?

40' United nearly equalise... Martial finds Wan-Bissaka's run and he nods it across the face of goal which Pereira almost gets on the end of.

39' Hold on.. We have a shot on goal from United. Fred finds Martial on the left and the Frenchman takes a shot from outside the box which doesn't trouble Alisson in goal.

United defenders are arguing amongst themselves...

Goal for Liverpool!! ... Offside... Firmino with a superb find to Wijnaldum on the left side channel and the midfielder slots it past De Gea but the offside flag goes up immediately. Still 1-0 to Liverpool.

34' United is playing itself into trouble here as Liverpool twice the ball back outside the opposition half through Salah and Henderson. Shaw makes up for the errors by winning the ball back and taking it away from danger.

32' Ball falls to Fred inside Liverpool's half but he runs into traffic. Poor usage of the ball from Brazilian.

Five attempts on goal from Liverpool to United's zero in the first 30 minutes.

Last 10 minutes possession reads 81 to Liverpool. Yikes.

27' Delightful from Liverpool. Van Dijk with a long ping to find Salah and he puts into the area for Firmino to run into but his finish is wide.

Reprieve for United... but until how long.

25' Firmino scores the second but United is complaining for a foul in the build-up. Van Dijk fouls De Gea as he goes up to collect the ball. VAR check and the goal is disallowed. De Gea is furious with the referee and gets booked for his protest.

23' The ball finds its way on to the path of Firmino but he fails to pull the trigger quickly as the ball is taken off his path.

Anfield is loud and is enjoying every moment of this. Liverpool is strolling to its first Premier League title in the morning.

20' Stoppage in play. Pereira has gone down holding his leg. He is okay to continue.

It's all Liverpool at the moment.

18'  Free-kick for Liverpool on the right and Alexander-Arnold with another superb cross into the box which Van Dijk tries to get on the end of. Maguire gets in the way of it and send it behind for a corner.

Stat: Liverpool has never lost a game this season in which it has scored first.

15' GOAL! Towering header from Virgil van Dijk!! He climbs over Maguire to nod Alexander-Arnold's corner kick nto the net!

Oxlade-Chamberlian wins a corner for Liverpool.

United has 52 per cent possession after 10 minutes of play. Very un-United like against the Big-Six this season.

10' Robertson with a superb tackle to get the ball ahead of James. Alisson collects the loose ball.

9' Mane gets his head to Alexander-Arnold's free-kick and it goes wide of the far post.

8' Matic catches Wijnaldum's face with a high boot. Referee calls foul and a yellow for it.

6' Robertson whips in a cross which deflects off Wan-Bissaka for a Liverpool corner.

5' Van Dijk cuts out James' low cross after he made a quick dash on the right side. Matic did well to find James.

4' Liverpool looks to break after Pereira's free-kick is dealt with but the defence splitting pass is too strong.

3' Mane brings down Fred on the right side after United dispossess Liverpool off the ball high up in Liverpool's half.

1' It's kick-off. Manchester United kicks things off.

Both teams make their way out for kick-off.

FIRST HALF

Former United boss Alex Ferguson is taking up his seat at Anfield.

Quotes from Klopp in the pre-match build-up: 'In the last game [in October] I didn’t see us there in the first half. Here today we can be a completely different animal, and that’s what we have to show. And then, it’s a football game against a strong opponent and we want to win the game.'

We are just minutes away from kick-off.

Some more good news coming the way of Liverpool as third-placed Leicester City goes down 1-2 at Burnley.

United starts with two left-backs in Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams. Shaw might start as the left centre-back while Williams will slot in as as the left wing-back in a 5-3-2 formation. No Greenwood in the first XI as Daniel James partners Anthony Martial in attack.

Liverpool is unchanged from its 1-0 away win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer has just confirmed that his top-scorer Rashford will be out for weeks with a back injury. That's a big blow for United in its bid to fight for a top-four place, FA Cup and League Cup semifinals.

LINE-UPS

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

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Williams; Fred, Matic, Andreas; James, Martial

 

MATCH PREVIEW

Liverpool can widen the chasm between itself and Manchester United to a staggering 30 points if it comes out on top in the battle between England’s two most successful clubs at Anfield on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s men look destined to end a 30-year wait to win the top-flight title, with a 14-point lead over defending champion Manchester City plus a game in hand.

United is a further 13 points back, having also played a game more than its rival, and in need of a strong end to the campaign to avoid failing to qualify for the Champions League for a second consecutive season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are, however, the only side to have slowed Liverpool’s relentless march towards the Premier League title.

The 1-1 draw between the teams in October was the only time the European champion has dropped points this season. It has now set a record for Europe’s top five leagues, with 20 wins from its opening 21 games.

“Our team have a winning mindset. We always think about the next game, we don’t look too far ahead,” said Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who has conceded just one goal in his past 10 games.

“We focus upon what is within reach at the time and we do everything possible to make sure we leave the pitch with a win and this has contributed to the great results this season.”

The Brazilian number one will be confident of another clean sheet on Sunday, with United’s top scorer Marcus Rashford a serious doubt after lasting just 15 minutes as a second-half substitute in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Wolves in the FA Cup.

“I didn’t want to play him, but we needed the win. It has backfired,” admitted Solskjaer.