De Futebol Liverpool Kicks Ass and Takes Names in a 5-0 Blowout of Watford


Liverpool blew out Watford 5-0 to jump into third place with 63 over Spurs. Tottenham is fourth with 61 points however Spurs have a match in hand due FA Cup action.

EPL Match Report on the Reds massacre over the Hornets:” Mohamed Salah struck four times to pull clear in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot as Liverpool eased past Watford 5-0 at Anfield.

The Egyptian put Liverpool ahead after only four minutes, dribbling past Miguel Britos to slot home.

His second came from Andrew Robertson’s cross, which was converted at the far post.

Watford’s hopes of a comeback after the break were hit when Roberto Firmino flicked in Salah’s cross on 49 minutes.

Salah’s first Premier League hat-trick came when he twisted this way and that before poking home on 77 minutes.

He then followed up Danny Ings’ saved shot to move to 28 goals for the season, four ahead of Harry Kane.

The win sent Liverpool two points above Tottenham Hotspur into third, two behind Manchester United.

Watford drop to 11th, on 36 points.”

De Futebol Bournemouth Scores a Big Come From Behind 2-1 Win Over West Brom!

Limited action in the EPL on Saturday due to the FA Cup that’s happening.

Everton defeated Stoke City 2-1.

Crystal Place shutout Huddersfield 2-0. The Eagles jump out of the voce vai zone sixteenth place with 30 points for now.

Both West Ham and Southampton have a match in hand.

The Saints are in eighteenth place with 28 points while the Hammers are in seventeenth place with 30 points.

Bournemouth was down one nil only to come back and snatch a huge come from behind 2-1 win over bottom feeder West Brom 2-1.

The Cherries scored twice in the final thirteen minutes to bury the dagger in the heart of the Baggies.

Jordon Ibe 77th minute and Junior Stanislas 89th minute kept Bournemouth eight points clear of the voce vai zone.

The Cherries are in eleventh place  for now with 36 points.

De Futebol Can Liverpool win the Champions League?

Liverpool thinks they can win the Champions League according to what Dejan Lovren told the Guardians Andy Hunter.

Hunter wrote;” Liverpool flew to Marbella for warm-weather training the morning after the historic night before in Porto, carrying thoughts of where else the form that condemned the Portuguese league leaders to their heaviest European home defeat might take them. For Dejan Lovren it is Kiev and the Champions League final on 26 May. “Why not?” he asked, rhetorically. “Of course we can win it.” For James Milner it is not the location but the level that matters. As the midfielder put it: “This team can go anywhere.”

The Champions League quarter‑final awaits Jürgen Klopp’s team having to all intents sealed their passage with another emphatic European victory at Estádio do Dragão on Wednesday. In the aftermath Klopp played up the importance of the second leg against Porto on 6 March while playing down the extent of his side’s superiority in the 5-0 win. The manager left the distinct impression he feels there is more to come this season. Or, in Mohamed Salah’s case, more of the same after the Egypt international became the quickest Liverpool player to score 30 goals.

Salah’s achievements have left Roma feeling short-changed at receiving ‘only’ £36.9m for their former winger, the sporting director, Monchi, admitted. “In the end we could reach €50m with bonuses,” he said on Thursday. “I still think the price could have been better.”

Southampton might say the same in the post-Neymar transfer world, having banked up to £36m for Sadio Mané. His return to form in Portugal, with the first hat‑trick of his Liverpool career, was one of the reasons Klopp sees room for improvement in the highest‑scoring team in the Champions League this season.

“It was tough on me,” Mané said of his recent dip. “But it is part of football. I never doubted I could help the team and I never stopped working hard in training. I always tried to remain balanced, even when it was not working, because it is my job and I have to do it. As a player sometimes it is not easy for me but I never doubted myself.”

Mané is only one source of encouragement for Klopp, however. While post-match questions focused on another European rout by his team and another stellar contribution from Salah, the manager chose to highlight the impressive defensive work that provided the foundation for victory. The clean sheet was Liverpool’s third in succession on the road, a sequence they have delivered only twice in seven years, with Virgil van Dijk bringing composure on his Champions League debut for the club and sparking an impressive reaction from Lovren alongside him. It was the completeness of Liverpool’s performance in Porto that struck Milner.

The player with the most assists in the Champions League this season said: “The hardest thing in football is putting the ball in the back of the net and we have got players who can do that. The other side we have got to work on is clean sheets. We have got to manage games better. We have talked about it over the last few months as a team and with the manager as well. That, ultimately, is what wins you titles.

“You can be brilliant going forward but everyone remembers the great Newcastle team who were brilliant going forward but they never won anything. They say defences win you championships and, if we can be more solid … We have kept clean sheets recently and our game management has been good. We can still attack, attack but we can now put men behind the ball and take the sting out of games. We are improving at that and that is what is pleasing the most.

“We have got to keep improving and keep experiencing these games in Europe, the big nights that matter and learning from the process. We have had a good result and performance but there are going to be times, hopefully in the next few years, when you have got to knuckle down and fight and find a way to win. That is big game experience and being in these competitions. There is ability and talent in that dressing room but it is a young dressing room. But this team can go anywhere.”

Lovren described Liverpool’s game-management against Porto as “serious football” and evidence that lessons have been learned from letting a three-goal lead slip at Sevilla in the group stage. “When you are 2-0, 3-0 up you think it is over but it is not and you still have a lot to play,” the Croatian defender said. “We showed quality and character and from everyone it was brilliant. We have so much quality that we can beat everyone if we are on our top level – simple as that.”

De Futebol Arsenal on to the Quarterfinals of The Europa League!

Arsenal defeated AC Milan 3-1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Europa League.

The Guardians David Hytner:” Danny Welbeck thought about it. He had felt the slightest touch from the Milan left-back, Ricardo Rodríguez, inside the area and he went down. The official behind the goal thought about it some more. The seconds ticked by. Milan were unconcerned. Then, a crackle across the earpieces and there was the Swedish referee, Jonas Eriksson, pointing to the spot. Arsenal could sense their place in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Welbeck scored and Arsène Wenger, at long last, could feel his luck was in. His Arsenal team had trailed to Hakan Calhanoglu’s long-range blast and, at that point, things had become angsty. Instead, Welbeck put them back in charge. The impression that it was Arsenal’s night was reinforced when Granit Xhaka made the tie safe on 71 minutes. Again, there had been little hint of danger. The shot from outside the area looked routine for Gianluigi Donnarumma, the young hope of Italian goalkeeping. Yet he fumbled dreadfully and that was that.

On a night when the pre-match fears of another raft of no-shows among the Arsenal support were unfounded, so was the prospect of another crash from their team. Welbeck was even able to help himself to a late goal after Donnarumma had parried Aaron Ramsey’s header.

Wenger had spoken about the “psychological problem” of bringing a lead from the away leg. It meant the opposition had “nothing to lose”, he said. The balance between whether to stick or twist can be difficult to strike.

Arsenal were warned in the previous round against Östersunds, the minnows from Sweden. Three-nil up from the first leg, they fell 2-0 down at home after 23 minutes before they stabilised. The hope was it would not prove another nervous night.

This is Arsenal and there were always going to be wobbles. With 46 seconds on the clock, they suffered the sort of defensive lapse that has blighted their season. Fabio Borini crossed and, suddenly, there was Andre Silva in space. The angle was not inviting and he shot into the side-net. It was a let-off. The early scare aside, Arsenal settled the quicker and, with Héctor Bellerín pressing high and providing an outlet on the right, they got on to the front foot. The collective confidence has been fragile. Here, there were positive stirrings, even if it was difficult to relax. They created a fistful of openings.

The Milan fans had taken their seats long before kick-off – they packed the away enclosure and fired the atmosphere. But the good news from an Arsenal perspective was that the home areas were practically full. The empty seats that have pockmarked their past few matches were not a feature.

Arsenal enjoyed decent backing, even after they conceded the first goal, which had come out of nothing. Calhanoglu cut across his right-footed shot from 25 yards and he got the ball to dip and fade into the far corner. David Ospina was powerless.

Arsenal had to respond. Thanks in part to the officials, they did so. Ramsey had worked Donnarumma moments after the Calhanoglu opener and, after Welbeck’s penalty, which he converted nervelessly, Milan would be further incensed when the ball hit Calum Chambers’ hand inside the area. No penalty.

As ever, Arsenal did not convince at the back. But they could point to a clutch of shooting chances in the first half. Welbeck had put a move on Leonardo Bonucci in the 25th minute before seeing Donnarumma block at the near post while in added time, Welbeck touched back for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who nodded wide and Jack Wilshere extended the goalkeeper with a decent hit from the fringes oWenger had started with Wilshere, fresh from his England recall, as the No 10 in a 4-2-3-1 system – with Mesut Özil on the right – and, with Ramsey ever keen to break forward from a deeper role, Arsenal posed problems. There was an enforced change in central defence on 11 minutes when Laurent Koscielny hurt his side after an aerial challenge; on came Chambers. But Wenger’s team appeared determined to force the issue, rather than protect what they had.

Milan’s challenge in the second half was to put the penalty decision behind them, which was hard. The injustice burned. Their supporters had whistled the big-screen replays of Welbeck’s conversion during half-time.

It was a low-octane affair, with Arsenal eager to draw Milan’s sting with periods of possession. But the visitors pushed. They knew that the next goal could re-release the cat among the pigeons. Suso, who would be booked for diving, dragged a shot wide while Patrick Cutrone fluffed a volley when gloriously placed. Andre Silva also went down in the area, looking for a penalty. He might claim it had worked for Welbeck.

Mkhitaryan and Ramsey had half-chances at the start of the second half but it was Milan that knocked on the door. The substitute, Nikola Kalinic blew a free header and Wenger had seen enough to introduce Mohamed Elneny to thicken the midfield. Donnarumma’s error, though, sucked the wind out of Milan.

De Futebol Flamengo Stinks The Joint out in a Loss

Boo Menago drops a shocker to Macaé a 1-0 loss. Flamengo drops to second place in Group B.

Globo Esporte:” A derrota por 1 a 0 para o Macaé não foi o resultado esperado, mas serviu para Carpegiani fazer testes. O treinador usou Willian Arão pela primeira vez como titular na temporada e gostou do que viu. Ele deixou aberta a possibilidade de escalar o volante ao lado de Jonas contra o Emelec, abrindo mão de um meia.

– Eu queria ver o meio. Por isso trouxe este meio. Queria justamente ver a volta do Arão com o Jonas. Gostei do funcionamento. Tenho um tempo para pensar no que vou fazer na quarta, mas estou seguro. Vamos buscar a vitória.

Nesse caso, o treinador voltaria a usar o esquema que reinou no Flamengo nas duas temporadas passadas, com dois volantes, um homem na armação (Diego) e dois abertos pelos lados (Everton e Paquetá). Carpegiani não citou nomes, mas, se optar por Arão, Everton Ribeiro é o mais cotado para deixar a equipe titular.

Satisfeito em jogar 90 minutos pela primeira vez em 2018, Arão fez uma autoavaliação e disse estar preparado para iniciar quarta-feira, pela Libertadores, se Carpegiani assim optar.

– Estou muito feliz em poder voltar a jogar. Eu sofri a minha primeira lesão na carreira. Voltei aos poucos. Joguei 10 minutos na semana passada, outros 10 na quarta-feira. Foi importante participar, me movimentei bem, estou feliz com meu desempenho. Estou preparado para isso. Mas todos têm condições de jogar.

De Futebol Man U Crashes and Burns Out of The Champions League!

Man U crashed and burned out of the Champions league with a 2-1 loss to Sevilla at Old Trafford.

The Guardians Jamie Jackson:” This elimination of Manchester United from the Champions League was deserved. José Mourinho’s team barely raised a whimper against a Sevilla side who finally took their chances through Wissam Ben Yedder.

The best context to place this in is Vincenzo Montella’s team are fifth in La Liga with a goal difference of minus six and had won only two of their six Champions League group games.

Mourinho’s failure to guide his team into the quarter-finals is further compounded by how the much-maligned David Moyes did take United through to the last eight four years ago.

Ben Yedder had only just been introduced yet the space the Frenchman luxuriated in for the opener meant the forward could hardly fail to score from Pablo Sarabia’s pass. His second was as scruffy as United were slipshod as he beat Ashley Young to a header which was touched on to the crossbar by David de Gea, dropped down and then after one bounce spun over the goalline.

Romelu Lukaku grabbed one back minutes from time but this dismal defeat that had Old Trafford emptying before the final whistle means United can only realistically now claim the FA Cup.

Mourinho made two changes from Saturday’s win against Liverpool, replacing Scott McTominay with Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata with Jesse Lingard. Following a thigh injury Paul Pogba was on the bench and whether he was fit to start was moot. His absence would prove telling as Fellaini and Nemanja Matic never controlled the contest.

Vincenzo Montella changed two players, too. The cup-tied Miguel Layun plus Nolito, who was a reserve, were excluded for Simon Kjaer and Joaquin Correa.

At the start United’s tempo was good though this also suited their opponents. After pressing Mourinho’s men, Éver Banega delivered a first corner for Joaquin Correa to glance a header that just cleared De Gea’s bar.

Further uncertainty ensued when Antonio Valencia hesitated, mishit a punt out of his area, and Franco Vázquez blasted wide. Later, Eric Bailly gifted the ball to Vázquez and, quickly, Luis Muriel pulled the trigger and United were relieved when his radar proved off.

Already this had the feel of a long night for Mourinho’s men. An inability to slow the contest down and retain possession was the issue. An illustration came when Ashley Young hit a hopeful 40-yard pass to Lukaku that went to Clement Lenglet when a short ball to a nearby team-mate was required. The contest was bypassing United’s midfield in the hope that Fellaini or Lukaku could make something happen from a hail Mary dropping on them from the Manchester sky.

Any trickery was produced by the Spanish side. Marcus Rashford became the latest to cede the ball cheaply and suddenly United were turned and Muriel was beating De Gea with a shot that rolled wide of his left post.

When Rashford did discover subtlety with a chip into the onrushing Lukaku, the No 9’s touch was non-existent. This showed how uneven United were. Rashford burst down the right and into a tackle. Lingard picked out Fellaini and his header went awry. As the first half neared the break it had been akin to a rough and tumble Championship affair of little rhythm.

United were missing Pogba and the question was whether he would be introduced at some point to try and turn the tie.

Fellaini then drilled a left-foot effort that warmed Sergio Rico’s fingers: it was about as good as United’s first half got.

The truth was that if Sevilla had taken their opportunities United would have been in serious strife as the second half kicked off. As it was they stared down the barrel because of the away goal rule, knowing if Montella’s team scored they would need two, which United had not managed against Spanish opposition since 2003, home or away in the competition.

Yet, the rot continued. Correa produced a scare when he was found in space in front of De Gea. As he went to shoot Bailly swooped and made a crucial tackle, ending the danger.

United’s problem was as obvious as their inability to solve it: a lack of composure despite Mourinho having the interval to right this.

Lingard did manage a shot on target, which Rico turned away for a corner. From this Rashford eventually whacked the ball across goal and found no one. Now came a rare flash of Alexis Sánchez brilliance as he skipped away from three black shirts and curved the ball to Rashford but the forward could only smack the ball into the stands. Mourinho had seen enough and on the hour swapped Pogba for Fellaini.

Disaster was about to strike via Ben Yedder, who has a knack of scoring against English sides. He was Sevilla’s saviour in the autumn, scoring three against Liverpool across both their drawn group games.

After the opener Mourinho threw on Mata for Valencia and Anthony Martial for Lingard but Ben Yedder headed a second – his eighth for the season in Europe – and United were heading out. For Mourinho, the inquisition now begins.”

De Futebol Arsenal Reverted to Their Ways in the Blowout Loss to Man Shitty!

The Guardians Nick Ames nailed it when he wrote the guys have reverted to their old ways. “Contrary to recent evidence though it may seem, this was the most un-Arsenal of outcomes. The bigger disappointments of the past decade have generally been followed by flickerings of life, results pulled out of the fire in the nick of time, signs of enough incipient quality to maintain the illusion that it is darkest before the dawn.

But Arsenal do not even have that to lean on any more. Arsène Wenger sent his team out with good intentions, a top-heavy starting XI designed to trade blows. But for the second time in five days they crumbled at the first sign of pressure from Manchester City, losing the game well before half-time where previously they would have summoned a germ of hope. An end-times feel permeates this team, this stadium, and there is no sense things will brighten before the most painful – but surely inevitable – of decisions is forced.

Stripped of Sunday’s inconvenient context, this could even have been as good a time as any to face City. The continued absence of Raheem Sterling and fresh injury to Fernandinho were obvious points to exploit. City had been pegged back at Burnley and stumbled at Wigan in the past month while Arsenal have made a habit this season of showing up for home games against garlanded opponents. If they needed further encouragement, there was also their extra Thursday night know-how to fall back on.

At the outset it was clear many of the home support had given this the full Thursday treatment. The gaps in the stands were redolent of a dark night of the soul against Östersund – or, to move things on, a meaningless final half-hour at Wembley. Social media rumblings during the day had suggested a consensus in favour of calling the whole thing off, a view that owed as much to Arsenal’s League Cup final freeze – and its wider ramifications – as the one that set bones rattling around north London.

Flip things around, though, and there were points to be proved, mental strength to be shown off. Few of those present seemed to hold faith in those time-honoured maxims; the match kicked off to near-silence, obligation trumping belief for all bar the vocal segment of away fans, for whom the journey had seemed rather less trouble.

Where there is a will, there is a way. The irony was that Arsenal, unlike the disinclined among their fanbase, turned up in the first quarter and might have scored either side of the two Silvas’ efforts. An off-beam Kevin De Bruyne diagonal intended for Leroy Sané had even sent Pep Guardiola pirouetting in frustration during a loose spell from City between the two. As on Sunday, the champions-elect did not look impregnable.

City discovered again, though, that Arsenal are the great recidivists. Time and again it is the fine details that catch them out. At Wembley it was Claudio Bravo’s kicking range and this time it was Bernardo Silva’s liking for a left-foot curler. Silva is not Arjen Robben but anyone with the slightest knowledge of his oeuvre would have shown him outside after Sané’s snaking run had made the opportunity; instead Sead Kolasinac, surely one of the most premature recipients of cult hero status, offered the invitation and from there the die was cast.

The second and third goals, each thrillingly conceived, bore testament both to the devastating quality of Arsenal’s opponents and their own confused, lumpen defending. When Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was gifted the chance to make a game of things his penalty, far too close to Ederson, perfectly fitted the tone of an evening whose backdrop had teetered from near-apathy to the brink of outright mutiny.

Aubameyang is a world-class talent, and the Emirates has nurtured plenty of those. But he might wonder, now, at the environment he has wandered into; everything about Arsenal, in this deeply unhappy period, smacks of a club in cold storage.”

De Futebol Man Shitty Wins! Two more Wins and Shitty is The Champs!

Last night Man Shitty had little trouble with Stoke City winning 2-0 at the Potters house.

David Silva led the attack with the daily double in the 10th and 50th minutes.

Shitty is the main man with 81 points.

Man Shitty is just two wins shy of winning the title.

Second place Man U has 65 points.

Third place sits Tottenham with 61 points.

On Saturday March 10th we saw Everton shutout Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0. The Toffees jumped into ninth place with 37 points.

Newcastle took a strong step forward with a blowout 3-0 win over Southampton. Toons are thirteenth place with 32 points.

Leicester City destroyed West Brom 4-1 at the Hammers house.

The Foxes are in the safe zone eighth place with 40 points.

The Baggies are in the danger zone sixteenth place 30 points.

Burnley took a big whopping stick to West Ham 3-0.

The Clarets are in seventh place with 43 points.

The Hammers are in the whale dung position with 20 points.

Chelsea got by Crystal Palace 2-1.

The Eagles are in the voce vai zone eighteenth place with 27 points.

Huddersfield and Swansea City tied nil-nil.

The Saints are one step above the you are outta here zone seventeenth place 27 points.

De Futebol Arsenal wins. Spurs win to leap into third place ahead of Liverpool!

Arsenal stopped the bleeding with a 3-0 win over Watford at our house Emirates. My Gunners have lost three straight entering into this crucial match with the Hornets.

This win keeps the guys close to fifth place Chelsea, 56 points and within two miles of fourth place Liverpool 60 points. My Gunners are sixth place with 48 points.

Tottenham turned on the jets after falling behind Bournemouth one nil after seven minutes  scoring the next four goals to blowout the Cherries 4-1.

Spurs are third with 61 points.

Man U is second with 65 points.

Man Shitty battles Stoke City later tonight.

Shitty is top dog with 78 points.

EPL Match Report on the guys win:” Petr Cech saved a second-half penalty as he claimed his 200th Premier League clean sheet in Arsenal‘s 3-0 victory over Watford at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners took the lead on eight minutes when Shkodran Mustafi headed in from a Mesut Ozil free-kick, his 50th assist in the competition.

Just before the hour mark, Henrikh Mkhitaryan played in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who rounded Watford goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis to score the second.

The visitors had a great chance to get a goal back but Cech saved Troy Deeney’s penalty. Arsenal sealed victory when Mkhitaryan scored from the edge of the area with 13 minutes left to play, his first goal in the PL for the Gunners.

Arsenal’s first win in four PL matches means they remain in sixth, eight points behind Chelsea in fifth, while Watford drop to 10th place.”

De Futebol Man U beats The Reds at Old Trafford! Man U five points clear of Second Place Liverpool!

Man U picks up a huge 2-1 win over Liverpool. The Red Devils are five points clear of second place Liverpool. Man U has 65 points. The Reds have 60 points.

Spurs could vault themselves into second place with a win over Bournemouth later today.

The Daily Mali:” It was all about the boy. That’s not to say the supporting roles weren’t significant, not least Romelu Lukaku who was quite superb and Scott McTominay, who again played beyond his years.

But Marcus Rashford hadn’t started a Premier League game since Boxing Day. If not exactly wasting away, as he has been significant from the bench and started Cup games, you wondered if this was a case of arrested development.

Certainly the stardust which followed him two years ago when he burst into this team and demanded immediate global attention has steadily dispersed.

Not so here. Important players win important games. They make the difference. When Rashford did it at 18, he had the air of an ingénue about him. Here he was more than that. A man composed on this stage, the clinical match winner.

His first finish was exquisite; the second excellent. And all round him, a gripping football match was unfolding. Two bitter rivals going at it for the full 90 minutes, like this game used to be.

It wasn’t quite the title-deciders of old; more like the battle to the best of the rest, which doesn’t have quite the same allure. Still, given the dearth of quality and excitement in this fixture of late, it was a welcome return to form.

And a timely reminder from Jose Mourinho as we reached what he described as the ‘business end of the season.’

Man United are hitting their stride, putting five points between themselves and Liverpool, their nearest rivals for second.

At times, it can seem impossible to disrupt the forward flow of this Liverpool team. But, despite all the scepticism at the style he employs, Moruinho does always have a plan. And this one worked, for the first half at least, as well as any since his arrival here.

A bonus feature was that it didn’t include any bus parking. At times it looked like a throwback to a 1990s United team, almost a 4-4-2, with Alexis Sanchez tucked in behind Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata and Rashford out wide.

It perplexed Liverpool. James Milner, Emre Can and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were outplayed by McTominay and Nemanja Matic in the opening 45 minutes, they were also critically outfought at the back.

Rashford takes the principal plaudits but this was a defining moment for Lukaku too. In a major fixture, he dominated Liverpool’s centre halves, a performance which put you in mind of the best physical centre forwards.

When Rashford scored his second, it was noticeable that McTominay raced to embrace Lukaku, who provided the assist for the assist. His contribution was not going un-noticed, nor unappreciated.

Both those first half goals came from David De Gea kicks.

Not content with being United’s best player, the goalkeeper is proving their most-creative one as well. But faced with a fairly basic tactic and an inspired Lukaku, Liverpool couldn’t cope.

On 14 minutes it was Lukaku’s flick on from De Gea’s punt which released Rashford. He nodded the ball down and from thereon in, he was simply magnificent.

There was the pace to befuddle Trent Alexander-Arnold, a neat check and turn to leave him standing and then an exquisite finish to the far post.

Twenty-four minutes in, Lukaku not only won the header, but pounced on the ball and drove on to release Mata. His strike rebounded off Virgil van Dijk, fell for Rashford and, just inside the box, full of confidence, he applied another excellent finish.

It should really have been 3-0 on half time, Alexis Sanchez crossing for Mata, who, with time and space, attempted a spectacular scissors kick and shot wide. On the bench Mourinho held his head in his hands.

It was a moment in which a simple control and strike would have ended the contest.

Mourinho knew. Such moments can cost. Doubtless it struck his mind when Andrew Robertson’s cross struck Antonio Valencia’s hand inside the box and Craig Pawson ought to have awarded the penalty on 50 minutes

Certainly it would have done when, in bizarre circumstances, Liverpool clawed their way back in the game in 66 minutes.

It is true that Liverpool had been much better in the second half. Still, they were largely contained until Sadio Mané sent in a cross and Eric Bailly got himself in an unnecessary and terrible tangle.

Attempting to clear in an ungainly fashion and hopelessly off balance, he hung out a leg allowing the ball to strike his heel and catch de Gea off guard to put into his own net.

From thereon in, the game ebbed and flowed in the dramatic and committed fashion we expect from this fixture. Both Jurgen Klopp and Mourinho had their moments of high excitement on the touchline.

And Marouane Fellaini was lucky his clumsy challenge on 82 minutes on Mané wasn’t adjudged a penalty. Ultimately, United had enough to repel their rivals.

Maybe that doesn’t mean quite so much as it once did. But second best, which it may well have secured, is a significant upgrade on recent years.