Manchester United’s supporters have taken to Twitter this afternoon to sing the praises of Ashley Young, following the English veteran’s impressive showing at left-back versus Mohamed Salah.
The two sides went head to head at Old Trafford, with hosts United having come into proceedings in high spirits, following their incredible comeback victory at Selhurst Park last Monday night.
The Red Devils recovered from a 2-goal deficit via a second-half rally to claim all 3 points, with Nemanja Matic sealing the turnaround with a stunning 92nd-minute half-volley from 25 yards.
Liverpool, meanwhile, secured their place in the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League with a 0-0 stalemate at home to Porto during the week, following the Reds’ 5-0 demolition of the Liga Nos leaders in Portugal 3 weeks ago.
Jurgen Klopp’s men picked up a comfortable 2-0 win over Newcastle United in their last league outing, with Manchester United’s ensuing victory at Crystal Palace ensuring that Jose Mourinho’s side maintained their 2-point advantage over their fierce rivals in the Premier League table.
The starting lineups of both sides were announced an hour prior to kick-off, with hosts United without both Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial:
Rumours had spread over the last 24 hours that Pogba picked up a slight injury at United’s Carrington training ground yesterday afternoon, and was unable to finish the session with the rest of the club’s squad.
And the Frenchman failed to recover in time for this afternoon’s clash, with fellow Les Bleus’ international Anthony Martial also missing out with injury.
There was some positive news for fans of the Red Devils, though, as Eric Bailly made his long-awaited return to the heart of the club’s defence.
Liverpool, meanwhile, lined up as follows, with Dejan Lovren once again preferred to Joel Matip, James Milner opted for over Jordan Henderson, and Trent Alexander-Arnold given the nod at right-back:
The early moments of this afternoon’s crunch clash saw United firmly on top, with the rowdy Old Trafford crowd driving their side forward at every opportunity.
And the intent of Jose Mourinho’s men paid off in a major way with just 14 minutes on the clock, as Romelu Lukaku beat Dejan Lovren to a David De Gea long-ball, allowing Marcus Rashford a run at Trent Alexander-Arnold.
And Rashford made no mistake from here-on-in, turning the Liverpool youngster inside out with a gorgeous cut-back with his left, before hammering a right-footed finish past the helpless Loris Karius in the away side’s goal.
Incredibly, it was 2-0 just 10 minutes later, as Lukaku once again bullied Lovren from a De Gea long-ball, with his through ball to Juan Mata eventually rebounding to Rashford.
And Rashford made no mistake once again, side-footing a first time finish into the far corner, courtesy of a touch from Alexander-Arnold, who turned his back in his attempts to block the effort.
The second-half was a different story altogether, though, as Manchester United sat on their lead, with Liverpool controlling the vast majority of possession.
And the Reds made their pressure count with 25 minutes to go, as Sadio Mane’s burst down the left saw the Senegalese winger whip a seemingly innocuous delivery across the United box, with Eric Bailly somehow managing to get his feet mixed up to the extent that the returning stopper volleyed home into his own net past the stranded David De Gea.
Liverpool struggled to create clear-cut chances over the closing half-hour, though, with United holding on to solidify their place in 2nd in the Premier League table.
While it was Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford who took the majority of the plaudits for United due to their goalscoring exploits, another of the Red Devils’ less-heralded stars who was singled out for special praise from the club’s fans was Ashley Young.
The English veteran was fielded at left-back once again by Jose Mourinho, with Young doing an excellent job in keeping Liverpool star man Mohamed Salah largely quiet over the course of the 90 minutes at Old Trafford: