Manchester United recorded one of their lowest possession totals in Premier League history during their humiliating 4-0 drubbing at Liverpool, with Ralf Rangnick’s men only managing to see 28 per cent of the ball at Anfield.
It’s a damning indictment of just how far the Red Devils have fallen in recent years, with Tuesday night’s performance laying bare how far behind United are when it comes to competing for titles with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.
Liverpool absolutely dominated their fierce rivals from start to finish in every department while not giving United a sniff of the ball in front of a sell-out Anfield crowd.
Manchester United were humiliated by fierce rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday evening
Ralf Rangnick’s men only had 28 per cent possession of the ball – one of their lowest ever totals
While match statistics sometimes struggle to paint the whole picture, the output from the United players on Tuesday revealed just how much Ralf Rangnick’s men were chasing shadows.
In the 19 years that statistics have been collected on Premier League games, United have had less possession across 90 minutes on three other occasions, according to Stats Perform.
The worst total surprisingly came in their 3-1 win over Arsenal back in December 2017, which saw Jose Mourinho’s 10 men manage to triumph over Arsene Wenger’s beleaguered side.
Two years later, United went on to record the double over Manchester City in the 2019-20 campaign, winning 2-1 at the Etihad in December before walking away as 2-0 winners at Old Trafford later on in March.
Their win at Old Trafford saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men see just 27 per cent of the ball while their win at City’s home didn’t see them enjoy much more of the ball, with just 28 per cent of possession.
United had just 24 per cent of the ball in their 3-1 win over Arsenal back in December 2017
Since 2017, United have struggled to see much of the ball against City and Liverpool, with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp’s sides featuring multiple times in games where United have struggled most to keep hold of possession.
When it comes to looking at United’s top 10 lowest possession totals in the Premier League since the 2003-04 campaign, City feature six times while Liverpool appear three times, with their win over Arsenal topping the charts.
United were able to walk away with three points on several of those occasions but they just couldn’t get close to Liverpool under the lights at Anfield on Tuesday.
Looking devoid of hope and with energy levels dropping, United’s players only managed 354 passes between them, successfully completing just 258 of those on the night.
Meanwhile, the Reds managed a staggering 897 passes between them, competing 91 per cent of those.
Thiago Alcantara, one of many standout performers on the night for Liverpool, managed to complete 105 passes from the heart of midfield with the Spaniard’s total only beaten by Virgil van Dijk in defence, who completed 106 passes.
Virgil van Dijk completed 106 passes against United, with his passing masterclass just one of four times a player has made over 100 passes in a Premier League match vs the Red Devils
Thiago was one of the other players to register over 100 passes against United, completing one less than Van Dijk on the night
Since 2003-04, there have only been four instances of a player completing 100+ passes in a Premier League match against Manchester United.
All four of those passing masterclasses have come this season, with two of those – Thiago and Van Dijk – coming on Tuesday.
An even more damning stat is that Liverpool’s aggregate score of 9-0 over their two Premier League meetings this season is the biggest margin ever between the two clubs in any league competition since 1895.
It was painful viewing for Manchester United supporters all over the world but for Gary Neville, it was one of the worst performances he’s ever seen in his 42 years as a fan.
The United legend, who was commentating on the game, said on Sky Sports: ‘I’ve been watching Man United for 42 years and this is as bad as it gets honestly.
Gary Neville blasted United for playing the worst he has seen in 42 years against Liverpool
‘[I] watched them through the 80s. I’ve never seen a group have a lack of appetite to play during my time watching the club.’
After Mohamed Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead, Neville added: ‘Lets be fair this United team are a waste of space, however the football Liverpool are playing is absolutely sublime.
‘[David] De Gea is helpless as he’s watching the hopelessness ahead of him.’
Source: Culled From Mail Online.