The stress of change, or Vyacheslav Opakhin's column on the need to accept the inevitable. Even 0:7.
It took some time to get used to it. After the match, more or less all United fans had the same feeling: to forget. It's hard to imagine how the Manchester United players felt in the 80th minute at Anfield.
Denial: How could Gakpo be left in space like that? Fred, huh?! Okay, just bad luck. The first half is equal.
If in the past defeats from Liverpool felt like a given, now Manchester United has arrived almost as a minimal favorite. And even after the first half, it was nervous, but not the removal of the body. For xG, it's generally 0.8 versus 0.58.
And then the 47th minute. And the team just fell apart.
Anger: ### [damn], you can't make childish mistakes with the whole team in such a match!
Shit happens. There are days when everything falls out of hand, and nothing happens. The worst thing is when you still find yourself on a very responsible task on such a day. Many professions allow you to take a day off, say sick, or honestly score on business. But not football. You will only be able to replace some of the 11 players.
We expected it to be challenging but got hit by a train. Liverpool greedily threw themselves at every ball to dispel the myth of their crisis.
Bargaining: Okay, we played back from 0:2, and indeed how many times in the second half we started to play much better?
The good news is that Jurgen Klopp's guys treated the opponent with all due respect. And they kicked with desire. When Liverpool smashed Manchester United in past years, there was no such motivation. On the contrary: the Merseysiders seemed to sympathize and did not realize their full potential. March 5, 2023, made the maximum. Everything came together: eight shots on target - seven goals.
Depression: Oh, Firmino comes out to score a hat-trick.
It was a day when even Casemiro made mistakes and didn't throw himself at the balls as if they were the last plate of food. "MJ" corny burned out. I lost this match much earlier - when I won the League Cup. It's a paradox, but this modest trophy, like kryptonite, sucked emotions out of the team. We waited too long for at least some "cup" and tried hard to show that this composition can do more than get into memes. Yes, now the public will have a new one - about 0:7.
Acceptance: Yeah, okay, seven. When is the next match?
Emotions are the same "fuel" as physical readiness. Mental power can be pumped and constantly come back, but one day the enemy class will work. Having caught you in a knockdown, he will not pull back for reinsurance but will continue to blizzard you.
Physics can be handy here, but Manchester United has already played 41 games this season. Naturally, several such matches affect the composition. There were four tournaments; now there are three. This does not cancel the schedule "in two days on the third" for over six months. The team has not become larger - in quantity or quality.
Erik ten Hag still has to use Wout Wegorst anywhere but in the offensive line. Because Tony Martial is permanently injured, Vegorst is not ready to decide on the episodes. David de Gea is still afraid of the ball and breaks the first stage of the attack. Fred is still hyperactive, which sometimes interferes with his concentration and leads to critical mistakes. Diogo Dalo alternates between a great match and a bad one. And even Lisandro Martinez can lose his head. This is not an excuse but a given.
0:7 - the failure of precisely ten Hag? Undoubtedly. Now, Eric will use rotation more often. Or trust the youth. For reserve players, now is the best time to occur at the base.
In the second half, the coach lost control of the team. And this is more important than the number on the scoreboard. This is not a catastrophe of the ten Haga project but of the current Manchester United squad, which has believed in itself too much. The success of the streak meant that questions about the quadruple were no longer ironic. For the third or fourth time, ten Hag already somehow almost thoughtfully answered that "it's possible," "it's nice to think about it," but "you have to go from game to game." Reality has ground expectations hard: Manchester United needs to think of every next opponent as their main one. However, this will unlikely help some players stay on the team in the summer.
More than coaching genius is needed to cut for trophies with a weak composition seriously. Some players do not meet the needs of the top club. Only a few Manchester United players would be helpful in the same Liverpool, not to mention getting into Klopp's starting XI.
In general, the team cooled down before the season's final part, which is good. In addition, there are reasons to think there will be no special shake-up. After the match, Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw (they generally respect him that he came out after such a fiasco) rather calmly explained that "it was unacceptable." Shaw acknowledged that "standards have fallen since winning the League Cup. We haven't been like ourselves in recent matches." The next day, the team met in the morning at 9:00, at the usual time, and only ten Hag himself arrived two hours earlier. "We lost 0:7" – it just needs to be accepted. And allow the team to burn this match from the memory of the season.