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MANCHESTER, England, Oct 24, (AP): There was a pick of moments that confirmed Manchester United’s humiliation against Liverpool. Maybe it came with Mohamed Salah completing his hat trick by the 50th minute. Or in the celebrations as Liverpool defender Andy Robertson was heard repeatedly shouting “Keep going” at his teammates when they were already 5-0 up showing no mercy. Or there was the sight of Alex Ferguson shaking his head, sighing in the Old Trafford directors’ box at seeing the shambles unfolding in the team he once led to so much glory.
Close by was his one-time Liverpool managerial adversary, Kenny Dalglish, beaming in delight. There’s only so much that nostalgia can shield you from the brutal assessments at a club without a trophy since Mourinho won the Europa League in 2018. Not even the return of Cristiano Ronaldo from the Ferguson glory years has engineered a resurgence. Late comebacks have masked the cracks, like Ronaldo grabbing a late winner against Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday. But United’s defense was completely run ragged against Liverpool, conceding after five minutes. It was a scene of abject failings that Solskjaer has consistently provided little evidence he can rectify. Salah had just received the pass from Roberto Firmino. To his left was Robertson. To his right, Naby Keita. Only Luke Shaw was in front of them as the last line of United resistance. The ball was put through by Salah to Keita who slotted past David De Gea. It was Diogo Jota who slid in to stab the ball over the line in the 13th minute from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross after a muddle between Harry Maguire and Shaw. The first of Salah’s goals — allowing the striker to score in a 10th successive Liverpool game — came after his shot was initially blocked by Maguire. The loose ball fell to Keita who cut it back for Salah to strike high into the net.