By any objective measure, this had seemed like an away banker during what was a fevered buildup. Manchester United, mired in their worst start to a season since 1989-90, were goal-shy; their confidence seemingly in pieces. Liverpool were supposed to roll up to Old Trafford and extend their run of consecutive wins to a record-equalling 18th game .
Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the eternally optimistic United manager, had claimed that “this is the perfect game for us” but, to put it bluntly, nobody believed him. Perhaps they should have done. It was a wild turnaround from a United point of view, defying the form book, and it said everything that Solskjær’s team, having taken a first-half lead through Marcus Rashford, could finish disappointed at having failed to inflict upon Liverpool a first league defeat since January.
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