Man United’s 7-0 demolition by Liverpool a reality check — can they bounce back?

 Man United’s 7-0 demolition by Liverpool a reality check — can they bounce back?

Prior to Sunday’s 7-0 demolition by Liverpool, there was a feeling among most Manchester United fans that their team have finally arrived under Erik Ten Hag.

They should not be blamed for that. If football is about results, then it is fair to say the Red Devils have had a decent form under their new manager.

Before Sunday’s match, they have played nine games without a defeat — winning seven and drawing only two. Within that period, they also ended their six-year trophy drought with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle to lift the Carabao Cup.

In addition to that, they sit comfortably on the third spot on the English Premier League (EPL) table.

Therefore, it did not come as a surprise that they came into Sunday’s game as the favourite to win based on recent form.

However, the reverse was the case.

Instead, Liverpool handed them their worst defeat in history. The trio of Mohamed Salah, Cody Gapko and Darwin Nunez scored a brace each before Roberto Firmino added the seventh goal.

For context, the defeat was Man United’s first since February. If anything, the fixture was a reality check for Ten Hag’s men.

Liverpool have been one of Man United’s fiercest rivals in history and have maintained a competitive edge over them in recent fixtures.

Man United have struggled against Jürgen Klopp’s men and Sunday’s defeat is a timely reminder that they still have a long way to go if they are to become that formidable team that dominated the EPL and Europe under the Sir Alex Ferguson era.

In his post-match assessment, Ten Hag blasted his team and described their performance as “unprofessional”.

“I think we played a decent first half. One mistake in organisation just before half-time. Second half it was just not us. It was not our standards. We didn’t play as a team. It was unprofessional,” he said.

“Yes [I am angry]. Definitely. I am surprised because I have seen the last weeks and months this team is resilient and has a winning attitude.

“Second half we didn’t have a winning attitude at all. We didn’t stick to the plan and we didn’t do our jobs. We didn’t track back and it was really unprofessional.”

The defeat could spur Man United to win more titles this season or dampen their already high momentum depending on how they respond to it.

On Thursday night, they face Real Betis in the Europa UEFA League — a game that will largely determine how well they have handled their heavy defeat to Liverpool.

The Red Devils are no doubt on course to finish on a high note this season and the defeat to Liverpool is what they need keep that dream alive.

Time will tell if they will return to winning ways again when they take on Real Betis.

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