Monday night’s mouth-watering tie between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford surely lived up to the hype and expectation from supporters.
Following a dismal start to the season the forecast was that new signing Casemiro’s presentation would be the most positive outcome for United on the night as Liverpool were the overwhelming favourites.
But against all odds, it was Erik ten Hag’s men who were the superior team throughout the game as the Red Devils outplayed their bitter rivals to emerge 2-1 victors on the night.
Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford put Jurgen Klopp’s men to the sword as the Merseyside Reds were second best up until the 81st minute when Mo Salah pulled one back.
The Egyptian’s strike led to a nervy close to the game where United seemed to be hell-bent on not allowing play to continue.
Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane were both spotted going down for cramps in the final ten minutes while Bruno Fernandes was milking almost every single challenge on him during the 5 minutes of stoppage time added on.
These last-ditch antics prevented Liverpool from throwing the kitchen sink at United in their chase for a desperate equaliser and it looks like it certainly infuriated Klopp as the German coach was spotted having an animated moment with Fernandes following the full-time whistle.
The 55-year-old walked onto the pitch after Michael Oliver blew the full-time whistle to shake hands with the players. But as he walked up to the Portuguese international, the duo began engaging in what appeared to be a very intense exchange.
While on the face of it the exchange appeared as spicy as perhaps Conte vs Tuchel from last week, the Liverpool manager squashed all rumours of any rift with Fernandes during his post-match press conference.
“It was not animated it was the most harmless conversation I ever had with a player, who is as emotional as I maybe was. It was the situation (about) with the centre-half (Lisandro) Martinez when he went down from an ‘awful’ tackle which was obviously nothing and he made a bit it. He (Fernandes) was talking to me and he asked ‘maybe you would do the same’ and I said no,” revealed the Liverpool coach.
The moment pointed out by Klopp came in the closing stages as Liverpool substitute Fabio Carvalho crashed into Martinez who put his body in between to see the ball out for a goal-kick.
However, as soon as the light contact came from Carvalho, the Argentine immediately went to the ground and stayed there in an attempt to waste a few seconds.
The ex-Ajax man who made headlines for his short height exhibited a commanding performance as he set up a rock-solid defensive partnership with Raphael Varane against Liverpool and was a constant thorn in their side.
Despite the dark arts all seems to have ended well in the spirit of fair play as Klopp further added that Fernandes also touched upon the need to have these direct conversations after an intense game during their pitch-side conversation.
The win has lifted United from the bottom of the league to 14th on the table while Liverpool has dropped down to 16th and is still without a win this season.