Liverpool produced a legendary Anfield display in the 240th edition of the North-West’s flagship derby, beating eternal rivals Manchester United 7-0 to emphatically add fuel to their chase for a seventh straight top-four finish.

Eager to avenge August’s loss at Old Trafford, which brought their first league defeat in this fixture since 2018, Liverpool took charge of the opening exchanges. However, it was United dynamo Bruno Fernandes who spurned the game’s first golden chance, glancing his header narrowly wide from six yards out as both teams fought for control. A scrappy first half then had a full-blooded finale, as Casemiro’s headed goal was ruled out for offside, before Cody Gakpo gave Liverpool the lead with a composed finish from 10 yards, sending Anfield wild.

Joy for Liverpool then turned into ecstatic celebration shortly after half time, as Darwin Núñez doubled the Reds’ lead just minutes into the second period. A dinked cross from youngster Harvey Elliott saw the Uruguayan unable to miss from a matter of yards, giving the Reds what looked like an unassailable lead. United visibly imploded from there, quickly conceding a third that had a finer touch of class by comparison, with Mohamed Salah and Gakpo combining superbly before the Dutch forward applied the cheekiest of lobs which beat David de Gea and put Liverpool in dreamland.

It was just a matter of when the fourth would arrive, and Salah eventually obliged with 25 minutes to go, as the Egypt international smashed in a howitzer of an effort to become the first Liverpool player to score in six consecutive appearances against Manchester United. By now Liverpool players were almost queuing up to score, and the next goal on an awful afternoon for the Red Devils came in the form of another Núñez header, which saw hordes of visiting supporters leave the stadium to jeers from near-delirious Liverpudlians.

While there may have been a desire to retain energy ahead of a crucial second-leg Champions League tie against Real Madrid in the Spanish capital, Salah and Roberto Firmino refused to take pity on their stricken opponents. They tapped in goals number six and seven with insulting ease to cap off a thoroughly memorable afternoon for the Anfield faithful, while rubber-stamping Liverpool’s first seven-goal haul against the Red Devils since April 1916.

Having made a thorough mockery of both the form book and their visitors, Liverpool now sit just three points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham, while leaving the utterly annihilated visitors 14 points behind league leaders Arsenal. The Red Devils’ already-improbable title dreams now lie in smouldering ruins, but worse could be yet to come, after TV cameras spotted Bruno Fernandes pushing an official to cap off a nightmare display.


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