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Liverpool bullied Man United for 51 minutes – but stats show they deserved to lose


Twice Liverpool had the FA Cup tie in their hands, and twice they threw it away. The Reds only have themselves to blame, and the stats do not lie.

Talk about a tough pill to swallow. With a few more moments of composure, we would be talking about a different outcome, but here we are.

After starting slowly out of the blocks at Old Trafford and forcing themselves to wipe out an early Man United advantage, Liverpool went on to dominate and all but suffocate Erik ten Hag’s side.

From minute 36 in the first half up until Antony scored to make it 2-2 in the 87th minute, Liverpool scored two goals, had a further 14 shots, and had almost double the amount of accurate passes.

In the second half, Jurgen Klopp‘s men were, frankly, taking the piss. With the help of FotMob‘s momentum chart (below), we can see Liverpool’s periods of dominance quite clearly (in green).

In the second half, 11 of the Reds’ 13 shots came from inside the box, they had 61 percent possession and touched the ball 27 times in United’s area.

Liverpool won the battle off the ball too, winning 21 duels to their 17 and 48.5 percent of their passes were in United’s half – they had territory and possession.

And what those stats don’t include were the moments like the five on two that never resulted in a shot, the Reds had them at the edge of the cliff but never pushed them over.

So for all of that, the most important statistic read 4-3 at the end of the 120 minutes, not to mention United ended the match with a greater xG, 3.92 compared to Liverpool’s 2.12xG.

Ten Hag’s side created five big chances to Liverpool’s one across the full game, and ended the tie with 28 shots to the Reds’ 25.

Of course, that is over the full 120 minutes, but it is the most Klopp’s side have conceded all season – not even Chelsea in the other extra time affair this season managed as many.

The 90-minute high was against Tottenham, when they took aim 24 times against a Liverpool side who finished the match with nine men.

Liverpool paid the price for their lack of ruthlessness and poor game management at Old trafford, something which has scarcely been said of this team this season.

They were deserving of their defeat.

Virgil van Dijk accepted the team “only got ourselves to blame” for the result, and one can only hope this is a lesson that will come in clutch as eyes now turn to the Premier League and Europa League.

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