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Apr 6, 2024 11:49 am

Liverpool out to avenge earlier loss to Manchester United

Alexis Mac Allister

Liverpool can take another step toward their first Premier League title in four seasons when they visit Manchester United for the second time in as many months on Sunday.

Liverpool (21-2-7, 70 points) had to work fairly hard for their last victory on Thursday, a 3-1 home win over last-place Sheffield United that restored the Reds into the league lead.

A second-half equalizer via an own-goal provided some late nervous moments before Alexis Mac Allister struck from about 18 yards out to put Liverpool in front for good.

Cody Gakpo added a late insurance tally in an 18-minute cameo, which should provide confidence if he makes his first start since Feb. 21 on Sunday as Jurgen Klopp manages player workloads.

Liverpool has overtaken three-time defending champion Manchester City as oddsmakers’ favorites to win the title. But Klopp — who also guided Liverpool to the 2019-20 title — knows how difficult the stretch run can be.

“Somebody said we had the best fixture list or schedule,” Klopp said Friday. “I looked at it and I really don’t know how you can have had that idea. Maybe I’m too negative but it’s a tough one, good opponents. But we are ready and we want to be in that fight, so let’s see what we can make of it.”

As proof of concept, Liverpool need only look at their last trip to Manchester, when sixth-place United (15-12-3, 48 points) dumped the Reds out of the FA Cup in a dramatic 4-3 quarterfinal victory decided in extra time.

Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils also played Liverpool to a 0-0 league draw at Anfield in December.

But consistency and late goals have plagued sixth-place Manchester United all season.

They conceded twice from the penalty spot, and twice very deep into second-half stoppage time, in a stunning 4-3 defeat to Chelsea. And they also conceded decisive goals after the 75th minute in their previous two league defeats at home to Fulham and Manchester City.

Thursday’s defeat came despite a brace from 19-year-old Alejandro Garnacho, one of four Manchester United players tied for the team lead with seven league goals.

“We have to turn this around,” ten Hag said after the loss Thursday. “So from tomorrow on we will be in a positive mood. We will be looking forward. We have to take energy but we will be mad, angry. From anger you can take a lot of energy and that is how we have to do it.”

–Field Level Media

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