For soccer lovers around the world, particularly the supporters of some of the big English Premier League teams – Manchester United and Liverpool last Sunday’s encounter was a big shock. The surprise came as a result of the unprecedented loss that Manchester United suffered on its home pitch at Old Trafford. Liverpool, on the other hand did not have it any better as the Champions League Champions were brought on their knees. As it is with every game, the penultimate Sunday’s soccer match between Manchester United Vs Tottenham Hotspur as well as Liverpool Vs Aston Villa proved beyond words the power of the 90-minutes play, the essence of co-ordinated team play and the willpower to win against all odds.
Reacting to the October 4, 2020 6-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, the manager of the Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was quoted as saying: “Yeah of course. It’s nowhere near good enough. And when you have a defeat like this, which has happened at the club before, you’ve just got to look yourself in the mirror. They’re lucky now, the boys, or I don’t know if it is lucky, but they’re going away on international duty some of them and for the ones who are staying here, we’ve got a good [amount of] time to work. But we don’t [all] see each other for ten days and that’s hard now because we need to batten down the hatches and get together because that wasn’t anywhere near good enough as a squad or a team.” The Manchester United team handler admitted that Martial’s red card was no excuse for his team’s loss.
The match defies the logic that ‘home advantage’ could be a boost to any team’s winning chances. Manchester United; the typical fan’s favourite for such an important game against one of the fastest growing clubs in Europe, Tottenham Hotspur failed the expectations of many.
Liverpool on the other hand are still licking the wounds of their smashing 7-2 loss to Aston Villa. Klopp, the team’s manager noted in his interaction with the press that: ‘There is no need for one excuse, absolutely not. Whatever team we could have lined up tonight, I wouldn’t expect to lose 7-2, to be honest – 100 per cent. It’s not necessary, it’s absolutely not necessary. I said it in the beginning and it’s true, Aston Villa did really, really well, but we helped as well. This game then has its own dynamic and then influence goes in that direction, one team is flying and the other team is obviously not flying. We know that, that’s how things can happen – but it should not happen. 4-1 down, half-time, usually you would say we try another five minutes and then we just defend. That’s not us. Everyone who saw the game had the feeling if we score once, then score [for] 4-2, then probably game on, or not’.
With the winning teams still enjoying the pride of their triumph, the losing teams have more tasks on their hands to redeem their images. These big two English sides lost their games in an unlikely manner at their Old Trafford and Villa Park stadia on the same day. This is the third time ever in the history of the Manchester United club to have conceded six goals in an English Premier league fixture, all which was in the month of October. The team lost 6-1 to Manchester City in October 2011 and 6-3 at Southampton in October 1996, and against Tottenham Hotspur six goals against one in October 2020.
On the part of Liverpool, the Reds, were humiliated to a 7-2 loss. At the time when Liverpool fans were optimistic that the team would bounce back as they did in 2005 Champions league against AC Milan. They lifted the trophy after they have been 3 goals down against the Italian side. The Klopp’s side failed to replicate the winning feat as they crawled till they were finally defeated 7-2 against Aston Villa at the red’s Villa Park home stadium.