Man United vs Liverpool: 3 things the Reds must fix from FA Cup defeat

Liverpool revisit Old Trafford to face Manchester United on April 7th in the Premier League. Here are 3 things they must fix from the FA Cup defeat.

Liverpool's trip to Old Trafford on April 7th may just be the biggest game remaining of their season. Unless they make the UEFA Europa League final, of course.

But not only is this a massive Premier League fixture that could change their title fortunes, but it's also against Manchester United. And Jurgen Klopp's final meeting with them no less.

It also offers Liverpool and immediate opportunity to right the wrongs of a few weeks ago. The Reds went there in the FA Cup, found themselves in a strong position, and then lost the game. That's something that simply can't happen this time around.

So here's how they can fix that.


Fix the intensity

Liverpool started very slowly in the FA Cup fixture, falling behind to United. As the first half went on, though, they looked more and more like themselves. That culminated in two late goals to end the first 45 on top.

But then the second half happened. Liverpool were utterly dominant across the second period, cutting through United with ease and creating great opportunities. The hosts essentially created nothing for half an hour.

The Reds just didn't make use of it, though, and lacked any real intensity after halftime. Was it too routine? Were there fitness worries? It's unclear but it's something that can't happen again.

Liverpool must put United to the sword next time. Intensity for the full 90 is required.

Aerial struggles

A bit of a strange one, this, but Liverpool struggled in the air against United. They won 47% of the aerial duels, a drop of 10% on their Premier League average.

In fact, the Reds boast the best win rate in the English top flight. It's a real strength of theirs but one they failed to demonstrate at Old Trafford.

And things like that make a difference. United were able to get the upper hand in both boxes - an upper hand that Liverpool are used to having. Fix that and it's another way to pile the pressure on the hosts this time around.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (and the Mo Salah effect)

The biggest thing Liverpool can do this time around is get Trent Alexander-Arnold back on the pitch. The suggestions are that he will be available again, maybe even for the Sheffield United game prior to this.

Having him back offers Liverpool a lot more threat, particularly when they have periods of dominance. He's integral to the way they play, not just as a right-back but in his new midfield-hybrid role.

He's a difference-maker but on top of that, having Alexander-Arnold in the team gets more out of Mohamed Salah. His presence makes it a lot more difficult for teams to double-up on the Egyptian - doing so risks too much space for the Scouser.

Salah still managed to score in the FA Cup game but he wasn't quite as destructive as he usually is against United. Having Alexander-Arnold back in the team would change that.

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