We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Manchester United v Liverpool in our Scout Notes summary.
Manchester United produced an excellent display against the odds in Gameweek 3, as they deservedly beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford.
Against a backdrop of supporter unrest, Erik ten Hag’s side came out of the blocks flying, with Anthony Elanga (£4.9m) hitting the post before his cut-back found Jadon Sancho (£7.3m) to tap in.
A revitalised Marcus Rashford (£6.3m) added a second after the break, before Mohamed Salah’s (£13.0m) late header set up a frantic finale.
Taking the brave decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo (£10.4m) and captain Harry Maguire (£4.9m), ten Hag set his troops up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Sancho, Elanga and the out-of-position Rashford looking to get in behind Liverpool’s backline at every opportunity.
Above: Manchester United’s average position map v Liverpool in Gameweek 3, featuring Jadon Sancho (no 25), Anthony Elanga (36) and Marcus Rashford (10)
“We know Liverpool are a really good team and you need to press them. You have to do that out of a block and need energy, that is why we went with Rashford, Sancho and Elanga.” – Erik ten Hag on his line-up before kick-off
As for Rashford, the 24-year-old has already suffered two price drops since the start of the season, but looked dangerous on Monday, netting his first Premier League goal since January.
He nearly got a second, too, as he cut through the Liverpool defence and lashed a shot narrowly over the bar.
Notably, no player from either side registered more goal attempts (five), shots in the box (five) or efforts on target (two) than Rashford.
“I felt I was in some good positions throughout the game, if you are not in the areas you will never get the chances. For me it is about my mentality, when I am happy and feel happy I will play well, score goals and help the team. When we win I am always happy, we have to keep working hard and keep pushing.” – Marcus Rashford
“In their mindset they may think I cannot do all the defending work and threat in offence but today you can see they can do it, it has to be a way of life and they will get stronger. When we press this way, it is difficult for opponents to get out and play their football. When you win the ball, you can get in behind, dribble behind, make combinations and it makes football fun for them. That is what I saw and they get the rewards. It starts with the mindset, they understand this is that attitude they have to bring, it starts in the preparation.” – Erik ten Hag on Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford
Elsewhere, Tyrell Malacia (£4.4m) was excellent at left-back and took some corners and free-kicks, while Casemiro was introduced to fans before kick-off, with ten Hag saying “He is the cement between the stones, that is what we have been looking for in the summer and we found him.”
Tonight was an encouraging all-round performance that United will now look to build on, as they visit Southampton in Saturday’s Gameweek 4 opener.
“It makes me happy that Rashford and Sancho got the goals. Fernandes took the responsibility and the captaincy encouraged him. He showed leadership with Varane. They made a huge difference. It is not just them; we need more leaders. When you want to win you need leaders and the spirit we showed today.
I am happy with the performance but we have to bring it every game. Don’t just bring it against Liverpool. Every Premier League game is difficult, we need to bring it to every game. It starts, once again, with the spirit.
I have a squad and we have to use the squad. We play 50-60 games, from game-to-game we will see what team we will pick. I don’t have to mention Maguire and Ronaldo – they are amazing players and they will play a role in the future and the short-term future as well. We have the right players, I am convinced of that. The window is not closed and you need numbers and also quality.” – Erik ten Hag
Liverpool’s disappointing start to the season continued in Gameweek 3, with an indifferent display that saw them struggle to cope with the hosts’ intensity.
As a result, Jurgen Klopp’s side now have just two points from their opening three matches, with mounting injury problems leaving them vulnerable at the back.
Indeed, Joel Matip (£5.9m), Ibrahima Konate (£4.9m), Thiago Alcantara (£5.3m), Naby Keita (£4.9m) and Diogo Jota (£8.9m) were all missing at Old Trafford, plus several squad players and the suspended Darwin Nunez (£9.0m).
“We are in a tricky situation injury wise, we got through the week with 14, 15 senior players available and now have to make sure they don’t get injured. We should have won this game, I know it sounds ridiculous but that is how I saw it. I am concerned about our situation, but that is how it is. We prepare for Bournemouth and Newcastle now.” – Jurgen Klopp
“It’s been a really poor start to the season – we’re giving every team a goal start, and you can’t keep going behind. They wanted something to lift the crowd and the team and we gave it to them. Two points from nine is not the start that we wanted and we need to pick the performances up individually and collectively.” – Andrew Robertson
Despite those issues, Salah netted his second goal of the season after United failed to clear a corner, as he banked eight FPL points for his owners.
The Egyptian also posted some decent underlying stats, including three shots in the box, four created chances and nine penalty box touches.
Manchester United XI (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Dalot (Wan-Bissaka 86), Varane, Martinez, Malacia; Eriksen (van de Beek 86), McTominay; Elanga (Martial 45), Fernandes, Sancho (Fred 71); Rashford (Ronaldo 86)
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson (Tsimikas 85); Henderson (Fabinho 59), Milner (Carvalho 73), Elliott; Salah, Diaz, Firmino
Full-year memberships and monthly subscriptions are all now available.
Join now to get the following…
- Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker
- Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model
- Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers
- Get access to Members content in over 250+ articles over the season
- Exclusive Team Reveal
- Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers
- Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats
- Enjoy our Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables
- View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player
- Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head
- Integrated ‘live rank’ data
- See how you compare to other FPL managers in our Live Hall of Fame