It was not quite the FA Cup frenzy we endured/enjoyed recently, even if Antony going through at the end did evoke memories of Amad going through against this same team 3 weeks ago. The first half was complete domination by Liverpool. Diaz struck one of Liverpool’s first half shots into the net. Meanwhile, Man Utd had none. The first time that happened since October 2015. I believe the first shot we had was Bruno’s brilliant effort over the head of the Liverpool goalkeeper. Then, Mainoo wanted to join in on the game with a wonderful curler into the far post that sent the Stretford End and all its adjoining stands rocking like you could not believe. United wobbled and creaked a little as Wan Bissaka going to ground gave Salah the opportunity to level and he duly did. It was another great game, even if it was not good for the heart rate.

The Bruno Fernandes Experience

The only way to truly know how inexplicitly something performs is watching it all the way through. Just seeing moments of it will have you truly unbeknown to the true wonder of something. One of those things is the experience of having to watch Fernandes.

This wasn’t just a big game in the context of it being another one of the catalogue in the Man Utd and Liverpool rivalry. Unfortunately, the latter is competing in a three way title race so those rivalling them, in Arsenal and City, were watching and supporting the Red Devils for the first time in a long time. So their shock at Bruno Fernandes was like a child seeing snowfall for the first time – but in the opposite way. The first half he served up was a genuine sight for sore eyes, even by his standards. On the ball, he was more than a disgrace. One where it was a simple pass out to Rashford to set us on a dangerous counter attack and he played it to a Liverpool player. It was an easy pass and he messed it up. It was that way for the whole first half. Simple, difficult, ground, lofted, you name it. Bruno was always getting it wrong.

The captain armband doesn’t mean he is the most experienced and it shows off the ball in particular. He charges around like a kid having their first game. Man Utd often set up in a 4-4-1-1 without the ball. Well, when we are in a settle defensive block, which doesn’t happen often. But then you will see Bruno break ranks and go ahead of Hojlund. He chases when everyone knows he just isn’t going to get there and it hangs his team mates out to dry. By trying to placate whoever it is by wanting to run and chase after the ball like a dog does, it is actually doing the complete opposite of what a captain should be doing.

Then, as Quansah does an inexplicable thing that we saw from Bruno and he passed to Bruno. He produced a moment that explains why he splits opinion so much. A first time lofted chip over Kelleher into the net to bring us back into a game we had no business of being in. And that ladies and gentlemen, is the Bruno Fernandes Experience. He will frustrate, he will annoy but when he can do stuff like that, managers, fans and pundits will continue to point to just that. The argument is there whether those moments are enough for what he does to the detriment of the team. I said on Thursday that this is team built in the image of its manager. Well, he picks a good leader for this team. Not so much for the idiocy but for that inexplicability. Today is one of the days it could have worked in our favour.

Other Thoughts

Before the games this weekend, Man Utd conceded the most shots from set pieces in the league (165, 14 more than Sheffield United) and the second highest in terms of xG (0.2 less than Burnley). We have been a terrible from set pieces for a very long time but this season has gone to a whole other level. The positioning of Mainoo was confusing to say the least. At first, it looked like he was supposed to be marking Diaz and he had left him but then the next corner, you could see him hovering but he was simply taking up space at the edge of the box. He went to go block the others on the edge of the box, leaving the just goal scorer. It is just another example of a team that has not got a clue what is going on. Tactically, mentally, physically, I always see us found wanting when we have to stop set pieces. We concede late on because of a lack of concentration and you see it flare up from dead balls as well. A corner and penalty were the reason we conceded today, even if Liverpool should have scored from open play.

For only his second start, Kambwala was quite the player today. He was unfortunate to get a yellow card for a clean but strong tackle on Gomez but that was the reason why he had such a great game. Nunez is a nuisance for any centre back in the league when the Frenchman went up against him, he played him perfectly. He had a small slip in the first half but recovered brilliantly on Nunez to win the ball.