Manchester United drew 2-2 with Arsenal on Wednesday. It was a fun game, not least because they were level for 85 of 90 minutes, meaning the result was never certain.
But it was not ‘just like the old days’ (Neil Ashton, The Sun), nor was it ‘just like old times’ (Martin Samuel, Daily Mail).
All four goals were the results of ridiculous individual mistakes. Marcos Rojo had the most shots. Marouane Fellaini pulled someone’s hair. ‘Pizzagate’ this was not.
Don’t let The Sun go down on me
‘The teams started picking personal battles, reminiscent of the days when Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane would smash each other to pieces out there’ – Neil Ashton.
‘And his [Torreira’s] was a real retro performance from the days when Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira used to ring this fixture in red ink and get ready to spill blood and mince bones’ – Dave Kidd.
Is it possible to write for The Sun and not link everything so tenuously back to the past when it was so much better?
Like Sunday morning
‘The result is far from perfect but they score full marks for spirit and application against this breezy Arsenal team.’
Mediawatch can only wonder how Neil Ashton of The Sun has learned that Arsenal’s players are ‘pleasantly windy’.
“I don’t know what he’s been doing for the last six weeks. You’ve had six weeks of pre-season – go on, get on with it!’ – Tony Adams on Unai Emery, talkSPORT, August 14.
“After Arsene, I was so excited with the prospect of a real change – it was a great chance to do things differently but against City it was an Arsene Wenger performance – only more so. I felt so sad about that. You’re not watching them thinking ‘there’s a change here’. It’s the same goalkeeper, the same style of play – it just feels the same’ – Tony Adams on Unai Emery, The Sun, August 24.
“The coach is obviously a lot different from Arsene. The new coach has come in, there’s a hell of a lot of changes, the structure’s changed” – Tony Adams, BT Sport, December 5.
‘The seven changes from the team that drew at Southampton brought to 46 the number of players used by Mourinho so far in the Premier League campaign’ – Andy Dunn, Daily Mirror.
Not quite. It brought to 46 the number of *changes made* by Mourinho so far in the Premier League campaign. Slight difference.
Fun and James
‘Origi did well to lay the ball back to Milner in space and the midfielder rolled a shot into the corner from the edge of the box.
‘Hart and Milner were close pals during their days together at the Etihad so the Liverpool man would have enjoyed that one’ – Martin Blackburn, The Sun.
Because he would have bloody hated it if he hadn’t previously played with the goalkeeper he had just scored against.
‘And it means the Reds now have their best ever start to a Premier League season. Considering all they achieved in the 70s and 80s that is some effort’ – Martin Blackburn, The Sun.
What does Liverpool’s success in the 1970s and 1980s have to do with a competition that started in 1992?
Slight difference of opinion
Chris McKenna was also at Turf Moor for the Daily Mirror. He was on both match report and player ratings duty.
Who does he rate as Liverpool’s joint-worst player on Wednesday evening, alongside the troubled Joel Matip and Alberto Moreno?
‘Alisson: Got to be questioned for his reaction to the goal – 5′
His match report from the game mentions the Liverpool keeper just three times:
1) ‘But Burnley took the lead in the 54th minute when Charlie Taylor headed across goal and Barnes tackled Koop keeper Alisson as he tried to collect the rebound.’
2) ‘It bounced to Cork and he found the net, much to the anger of the Reds keeper and his defenders, who felt Alisson had the ball in his hands.’
3) ‘Burnley went close in stoppage time when Alisson tipped Ben Mee’s header onto the bar but Liverpool then broke away to get the third.’
Meanwhile, over at the Daily Mail…
Come the end of the season, Alisson Becker will have been responsible for 10-12 points of @LFC’s total. The fuss around him in the opening weeks was for a reason. He and Ederson are playing different games to other goalkeepers
— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) December 6, 2018
And BBC’s Match of the Day…
Klopp’s gamble pays off thanks to a sensational save from Alisson which led to a breakaway for Shaqiri to clinch it at 3-1. Great @BBCMOTD tonight.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 5, 2018
Certainly sounds like he was Liverpool’s joint-worst player.
‘New Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl might want to check the ink on his St Mary’s contract to see if it is dry yet’ – Paul Jiggins, The Sun, first paragraph.
‘Hasenhuttl officially takes over today with his prospects of keeping the club afloat looking as favourable as those of the captain of the Titanic, which sailed out of the city’s port on its fateful voyage in 1912’ – Paul Jiggins, The Sun, fourth paragraph.
‘The Austrian must have wondered what he has let himself in for as he saw Saints sail right into another iceberg’ – Paul Jiggins, The Sun, fifth paragraph.
‘Hasenhuttl is going to have to be one superb manager to keep them up’ – Paul Jiggins, The Sun, sixth paragraph.
It really would be a miracle if he overhauled the current one-point gap to 17th-placed Huddersfield with just 23 games remaining.
Recommended reading of the day
Martin Laurence on Paco Alcacer.
Jack Pitt-Brooke on Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Rory Smith on Arsenal.