‘It was like playing with 10 men’ – Richards accuses Man Utd star of ‘walking’ during Liverpool thrashing

Joe Williams
Man Utd winger Antony stands near Jurgen Klopp

Micah Richards has accused Man Utd winger Antony of walking after losing the ball during their 7-0 loss against Liverpool on Sunday.

The Red Devils were brought back down to earth with a bang at Anfield just a week after winning the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle.

Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mo Salah all scored two each and Roberto Firmino added another as Jurgen Klopp’s side were rampant in the second half against Man Utd.

Antony, who has often been criticised this season for not tracking back, made the starting line-up against Liverpool with Erik ten Hag leaving him on the pitch for the whole match.

And former Man City defender Richards thinks it was “like playing with 10 men” for the Brazil international’s Man Utd team-mates.

“There was no communication between (Diogo) Dalot and Antony, it was like playing with 10 men because Antony wasn’t doing his work down that side,” Richards said on Match of the Day 2.

“We all know how good (Andy) Robertson and Trent (Alexander-Arnold) are in full-back positions so you would think Antony would try and get closer to Robertson.”

Antony offered very little protection for Man Utd team-mate Dalot for most of the match and as the game wore on Andy Robertson had more and more space to run into.

Richards added: “He didn’t track (Robertson) to begin with – he was eight metres away – and that was just a little taster of what was to happen.

“Antony needed to come back into that position but he just doesn’t do it.

“I was confused as to whether he was just being lazy for his team or his manager was just telling him to stay up there and be a threat on the counter-attack. Either way, it just kept happening and happening.

“As soon as they lose the ball, he just walks. We are talking about one of the biggest games for Manchester United and when they win the ball back there isn’t an option for him to run in behind because he is four yards offside.”

Man Utd only had a slim chance of a title challenge this season but the 14 points gap to Premier League leaders Arsenal, despite having a game in hand, now seems insurmountable.

Following largely positive performances this season, Man Utd boss Ten Hag isn’t getting carried away by the defeat, he said: “If it was more often then it’s a pattern, but we had so many good results in the last weeks, months, so many good performances.

“This was a really bad performance, and I talk about the second half, because first half I think this team, our team, played really well. Played really decent.”

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