During early March 2014, Liverpool visited Old Trafford and by virtue of two Steven Gerrard penalties and a goal from Luis Suarez, Manchester United were condemned to a 3-0 home defeat. For then manager David Moyes, it was considered a bruising loss in a troubled season and just a month later during which time his team had suffered another 3-0 reversal at home to Manchester City, his reign at Old Trafford ended. How times can change in football that that just several months later, Manchester United have beaten Liverpool 3-0 at home with the future of Brendan Rodgers in the Anfield hot seat now being questioned.
Since the departure of Moyes from Old Trafford, Louis van Gaal has been appointed as his replacement and a significant amount of money has been spent in the transfer market. Not all of the recruited players have been available to play this season due to various injury ailments but a fair amount of good fortune has been bestowed upon the team in recent matches in addition to some decent performances.
United have claimed six successive Premier League victories including a 2-1 win at Southampton which was described as fortunate and ‘keeper David De Gea was arguably one of their better players at the weekend when Liverpool could just not find a way to beat the Spaniard. Van Gaal has delivered a winning mentality to United but with Robin van Persie beginning to regain his scoring form, which was sadly lacking for large parts of last season, optimism is returning to the Old Trafford faithful.
When Liverpool left Old Trafford last term following their 3-0 victory, the Premier League title was within their grasp. They ultimately failed but since then Luis Suarez has departed, Daniel Sturridge has been injured and several expensive purchases have failed to produce the goods on a regular basis.
During a difficult week at the club, Liverpool have been eliminated from the Champions League by failing to beat Basel at Anfield and a 3-0 loss to Manchester United now means that they team has already lost seven Premier League fixtures this season. They lost just six games during the 2013-14 campaign.
The fallout from these recent results has a series of verbal assaults on manager Brendan Rodgers, questioning his judgement, tactics and suitability for the post when he was close to winning the league title after his last visit to the Manchester stadium. Arsenal visit Anfield next weekend for a fixture which has become important for the future of Rodgers at Liverpool.
Meanwhile, along the road at Old Trafford, the lack of European football this season is allowing Manchester United to focus on the Premier League and with results improving, that 3-0 defeat by Liverpool in April has long been forgotten. David Moyes lasted just a month as the United manager following that loss. Will Brendan Rodgers follow the same path after Liverpool’s weekend defeat and with the storm clouds gathering?