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Manchester United vs Liverpool

Pogba sent off after Keita horror challenge as Liverpool rout Manchester United

17:59 BST 24/10/2021
Pogba red card Liverpool GFX
The Frenchman, who started the game on the bench and was brought on as a second-half substitute, was dismissed following a VAR check for his tackle

Paul Pogba was sent off on the hour mark following a horror challenge on Naby Keita, as Liverpool embarrassed Manchester United at Old Trafford with a 5-0 drubbing on Sunday.

The Frenchman, who started the game on the bench and was brought on as a second-half substitute, was dismissed following a VAR check after a tackle that left his opponent needing to be stretchered off the field.

It marked another dark moment in a tough day for the Red Devils, after goals for Keita, Diogo Jota and a Mohamed Salah hat-trick left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under huge pressure at the Theatre of Dreams.

What happened?

After Keita had opened the floodgates for a first half drubbing sure to go down in infamous Premier League history for United supporters, Pogba - surprisingly benched ahead of the game - was brought on at the interval.

Yet his role was to be a brief cameo, brought to an abrupt end when he lunged for the ball near the visitors' box after around a quarter-hour of action and instead made contact with the Liverpool man's lower ankle.

Referee Anthony Taylor originally brandished a yellow card for the midfielder, but was subsequently beckoned over to the pitchside monitor to consult on the challenge and upgraded his decision to a red.

Dismissal compounds miserable day

United had already conceded five goals - and seen one for Cristiano Ronaldo chalked off - by the time VAR sent Pogba for an early bath, to pile further pressure on manager Solskjaer.

With mentor Sir Alex Ferguson stone-faced in the stands, it could well prove to be the defining day of the Norwegian's tenure in charge of the club where he made his name and legacy as a player.

Though his side were able to turnaround a two-goal gap midweek in the Champions League, it is difficult to escape the notion that, following last term's Europa League final penalty shootout heartbreak, his side have only gone backwards.

Even with the addition of Ronaldo, originally primed for a heroic homecoming to Old Trafford that is fast turning into an altogether different kind of challenge, their defeat at the hands of Jurgen Klopp's side has only highlighted the gulf between them and the Premier League's title-chasers.

Klopp hails 'insane' result

Even with the injury to his first goalscorer - and to James Milner, who was forced off in the first half with a hamstring issue - the German's delight was still off the charts following what he considered an 'outstanding' victory.

"What can I say? Did I expect that? No. What we did in the last third was insane," he told Sky Sports. "Pressing high, winning balls, scoring wonderful goals. I told them at half-time to play better.

We started incredibly well and stopped playing football. We controlled the game after the fifth, it was not about scoring more, just trying to get out without more injuries. The result is insane, I asked if there was one like this in history and if there isn't, then it will take a while.

"We got lost against Aston Villa and you have to learn off it. We can play better football and have to concentrate more. I couldn't be happier, it is exceptional - we drink beer on the way home!"

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