‘Almost felt like kids football’ – Scholes critical of Liverpool quartet who ‘helped Man United’

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Paul Scholes was critical of four Liverpool players for making ‘stupid’ decisions which, if anything, ‘helped’ Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.

A hugely frustrating day for the Reds saw them record 34 shots against the visitors but fail to direct any of them into Andre Onana’s net in a goalless draw.

Speaking to Premier League Productions (17 December, 19:00), the former Old Trafford midfielder couldn’t fathom some of the LFC players’ choices to shoot from ‘strange’ positions, singling out four apparent culprits.

Scholes said: “It felt like when you are playing against a bad team, you think ‘I can score’. It almost felt like kids football. They were shooting from anywhere, shooting from stupid places. 

“[Mo] Salah’s trying to shoot through people. Harvey Elliott came on and had a shot from a strange place, [Cody] Gakpo at times as well, [Trent] Alexander-Arnold at times. It helped Man United; it really did.”

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Liverpool fans will likely bristle at hearing some of their players being criticised by a staunch United figure in Scholes, but his point about the Reds making poor decisions in the final third yesterday is a fair one.

To be fair to Salah, he was responsible for half of the team’s eight shots on target, while Elliott also directed one at goal after he came on for the final few minutes. However, Trent and Gakpo had eight shots between them and didn’t test Onana once (Sofascore).

From the visitors’ point of view, it was certainly one of their best defensive performances of a rocky season so far, but Klopp’s side should still have had enough guile up top to make at least some of their attempts count on the scoreboard.

That they didn’t was largely down to sloppiness and lapses of thought when they got into threatening positions, something which must be improved upon, as Alisson Becker commented afterwards.

Any team can have a day where they dominate in terms of possession and chances. They key for Liverpool is to ensure that what we witnessed at Anfield yesterday was an exception and doesn’t become a recurring theme this season.

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