Manchester United suffered their joint heaviest home league defeat as they were humiliated by a ruthless Liverpool at a stunned Old Trafford in a result which will further increase the pressure on United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The visitors were two up within 13 minutes as United’s defensive frailties were exploited by Naby Keita and Diogo Jota. Mo Salah added two of his own before half time, the 10th successive match the Egyptian has scored in.
Salah completed his hat-trick early in the second half. Cristiano Ronaldo thought he’d pulled one back, but his curled finish was ruled out for offside. United were forced to play the final half an hour with 10 men after Paul Pogba was shown a straight red card following a VAR review.
Manchester City kept pace at the top of the table as a dominant first half display helped them secure victory at Brighton and Hove Albion.
Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring on 13 minutes after Bernardo Silva pounced on a mistake by Seagulls keeper Robert Sanchez. A Phil Foden brace then put City three up just after the half hour mark.
Brighton pulled one back nine minutes from time as Alexis MacAllister scored from the penalty spot after Enock Mwepu was brought down in the area, but Riyad Mahrez rounded off the scoring in added time
Wigan Athletic secured their fifth successive away win as two second half goals gave them victory over AFC Wimbledon, a result which leaves the Latics two points off the top with a game in hand.
Will Keane saw a shot cleared off the line after six minutes, but it wasn’t until the second half when the visitors found the breakthrough as Paul Kalambiyi deflected Callum Lang’s shot past his own keeper.
Four minutes later the lead was doubled as James McClean, who had also had a shot cleared off the line earlier in the game, got his name on the scoresheet with a low finish.
Bolton Wanderers avoided a fourth successive defeat as they scored two late goals as they came from behind to snatch a draw at home to Gillingham.
The visitors had gone two up within 14 minutes thanks to goals from John Akinde and Kyle Dempsey, which seemed like it would put them on the way to their first victory over Bolton since 1986.
However, the hosts pulled one back through top scorer Dapo Afolayan before Kieran Lee’s added time leveller ensured the points were shared and gave a positive end to a week which had seen the shock departure of captain Antoni Sarcevic.
Rochdale edged Sutton United in a thrilling game in which the visitors thought they had gained a point after scoring twice late on.
Dale had broken the deadlock midway through the first half through Alex Newby, before Sutton’s Richie Bennett was shown a straight red card for a stamp on Jake Beesley. Liam Kelly doubled the lead midway through the second half.
This was only the start of the drama though as Isaac Olaofe headed home a rebound after Joel Coleman had saved the initial shot from Omar Bugiel. Alistair Smith then took advantage of nerves from the home side to level the scores. However, with just seconds remaining, the hosts won it thanks to Aaron Morley.
Salford City fell to defeat against league leaders Forest Green Rovers, despite taking the lead in the first half.
Brandon Thomas-Asante broke the deadlock on 17 minutes, but the sides went into the break level thanks to Nicky Cadden’s free kick. Kane Wilson and Jack Aitchison’s second half goals won it for Forest Green, who are five points clear at the top. In contrast, Salford remain firmly in the bottom half of the table.
Oldham Athletic and Carlisle United underlined why they are both struggling near the bottom of the table as they shared a goalless draw at Brunton Park. Oldham had the better chances, but both sides lacked any real quality.
There is no way of sugar coating this result for Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, this was a complete humiliation in what for fans is their biggest game of the season. After the game against Atalanta on Wednesday, Paul Scholes said “start like that against Liverpool and see what happens”. United started like that, we saw what happened.
Bolton will be relieved to have put a difficult week behind them, while Wigan’s automatic promotion push continues as they keep pressure with the sides above them. Salford and Oldham will be disappointed with their results, but Rochdale will be delighted to have secured the win despite late setbacks.