Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford gave the Red Devils a comfortable lead, before a late Mohamed Salah header made the final ten minutes nervy for the home side.
The result leaves Liverpool without a win from their opening three Premier League games and seven points behind leaders Arsenal.
The usually imperious central defender Van Dijk has been lamented for his role in allowing Sancho’s opener, by failing to close the former Borussia Dortmund man down.
The Dutchman was also criticised for the entirety of his performance, which lacked the composure and assurance that he typically brings to the Merseysiders’ backline.
Enrique, who played for Liverpool between 2011 and 2016, was particularly confused with Van Dijk’s start to the season, tweeting:
“I don’t know what’s going on with VVD (Van Dijk) this season. The 3 games have been bad. Never seeing him playing like this for us.”
The Spanish pundit shared these thoughts with a screenshot that depicted the defender’s stats against the Red Devils.
I don't know what's going on with vvd this season. The 3 games is been bad. Never seeing him playing like this for us pic.twitter.com/FsoT5VUatU— José enrique (@Jesanchez3) August 23, 2022
The 31-year-old former Southampton man failed to make a successful tackle on the night, as well as being dribbled past once and conceding a foul.
While Van Dijk certainly wasn’t at his very best, Klopp’s team’s issues stem perhaps more from other areas of the pitch.
Their midfield three consisted of two players over the age of 30 in James Milner and Jordan Henderson, as well as 19-year-old Harvey Elliott.
This blend of experience and youthfulness did not lead to a functional middle of the park, as the two elder statesmen lacked the legs to compete with United’s midfield, while Elliott failed to impose himself.
In the forward areas, the Reds were lacking the movement and goal threat of Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez, and were instead forced to rely on Roberto Firmino, who operated as a false nine.
Liverpool have an opportunity to bounce back from these disappointing early results as they hots newly promoted Bournemouth this weekend.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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