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Manchester United's worst result in 91 years – the records the Liverpool loss smashed

The scoreboard shows the 7-0 score in Anfield during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United in Liverpool - Shutterstock /Peter Powell
The scoreboard shows the 7-0 score in Anfield during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United in Liverpool - Shutterstock /Peter Powell

Erik ten Hag’s efforts in re-building Manchester United this season had supporters dreaming of their club adding to their impressive and long list of records.

In their worst nightmares, they could not have imagined it would be a record for the worst defeat in the club’s 145-year history.

Technically, although it will not come as any consolation to those stunned supporters, the mauling at Anfield 'only' equalled the club’s worst-ever result, and marked the fourth time they had been on the receiving end of a 7-0 thrashing.

It was the third 7-0 loss in the top-flight, and the first for over 91 years, since losing 7-0 at Wolves, in the old second division, on Boxing Day 1931.

A year earlier, Aston Villa had inflicted the same result on United; as had Blackburn in April 1926 – all over a period in which a newly-promoted United side was struggling to stay in the top division.

The loss also, obviously, represented United’s worst defeat against their Merseyside rivals although they did concede seven, while scoring once, in the fixture in October 1895 in the second tier of English football.

But 128 years on, this result set a new mark although not one which ten Hag, who has already presided over the highest-scoring Manchester derby defeat in history, when his team was beaten 6-3 at City in October, will enjoy seeing next to his name.

To add further perspective, only 18 previous times in history had United lost a fixture of any kind by a margin of six goals or more, and only two of those had been since World War II – a 6-0 defeat at Leicester City in 1961 and a 6-0 reverse suffered by Dave Sexton’s United team at Ipswich Town in March 1980.

Manchester United's Scott McTominay (right) looks dejected after the final whistle in the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool - PA/Peter Byrne
Manchester United's Scott McTominay (right) looks dejected after the final whistle in the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool - PA/Peter Byrne

To trace the last time a United side had conceded seven in a game, one has to turn the record books back to the eve of the last World War, and February 1939, when United were beaten 7-1 at Charlton.

It was a sobering afternoon in which Mo Salah continued his own personal asasult on Liverpool’s goalscoring records, becoming his club’s highest ever Premier League scorer with 129 goals.

But the Egyptian striker also added to United misery in the record sections with his two goals.

Salah now has 12 career goals against United and became the first Liverpool player to score in six consecutive appearances in all competitions against them.

Salah already was, before kick-off, Liverpool’s record goalscorer against United, in all competitions, while he now has 10 Premier League goals against them, matching Alan Shearer’s 10, the most scored by any individual against them in the Premier League era.

And defeat means United have lost more Premier League matches against Liverpool – 19 – than they have against any other side in the competition’s history, while the last eight visits to Anfield have ended in three draws, five defeats and United scoring just one goal.

Indeed, the last 15 goals to have been scored in Liverpool-Manchester United league games at Anfield have all been scored by the home side.

Having not lost to United at Anfield in the league since January 2016, Liverpool are also enjoying their longest unbeaten home run in the fixture since a spell between 1970 and 1979.

One record that recalls happier times for United, however, came via the fact that Salah, Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez all scored two goals each – just the fourth time that has happened in Premier League history and the first since United legends Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did so in a win over Nottingham Forest 24 years ago.

Yesterday’s defeat also marked just the third in the last 33 league and cup games for ten Hag, a run dating back to that record derby defeat at the Etihad in October.

But while much of the records set at Anfield were about history, it was also a galling personal experience for the new manager ten Hag who suffered the biggest defeat of his managerial career in his 481st game, across all competitions.