Former Manchester United icon Paul Scholes has labelled Lisandro Martinez “criminal” for blocking his goalkeeper David de Gea’s view during Liverpool’s opening goal in their 7-0 win over Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.
Cody Gakpo fired Liverpool into the lead against United in the first half, with Erik ten Hag’s men suffering a complete implosion after the break, allowing up six goals without response to a team they defeated 2-1 in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford back in August.
The floodgates opened when Darwin Nunez scored his first and Liverpool’s second goals barely two minutes after the restart, and Erik ten Hag’s team collapsed dramatically.
Gakpo added a second goal to make it 3-0 before Mohamed Salah joined in to make it 4-0. Nunez then added a second goal to make the score 5-0.
Salah also bagged his brace to make it 6-0, and Roberto Firmino came off the bench to add a seventh goal to complete the thrashing and hand United their worst loss in nearly a century.
But Scholes was outraged with Martinez’s part in Gakpo’s first goal as Argentina’s World Cup winner ran in front of De Gea just as the Liverpool attacker took his shot on target.
“I certainly don’t think it helps De Gea,” Scholes said to Premier League Productions at half time.
“I don’t think he’s quite in line at the point it’s kicked but David can also think the ball might hit him.
“But when he [Gakpo] does hit it, he has gone right past him. You see David’s reaction there towards Martinez, he doesn’t quite have a go at him, but I think he should do.
“I think it happened a couple of times, once before with Robertson where he ended up clearing it off the line, he’s going far too deep, he should be getting up the pitch, can he stop the shot or have an effect on the shot rather than get in the ‘keeper’s way.
“He needs to trust his goalkeeper. This is a top goalkeeper we’re talking about, do not get in his way. If anybody gets in the goalkeeper’s way, it’s criminal.”
Ten Hag will be determined to see an immediate response from his troops when the Reds play Real Betis in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 match on Thursday night at Old Trafford.
Scholes comment on Liverpool 7-0 Man United
This season, United have given up a total of 13 goals away to Liverpool and Manchester City, underscoring the need for further improvement on their upward trajectory under Ten Hag.
And Scholes is particularly worried about their fragility at the back in games against both clubs, and said that Manchester United’s players should have been “embarrassed” for Manchester United’s capitulation on Sunday.
Speaking to Premier League Productions, Scholes said: “There’s a naivety about this from United, team and players; they’ve let in six at Man City and now seven at Liverpool. These are places where you need to go and stop teams playing, and they haven’t done that.
“It’s difficult not to be embarrassed by that result.”
The 48-year-old further added: “It’s a freakish result for Manchester United, everything went against them – but they’ll have to accept it and get over it. It’s not just three points lost, there’s a couple of positions where you think they’re a bit short in games like this, but it’s difficult to be too critical of this team.
“It’s just such a freak result; the question now is whether there’s a hangover, and I think they’ll come out of this okay.”
Manchester United have now lost more Premier League matches against Liverpool than any other club in the competition (19).