The Washington Post

Man. U suffers one of its worst losses ever


For Liverpool, it was the wildest of dreams.

For Manchester United, it was the worst nightmare after such a promising start for Coach Erik ten Hag at the club.

A 7-0 win for Liverpool over visiting United in the Premier League on Sunday in arguably English soccer’s fiercest rivalry has the potential to have a lasting impact on both teams’ ambitions this season.

It was United’s worst competitiv­e defeat in more than 90 years. United has lost 7-0 on three previous occasions — the last time coming in 1931 against Wolverhamp­ton. The score also eclipsed Liverpool’s previous best victory against United, which was a 7-1 win in 1895.

“A few months ago everyone thought it was a good moment to play Liverpool — you can’t say it publicly, but everyone thought it — because they felt we were struggling a lot,” Liverpool Manager Jürgen Klopp said. “But now it is less of a good moment. We look much more like ourselves. It is important that everyone knows we are here and we are still alive.”

A landmark win could be the launchpad for a powerful finish to the campaign for Liverpool, a push for Champions League qualificat­ion and possibly more.

Ten Hag, meanwhile, must hope his players respond in the manner they did after humbling losses against Brentford and Manchester City this season, which sparked impressive undefeated runs.

A four-pronged trophy pursuit now looks highly unlikely, with third-place United 14 points behind league leader Arsenal. But after winning the League Cup last week, ten Hag’s side is still in contention for titles in the FA Cup and Europa League.

Elsewhere, if Nottingham Forest is to avoid relegation this season, it will rely on the goals of Brennan Johnson, as well as its form at the City Ground.

The 21-year-old Johnson scored twice in Forest’s 2-2 draw with Everton to make it five goals in his past seven league games.

Forest is unbeaten in its past nine matches at home in the league.

SPAIN: In three days, Barcel lona has enjoyed seeing rival Real Madrid take two blows.

After beating Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Barcelona kept its title-chasing momentum in La Liga by defeating Valencia, 1-0, and increasing its lead over second-place Madrid to nine points. Madrid couldn’t keep pace with the Catalan club later Sunday after being held to a 0-0 draw at Real Betis.

Raphinha scored a first-half winner for Barcelona, which missed a penalty from Ferran Torres early in the second half and then saw defender Ronald Araujo sent off.

Madrid was mostly in control against Betis, but Vinícius Júnior, Karim Benzema and Rodrygo failed to capitalize on their scoring chances.

ITALY: Gianluca Mancini’s l stunning strike was enough to give Roma a 1-0 win over Juventus in Serie A play despite the visitors hitting the post three times.

Mancini struck early in the second half to help Roma move into fourth place in a tight fight for the Champions League qualifying spots.

Roma is above fifth-place AC Milan on goal differenti­al alone after the defending champion lost at Fiorentina on Saturday.

FRANCE: Defender Sead Kol lasinac scored the winner as Marseille beat Rennes, 1-0, to post a seventh consecutiv­e away win in Ligue 1 and strengthen its bid for the Champions League next season.

Marseille traveled to Brittany on the back of a shocking eliminatio­n in the French Cup last week against second-tier Annecy, which followed a bitter 3-0 home loss to Paris Saint- Germain that badly damaged its hopes of winning the league title.

First-place PSG beat Nantes on Saturday and has an eight-point lead over Marseille.

GERMANY: Hertha Berlin’s l hopes of edging further away from the Bundesliga’s relegation zone were wrecked in a 4-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen.

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