Was the trip to Old Trafford a turning point for Liverpool last season?

Liverpool Ball

Despite the defeat, there were some positives in the second half performance last season.

There was a stark contrast between the Liverpool side of the first half of Brendan Rodgers’ first season in charge at Anfield, and the second half.

Inevitably – as Rodgers has said time and again – it was always going to take time for his ideas and style to be implemented upon the team.

There were signs the message was getting across. A 2-2 draw against Manchester City early on that season showed signs of promise – but it wasn’t until the turn of the year when Liverpool started to get going.

Last season at Old Trafford, Liverpool turned up as a side that looked pretty cautious. If you look at the way Manchester United went about their business in the build-up to their first goal, with Robin Van Persie finishing off a fine United move, but Liverpool looked afraid of putting a challenge in to break up the play.

After the break Liverpool were to end up 2-0 down but Daniel Sturridge was introduced into the action and the visitors attitude changed completely.

It was far more positive, there was plenty of movement and aggression. Sturridge got his goal by following in Steven Gerrard’s shot which was parried into the striker’s path by David De Gea.

Liverpool were on the front foot more, they had more chances but failed to put them away. But they had Old Trafford on edge – the fans of the side who were going to become champions were on edge. A side that was running away with the league title was on the back foot.

It must have given the side an incredible amount of belief, but Liverpool started despatching sides from then on. Norwich City, Newcastle United, Swansea City and Wigan Athletic were all subsequently well beaten.

That’s not to say there wasn’t the odd hiccup along the way, an FA Cup horror show against Oldham Athletic and a home loss to West Bromwich Albion will show you that.

But something clicked that day that gave Liverpool a platform to build on, and it seem to give the Reds a bit of momentum to use. 

Not everything that has happened since can be attributed to that performance - but it might have been more significant than it gets credit for.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch