Roy Keane pulled no punches as the Manchester United legend gave a scathing review of his former side’s performance against Liverpool on Thursday night.
Jurgen Klopp’s side inflicted a second defeat on the Red Devils in three days at Old Trafford, with Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah getting on the scoresheet to down Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side 4-2.
United have secured Champions League football for next season, but their last two results will be of concern to Solskjaer who is looking to build momentum ahead of the Europa League final against Villarreal.
And outspoken pundit Keane has laid into his former side, picking out Bruno Fernandes, Luke Shaw, Fred, Scott McTominay and Dean Henderson for criticism following their defeat on Thursday.
‘United were all over the place, really poor performance from them, poor mentality,’ Keane said of his old side’s performance on Sky Sports. ‘Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] looks a bit shell-shocked there. It’s been a tough few days.’
‘The performance tonight was nowhere near good enough. All United’s shortcomings have been shown up in the last couple of days.
‘Tonight just not enough quality, giving such bad goals away but the other worry, Liverpool could have scored six or seven.
‘We have praised United the last few months but this squad is so short of competing with Man City to win the title, all their shortcomings have been shown up the last few days.
‘I think Man City are so far ahead of this United squad it is scary. Ole will think they need three or four big players to come in at least.’
While Fernandes found the net once again, opening the scoring after his strike took a wicked deflection off Nat Phillips, Keane was not impressed with the Portuguese’s antics.
‘I don’t want to be critical to Fernandes but he spent half the night crying on the pitch,’ Keane said when analysing Liverpool’s second goal. ‘United players were looking for Liverpool to kick the ball out of play but you only stop with a head injury.
‘I look at the two midfielders, [Scott] McTominay is a good honest player, they have got Fred. As long as those two players are playing in midfield for Manchester United they will not be winning any big trophies.
‘Okay they are in the Europa league final but they are only in that final because they came up short in the Champions League. Let’s not be kidded on by that either.
‘The last few days, I can’t believe how short Man United are. They are chasing the game, they need a goal and they bring [Nemanja] Matic on and not Donny van de Beek.’
Firmino’s second goal of the night – Liverpool’s third – showcased the defensive frailties that have undone Solskjaer on occasion during his tenure in the dugout. Keane blasted ‘lazy’ Fred and Shaw’s ‘schoolboy’ defending in the build up. Keane also singled out goalkeeper Dean Henderson for criticism.
‘I know Ole perseveres with Fred, I can’t see it. How they think Fred can get Man United back to winning titles is beyond me.
‘I know he dragged him off but even there it’s just sloppy, it’s lazy. He has made a mistake, he is hoping one of his mates gets him out of trouble.
‘Shaw, schoolboy stuff and Liverpool on the front foot and the goalkeeper who didn’t look great tonight either. Mistake after mistake. Poor from United. Maguire is a loss but these are schoolboy errors, Fred is under no pressure there, Shaw is an experienced international player and we have been building the goalkeeper up.’
Keane also expressed concerns that Henderson ‘looks tiny’ between the sticks. The academy talent has come in for David de Gea in recent weeks, with Solskjaer appearing to favour the Englishman over the long-term No 1.
‘He looked so small in the goal,’ Keane added. ‘That is my worry for Henderson, good mentality, good temperament, good with his feet, but I have seen a few goals go in recently where he looked so small in the goal and he looked tiny there for the fourth goal.
‘He needs to be given a run of games but tonight he might think it’s not my best night but you’ve got to give him a run of games. They cant go back to De Gea, I don’t think he is the answer either. My worry is his presence, he looks so small which is a big concern going forward.’
United played the game amid a backdrop of supporter unrest against billionaire owners the Glazer family, with fans gathering outside Old Trafford to voice their disapproval of the Americans.
Solskjaer’s side welcome fans back to their home ground on Tuesday against Fulham, then face Wolves in the last league game of the season before their final against Villarreal.