Jose Mourinho said he wouldn’t have wanted to pay money to watch this match – but the Manchester United manager had to admit there were a couple sparkling goals.
Xherdan Shaqiri scored on a spectacular bicycle kick in the 82nd minute, capping a three-goal second half for Liverpool in a 4-1 victory over Manchester United on Saturday. Sadio Mane, Daniel Sturridge and Sheyi Ojo also scored for Liverpool in this International Champions Cup matchup at Michigan Stadium. Andreas Pereira provided a highlight for Manchester United when he scored on a well-placed free kick in the first half.
Manchester United were without stars Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, both of whom are coming off deep World Cup runs. Mourinho bemoaned the state of some of the rosters in this preseason tournament, saying American fans deserve to see teams at their best.
“The atmosphere was good, but if I was them I wouldn’t come. I wouldn’t come. I wouldn’t spend my money to see these teams,” Mourinho said. “These people, I think they show how much they love their clubs. … There were two beautiful goals.”
The teams weren’t at full strength, but the crowd of 101,254 didn’t seem to mind too much. Liverpool did have Mohammed Salah in the starting lineup, and he drew the penalty kick that Mane converted to open the scoring. Pereira equalized with a free kick that went over the wall and into the top corner of the net.
Shaqiri set up the goal by Sturridge that put Liverpool ahead 2-1 in the 65th minute, but the highlight was his left-footed overhead kick that made it 4-1. Ojo’s goal came on a second penalty kick for Liverpool, and the always-outspoken Mourinho had some choice words about the officiating.
“The referees, they come by mistake. They were called by the baseball federation. They thought was a baseball game,” Mourinho said. “They arrive here, and it was soccer, and they had to be in a soccer game.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said the field at the Big House caused some issues, but he was impressed with the crowd.
“The only real story I know from Michigan is the Fab Five,” Klopp said. “I saw the movie.”
Mourinho said midfielder Nemanja Matic will miss the start of the season after having surgery. Manchester United did have Alexis Sanchez in the lineup, but this version of the team still looked overmatched against Liverpool.
“The majority of the clubs, we cannot give the people the real quality football, which is I think what can attract even more passion in this country,” Mourinho said.