After Manchester United’s 4-0 loss to Liverpool, Gary Neville lauded midfielder Hannibal Mejbri for his attitude and setting the bar for the rest of the team.
With challenges on Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, and Andy Robertson, the Tunisian made his second debut for the Reds and was immediately thrust into the action. He was penalized for leaving England international Anthony Elanga in a heap after replacing him, and referee Martin Atkinson gave him a final warning after he viciously bundled Naby Keita over – who was lucky to avoid any retrospective action for an alleged stamp on Jesse Lingard.
United showed some resiliency in the second half, coming close through Marcus Rashford, but Alisson blocked both of his attempts brilliantly. But any hope of a United comeback was dashed when Luis Diaz found Sadio Mane, who sent his attempt into the bottom corner to put an end to any hopes of a comeback.
But with his late entrance as Hannibal, he displayed some guts and pride, receiving praise from Neville in commentary. “To be fair, at least the youngster is displaying something,” he remarked.
“To tell you the truth, it takes a young kid to come on and show the rest of them how to run to the ball and put a challenge in.” I’m rather pleased with him.
“Perhaps he doesn’t like the idea of Liverpool passing him by; I wish the rest of the team felt the same.”
“I leaned on the rather unprofessional side of commentary tonight when I stated that the youngster (Mejbri) to be fair I was proud of him because he was running about trying to top people and attempting to kick people,” Neville said after the event.
“However, he demonstrated something, and he demonstrated something.” He didn’t enjoy the thought of Liverpool passing the ball around him at Anfield, or of Liverpool making fun of him and his teammates. At the very least, he did something. I’m not saying it’s fantastic because he could have caused injury to Liverpool players, but as a Manchester United supporter, you can react to it.”