Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo admits the desire to dominate drove the players to their historic 7-0 win over arch-rivals Manchester United last season.

Erik ten Hag’s side suffered the largest defeat in the two clubs’ 211-game history in March, conceding six times in the second half as they were completely overwhelmed.

There was a party atmosphere in the Anfield stands that afternoon but on the pitch Gakpo said the mood was professional and clinical.

“It was a great game that one. We knew we had to win and after a good first half from both teams the second half we really dominated and scored a lot of goals,” the Dutchman said.

Anfield scoreboard

“I scored just before half-time and I think just two minutes after half-time Darwin (Nunez) scored the second one and two minutes after I scored the third. It was good for us to score that quick after half-time and kill the game. It was amazing.

“At one point you are not really looking at the score, you just want to dominate and show your best and I think everyone had a really great game that day. Hopefully we can repeat it.”

United return to Merseyside in much worse form having lost half of their 24 matches this season, finishing bottom of their Champions League group, compared to the spring when they arrived with eight wins and just one defeat in an 11-game run.

But Gakpo said Liverpool are guarded against complacency as they prepare to face a team who had the manager and player (Harry Maguire) of the month after three successive Premier League wins in November.

“Obviously they have a lot of quality in their team so we cannot under-estimate anything, it doesn’t matter what phase they are at in how they perform,” he said.

“We can’t take them lightly but we have to play our game and not really look at them. We have a lot of quality as well and we just have to show it again.”

Liverpool have the chance to establish a club-record 35th successive game with a goal on Sunday, bettering the record set by Jurgen Klopp’s side between April and December 2021.

“We know we score every game so hopefully we can keep that and score some goals,” said Gakpo.

“We are looking forward to the game but we are not thinking ‘We have to score seven again’. We just go into the game focused and really wanting to win.

“We know we are top of the table, we know what we want and we just have to keep working hard, keep staying together, focusing on every game and win every game.”