Liverpool were held by Manchester United in a 0-0 stalemate at Anfield in what was a diverse display by both the clubs. Liverpool knew they needed the win as they had failed to win their previous 3 Premier League fixtures. But, United’s disciplined defensive display denied them of any chance with their winless streak extended to 4 games now.
It is funny how a year changes everything. Last year this time, Liverpool defeated United to go 30 points clear in the title race. Now, United held the reigning Champion to stay 3 points clear of them and remain at the top.
Both the clubs had plenty to prove. Liverpool has never been defeated at home in the Premier League since 2017. Whereas, Manchester United are on a brilliant away form that will cross now cross 1 year after the stalemate at Anfield. The honours were shared among them as they continue their respective forms.
The hosts as well as the visitors had plenty of chances to score. Surprisingly, it was United who had the better opportunity compared to their rivals who had many shots, but nothing that would trouble David de Gea.
Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba should have scored but Alisson Becker made 2 point-blank saves to prevent the defeat. The Liverpool trio failed yet again to make an impact as none of them was threatening enough.
LIVERPOOL 0-0 MANCHESTER UNITED TEAM NEWS:
Jurgen Klopp made 6 changes to the side that defeated Aston Villa in the FA Cup. He featured a strong defence with Fabinho partnering up with Jordan Henderson. The surprise entry in the starting XI was Xherdan Shaqiri. This was his first Premier League start since December 2019.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made 3 changes to the side that grabbed the win against Burnley in the mid-week fixture. Victor Lindelof replaced Eric Bailly to partner Harry Maguire. Scott McTominay and Fred had replaced Nemanja Matic from the middle and Edinson Cavani from the attack. Paul Pogba was also shifted to the left side for an attacking role.
LIVERPOOL 0-0 MANCHESTER UNITED POST-MATCH ANALYSIS:
The match started with the hosts dominating in every way. United was really sloppy at the beginning and was lucky enough not to concede any goals. Liverpool’s attack was led by Shaqiri at the start as the Swiss player had a few shots. They were very well synchronized and passed the ball around easily. Roberto Firmino was unable to break the deadlock as he hit the ball straight to the keeper.
The best chance for United came in the 34th minute through a free-kick. Fernandes took the shot from the edge of the box. It was just inches away from being a superb goal. Marcus Rashford had plenty of chances but his run was not timed correctly. He recorded 4 offsides in the first-half itself, his highest in a match. Klopp was frustrated when the official blew the half-time whistle right when his side was proceeding with an attack.
The second half was all about the defensive displays. Liverpool had a whooping 17 shots, but only 3 of them was on target. The only strike that troubled De Gea was from his Spanish counterpart. Thiago whipped a shot that made De Gea stretch his arms a little.
Bruno was brilliantly denied what should have been a goal when Alisson made a point-blank save to Bruno’s shot given by Luke Shaw. Soon enough United had another golden opportunity, but Pogba, after taking enough time took a powerful shot was directly aimed at the keeper. A slight change in angle would have led to a goal. The visitor’s confidence was rising slowly as they had the better chances from that point onwards.
ALISSON BECKER – 8/10
Liverpool survived the match only because of this man. He made 2 crucial saves to save his team from a disappointing result. He has been their wall since his arrival.
LUKE SHAW – 8.5/10 (MOTM)
The progress the Left-Back has made is imposing. He has improved a lot after the arrival of Alex Telles. He kept both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah at bay as both of them were unable to create any problems.
ROBERTO FIRMINO – 5/10
There was a small ray of reincarnation when Firmino finally started scoring goals. But it looks like that has started fading again. His shots were all frail and had no aim. He was also making plenty of mistakes in passing and positioning.
With the result, United remain on top for now, whereas Liverpool drops to 4th after Manchester City won their respective fixture. Both the teams are in action again on Thursday when Liverpool will be hosting Burnley and United will be travelling to Craven Cottage to face Fulham.