LIVERPOOL 0-0 Manchester United
Liverpool’s encounter with North-West rivals Manchester United ended in a draw as the Premier League returned after an international break.
Klopp didn’t mess around with any kind of experimental “let’s see if this works” lineup, it was simply the strongest players we have in the squad picked to play against one of the other strongest Premier League squads there is.
Liverpool have been expanding their stadium in recent years and with it finished, part of Anfield has been named as the “Kenny Dalglish Stand”. Dalglish was there to see his namesake for himself at the fixture.
Liverpool came out fighting from the start and within the first quarter of an hour were creating serious opportunities to score. Roberto Firmino was busy in attack and would try to provide assistance for Joe Gomez to score but United’s defence were tight and denied the right back a goal. Soon after Antonio Valencia dispossessed Philippe Coutinho in the penalty area and it became clear that the back line of United’s players were not to be taken lightly. Or, back lines I should say. As Jose Mourinho has been known to do against Liverpool, he threw many players back to deal with any attack as he “parked the bus” to protect his side from conceding goals.
One of the most important times he ever did this was when he was managing Chelsea and they were in the race to win the league with Liverpool who had been in contention for the title for most of the season and dropping any points (in losses if they could score or perhaps in goalless draws if they couldn’t score) was going to hurt our challenge for it and it did, when he achieved the result he had wanted. Liverpool would finish in 2nd place and did not get to win the Premier League that season. These parked bus tactics have been known to tighten defence and not allow opposition to score any goals at all, denying the opponents much needed victories and forcing them to drop much needed points.
Liverpool had their defending to do aswell, with danger coming from United’s attackers at times. Our goalkeeper performed well and was denying them goals when required to do so, just as David De Gea was at the other end. Joel Matip went closest with a great opportunity to score in the first half but he was denied at point-blank range by an unbelievable De Gea save. Both sides were held to the break as the game continued and nobody would score in the 1st half.
The 2nd half continued with the same intensity and high pressure. More opportunities, not being able to convert into goals though. I don’t want to call them “wasted opportunities” because we needed to try and our hard work and efforts were truly not a waste. Against a Manchester United side managed by Jose Mourinho, it’s simply not going to be easy to score even when you’re playing at home.
Emre Can fired a shot over the bar after being picked out by Gomez’s accurately placed cross, before Salah was just a little too short to connect with Coutinho’s ball to the back post around 71 minutes.
Jurgen Klopp brought on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge in a bid to claim a winning goal but unfortunately our new transfer could not make his mark on the game with a goal and we would not get to see “the Sturridge dance” (which he does after scoring on occasion) as United clung on, with late headers for Lovren and Dominic Solanke the closest Liverpool came to taking all three points.
Liverpool would take 1 point and this time, it meant much more than the draws we’ve gotten against lesser sides like Burnley. Drawing is not losing, being unbeaten against a strong side such as this still has it’s value despite not winning and when the opposition is THIS strong, you simply can’t deny any satisfaction for the fans. We can be relatively happy with the final outcome.
Man Of the Match
Simon Mignolet denied fellow Belgian international teammate Romelu Lukaku a goal with a splendid save which stopped Manchester United from perhaps claiming a 0-1 win at Anfield. With Liverpool not being able to score, it was truly important that we also did not concede if we wanted any points at all and Mignolet was definitely part of why we came away with a draw and a singe point at least. Credit to our goalkeeper, you played your part perfectly in this high pressure fixture that is always important to not lose.
Liverpool continue their Champions League campaign at the group stage as we face Maribor, far away in Slovenia.
I hope you took what positives you could from our draw (hey, we didn’t LOSE at least) and look forward to our next big challenge coming up.
Walk on with hope in your hearts Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.