Liverpool Tried, Manchester United Denied. Anfield was left goalless!
Well, thank God Anfield was empty as so was Liverpool’s performance. There were no goals to show in a game that ended 0-0, much to the disappointment of a fixture that was touted as the numero uno occasion of the season.
It’s been three games in the League, including yesterday’s, that Liverpool have run barren with no goals, a drought that’s a bitter pill to swallow for the reigning champions and Kopites around the world.
The 4-1 win against Aston Villa in the third round of the FA Cup could serve as some solace. But the fact is the champions have now slipped to 4th in the Premier League table as it stands.
With Manchester City and Leicester soaring in number 2 and 3 on the League table, respectively, Jurgen Klopp has to find a way to get the Reds’ campaign back on track. If he doesn’t, that title that’s Liverpool’s to retain could only be a hopeful dream.
So, lets dissect how a focused Manchester United with a 15-game unbeaten away streak that soared to 16 last evening left Liverpool only with opportunities but no results to show.
The Reds created opportunities to excite but no results to show in the first half
Liverpool started the game as the more assertive of the two teams creating two opportunities in no time through their defender Andrew Robertson albeit both going off target.
In the 17th minute, Roberto Firmino created another chance to give the Reds the lead only to skew his left foot strike wide of the post.
Liverpool then continued to create more chances through Salah, Mane, Wijnaldum and Shaqiri though the Red Devils defence stood rock solid denying them every time.
Manchester United had a beautiful opportunity of their own in the 34th minute when their Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes hit the ball just inches wide of the goal getting Alisson to scramble across his goal line in his insatiable need to make the save.
Barring this, only opportunity for the Red Devils, the first half almost seemed a game between Liverpool’s attacking arsenal and United’s dedicated defensive display led by captain Harry Maguire with compatriots Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof for company.
Manchester United were the more determined team in the second half
Liverpool had yet another chance in the 59th minute to go ahead, with a beautiful cross from Andrew Robertson for Firmino who was denied by captain Maguire when he made an excellent intervention to block the Brazilian’s effort.
The Red Devils were surely looking up for it in the second half with their determination to defend being second to none and when you have positivity in your mind, it rubs off in your attacking outlook too.
And that’s exactly what happened in the 65th minute United’s Fernandes got Alisson to make another save, a bit more comfortable though.
A third attempt by Bruno Fernandes on Liverpool’s goal was also thankfully averted yet again by Alisson in the 75th minute.
Slowly, it seemed the tide had changed when United looked the more attacking team and Liverpool’s Brazilian keeper had to do all the saving.
The Reds had their best chance in the 78th minute through their Spanish midfielder Thiago, who induced a rather difficult save from his fellow countryman David de Gea.
Manchester United’s will to attack would soar further in the 83rd minute when their French midfielder Paul Pogba fired a shot with much power straight at Alisson who yet again stood strong in goal.
Alisson was surely Liverpool’s star in the second half as there wasn’t much to speak about Liverpool’s excursions in the United D.
As the final whistle blew the score read 0-0 but truth be told it seemed to me more like a United victory as they were playing away and yet managed a point to retain their number one ranking on the table.
A sixth draw between the two teams in their last nine meetings.
Jurgen Klopp has to get Liverpool’s campaign back on track
With yet another goalless performance from the Reds in the League, things are beginning to look alarming if Liverpool harbour any ambitions of retaining the coveted championship.
Jurgen Klopp needs to dig deep to get this team on the winning momentum again and for that goals need to happen.
With Burnley up next at home in the latter part of the week in the Premier League followed by another clash at Old Trafford with the Red Devils in the fourth round of the FA Cup, I can only hope for a turnaround in form and fortune.
Until then in goals galore or none of them at all, it’s our duty to stand in unison with every Liverpool player as we remind them ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone!’