Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Liverpool vs Manchester United: Man United hold Liverpool in tense 0-0 draw at Anfield

Liverpool vs Manchester United: Man United hold Liverpool in tense 0-0 draw at Anfield

Man United hold Liverpool in tense 0-0 draw at Anfield

Liverpool missed out on reclaiming top spot after being held to a 0-0 draw by Manchester United at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday, ending their perfect home record this season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side had been knocked out of first place by Arsenal earlier on Sunday and would have recaptured a place at the summit with a win but lacked their usual goal threat.

A United side shorn of confidence after a miserable week held on grimly for their point although they have now scored just once in their last eight league visits to Liverpool.

The closest the hosts came to scoring was a Trent Alexander-Arnold shot narrowly wide midway through the second half, while Danish forward Rasmus Højlund had United’s best chance.

The visitors finished with 10 men after Diogo Dalot was sent off in stoppage time for two yellow cards — both for dissent.

Second-placed Liverpool have 38 points from 17 games with leaders Arsenal on 39, while United are seventh with 28.

Liverpool partly opened their newly revamped Anfield Road Stand for the first time, bumping up the attendance to 57,000 — the largest for 50 years at their stadium.

They were expected to make it 12 home wins out of 12 in all competitions but the inter-city derby, traditionally one of the most feisty in England, failed to really ignite as they never looked like repeating the 7-0 rout of last season.

While United’s performance was hardly one to celebrate, it at least showed some spirit after last week’s 3-0 loss to Bournemouth and a meek defeat by Bayern Munich in midweek that sent them crashing out of Europe.

“We’re disappointed we couldn’t make it more of a game and create more opportunities,” Scott McTominay, United’s captain in the absence of the suspended Bruno Fernandes, told Sky Sports.

“The boys will be pleased not to lose but also definitely not happy we didn’t win.”

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk was frustrated his side couldn’t take all three points. 

“If you see how we played the game, we had most of the ball and created some opportunities. There was only one team trying to win the game,” Van Dijk said on Sky Sports. 

“We want to win every game of course and that is why it is frustrating. Sometimes we shot too easy and could have passed on the overlap. The right decision was sometimes lacking.

“We carry on of course but it is frustrating because we were superior in all aspects. In the end they are buzzing with a point and we are disappointed with a point.

“Obviously they are not in the best phase. Coming here you are wary of the threat we have. We should have won it today. We have to learn from certain situations and I know we will.

“Last year we didn’t come in with a good feeling towards the Manchester United game but we won the game convincingly, but last year doesn’t count now.”

Klopp said Liverpool had dominated more than in last season’s 7-0 and the statistics showed they had 34 goal attempts to the six of United. But the end product was missing.

“We tried everything and the numbers we created — in terms of shots — is crazy,” Klopp said.

“But with that amount of shots they should be a few more on target. That was our fault today and we go from here.”

The atmosphere was muted in a tepid first half in which Liverpool began brightly but failed to exert sustained pressure on a United side many thought were there for the taking.

United withstood the fast start by Liverpool and looked reasonably comfortable despite 15 goal attempts by the hosts in the first half.

Van Dijk’s header from a corner forced United goalkeeper André Onana into a smart save while Liverpool midfielder Ryan Gravenberch had a volley deflected wide.

Klopp made a switch on the hour, bringing in Joe Gomez and pushing Alexander-Arnold further forward, and it almost reaped rewards when the latter grazed the post with a low shot.

United managed only one shot on target when, in a rare piece of fluent attacking play, Højlund played a one-two with McTominay but his angled shot was blocked by keeper Allison.

In a breathless spell Onana then had to dive theatrically to push away a shot by Mohammed Salah. Liverpool pressed hard late and United survived a scare as a ball struck the arm of Luke Shaw in the area but a penalty was rightly not awarded.

Source: https://www.espn.com.au/football/report/_/gameId/671195

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