Match Report: Liverpool vs Manchester United: Premier League Matchday Eight 16th October 2017
Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho were forced to settle for a share of the points at Anfield on Saturday lunchtime, as one of the most watched matches on The Premier League Calendar ended goalless.
Both sides had their chances to inject some life into a dull affair, but in the end, the visitors bedded down for a deserved draw in what turned out to be a disappointing North-West Derby.
However, what looked like a good draw may have proved costly for The Red Devils as Manchester City have now cruised two points ahead at the top of the Table, meanwhile, The Reds fell a place to eight.
From the start, Jurgen Klopp decided on two changes from the team that drew at St James’ Park as Emre Can and Roberto Firmino replaced injured Sadio Mane and Daniel Sturridge.
Whereas, Jose Mourinho made three alterations to the starting Xl that thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0 in late September.
Matteo Darmian came in at left back to take the place of Juan Mata, Ander Herrera came in for the injured Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial came in for Marcus Rashford up-top.
So, with the teams ready, Martin Atkinson could start a game that was poised to be a thriller in Liverpool but would be a story of missed opportunities.
The home side began the tie with the upper hand as Firmino flashed a delivery across the face of the box that just couldn’t find the outstretched leg of Mo Salah.
The visitors soon hit back by going agonisingly close themselves with Ashley Young’s cross eventually reaching Nemanja Matic whose shot was just inches from finding Simon Mignolet’s top left-hand corner.
In a game of inches, The Reds came the closest to breaking the deadlock shortly after from the unlikeliest of sources.
Firmino, once again pulling the strings, found Joel Matip with a superb pass and his powerful shot was somehow clawed away by David De Gea before Salah could fire wide of the left post, a sure Save of the Season contender.
If that wasn’t close enough, the big Belgian Romelu Lukaku was then played through on goal to see his effort saved by National teammate Mignolet with Young not being able to do anything with the rebound.
The second period would bring yet more opportunities and goalmouth action as Can could only guide Matip’s superb pass over the bar and then Dejan Lovren could only do the same with an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain corner.
Meanwhile, there was little to speak of at the other end as audiences all over the World were treated to a typical Mourinho “park the bus” tactic.
Boring it might have been, but effective it was in delivering a fair away point in a game that disappointed the masses.
Jurgen Klopp is now under pressure once more on Merseyside, while Jose Mourinho’s side fall of their joint top spot perch for the first time since early August.
Next up for The Reds will be a tricky trip to Wembley next Sunday to face an in-form Spurs, whilst United welcome The Terriers to Old Trafford for an intriguing Saturday afternoon clash.
Man of the Match: David De Gea