Liverpool vs Manchester United Summary
Manchester United took the trip to Anfield knowing a point would keep them ahead of Liverpool. A win would send a big message and especially with a weakened Liverpool side, United knew they could be there for the taking. A blistering start by Liverpool matched with a typically sluggish away start for Manchester United saw Liverpool dominate the first half. Albeit withou truly worrying David de Gea. In truth, United had the best chance to score as Fernandes’ freekick flew inches wide of Alisson’s goal.
In the second half, United grew into the game and could easily have put Liverpool to the sword. Devastating counter attacks caused Liverpool plenty of problems and if it weren’t for Alisson and Fabinho, Liverpool would have been two or three down. In the end, both teams cancelled each other out. United defended excellently and David de Gea was only truly tested once – a flying save to deny Thiago. United countered excellently but did lack that punch in the final third and when they did create a goalscoring chance, Alisson was there for Liverpool.
The fact that Manchester United remain at the top of the table and Liverpool drop to fourth is still a positive. United could and should have won the game. The team grew into the game but should have played better from the start. Rashford and Bruno had notably bad performances. To which I will give the benefit of the doubt as fatigue is a valid issue here. If United go and win away to Fulham, this result will be a good one but that is easier said than done.
Liverpool vs Manchester United Player Ratings
David de Gea 7/10
Decent save to deny Thiago but all he really had to do. Liverpool were quiet other than that. Good distribution which is clearly improving a lot.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka 8/10
Had a tough job to do because Mane is probably the best winger in the Premier League. Not to mention the overlap from Robertson too. He rose to the challenge in comparison to a fatigued performance last year and kept the Senegalese winger very quiet, even forcing him to the right.
Victor Lindelof 8.5/10
Excellent. There were more than questions raised about his selection ahead of Bailly but he silenced his critics with a composed and quality performance. The fact that Liverpool do not have a large striker means that he is able to have more of a prescence aerially. Barely gave Firmino a sniff either and forced him onto his weaker foot, something he is excellent at.
Harry Maguire 8/10
Would have got a nine but that error from playing out could have been costly. Other than that he was flawless. Even did a number on Salah one on one!
Luke Shaw 9/10
Magnficent game. Kept one of the most dangerous players in the Premier League quiet for the whole game. Good players don’t mind when good players come in for competition because it makes them better. We are clearly seeing that with Telles and Shaw. Hopefully we see that with Wan-Bissaka and a new arrival. Be it Aarons, Lamptey or another.
Scott McTominay 8/10
I thought he had a tough first half and gave the ball away very cheaply. Even got outmuscled by Mane at one point. His second half performance was an exceptional turnaround. Truly a rock in the midfield and brought the ball forward powerfully. Something he has failed to do regularly but he turns up in the big games.
Improved like McTominay in the second half but not to the same level. Decent enough but I do thing Matic brings the ball out better than him. A tad rash with his challenges too.
Paul Pogba 8/10
A dominant force in the midfield. Tracked Robertson with discipline and composure and drove the team forward in attack. Had one big chance but failed to take it properly. If it were just a yard higher, that would have been a goal. Cannot fault much else about his game. Playing for the badge.
Bruno Fernandes 4/10
A tough game for Fernandes as he was man-marked for a lot of the game. It did allow Pogba to get more involved which helped the team but certainly not him. Had a big chance to score in the first half and was unlucky to miss. His big chance in the second half however, I will play down. Like Pogba’s he only had a small gap in which to score, mostly due to Alisson’s excellent positioning. It’s made more difficult by Fabinho too so it was a difficult chance but you wouldn’t want it to fall to many others. Unhappy to come off and that’s a good thing so I wouldn’t read into that.
Anthony Martial 6/10
Defended with a lot of discipline and drove the team forwards. Lacked that final punch and didn’t offer much width in attack. Looked tired and probably affected by the knock against Burnley. Came off for Cavani.
Marcus Rashford 3/10
A very poor game. I think he was responsible for seven of United’s eight offsides and often made the wrong decision. Again, he has not missed a single game this season and has played through injuries so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. He looks far more comfortable on the left, even in a poor performance. So either he is rested against Fulham or he starts on the left.
Edinson Cavani 6/10
Made some good runs but rarely found. Nice passing too but no shots. I hope he starts one of the next two, if not both!
Mason Greenwood N/A
Man of the Match: Luke Shaw
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 9/10
Would have been a 10 had we won! Tactically faultless as United were the better team. Perhaps should have had Rashford on the wing for the attack but Martial defended very well and countered reasonably well too, same for Pogba.
The fact that he was unhappy with the performance and unhappy with the point shows how far we have come in a year. A change in mentality from the manager, the staff and the players is affecting the club for the better and it starts with Ole. Ole said that this result is only a good one if United beat Fulham and he is absolutely right. A big month ahead for United and have to keep pushing against Fulham.