Liverpool 0, Man United 0
Manchester United stayed top of the Premier League after drawing 0-0 with Liverpool yesterday [Macau time] and extending the champion’s winless run to four matches.
Liverpool hasn’t gone as long without a win since 2017, but Jürgen Klopp’s team still maintained its unbeaten record at Anfield since the same year thanks to Alisson Becker’s late saves from Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.
“We had two great chances and two great saves,” United captain Harry Maguire said. “It was cagey but it was two good teams matching up. We found it difficult in the first half to get a rhythm to the game, the press was high.”
Thiago Alcantara’s long-range effort was well saved by United goalkeeper David De Gea in the 78th minute as Liverpool failed to score for a third successive match.
Liverpool, which had a makeshift defense due to injuries, stayed three points behind United, which is chasing its first title since 2013.
The outcome was predictable as this was the seventh draw in the past 10 meetings between these sides, who meet again in the FA Cup next weekend.
The clash between England’s two most-decorated clubs never got close to fulfilling its billing, with the best quality on show being that from Alisson.
The hope for the hosts was that Thiago, back from an injury and making his first Anfield appearance for the club since arriving from Bayern Munich in September, would provide the creative spark.
The midfielder did dictate play in midfield but even his exquisite use of the ball could not unlock a well-drilled United formation.
But he was not helped by some distinctly poor and wayward finishing from Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri — in his first league start in 13 months — and Andy Robertson.
United played well within itself, content to run holding patterns and wait for a Liverpool mistake, and as a result they did not have their first shot until the 34th minute when Fernandes whipped a free kick just wide.
Fernandes seemed to be the only United player testing Alisson, with the Brazil international saving twice in the second half — the second a good block from close range.
Thiago forced the under-employed De Gea to palm away his strike from distance before Alisson produced the stop of the evening to turn Pogba’s drive for a corner.
“They were dangerous on the counterattack, they’re dangerous away from home,” said Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who was deployed further back in central defense. “We knew it would be a tough game but, like I said, I thought the performance level was really good, counter-pressing, winning the ball back quickly was good.
“They’re always going to have one or two moments, but I think it’s about trying to limit that and I felt as though we did that today. Overall we’ll be disappointed not to take the three points.” AP