Luke Shaw.

Report: Liverpool 0 United 0

Manchester United remain top of the Premier League, after going close to snatching victory late on in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

United put in an excellent defensive display and almost grabbed all three points through Paul Pogba's close-range effort, but Alisson saved well from our French midfielder.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between throughout the 90 minutes, and neither side could find the breakthrough, ensuring the Reds keep hold of top spot for the time being.

FIRST HALF - TIGHT AFFAIR AT ANFIELD

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made three changes to the side that won at Burnley to go top in midweek. Victor Lindelof, Fred and Scott McTominay all returned in place of Eric Bailly, Nemanja Matic and Edinson Cavani who were named on the bench. Liverpool, meanwhile, were once again forced to play Jordan Henderson and Fabinho as their central defensive pairing, while Xherdan Shaqiri made his first Premier League start of the season.

As expected, it was a cagey opening from both sides, but it’s fair to say the hosts dominated the early possession, with Thiago particularly influential in the Liverpool midfield.

While there was a distinct lack of chances for either team throughout the first period, the ones that were created fell, in the main, to Klopp’s side. But it’s also worth noting that United’s defence was astute and alert to anything that was thrown our way.

The first sight of goal, on 17 minutes, dropped to Roberto Firmino after he was found by Sadio Mane, but thankfully he skewed it well wide.

Soon after, Mohamed Salah volleyed wide after Firmino’s shot had been blocked, before United had our first effort on goal when Bruno Fernandes sent a 25-yard free-kick inches past Alisson’s right-hand post after an excellent run forward by the impressive Luke Shaw.

Liverpool then went straight up the other end with Salah who burst into the box before having the ball taken off his toe and Firmino’s scuffed effort was straight at De Gea.

SECOND HALF - HONOURS EVEN AS REDS STAY TOP

The open exchanges after the break were much more even with both sides finding space in attack, but with neither able to find the killer pass or finish. On 53 minutes, Fernandes had a shot blocked by Fabinho, before a whipped Robertson cross from the left was expertly dealt with by Harry Maguire as Firmino looked to pounce, but Maguire flicked the ball back off the Brazilian and out for a goal-kick.

Cavani entered the fray just after the hour-mark, in place of Anthony Martial, and soon after space opened up for Fernandes to take aim from 25 yards. It was well struck, but Alisson kept his eye on it and saved comfortably. Salah had a shot deflected wide soon after as the cat-and-mouse action continued. 

On 75 minutes, the best chance of the game thus far fell to Fernandes as Shaw burst into the box and picked out our December Player of the Month from a few yards out, but his snap-shot was blocked by the foot of Alisson.

De Gea was then called into action to repel Thiago's 25-yarder as the game finally became a little stretched.

The action continued at the other end as the Reds went so close to snatching it, six minutes from time, when Aaron Wan-Bissaka's deflected pass dropped perfectly for Pogba, but his vicious effort was brilliantly saved by Alisson. That proved to be the last real incident of the match as the spoils were shared. Next up for the Reds is a trip to Fulham on Wednesday night.

 

90 in 20: Liverpool 0 United 0Video

TEAM LINE-UPS

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Henderson (c), Fabinho, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum (Milner 89), Shaqiri (Jones 76); Salah, Firmino (Origi 84), Mane.

Subs not used: Kelleher, Oxalde-Chamberlain, Minamino, R Williams, Phillips, N Williams.

Booked: Shaqiri, Fabinho

United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire (c), Shaw; Fred, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes (Greenwood 89); Rashford, Martial (Cavani 61).

Subs not used: Henderson, Bailly, Telles, Tuanzebe, Mata, Matic, van de Beek.

Booked: Rashford

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