Manchester United 2 Liverpool 2

Sunday 07 April 2024 17:49

Manchester United have drawn 2-2 with rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford in the Premier League, following spectacular strikes from both Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo.

It was a return to the scene of our ruthless last-gasp Emirates FA Cup comeback victory just three weeks ago, and Jurgen Klopp's last chance as Liverpool manager to exact revenge over United before he steps down this summer.

Aside from an early Alejandro Garnacho effort hitting the back of the net, which was ruled out following an offside call, it was the visitors from Merseyside who took control over the first 45 minutes. Luis Diaz made sure his side's efforts paid off with a goal midway through the half, but they lcould have been further ahead with more clinical finishing.

However, United emerged from the dressing room and put on a show in the second half. Spectacular strikes from Fernandes and Mainoo put us ahead in the game, but the celebrations were dampened by a Mohamed Salah penalty destined to split the spoils.

Ten Hag's side still managed to dent Liverpool's title hopes, but will rue the missed chance to beat Klopp's side once again.

Our man between the sticks was crucial in keeping us in the game throughout the first half.


It started every bit the energetic, blow-for-blow bout we witnessed on this pitch just three weeks ago in the FA Cup.

Academy graduate Alejandro Garnacho had the ball in the back of the net after rounding the goalkeeper with just 180 seconds on the clock but was adjudged offside due to a marginally delayed through ball from Fernandes.

One blink later, Liverpool's talisman Salah was on the ball in midfield and found team-mate Dominik Szoboszlai with the outside of his boot. The Hungary international dispatched a powerful shot towards the top far corner but it was repelled by the strong hand of Andre Onana.

By the standards of previous meetings between these two sides, the game settled into a relatively balanced rhythm in the following 15 minutes, despite both sides only ever looking a killer pass away from conceding.

It was a set-piece that would be the undoing of United for the opener. Andy Robertson delivered the corner to the head of Darwin Nunez, who managed a dangerous flick over the heads of the defensive pack and towards Diaz at the back post to stab home from close range.

A quick reprieve was on offer five minutes later when captain Fernandes floated a free-kick into the penalty area from deep. His midfield partner Casemiro latched onto it and flashed the ball across the six-yard box, but there was no red shirt there to meet it.

The Merseysiders began to dominate possession following their opener, and we were sent numerous warning shots around the half-hour mark by Salah and Nunez that would have posed difficult questions had they been able to keep the efforts on target.

A well-timed Willy Kambwala tackle in this period on Nunez, which would have been a certain penalty and possible card had he not got it inch-perfect, got the crowd on their feet following a rousing gesture to the Stretford End by the young defender.

With entries into the visitors' half proving difficult to come by, United couldn't make full use of that momentum and entered the interval deservedly a goal down. 

Bruno Fernandes - leading by example.


The onslaught of Liverpudlian pressure prior to the break was always going to need a moment of magic to be disrupted in the second half and it duly arrived just five minutes after the action resumed.

A misplaced pass across the halfway line from Jarell Quansah trickled invitingly in front of Fernandes, who looked up and noted Caoimhin Kelleher stranded in no-man's land having pushed up to squeeze the space and support his side.

Our captain understood the assignment immediately.

He let off an audacious strike from inside the centre-circle, the path of the ball tracking perfectly beyond the fingertips of the goalkeeper and inside the right-side post. Out of nowhere, United had been dragged back into the game by our Portuguese figurehead.

It was a strong showing from Willy Kambwala in his second senior start.

Much like Liverpool's opener did in the first half, our no.8's spectacular long-range strike galvanised Ten Hag's side, finding routes to goal easier to come by and only being saved on a couple of occasions by the palms of Kelleher.

There was no saving the Irish keeper from the wrath of Mainoo, however, as the game entered its final 20 minutes.

Our break-out Academy star was crucial in the build-up, helped by Casemiro's overhead kick forward, driving the ball through midfield, before receiving the ball once more in the box with his back to goal, from Aaron Wan-Bissaka. 

The 18-year-old, without ever looking goalwards, contorted and spun his body to let off an instinctive curled shot which nestled perfectly in the top-right corner, taking United ahead for the first time in this chaotic contest.

United appeared to be in control heading into the final moments, but our opposition were gifted a chance to get back into the game once more when Wan-Bissaka went to ground in an attempt to steal the ball away from substitute Harvey Elliott inside the box, seconds after a handball shout against Casemiro. 

Referee Anthony Taylor immediately pointed to the spot. It was Salah who stepped up and comfortably dispatched the penalty to draw his side level.

Diaz had a chance to produce thee winner in stoppage-time, but Onana gratefully watched on as the Colombian's effort from yards out sailed over the crossbar, before Antony's shot was kept out by Kelleher at the other end, leaving Elliott's tame shot at Onana the last action of another frenetic encounter.

The spoils are shared at Old Trafford, but United may regret not taking all three.


United: Onana; Dalot, Kambwala, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka; Mainoo (Mount 85), Casemiro; Garnacho (Amrabat 80), Fernandes (c), Rashford (Antony 66); Hojlund.

Unused substitutes: Bayindir, Amass, Ogunneye, Eriksen, Amad, Forson.

Bookings: Kambwala, Onana, Mount, Antony, Casemiro.

Goals: Fernandes 50, Mainoo 67.

Liverpool: Kelleher; Bradley (Gomez 66), Quansah, van Dijk (c), Robertson; Mac Allister, Endo (Elliott 69), Szoboszlai (Jones 66); Salah, Nunez (Gakpo 69), Diaz.

Unused substitutes: Adrian, Konate, Tsimikas, Gravenberch, Danns.

Bookings: Bradley, Jones.

Goals: Diaz 23, Salah 84 (pen).