Things we noticed: Liverpool v United

Sunday 17 December 2023 19:04

Manchester United and Liverpool played out a 0-0 draw at Anfield on Sunday that was anything but boring.

It was an emotional, action-packed encounter and while neither side got on the scoresheet, it was enthralling from start to finish.

Erik ten Hag's team came into the match in need of a positive result, following disappointing defeats to Bournemouth and Bayern Munich within the last seven days, and it will very much feel like a point gained on an afternoon when United showed fight, energy, and passion against our bitter rivals.

Read on, as we reflect on some of the key areas that stood out during the clash on Merseyside...

Report: Liverpool 0 United 0


Read about our heroic defensive performance at Anfield, as Ten Hag's men gave everything to deny a confident Liverpool.


The memory of last season's 7-0 defeat at Anfield was looming when the game began, but this defensive display from Ten Hag's team deserved applause.

Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans and Diogo Dalot were stern in their tackles and clearances and matched the energy of Liverpool's forwards throughout, with the combined experience of the quartet in hostile atmospheres shining through.

Of course, Dalot was dismissed late on but up until that moment – and even in the tackle that bounced back off Mohamed Salah and led to his red card – you could see the United defence took great pride in shutting the door on Liverpool's attempts at creating.


Andre Onana was a key reason why United kept a clean sheet on Merseyside, with his stops proving vital in both the first and second half.

The Cameroon international made a smart save in the first half from a corner and continued to play the ball out from the back with his feet, despite Anfield getting increasingly loud whenever he received the ball.

In the second half, Andre made another good action to deny Ibrahima Konate and showed great bravery to dive at the feet of Luis Diaz and thwart another attempt. The United fans, who were cheering behind Onana's goal in the second half, made their appreciation of his all-round performance known.


In the absence of Bruno Fernandes – who was serving a one-match suspension – Kobbie Mainoo returned to the midfield to play against Liverpool. The last time he played on Merseyside, he was Man of the Match against Everton, and he was once more composed and cool in midfield.

There was one moment when he flew into a tackle late in the first half, picking up a yellow card, but he is a Greater Manchester-born player, so who can blame him in this fixture?

He also released Alejandro Garnacho in the second half with a great pass, and it never looked like the occasion fazed him.

Garnacho, who, let's remember, is just 19 years of age, also stepped up to the challenge and threatened down the left in both halves of the game.

Scott McTominay captained United for the first time in a Premier League match.


Manchester United's away fans are simply superb.

Throughout the entire match they could be heard with renditions of 'United', 'Hello, hello, we are the Busby Boys', and '12 Cantonas'.

Our supporters clearly appreciated the efforts of the United players and at full-time, when our players went over to applaud them, they were greeted with further cheers.

Many were still in the ground chanting well after the final whistle had blown, too!

Our fans were full of voice throughout.


Scott McTominay was handed the captaincy for this match in the absence of Fernandes and led by example throughout.

Through tireless running and full-blooded challenges, Scott appeared to relish the responsibility. He also came close to picking up a memorable assist, when sliding in Rasmus Hojlund for arguably the best chance of the match.

It was the first time McTominay had been named United captain in the league and, while the result was not a victory, he will surely be pleased with the way the Reds applied themselves on a memorable day in his career at the club he joined as a boy.