Manchester United stayed top of the Premier League with a mediocre goalless stalemate against champions Liverpool at Anfield.
It was a game that failed to justify the pre-match anticipation and while United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be happier with a point than Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp, he will also know they had the better chances to claim a statement victory.
Liverpool dominated possession in the first half but it was United who came closest when Bruno Fernandes’ 20-yard free-kick curled inches wide.
Fernandes was then thwarted after the break by the outstretched leg of Liverpool keeper Alisson before Thiago’s long-range effort finally brought the previously unemployed David de Gea into action.
Alisson was Liverpool’s hero late on when he blocked Paul Pogba’s drive from point-blank range.
The result leaves United two points ahead of Leicester City in second. Liverpool, who have scored just one goal in their past four league games, are a point behind the Foxes in third.
Manchester City will move up to second, two points behind United, if they beat Crystal Palace in Sunday’s late game (19:15 GMT).
Liverpool and Klopp frustrated again
Liverpool manager Klopp cut a frustrated figure pretty much from the first whistle, his voice booming around Anfield with a tone of displeasure, showing unhappiness with his own players and officials.
Klopp’s team, so used to steamrollering all before them in recent times, are going through a very dry spell and barely created an opening worthy of the name here against a resolute Manchester United defence.
Too often Liverpool’s approach play ended with a careless pass or an aimless cross and the longer this game went on the more United looked the more likely winners.
It was perhaps inevitable Liverpool would be unable to maintain their relentless style but there will be concerns they have now gone four league games without a win since Crystal Palace were demolished 7-0 at Selhurst Park.
Before this draw, West Bromwich Albion left Anfield with a point while Liverpool also had a goalless draw at Newcastle United and lost at Southampton.
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are currently feeding off scraps while Roberto Firmino’s impact was so minimal that he was withdrawn near the end, even with Liverpool chasing a goal.
A team as good as Liverpool will not remain off the boil for too long but there is no doubt they are currently struggling for form and spark. The fact this is their longest barren sequence in the league since March 2005 tells the tale.
More to follow.
- 3FabinhoBooked at 66mins
- 23ShaqiriBooked at 33minsSubstituted forJonesat 76′minutes
- 6Thiago Alcántara
- 5WijnaldumSubstituted forMilnerat 89′minutes
- 9FirminoSubstituted forOrigiat 85′minutes
- 46R Williams
- 76N Williams
- 1de Gea
- 18Bruno FernandesSubstituted forGreenwoodat 89′minutes
- 9MartialSubstituted forCavaniat 61′minutes
- 10RashfordBooked at 90mins
- 34van de Beek
- Paul Tierney
Match ends, Liverpool 0, Manchester United 0.
Second Half ends, Liverpool 0, Manchester United 0.
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Curtis Jones (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).
Foul by Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool).
Luke Shaw (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Harry Maguire.
Substitution, Manchester United. Mason Greenwood replaces Bruno Fernandes.
Substitution, Liverpool. James Milner replaces Georginio Wijnaldum.
Foul by Thiago (Liverpool).
Scott McTominay (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Liverpool. Divock Origi replaces Roberto Firmino.
Offside, Manchester United. Paul Pogba tries a through ball, but Marcus Rashford is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Shaw with a cross.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Alisson.
Attempt saved. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Attempt missed. Thiago (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum.
Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Scott McTominay (Manchester United).