Liverpool vs. Manchester United
Date: Saturday, 14 October 2017
Kick-off: 12:30 BST
Manchester United created a sense of deja vu after battling to a 0-0 draw away at Anfield almost a year to the day since the corresponding fixture ended the same way.
With injuries ruling out Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Eric Bailly, with at least three of those likely to start if fit, this point can be taken positively given its context.
It was a duel with few clear cut chances, although both goalkeepers made two big first half sides to keep the opposition at bay.
Fresh from his international heroics, sending Egypt to their first World Cup since 1990, Mohamed Salah’s neat turn allowed Georginio Wijnaldum to get a shot away, but his tame effort was held.
Roberto Firmino saw an equally tame attempt shot held with ease by David De Gea as Nemanja Matic volleyed just over at the other end.
The first brilliant save came when Firmino’s low cross was met by Joel Matip, only for De Gea to stick out a left foot to turn the ball away, with Salah placing wide the loose ball after Phil Jones’ poor follow-up clearance.
Salah took aim once more but De Gea caught the ball untroubled before neat link-up play ended with Romelu Lukaku seeing a sight at goal in front of the Kop, only to fire his effort straight at Simon Mignolet.
It was a decent stop after the power generated but the Belgian striker will be disappointed not to have done much better upon reflection.
After the break, with a bit more intensity from the home side being applied, Firmino’s shot deflected into the side netting, with Philippe Coutinho also seeing a shot deflect as Wijnaldum hooked over with the rebound from the loose ball.
Defender Joe Gomez’s weighted cross from deep was volleyed over by Emre Can as Salah curled over before being replaced.
There was time for Dejan Lovren and Can to head over from separate corners in stoppage time as United held out for a respectable draw.
Jose Mourinho will be content with the result at least, although the lack of creative force against what has been described as a shaky Liverpool defence this season could be a concern.
Nonetheless, the unbeaten run goes on, stretching to 11 games since the Super Cup defeat, with an eighth clean sheet collated in the process.
This was the start of four consecutive away matches across three competitions, with the Champions League returning this Wednesday.
Mourinho takes his side to his native Portugal to face old club Benfica, with Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof expected to line up against former foes as well.
The 7:45pm kick-off commences proceedings as United look to build on their opening two group stage victories from last month.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Darmian; Herrera, Matic; Young (Lindelof 90+3), Mkhitaryan (Lingard 63), Martial (Rashford 65); Lukaku.
Subs not used: Romero, Blind, Tuanzebe, Mata.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Liverpool: Mignolet; Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah (Oxlade-Chamberlain 78), Firmino (Solanke 87), Coutinho (Sturridge 78).
Subs not used: Karius, Klavan, Alexander-Arnold, Milner.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp