Liverpool vs. Manchester United
Date: Monday, 17 October 2016
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Manchester United drew 0-0 away at Liverpool in a tense and nervy Premier League fixture at Anfield.
Heading to the in-form Merseyside outfit, many pundits couldn’t see past a Liverpool win, but United dug in in true Jose Mourinho style and took a respectable point from a match they started the brighter in.
This result leaves United trailing tonight’s opponents by three points, with the season still relatively fresh heading into the latter stages of October.
It was a quiet first half in terms of chances, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s wild free-kick and Paul Pogba’s effort of equal speculation falling high and over, as the former’s deflected shot was held.
Emre Can also tried his luck from distance at the other end, with Roberto Firmino’s header held by David De Gea from Jordan Henderson’s right-wing cross.
Harsh bookings for Eric Bailly and Ashley Young ended the half, with United comfortable at the break.
A big chance fell the way of the big Swede up front after the interval, but Ibrahimovic’s directed header back across goal did not have the pace to trouble despite Pogba’s wicked cross from the right.
Perhaps the first hour was a chance for United to grab the lead whilst they could, before the hosts grew into proceedings, with De Gea denying Emre Can’s low shot with a superb low save.
Substitute Adam Lallana fired wide before De Gea was at it again, tipping Philippe Coutinho’s curled attempt behind for a corner.
Despite the aerial advantage, Marouane Fellaini could only nod a tame header wide from Daley Blind’s corner, as he saw yellow late on, as did Ibrahimovic.
Just before those two bookings, Firmino looked like he was in on goal, but Antonio Valencia’s last-ditch tackle proved why he has had such a good season to date, despite playing out of position at right-back rather than his more orthodox position of right wing.
Full-time arrived with United probably the happier of the two, but are still playing catch-up in the league, with another challenging trip to Chelsea on the horizon this Sunday at 4pm.
Before then sees the visit of Turkish side Fenerbahce on Thursday night, with an 8:05pm kick-off time commencing Group A’s third round of Europa League fixtures.
That tie sees the return of Robin van Persie, who is sure to receive a warm welcome from the Old Trafford faithful, and a potential chance for Mourinho to rotate his squad ahead of a busy and tough schedule.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind; Herrera, Fellaini, Pogba; Rashford (Rooney 77), Ibrahimovic, Young (Shaw 90+2).
Subs not used: Romero, Rojo, Carrick, Mata, Lingard.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Liverpool: Karius; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner (Moreno 86); Can, Henderson; Mane, Coutinho, Firmino (Origi 85); Sturridge (Lallana 60).
Subs not used: Mignolet, Klavan, Grujic, Leiva.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp