- First off, United are still leading the Premier League after visiting Anfield and earning a draw against a rested Liverpool team who despite having more possession particularly in the first half, rarely troubled De Gea in the United goal. Hats off to United’s back four who were brilliant on the night. They defended with resolute and it was few and far between when the Liverpool forwards managed to get a sight of goal. Liverpool huffed and puffed but did not have enough to trouble this United team. Their strikers seem to be off the boil, and it seems that they are missing more Diogo Jota than their central defenders. United on the other hand, started slowly and were almost intimidated by the occasion in the first half. We could not impose our usual play in midfield and continued to give the ball away easily. This helped Liverpool to have a lot of possession. When in the second half, the United players realised that they were as capable as their opponents, they created the best chances and could have won the match if Fernandes first and Pogba later had been more clinical with the best two chances of the game. Bottom line is that despite not playing well enough, United still created the best chances and at the end deserved a point.
- Ole got it right again with his selection of the back four. I was surprised when the line-ups were released because I was sure that Bailly would play to provide speed to the United back four against quick forwards such as Salah and Mane. Ole’s thinking must have been that he trusted Wan Bissaka and Shaw one on one against Liverpool’s dangermen and that Lindelof could hold the position better than Bailly against their attacking midfielders. And right he was, as evidenced by the clean sheet but also by an excellent performance by Lindelof. Unsurprisingly, Fred and McTominay were selected to protect the United back four and while defensively they were decent – not their best performance but decent – in terms of passing and moving forward they were awful, especially in the first half. They both gave away possession too many times and looked as if the occasion – winning at Anfield and shift Liverpool off their perch – was bigger than them. And maybe it is. Indeed, this is the only area where I would feel Liverpool have a player who is miles better than what we can field. Thiago Alcantara is not the best at defending although he is no slouch but when it comes to spray passes to his teammates, he is one of the best I’ve seen. Thiago has seen it all, won everything there is to win and I feel United lack that type of player. Pogba? Not quite that type of player, in my opinion.
- In the big matches, big players come to the fore. Fernandes has done that several times for United, not today though. He could have been better and he knows it, as evidence by his frustration when he was substituted at the end. Pogba was tremendous again today and showed why United cannot let him go easily. His technique is incredible and while he should have scored, he was my man of the match together with Shaw. The latter is rarely flustered and sometimes he worries me because he seems too casual. Maybe added competition is getting the best out of him. Disappointed with Rashford. Marcus is an unbelievable player and that is why I expected more from him today, given he is a local lad. United need him to deliver consistently on the bigger stage, particularly against the best teams.
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Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.