Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United: Dogged United frustrate Jurgen Klopp
By Jack Wilkinson at Anfield
Last Updated: 16/10/17 6:48pm
Jurgen Klopp's wait for a league victory over Manchester United stretched to four games as Liverpool were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Anfield.
In front of the new Kenny Dalglish Stand, Liverpool fought tirelessly for the victory, registering 18 shots to United's six, but a dogged defensive display, coupled with the brilliance of David de Gea kept the hosts at bay.
It means Liverpool, who have not tasted victory over their fierce rivals in the Premier League since March 2014, failed to cut the gap on United, who remain seven points clear of Klopp's side after stretching their unbeaten run to eight games.
Having won six and drawn one of their opening seven league games, United were the form side ahead of kick-off but it was Liverpool who posed the greater threat throughout.
Jurgen Klopp made two changes as Roberto Firmino and Emre Can replaced Daniel Sturridge and the injured Sadio Mane. Matteo Darmian was handed a rare start as Jose Mourinho made three changes, which saw Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial drafted into the starting line-up.
United frantically got bodies back on 16 minutes to cut out a Joe Gomez cross after Roberto Firmino had played the right-back through, before a crucial interception from Antonio Valencia dispossessed Philippe Coutinho in the area.
The pressure persisted as Firmino's low cross fell for Mohamed Salah, but the Egyptian swiped at the cross, failing to turn it home from close range.
On a rare venture forward, Nemanja Matic lashed a volley narrowly wide from 20 yards, but Liverpool remained on top as Joel Matip's shot drew a sublime point-blank save from De Gea before Salah fired the rebound wide.
It took United until the 44th minute to register their first, and only, attempt on target as Simon Mignolet, a virtual bystander beforehand, parried Romelu Lukaku's effort away, before the half ended with controversy as Dejan Lovren gestured Lukaku had kicked him in the face.
Liverpool continued in the same manner after the break as Emre Can fired a gilt-edged chance over the bar after being picked out by Gomez's inch-perfect cross, before Salah was just too short to get on the end of Coutinho's ball to the back post on 71 minutes.
Klopp brought on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge in a bid to snatch a winner but it proved fruitless as United clung on, with late headers for Lovren and Dominic Solanke missing as both teams failed to register a shot on target in the second period.
Liverpool: Mignolet (7), Gomez (8), Matip (7), Lovren (7), Moreno (7), Can (7), Wijnaldum (7), Henderson (6), Coutinho (7), Salah (6), Firmino (8).
Subs: Sturridge (5), Oxlade-Chamberlain (5), Solanke (5).
Man Utd: De Gea (8), Young (8), Jones (7), Smalling (7), Valencia (7), Darmian (6), Herrera (6), Matic (7), Mkhitaryan (5), Martial (6), Lukaku (6).
Subs: Lindelof (n/a), Lingard (5), Rashford (5).
Man of the match: Joe Gomez
- Jose Mourinho has won only one of his eight matches as a manager against Jurgen Klopp in all competitions (W1 D4 L3).
- Since Jose Mourinho took charge of Manchester United ahead of 2016-17; these two clubs have won the exact same number of points in the Premier League (89).
- Liverpool and Manchester United have drawn three consecutive league meetings for the first time since 1921.
- Manchester United have equalled their best points tally after the first eight matches of a Premier League season (20 points) also in the 11/12 & 99/00
- Man Utd have kept a clean sheet in nine of their last 10 league games. Indeed, the Red Devils have recorded 18 clean sheets in the Premier League in 2017, the most in the competition.
Jurgen Klopp: "I think the performance was worth three points. We were the better side. I think Man United came here for the point and they got it. We wanted three points and didn't get it. I'm sure if we played like this, you could not do this at Liverpool. Obviously for Man United it is OK. It's quite difficult when a top-class team like Man United has that defensive approach. You're not going to get 20 chances. But we had enough, a big one in the first half, and a penalty I feel, we were unlucky."
Jose Mourinho: "They played 90 minutes with (Emre) Can, (Jordan) Henderson and (Georginio) Wijnaldum and I thought playing at home, seven points behind us, they are going to change. They never did. They changed man-for-man in attack. They kept their three midfield players in the centre of the pitch and I had no chance to answer. I only had two midfield players and had no one else to compensate that. I had no chance to bring the game in another direction so I think it is a positive point for us."
Man of the Match - Joe Gomez
He may have made an indifferent start to the season but Joe Gomez produced an performance at right-back which belied his 20 years of age.
Anthony Martial was United's dangerman alongside Lukaku but he was virtually non-existent in attack, thanks predominantly to Gomez's forays forward. What's more, in a game a few chances, it was Gomes who so nearly made the telling contribution on two occasions.
Liverpool resume their Champions League campaign in Slovenia against Maribor on Tuesday before travelling to Wembley to take on Tottenham, live on Nissan Super Sunday. After heading to Benfica on Wednesday, United look to maintain their unbeaten start to the season at Huddersfield on Saturday.