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Liverpool vs Bayern Munich. UEFA Champions League First Knockout Round.


Liverpool 0-0 Bayern Munich: Jurgen Klopp fails to get one over on former foe

Mohamed Salah attempts to control the ball for Liverpool against Bayern Munich
Image: Mohamed Salah attempts to control the ball for Liverpool against Bayern Munich

Jurgen Klopp failed to get one over on former foe Bayern Munich as Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie at Anfield.

Liverpool, whose makeshift defence looked shaky early on, spurned a host of chances in the first half to break the deadlock, with Sadio Mane the biggest culprit, unable to find the target from two efforts in quick succession.

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After the break, Liverpool retreated into their half much more. Bayern created openings of their own, with former Arsenal player Serge Gnabry firing their best effort over just before the hour mark.

The match, in truth, petered out, with Liverpool perhaps with one eye on the Super Sunday clash with Manchester United, live on Sky Sports. However, Liverpool held on to that vital clean sheet ahead of the return leg in Munich in three weeks' time, as Klopp failed to gain some form of revenge for his Borussia Dortmund side's 2013 Champions League final defeat at the hands of Bayern.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Alisson (6), Robertson (6), Matip (5), Alexander-Arnold (6) Henderson (7), Wijnaldum (5), Keita (6), Fabinho (7), Salah (6), Mane (6), Firmino (5).

Subs: Milner (6), Origi (6).

Bayern Munich: Neuer (6), Kimmich (6), Sule (6), Hummels (6), Alaba (6), Thiago (5), Martinez (5), Rodriguez (5), Gnabry (6), Coman (6), Lewandowski (4).

Subs: Ribery (6), Rafinha (N/A), Sanches (N/A).

Man of the match: Jordan Henderson

Liverpool started well, with Mohamed Salah picked out by a perfect lofted pass from Jordan Henderson, but the team's top goalscorer failed to really test Manuel Neuer in the away goal.

Then Liverpool got out of jail after Gnabry skipped past his man all too easily before firing a low cross into the middle, Joel Matip tried to clear, but instead diverted the ball towards his own goal, only for Alisson to block.

Liverpool continued to look shaky with Kinglsey Coman then hammering the ball into the side netting after Alisson had put Matip in trouble with a poor pass. Bayern then failed to clear their lines themselves, with Trent Alexander-Arnold crossing for Salah, who could only head wide at the back post.

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Team news

Jurgen Klopp made two changes from the side that beat Bournemouth 3-0 10 days ago. James Milner dropped to the bench with Virgil van Dijk also sidelined due to suspension.. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson came into the side, with Fabinho dropping in to partner Joel Matip in defence, as was expected before the game. Just the one change for Bayern after their 3-2 win against Augsburg on Friday, as Leon Goretzka is replaces Javi Martinez.

The chance of the half fell to Sadio Mane in the 32nd minute after Niklas Sule had charged down Naby Keita's strike, but Mane could only scuff wide with the goal at his mercy, before then acrobatically firing wide from another good position.

The pace of the game slowed somewhat after the break, with chances less plentiful. Gnabry actually had the first meaningful strike of the half just before the hour mark, but his effort drifted over the top.

Klopp switched it up and introduced James Milner and Divock Origi but it was Mane who had their last chance to snatch all three points, with his header saved smartly by Neuer late on.

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  • Each of Bayern Munich's last three visits to Anfield in European competition have now finished 0-0; it is only the second time Liverpool have played out three straight goalless draws in all competitions with an opponent at Anfield after Tottenham Hotspur between October 1969 and December 1971 (four straight 0-0s).
  • This was Jurgen Klopp's 30th managerial meeting with Bayern Munich in all competitions - more than any other opponent in his career - but the first to finish 0-0.
  • Liverpool extended their unbeaten home run in all European competitions to 20 games (W14 D6); this was their 11th clean sheet in those 20 matches.
  • Bayern Munich are now unbeaten in nine straight away games in the Champions League (W6 D3), the longest ongoing such run in the competition.
  • Liverpool have played out a goalless draw in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie for only the second time, and the first since the 2004-05 semi-final against Chelsea.
  • Bayern are one of just three sides to still remain unbeaten in the 2018-19 Champions League (P7 W4 D3 L0) along with Lyon and Barcelona.
  • Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has kept eight clean sheets in his 10 home Champions League appearances since the start of last season (5 for Roma, 3 for Liverpool), at least double the total of any other goalkeeper in the competition in that time.
  • Bayern Munich failed to attempt a single shot on target in a Champions League game for the first time since May 2015 in their semi-final first leg away at Barcelona.
Georginio Wijnaldum (L) vies with Bayern Munich forward Kingsley Coman
Image: Georginio Wijnaldum battles for possession with Bayern Munich forward Kingsley Coman

Man of the match - Jordan Henderson

The Liverpool skipper covered every blade of grass for the cause, and helped wrestle control from a very talented Bayern midfield. His pass early on for Salah was right out of the top drawer, but it was his ability to win possession - no Liverpool player won the ball back more - and disrupt the Bayern backline that earns him the award.

What's next?

Up next for Liverpool is the mouthwatering clash with United at Old Trafford on Sunday, live on Sky Sports. Bayern welcome Hertha Berlin to Bavaria on Saturday.

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