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Liverpool 0-0 Man Utd: Jurgen Klopp’s perfect Anfield record over as resolute United deny them top spot with draw

Report and highlights as Liverpool dropped their first home points of the Premier League season as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Manchester United at Anfield; Jurgen Klopp’s side are second; United, who had Diogo Dalot sent off late on, are seventh

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United

Liverpool missed the chance to move back to the top of the Premier League as Manchester United held them to a 0-0 draw at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's side pushed throughout in a game they were heavily favoured to win but found United in resolute mood. Erik ten Hag's team might even have won it on the counter-attack had Alisson not saved from Rasmus Hojlund in the second half.

Virgil van Dijk's header in the first half and Luis Diaz's header after the interval were as close as Liverpool came to the breakthrough. Even Diogo Dalot's red card in stoppage time did not help them.

They drop to second in the Premier League table, their perfect home record at an end. United are seventh. Ten Hag heartened.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Alisson (7), Alexander-Arnold (6), Konate (7), Van Dijk (7), Tsimikas (6), Endo (6), Szoboszlai (5), Gravenberch (6), Salah (6), Nunez (5), Diaz (6).

Subs: Gomez (6), Gakpo (6), Elliott (n/a), Jones (n/a).

Man Utd: Onana (7), Dalot (7), Varane (8), Evans (7), Shaw (7), Mainoo (7), Amrabat (5), McTominay (5), Antony (6), Hojlund (5), Garnacho (5).

Subs: Rashford (6), Pellistri (n/a), Mejbri (n/a).

Player of the match: Raphael Varane.

How the game unfolded

It was a noisy Anfield during the early moments, in front of the biggest Liverpool crowd inside the stadium for half a century following the opening of the upper tier of the Anfield Road Stand. Attacking the Kop, there were three corners inside four minutes.

United had to withstand that pressure and did so by cleverly stalling for time over goal-kicks to take the sting out of the game. They were helped by Liverpool being surprisingly loose in the final third, Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai overhitting passes.

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Andre Onana pushes away Virgil van Dijk's powerful header to keep it level

There were still opportunities. Van Dijk forced a good save from Andre Onana when he connected with Trent Alexander-Arnold's right-wing corner. Ibrahima Konate might have done better with a similar chance but United managed to make it to the break.

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Team news

  • Liverpool made one change to the team that beat Crystal Palace with Ibrahima Konate coming in for Jarell Quansah.
  • Erik ten Hag changed four of the team that lost to Bournemouth with Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans, Kobbie Mainoo and Rasmus Hojlund coming in.

The pattern continued after the interval but there was a moment for United when Kobbie Mainoo's cleverly disguised pass almost found Alejandro Garnacho free in the left channel but Alexander-Arnold did just enough to put the winger off as he was ready to shoot.

Klopp changed things in the hope of finding the breakthrough, moving Alexander-Arnold into midfield and throwing on Cody Gakpo. It almost brought an instant reward when Salah set up the England man, his shot wrongfooting Onana but going just wide.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold fires a low effort just wide as Liverpool pushed

The changes opened the game up, Salah picking up much more dangerous positions. But there was another warning for Liverpool when Hojlund, so starved of the ball throughout, found space inside the box but saw his shot saved by Alisson.

Smart play by Salah almost led to Diaz beating Onana but the goalkeeper was off his line to smother and then Konate turned well inside the box from the resulting corner but shot straight at the Manchester United man. Liverpool kept pushing.

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Andre Onana got out to deny Luis Diaz the breakthrough goal for Liverpool

There was a handball shout against Luke Shaw and a Joe Gomez shot that struck the side-netting. Gakpo headed over and there was even the drama of Dalot's red card for two quick-fire acts of dissent, but Liverpool's perfect home record is no more.

It was just a point for Ten Hag. But it was a precious one in the context of their European exit in midweek and the pressure that had been building. His team showed some spirit and it was the away support doing the singing as the crowds trudged away from Anfield.

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A frustrated Diogo Dalot is shown a second yellow card late on

Klopp calls for calmer decisions

Klopp said afterwards that the intensity of his Liverpool team was "outstanding" and claimed that the counter-pressing was as good as it has been but suggested that it was the lack of calmness in picking the right options after winning it back that was the problem.

"The decisiveness was not there today, not calm enough, too much of a rush," he said. "When it is that intense, to make the right, calm decisions in the moment is another step."

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Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool dominated more than in the 7-0 last season

He added: "A goal would have changed everything. They were here not to lose. We tried everything, changed system, brought fresh players. Everything could have worked out if we had just made one right decision. Trent's chance was the best, it goes the wrong side of the post.

"My feeling was he had to use overlap more because United defended with a lot of passion. The way we played disorganised them a lot but we did not see that. They just threw themselves at the ball. That means there is always a free player. We did not see that. That is why we drew the game."


Ten Hag proud of United team

"I told you," said Ten Hag afterwards when asked whether this showed his team were still fighting for him and Manchester United. The Dutchman even made the point that his side had the clearer chances despite Liverpool's dominance of possession at Anfield.

"We should have taken more with the ball where we are capable of hurting the opponent more but you have to conclude we had the best chances in open play with Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund."

There was praise for teenager Kobbie Mainoo in midfield. "When you are good enough you are old enough. He proves that. We can get more joy from it. With his scanning and speed of action, he can see passes. He is a player who can really hurt opponents."

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Erik ten Hag hailed his players for their performance in the 0-0 draw at Liverpool

Raphael Varane also impressed. "Absolutely but we know what he is capable of, he has many such performances and he did very well, as did the whole team. The partnership with Jonny Evans. I think also Andre Onana played a big part but I can mention all the players."

Van Dijk had suggested that Liverpool were the only team trying to win the game. When that was put to Ten Hag, he replied: "That is his opinion." The United boss sees it differently. "I said in the dressing room, I am very proud of the team. We should do this more often."

The key stats

  • Four of the last eight Premier League games between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield have ended goalless.
  • Liverpool attempted 34 shots in this goalless draw - their most in a Premier League game on record in which they failed to score (since 2003-04). Overall, it was the most shots by a team without scoring in a match in the competition since Man Utd's 38 against Burnley in 2016.
  • Goalkeeper Andre Onana completed the most passes of any Manchester United player in this game (30), while his eight saves were the most by a Man Utd goalkeeper in a Premier League match against Liverpool since David de Gea in December 2014 (8).

What's next?

Liverpool play West Ham in a Carabao Cup quarter-final on Wednesday, 8pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports.

Manchester United also play West Ham next in the Premier League, on Saturday 23 December, 12.30pm kick-off.

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