Gary Neville's verdict on Liverpool and Man Utd's goalless draw
Last Updated: 15/10/17 1:53pm
Gary Neville felt both Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho were overly cautious in Liverpool and Manchester United's 0-0 draw at Anfield.
Liverpool dominated possession and went closest to breaking the deadlock when Joel Matip's close-range effort was brilliantly saved by David de Gea, but the game ended in stalemate.
LISTEN: Gary Neville Podcast
Gary Neville and Martin Tyler discuss the big talking points from Manchester United's goalless drew with Liverpool.
Neville admitted there were parallels with the same fixture last year - another goalless draw in which Mourinho used defensive tactics - particularly in the second half.
"In the first half I thought that United, to be fair, were definitely different to a year ago, there was more intent," the Sky Sports pundit told Martin Tyler on the Gary Neville Podcast.
"The second half drifted back towards a year ago, I have to say, where Liverpool were the only team pressing. United's intent and quality in the second half were nowhere near good enough. They started to resign themselves to a draw.
"[Anthony] Martial, [Marcus] Rashford, [Romelu] Lukaku and [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan were all on the pitch at various points. I expected more confidence and authority from them on the counter-attack."
But Neville was disappointed by Liverpool too. "I'm sure the headline out of this game will be that Jose has parked the bus," he said. "Liverpool put in a good performance but Jurgen Klopp could have turned it up in the second half if he had wanted to.
"He could have taken off [Emre] Can, [Jordan] Henderson or [Georginio] Wijnaldum and brought [Philippe] Coutinho back into the midfield three and made it a more attacking team and taken more chances.
"He dared not lose. They were trying to attack and be positive but they were still measured in their positivity. There wasn't that what I would call Liverpool gung ho, that wasn't Liverpool today.
"They didn't want to leave the counter-attack open. They were making sure United didn't cut through them.
"So whilst Liverpool were the better team in terms of performance, it wasn't with reckless abandon that we have sometimes seen from Jurgen Klopp because he's not in a situation at the moment where he can afford to lose this game.
"That's what we saw in the second half, when they were pushing but they weren't pushing as hard as we have seen them in the past."
Neville was full of praise for De Gea, whose reflex save from Matip was a rare moment of quality in a largely forgettable encounter.
"Over these last five, six, seven, eight years there have been debates about who's the best goalkeeper in the world," he said. "De Gea has certainly been growing and maturing - he must be getting there now.
"De Gea now, there isn't a weakness to his game. You think of his journey coming to England. He was physically immature. He was unable to deal with any long balls. For a couple of years I was genuinely concerned that he would ever be able to cope with the physicality. But he's grown.
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"The save today and the save at Stoke a few weeks ago are world class. I don't think you can win this league without a great goalkeeper. David de Gea is the standout world-class player in Manchester United's team by a street. He's wonderful, he really is."
Neville's man-of-the-match, however, was Liverpool right-back Joe Gomez, who produced an assured performance up against Martial and Rashford.
"Nowadays we talk about whether he is an attacking right-back or a defensive right-back. Actually he looks like he can do both. To me, it was a really good performance. He has handled a very difficult game."
Neville believes Gomez has the potential to rival the injured Nathaniel Clyne for his place for both club and country.
"I think he could be a late charge for a World Cup spot in terms of pushing for that position," he said. "He's mobile, he's quick, he's good on the ball, he's solid. I was really impressed with him."