Anfield held harrowing latest reminiscences for Manchester United however Erik ten Hag’s aspect returned to the scene of final season’s crime to blunt Liverpool with an surprising present of defiance. Jürgen Klopp disliked the pre-match speak of one other Liverpool landslide; he can have preferred the eventual end result even much less.
Liverpool’s run of 11 straight house wins this season was halted by a resolute United efficiency in entrance of Anfield’s greatest crowd for over half a century. The additional 7,000 seats within the higher tier of the brand new Anfield Highway stand merely elevated the frustration among the many house crowd as Klopp’s aspect squandered the prospect to return to the Premier League summit. Diogo Dalot was dismissed within the 94th minute for 2 silly reveals of dissent in fast succession however Liverpool lacked the composure or time to inflict contemporary torment on their nice rivals.
The 212th assembly between the golf equipment could have prolonged Liverpool’s unbeaten sequence within the fixture to eight matches nevertheless it was Ten Hag, underneath strain and needing a response to exiting the Champions League in midweek, who bought the present of struggle that he desperately required.
The United supervisor was hindered by an harm record that included three central defenders – Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martínez and Victor Lindelöf – whereas Bruno Fernandes’ suspension and the ailing Anthony Martial diminished his choices additional. Even so, the ramshackle nature of United’s beginning line-up and inexperience on their bench bolstered how badly the membership has recruited at huge expense in recent times. The guests might contemplate it an achievement to get to half-time with the sport goalless.
Klopp had vowed Liverpool would “go for them” in an try to prey on any lingering anxieties from final season’s 7-0 humiliation. He wasn’t mendacity. Liverpool gained the primary nook of the sport after 26 seconds. There was a tumultuous roar from the house assist when Ryan Gravenberch pressed Sofyan Amrabat right into a United nook and gained possession moments later. United’s centre-forward, Rasmus Højlund, was serving to Luke Shaw out at left-back lengthy earlier than making his presence felt within the Liverpool half.
There was depth and fixed strain from the house aspect, forcing United into determined defensive actions from the primary whistle, however too many wayward last balls enabled the guests to trip the storm within the first half. André Onana escaped when dropping a Gravenberch header underneath strain to Mohamed Salah, and reacting to show his scrambled shot extensive, however was solely critically examined by Virgil van Dijk’s header from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s nook. The United keeper tipped over from shut vary. Onana’s greatest contribution was to the palpitations among the many away followers every time taking part in out together with his toes.
The dearth of composure in Liverpool’s first half efficiency was encapsulated by the primary reserving of the competition for Darwin Núñez. The Uruguay worldwide raised an arm into the chest of Jonny Evans when pursuing a protracted ball out of defence and was booked for kicking the ball away after the blatant free-kick was awarded. He then sarcastically applauded the assistant referee. The foul on Evans was extra deserving of a yellow card than the offence Núñez was cautioned for.
United had been reliant on the counterattack to harm Liverpool. They could have succeeded with extra high quality, confidence and intelligence of their entrance line, significantly within the second half when the guests had ample alternative to reveal Liverpool’s defence.
Antony was again infuriatingly wasteful on the right, quicker to blame others for his mistakes than to spot the right pass. The largely anonymous Alejandro Garnacho was played through by a delightful ball from Kobbie Mainoo but was unable to hold off Alexander-Arnold as he entered the penalty area. The Liverpool vice-captain intervened with a vital touch. Antony was involved in a flowing United move that ended with Scott McTominay, captain in the absence of Fernandes, releasing Højlund behind Van Dijk. The chance to open his United account when and where it really mattered presented itself to Højlund but Alisson blocked well with his chest. The Liverpool keeper gathered the striker’s scuffed follow-up.
Klopp’s team continued to pose the greater threat, however. Alexander-Arnold placed a shot inches wide from 25 yards with Onana stranded. The Cameroon international produced an assured second half performance, saving confidently from Salah, Ibrahima Konaté and Núñez. United also survived a VAR review for handball against Shaw after Kostas Tsimikas’s cross bounced up onto the defender’s arm off his thigh. Dalot made a superb intervention to prevent Luis Díaz sweeping home from close range but blotted his evening when getting sent off for two shows of dissent in stoppage time.