Liverpool were once again held to a frustrating draw, as Man United came to Anfield to secure a point, and did just that.
It was a familiar story for the Reds, as poor finishing, brilliant goalkeeping and bad refereeing combined to deny Liverpool all three points, despite dominating the game.
Liverpool sprung no surprises with their starting line-up, as Emre Can returned to midfield, freeing up Phil Coutinho to take his place in the front three alongside Salah and Firmino, with Sadio Mané injured and Daniel Sturridge returning to the bench. Gomez preferred to Alexander-Arnold at right-back.
It took a while for the game to get going, with Mo Salah and Gini Wijnaldum – Liverpool’s two best players in the first half – unable to take advantage of half-chances as the Reds controlled the opening stages.
When a clear cut chance came, Liverpool were unable to take it. Clever work from Firmino in the left channel saw him find Matip with his cross, only for De Gea to make an unbelievable save, and Salah to fire the rebound wide. It was another moment of sheer frustration from Liverpool.
But the final stages of the first half were all about Romelu Lukaku, who dodged a stonewall yellow card for kicking Joe Gomez, then caught Dejan Lovren in the face when he was on the floor, and in between, he had United’s only chance of the game, failing to beat the onrushing Mignolet. An excellent save from the Belgian to deny his compatriot.
Liverpool started the second half brilliantly, with Coutinho having a brief spell of sheer brilliance in an otherwise quiet game for Liverpool’s Brazilian star.
Their best chance of the second half came early in it, as a wonderful cross from Joe Gomez found Emre Can, who could only fire over. A difficult chance.
And the refereeing once again reared its head as Ander Herrera went in on Coutinho inside the box. The Spaniard was nowhere near the ball, and certainly caught Coutinho.
There was a lack of appeal from Liverpool, and a lack of reaction from Coutinho, but it certainly could have been a penalty.
Sadly, as the game wore on, the Reds ran out of steam, and Klopp’s decision to bring on Sturridge and Oxlade-Chamberlain – replacing Salah and Coutinho – only made things worse. By the time Solanke replaced Firmino, the game had drifted, and it did ultimately drift to a goalless draw.
There are once again reasons to be positive: a clean sheet, outplaying United, playing very well. But once again, this was a game Liverpool should have won against opposition they should have been beating, and this is two more points dropped.
Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Coutinho
Subs used: Sturridge, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Solanke