Home Football Manchester United Came, Defended And Got A Point, But How Did Liverpool Perform?

Manchester United Came, Defended And Got A Point, But How Did Liverpool Perform?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on October 17, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

There have been some memorable clashes between North West rivals Manchester United and Liverpool over the past 120 years or so. Monday night’s game certainly wasn’t one. José Mourinho did what his sides so regularly do at Anfield: park the bus, stifle the opposition and try to catch them on a counterattack. And, at least partially, it worked.

From a Liverpool perspective the disappointment that their winning run was halted will be tempered by the fact momentum has not completely ceased. Given the way United set themselves up, there was very little chance for them to look good, and few of their individual players did either.

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Loris Karius: So you thought Simon Mignolet was bad? Distribution isn’t great, crosses are a problem and we’re not sure how good he is on shot stopping either as there were no shots for him to save. You could argue he is young and has only been recently bought, so they must persist in showing faith with him. He’d want to improve fairly quickly though. 5

Nathaniel Clyne: Wasn’t really tested defensively as the United attacking threat was minimal. Didn’t really do much offensively either and made some mistakes in possession. Possibly the injury that kept him out of the England side for the previous two games hampered him, as this was certainly not Clyne at his best. 6

Joel Matip: A pipe and slippers night for the Cameroonian, as bar one chance for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he could have played the game with his eyes closed. Played a fantastic ball to Emre Can for a chance in the second half that deserves credit. 7

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17:  Joel Matip of Liverpool is challenged by Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on October 17, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Dejan Lovren: In the pipe and slippers camp with Matip. Perhaps not as assured stepping out of defence as he should be, but could hardly be faulted too much as the opposition made sure space was at a premium. 6

James Milner: If nothing else you’d have to admire his resilience. Flattened any amount of times by Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera but still managed to soldier on. Can only assume he was carrying a knock as it would hard to justify bringing on the car crash that is Alberto Moreno with the game in the balance in the closing minutes otherwise. 7

Jordan Henderson: As sitting midfielders go, he can be a bit more Glenn Whelan than Xabi Alonso. Covered the ground, didn’t get exposed, but when Liverpool needed a man to spot a pass in the second half, he wasn’t it. Too often went backwards and sideways when the team had to push forward. 6

Emre Can: Looked understandably rusty in the first half considering the lack of minutes played. Improved in the second half although he may feel he should have scored. Against an inferior keeper than David de Gea, he probably would have. 6

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool reacts with Jordan Henderson during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on October 17, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Phillipe Coutinho: The one bright spark in an otherwise average Liverpool display. Could have had a goal of the season contender were it not for the excellence of De Gea. Had another sumptuous flick to play Roberto Firmino in but the finish was not applied. Still Liverpool’s greatest creative spark. 7

Roberto Firmino: Will be disappointed not to have finished some of his side’s best chances. Should have headed across goal to Daniel Sturridge in the first half rather than meekly at De Gea. Was through one on one in the second half but was caught by the speed of Antonio Valencia. Too often he tries little flicks that don’t come off. Needs to be more assertive in the final third. 6

Sadio Mane: Physically, Sadio Mane is an impressive specimen. Technically, when confined to the tight spaces, he is not so effective. United’s game was all about defending deep and closing down space so, in effect, Mane’s strengths were neutralised. Could probably have been subbed, but then there were other contenders for that. 6

Daniel Sturridge: Considering the Fort Knox set up they were up against, Liverpool needed a full throttle Daniel Sturridge in this game. They didn’t get it. As a player he prides himself on his first touch, but it let him down on too many occasions. Could justifiably say things didn’t improve dramatically in his absence, but still a fair way from his 2013-14 best. 5

SUBSTITUTES

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Ander Herrera of Manchester United takes on Adam Lallana of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on October 17, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Adam Lallana: So often sets the tempo for the side with his pressing. His introduction coincided with a slight upturn in Liverpool’s fortunes, but it wasn’t necessarily down to his doing. Looked a bit out of sorts after two weeks of little training. Needs to be firing again next week. 6

Divock Origi: On a good day, can look like a peak Didier Drogba. On a bad one, can look like an old Emile Heskey. Only ten minutes played, but this was closer to Heskey than Drogba. 5

Alberto Moreno: Played for ten minutes (with a ridiculous blonde hairstyle) and the team didn’t concede. Given the trajectory of his Liverpool career, that would have to be considered a success. 6

Mark Townsend, Pundit Arena

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