Manchester United played for a draw after an exciting first 20 minutes against Liverpool, and they achieved exactly what they wanted, earning a 0-0 draw at Anfield. Despite having only 35% of the ball, United had equal opportunities to the opposition, and that’s the major takeaway from this match- we’ve learned over the last three years that holding possession and doing nothing with it provides no relevance in football anymore, besides simply shortening the match. We can thank Liverpool for denying us from about 55 minutes of action the way Louis van Gaal used to do last year, effectively giving either side around 17 minutes to score in the match.
The match was capped off by a world class performance from Ander Herrera, who completely shut Liverpool out defensively, and some incredible saves from David de Gea. United was clearly meant to attack with Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Marcus Rashford, all of whom underwhelmed throughout the match as United missed the ball retention and interplay of Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard. Ibrahimovic and Pogba, the major duo, underwhelmed throughout the match, and United didn’t really get stretched out until the very end.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind; Fellaini, Herrera, Pogba; Young (Shaw 90+2′), Ibrahimovic, Rashford (Rooney 77′)
Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Rojo, Mata, Lingard, Carrick;
Bookings: Eric Bailly 44′, Ashley Young 45+1′, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 90′, Marouane Fellaini 90+1