Manchester United 0-0 Liverpool: Injury-hit hosts hold firm to deny title challenging visitors key win
(Photo Source: Andrew Powell/Getty Images)

Manchester United 0-0 Liverpool: Injury-hit hosts hold firm to deny title challenging visitors key win

Despite having to make three early substitutions due to injury, United held firm to hold on for an important point against their fiercest rivals.

Brandon Sayer
manchester-unitedDe Gea; Young, Shaw, Lindelof, Smalling; McTominay, Pogba, Herrera (Pereira, min. 21); Mata (Lingard, min. 25)(Sanchez, min. 43), Rashford, Lukaku.
liverpool-fcAlisson; Milner, van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson (Shaqiri, min. 72), Wijnaldum; Firmino (Sturridge, min. 31), Mané, Salah (Origi, min. 79).

Ole Gunnar Solskjær's unbeaten run in the Premier League as Manchester United manager continued as his side drew 0-0 with Liverpool on Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford.

A draw can never really be seen as a good result for United but given the circumstances of losing three players to injury in the first half, a draw was a very good result in the end.

The visitors will be really disappointed with the outcome given how depleted United were but the draw means that they are still top, even though their lead now is down to one point.

Story of the game

The big team news before the game revealed that Nemanja Matic was out injured for the hosts, with Scott McTominay coming into the starting eleven to replace him.

For the visitors, Virgil Van Djik was back after suspension in midweek, while James Milner started at right back over Trent Alexander-Arnold.

In terms of the game itself, it started at a very high tempo with the hosts letting the visitors have all of the possession with the hosts looking to play on the counter attack.

The high tempo start to the game, though, came at a cost for both managers as they were forced into making changes due to injuries.

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United lost Ander Herrera and Juan Mata, while the visitors lost Roberto Firmino in the space of a ten minute spell.

Therefore, the disruptions led to the game becoming stop-start which is not what both sides would have wanted.

It got even worse for United as Jesse Lingard, who came on for the stricken Mata earlier in the half, had to leave the pitch with a muscle injury of his own.

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The injury came after United sprung a brilliant counter attack which saw Lingard played in on goal but Alisson Becker denied him impressively.

After a prolonged period of stoppage time, the first half ended goalless with both sides struggling due to the amount of disruptions.

The second half started the same as the first with a real high tempo but this time United showed more attacking intent and started to pile numbers forward in search for a goal.

The home crowd responded really well to this effort as they upped the atmosphere in the stadium recognising that the team needed help given how depleted they were due to injuries they have suffered in the game.

The remainder of the second half saw the visitors push forward for the winning goal but the United defence defended really well all game and didn't give them a sniff in front of goal.

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This almost allowed United to nick the win in the last minute of the game when a great cross into the box from Romelu Lukaku was just out the reach from Chris Smalling, who would have had a simple tap in to win the game for United.

It wasn't to be though but in the end a draw was a good result for the hosts given how good Liverpool have been all season and the fact that they couldn't make any substitutions in the second half to change the game.

Three takeaways from the game

Solskjær has transformed United's defence

Before Solskjær became United manager in December, they were conceding far too many goals. Now, though, they are a totally different outfit at the back which now means they have a much more stable base to attack much more in games. They barely gave a strong Liverpool side a chance in the game.

Injuries will cause Solskjær problems

Injuries to key players in the United squad are starting to add up. With the tough fixture schedule coming up and with players such as Herrera and Matic missing, United will be weaker but it also gives other players a chance to state their case in the first team.

Liverpool need more creativity

For a team that is challenging for the title they looked pretty toothless against United. The front three that Liverpool have are that good but when they don't play well it is hard to see were the creativity is coming from in the Liverpool team. This is something that Jurgen Klopp needs to address going forward if they are to win the title.

Man of the match

Luke Shaw for me was the best player on the pitch. Mohammed Salah barely had a kick all game which is testament to Shaw who was brilliant all day and really showed how good he can be at left back for United going forward.