Liverpool frustrated as Manchester United show spirit in defiant draw



Liverpool missed a chance to return to the top of the Premier League as troubled Manchester United finally showed some fighting spirit in a scrappy 0-0 draw on Sunday. United had Diogo Dalot sent off for dissent in the dying seconds of stoppage time at Anfield, but Liverpool had long since run out of ideas in the face of the visitors’ defiant display. After starting the weekend in first place, Liverpool started in third place following wins at Arsenal and Aston Villa earlier on Sunday. Jurgen Klopp’s side dominated a fierce clash against their hated rivals but lacked the edge required to extend their league winning run to four games. Liverpool are in second place, a point behind leaders Arsenal ahead of their summit clash with the Gunners at Anfield on Saturday.

While Liverpool were frustrated after failing to win at home for the first time in 12 games in all competitions, the result for United was a step in the right direction after another dismal week.

Ravaged by injuries and missing suspended captain Bruno Fernandes, United showed the kind of tenacity that has been lacking in much of a turbulent campaign.

Last weekend’s humbling at home by Bournemouth was followed by a 1-0 defeat at Bayern Munich on Tuesday that condemned United to a meek Champions League group stage exit.

Erik ten Hag’s side were back at Anfield for the first time since they were hammered there 7-0 in March, an abysmal surrender that was among the most humiliating defeats in the club’s history.

They remain winless at Anfield since 2016, but after so many chastening visits over the past seven years, the underdogs left the Ten Hag grateful for small mercies as United avoid further embarrassment.

In keeping with the toxic nature of English football’s most bitter rivalry, Liverpool were forced to “utterly condemn” the fans who bombarded United’s team bus with missiles before the game, leading to a window being smashed by a glass bottle.

The ugly scene was followed by a scrappy game that just as briefly had appealing qualities.

Liverpool have dominated United in recent years, but a combination of sloppy passing and dogged defending halted their progress.

Without a goal in his last nine games, Darwin Nunez could not convert Mohamed Salah‘s lobbed cross as he stretched in vain at the far post.

Salah has enjoyed tormenting United in the past and he almost scored another goal at their expense when his close-range effort was denied. Other Onana failed to hold Nunez’s head kick.

Liverpool’s territorial dominance produced eight corners in the opening 30 minutes, with Virgil van Dijk almost turning one in for the opener when his header was pushed over by Onana.

Ibrahima Konate headed wide from another Liverpool corner but, despite the Reds’ sustained pressure, United were organized enough to keep Klopp’s men at bay.

A frustrating half for Liverpool ended fittingly when Salah’s strike from a good position inside the box was comfortably saved by Onana.

It was a similar pattern after the break as Liverpool controlled possession and United stubbornly refused to break.

Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s low drive rattled the side netting before Onana saved Salah’s curler.

Klopp moved Alexander-Arnold into midfield and the right-back went close with a first-time shot that flashed inches wide of the edge of the area.

The United striker Rasmus Hojlund was anonymous for long periods, and when he finally got a sight of the goal, the Dane shot just at Alison Becker following Scott McTominay’s pass gave him a brilliant opportunity to break the deadlock.

Onana made a good stop to deny Salah after the Egyptian advanced menacingly, while Luis DiazDalot’s bet was rejected by Dalot.

Dalot’s positive contribution was followed by an unnecessary one when he received a second yellow card for berating referee Michael Oliver while contesting a throw-in.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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