Manchester United and Liverpool finished nil-nil at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. The draw sent the Reds back to the top of the Premier League table. Jurgen Klopp’s team is now one point above rivals Manchester City.
With the Reds now top of the table once more, here are 3 things we learned from their Old Trafford Draw.
A draw a good result
Liverpool’s draw wasn’t as bad a result as many pundits made out after the game. Sure, Manchester United saw three key players leave the match due to injury, but they aren’t the same Red Devils Liverpool beat in mid-December.
In comparison, a draw against a team outside the top six would have been a terrible result. Liverpool play Watford at Anfield in midweek. A draw in that fixture and panic can be warranted.
Liverpool are technically in the title driver’s seat. Although it doesn’t feel that way. The Reds still have a tough run of games to come. Everton, Tottenham, and Chelsea are all still on the fixture list.
Liverpool’s title challenge could be damaged far more by poor results in those games.
Liverpool front three absent at Old Trafford
Roberto Firmino was a big miss, but Mo Salah was anonymous after the opening 15 minutes of Sunday’s game. The Egyptian has gone missing of late in big games.
His two-goal performance against Crystal Palace in mid-January was his most recent “big game” outing. Firmino’s absence obviously took Salah off his game.
Salah only seemed to be in the match when balls were played over the top for him to run onto. Something that didn’t occur in the second half.
What could be devasting is Firmino’s loss. The striker left Old Trafford on crutches and tests will be conducted to see just how serious the Brazilian’s ankle injury is.
He isn’t expected to play on Wednesday against Watford.
Sadio Mane was just as anonymous as Salah. Give Manchester United credit for taking the wingers out of the game.
Surprisingly, Liverpool didn’t target the Red Devils’ full-backs more as Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku were not the most eager to trackback when deployed on the wings.
Jordan Henderson had a right to be angry
Klopp went with a more attacking player late in the game when he introduced Xherdan Shaqiri for Jordan Henderson. But Liverpool were playing well and Henderson was arguably the best player on the pitch for either side.
This may be Henderson’s best season in a Liverpool shirt. Although the goal and assist stats haven’t been there, the addition of Fabinho has pushed the Englishman to improve his defensive work.
Sunday’s midfielder three of Henderson, Fabinho, and Georginio Wijnaldum were stellar.
According to report post-game, Klopp had confronted Henderson after he had ignored the manager on the touchline. The manager apparently said, “you didn’t shake my hand”.
The duo then shook hands as Henderson tried to find out why he had been replaced. Klopp shooed the midfielder away, however.
The exchange was a moment of heat in a big game with the two expressing their frustrations. It showed to men who wanted desperately to win.