In one of the most anticipated league games of the season, Liverpool hosted Manchester United at Anfield in the north-west derby on Monday in a match that failed to live up to the hype. The dour 0-0 draw was an anticlimax after a thrilling weekend, which saw Chelsea beat Leicester City 3-0 at home and Everton take a point from leader Manchester City – a result that showed Pep Guardiola what life in the Premier League is really about.
Josè Mourinho would be more content with United’s point than Liverpool as his team was largely dominated by their Merseyside opponent. Stats showed that they only enjoyed 35 percent possession, United’s lowest possession since Opta began compiling statistics in 2003.
Nevertheless, Liverpool failed to turn their dominance into clear chances, hitting the target only twice across the full 90 minutes. With Emre Can and Jordan Henderson both featuring in defensive midfielder positions for the first time this season, it was no wonder Mourinho claimed Liverpool was very “cautious” and kept a “defensive mind.”
Clearly Jürgen Klopp wasn’t happy with his team’s performance either, stating “The best news tonight is we have one point more and a clean sheet, nothing else.” Nevertheless, considering that most of Liverpool’s key players such as Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho were all on international duty the previous week – only returning to Merseyside a few days before the game – it wasn’t too bad after all. A game against Manchester United is always very tough because of the tension between the two clubs.