Liverpool 0 - 0 United
Valencia Bailly Smalling Blind
Rashford(Rooney) Pogba Young(Shaw)
After all the hype that was a bit disappointing, wasn't it? I must admit, I feared Liverpool today. I've seen them play a couple of times this season in hope of seeing them slip, but slip they did not and instead they managed to run the opposition off the park and win their games. I fully understood Mourinho's decision to play the formation he did. Fellaini was needed today and, in the absence of Martial, Young's inclusion, although not expected, was understandable. We were anything but ambitious but we simply had to be cautious today to contain a flying Liverpool side.
I thought the tactical discipline we showed today was excellent. Liverpool couldn't keep up with our pressing during the first half as our players won all 50/50s. Herrera was absolutely brilliant and deserved winning the Man of the Match award. Both Rashford and Young marked Liverpool's fullbacks well but they offered little, if anything, up front. Ironically, Rashford's work to mark Milner was made visible when Roo replaced him. In the space of 5 minutes Milner managed to run away from our captain twice and Liverpool almost scored on the second occasion. Anyway, Rashford shouldn't be playing on the right if we want him to be effective when attacking.
Pogba worked tirelessly and managed to deliver a beautifully executed cross (but that was just about it!) that should have been finished by a very frustrating Ibrahimovic. In such games, when defending is prioritised, it is difficult to break the opposition with a 35 year old striker who badly lacks speed. Teams using such tactics win such games by counter attacking. We missed the injured Anthony Martial today and I was quite surprised not to see Lingard feature at a point or another. Both offer speed in abundance, although the latter lacks some brains as well sometimes. However, Jose's plan was to defend so the non-involvement of Lingard shouldn't have really surprised me.
Despite the stats (Liverpool's possession was 65% I believe), I wasn't impressed by Livepool. They were out of the game for 60 minutes and only managed to work a chance in our box when Emre Can bulldozed his way past our defenders. No team deserved to lose but both could have scored the winner. Liverpool would have won the game if it wasn't for two great saves by De Gea but United could have won the game if Ibrahimovic hit the target when he headed Pogba's cross.
Our back four were excellent.
A good point gained at Anfield but I'm a bit disappointed we didn't try harder to win the game. This was not a Manchester United performance but it was most definitely a performance of a team led by Jose Mourinho. More big games coming up next, we must build on today.