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Liverpool and Manchester United in goalless draw

Manchester United keeper David de Gea saves a shot from Philippe Coutinho

Manchester United keeper David de Gea saves a shot from Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool and Manchester United played out a goalless and uneventful stalemate on a disappointing night at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool would have drawn level on points with leaders Manchester City with a fifth successive Premier League victory, but were subdued by a classic Jose Mourinho performance of defensive organisation and discipline.

United did not allow Liverpool to build the momentum and intensity that has characterised their game this season, while Mourinho’s limited attacking ambitions ensured chances were at a premium.

The Portuguese was still grateful for two fine second-half saves from goalkeeper David de Gea, who dived low to stop Emre Can and saved athletically from Philippe Coutinho’s 25-yard effort.

United’s best chance also came in the second half, but the unmarked Zlatan Ibrahimovic directed Paul Pogba’s cross off target.

Relive Liverpool v Manchester United

Mourinho turns tables on Liverpool

While this deadlock does little for the ambitions of both teams, there is no doubt who will be the happier manager.

This was, in so many respects, the most Mourinho performance of his short time at United.

Klopp came on to the pitch at the final whistle to applaud Liverpool’s fans, but there was a tinge of disappointment in his measured tread as he trudged off.

His side’s promising start to the season has been built on pressing opponents into submission, a high-pressure style that has brought victories at Arsenal and Chelsea as well as nine goals in two home wins against Leicester City and Hull City.

But Mourinho picked a powerful, athletic side and instructed them to turn the tables on Liverpool’s pressing game.

Ander Herrera was at the heart of United’s smothering gameplan, almost operating in the pockets of Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in midfield while Liverpool were never given a second.

Liverpool simply could not find a way through.

United held their shape and discipline, much to their manager’s satisfaction, although he still needed those two superb saves from De Gea. and a magnificent saving tackle from Antonio Valencia to stop Firmino as he raced in on goal.

It was a classic Mourinho, a tactic he has perfected and utilised throughout his career, and Anfield’s increasing anger and frustration will have been music to his ears.

Peripheral Pogba

This match should have been the perfect stage for the £89m Pogba – but once again he was a peripheral figure.

Pogba, the world’s most expensive player, was used in a more advanced role and is certainly on the same wavelength as Ibrahimovic, delivering a perfect cross which the Swede should have converted.

In other aspects, though, he operated on the margins of the game and failed to exert the influence that is expected of a player of his quality and experience.

United will expect much more as the season goes on.

Referee Taylor keeps control

Anthony Taylor was the man in the middle in every sense after the heat generated by the appointment of the Manchester-based official for a meeting between these two fierce rivals.

Mourinho said the appointment made it “difficult” for Taylor, and put him under pressure – comments being investigated by the Football Association – while former referee Keith Hackett even suggested it represented a risk to his and his family’s safety.

It certainly increased the scrutiny on Taylor, who felt the wrath of The Kop within minutes – complete with colourful reminders about his place of residence – when he did not book Marcus Rashford for a foul on James Milner.

It was to Taylor’s credit that he failed to buckle in the atmosphere, kept discipline without resorting to a rash of yellow cards and controlled a game that always has explosive potential.

More to follow.

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 0, Manchester United 0.

Second Half ends, Liverpool 0, Manchester United 0.

Substitution, Manchester United. Luke Shaw replaces Ashley Young.

Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Adam Lallana (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United).

Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

Paul Pogba (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Emre Can (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United).

Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United).

Substitution, Liverpool. Alberto Moreno replaces James Milner.

Substitution, Liverpool. Divock Origi replaces Roberto Firmino.

Attempt blocked. Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Milner with a cross.

Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Paul Pogba (Manchester United).

Attempt missed. Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Daley Blind with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Emre Can.

Attempt missed. Emre Can (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt blocked. Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

Substitution, Manchester United. Wayne Rooney replaces Marcus Rashford.

Offside, Manchester United. Marouane Fellaini tries a through ball, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is caught offside.

Offside, Liverpool. Adam Lallana tries a through ball, but Roberto Firmino is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match James Milner (Liverpool) because of an injury.

Delay in match Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) because of an injury.

Foul by Joel Matip (Liverpool).

Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by David de Gea.

Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Emre Can.

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daley Blind (Manchester United).

Foul by Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37604054