MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Feb 24 – Liverpool edged a point ahead of Manchester City in the Premier League title race, but may yet still rue a missed opportunity after a 0-0 draw with a depleted Manchester United on Sunday.
Despite losing three players to injury before half-time, United still enjoyed the better chances as they maintained Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s unbeaten league run since taking caretaker charge.
A point, however, is not enough to keep United in the top four as Arsenal’s victory over Southampton dropped the Red Devils down to fifth.
Here, AFP Sports looks at three things we learned from Old Trafford:
The only minor criticsm to come Solkjaer’s way so far as caretaker boss was his inability to react when Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial hobbled off injured in the first half of a 2-0 Champions League last 16, first leg defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Norwegian had even more of an injury nightmare to cope with before the break as Lingard again limped off after Ander Herrera and Juan Mata had both succumbed to injuries.
Marcus Rashford was also left hobbled by an early challenge from Jordan Henderson, while Nemanja Matic was ruled out ahead of kick-off.
This time Solskjaer reorganised United’s walking wounded sufficiently to still blunt a Liverpool attack lacking imagination and also hit by a first half injury to Roberto Firmino.
Alisson upstages de Gea
Fixtures between England’s two most historically successful sides have been littered in recent seasons with stunning saves from David de Gea to leave Liverpool frustrated.
This time it was at the other end where Alisson again showed why the Premier League leaders splashed a then world record fee for a goalkeeper on the Brazilian in July.
Alisson raced off his line to brilliantly save at Lingard’s feet with by a distance the best chance of the game just before the break.
Liverpool slump sets in
A point away at the in-form team in the Premier League and where Liverpool have not won since 2014 is not a bad result in the grand scheme of things, but this will feel like a missed opportunity for Jurgen Klopp’s men given United’s injury woes.
Liverpool have now won just one of their last five games since having the chance to open up a seven-point lead at the top of the table less than a month ago.
That lead is now a solitary point as draw with Leicester and West Ham let City back in the race, while a 0-0 stalemate at home to Bayern Munich in midweek also leaves Liverpool a huge task to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Form has deserted too many of Klopp’s key players at the wrong time, none more so than Mohamed Salah, who was hauled off by his disgruntled manager despite Liverpool needing a goal 11 minutes from time.