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Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United: 5 talking points | Premier League 2020-21 

Liverpool vs Manchester United - Premier League
Liverpool vs Manchester United - Premier League
Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 18 Jan 2021
Top 5 / Top 10
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Liverpool and Manchester United played out a goalless draw in the 2020-21 Premier League as the visitors remained top of the league table.

Heading into the game, Manchester United were the marginal favourites considering their form and Liverpool’s injury woes, but the hosts started the better of the two teams.

Liverpool controlled the game well while Manchester United were happy to defend and hit the Reds on the break. Although Liverpool had more shots and ball-possession, Manchester United perhaps had the more clear-cut openings, with Alisson Becker making some good saves.

However, the draw meant that Liverpool failed to wrestle back top place from the unexpected league leaders. On that note, let's take a look at five main talking points from the game:


#1 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United play it safe again

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a clear blueprint of approach the big games for Manchester United: by playing it safe.

It is easy to see why. Manchester United have improved defensively after some shambolic performances during the first few weeks of the season, and they clearly have the firepower to hurt teams on the counter-attack.

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Moreover, it’s never a good idea to attack a team like Liverpool because they are at their best playing on the transition. But against a more structured defence and a low block, Liverpool have often failed to find goals this season.

Manchester United, themselves, did not conjure too many clear-cut chances, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be happy with the success of his game-plan. The only missing bit was the sucker punch on the counter-attacks.


#2 Liverpool’s lack of cutting edge in attack

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League
Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League

Liverpool had a whopping 17 shots in total, but Manchester United custodian David de Gea barely had to do much work and largely had a comfortable outing. The defending champions often got to the opposition penalty area but were simply shut out by a low-block and did not have any ideas.

Thiago Alcantara’s ball-distribution was immaculate again. But the deliveries of the two Liverpool full-backs’ were often headed out by Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, and the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah barely tested De Gea.

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Jürgen Klopp’s side have now failed to score in their last three Premier League games, which is a big worry. In that regard, Diogo Jota’s return from his injury cannot come soon enough for Liverpool.

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Published 18 Jan 2021, 06:24 IST
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