It was always expected to be a tight one, never mind their respective records so far this season. Liverpool were in the form of their life, winning 17 out of 17 league games coming into this match but had failed to get all 3points in their last 12 visits to Old Trafford. United had always made life difficult for the Reds at home regardless of their form, and they somehow managed to do it once more.
Both teams came into this match missing their star players; Manchester United were without Paul Pogba who is still recovering from an ankle injury while Mohammed Salah sat this one out as he is also nursing an injury .
There was good news for both managers though as their respective first-team goalkeepers were unexpectedly passed fit for this encounter; David De Gea got injured during the international break and Alisson Becker just returned to first team training after a month out on the sidelines.
United manager, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer will be very impressed with the performance of his boys in the first half. The home side played a 5-2-3 formation as Solksjaer planned to aphyxiate Liverpool off any scoring chances, it proved a success as the visitor hardly troubled De Gea in the first 45.
The host deservedly took the lead in the 31st minute following some excellent work by Daniel James who showed a superb turn of pace to initiate a counter, flying off the flanks before playing a nice ball in for Rashford to poke home with Liverpool’s defence at sixes and sevens.
The VAR has been playing a pivotal role since the start of the season and it was on hand once more with some controversial calls; first it was consulted after Rashford’s goal following a tackle on Divock Origi by Victor Lindelof that led to the goal which it ruled in favour of the hosts, then before half-time the VAR correctly ruled out what would have been an immediate equaliser from Sadio Mane after the Senegalese handled the ball before slotting past De Gea. Both calls didn’t go down well for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp who was seen complaining to fourth official Jon Moss on the sidelines.
United have been complacent this season, they have only been able to claim all 3 points in just two matches this season. They blew away a half-time lead the last time they were at home in the league, drawing one-all to Arsenal after their defence dozed off to allow Aubamenyang through on goal. It was no different this time around, after keeping out everything the visitors threw at them, the defence froze as Robertson’s low cross somehow managed to evade everyone in the crowded 18-yard box and land at the feet of substitute Adam Lallan to sidefoot into the net at the farpost.
Next for the two sides are midweek European encounters; United are away to Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday while Liverpool will be away in Belgium to take up Genk in the Champions League.Follow us on social media