Liverpool – Manchester United: A Game For The Occasion, Rather Than On-Pitch Quality (0-0)
A matchup between the red halves of Liverpool and Manchester, number one and two in the league, raised expectations, but failed to deliver the battle that we all craved. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s game plan in United’s 4-4-2 shape created both advantages and disadvantages, whilst Liverpool still found themselves out of sync, resulting in a goalless draw.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
Liverpool versus Manchester United is the prestigious rivalry in British football, two royal houses with honors lists that only the two can compare. Successes between both of the reds are unquestionable, but recent battles between the two have been less glamorous in stature, and even less so on the field.
This was only the second time in Premier League history that both teams met as second and first place in the standings. Refining of Jürgen Klopp’s tactical framework and Manchester United hopscotching between high-profile managers, before settling for Ole Gunnar Solskjær, led to low-quality affairs against the two over recent years, yet this looked to be a more insightful game.
Liverpool have stuttered over recent weeks, winless in the league since they pasted Crystal Palace 7-0, just before Christmas. Since they registered eight shots on target, in that game, Liverpool have managed only seven attempts between the sticks, in the three games that have followed. Klopp has struggled to pick through the compact blocks, whilst his summer solution Thiago Alcântara has struggled for fitness since he arrived.
Manchester United have climbed to the top, unbeaten since the start of November and drawing just twice in the same time period. Bruno Fernandes remains the formidable figure in the final third, The one-third . . .