Manchester United – Liverpool: An awful stalemate dominated by injuries and offensive struggles (0-0)
Manchester United and Liverpool drew in a dull game that was heavily conditioned by the multiple injuries that occurred during the first half. Liverpool maintained control of possession throughout the game, but they struggled to create danger in the final third. The second half brought little changes to the game state.
Tactical analysis and match report by José Perez.
For Manchester United, results have improved significantly under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær, with the manager giving his attackers more freedom. However, it is important to remember that United’s results have been better than their actual performances. Strikers have been very efficient and goalkeeper De Gea still stops the unstoppable. United’s issues mostly lie in their defensive structure - 11th in the league in expected goals conceded - partly because of the offensive risks Solskjær is taking. This problem is enhanced by the fact that United often struggle to take the initiative against big opponents and prefer to strike on the counter.
Against Liverpool, Solskjær decided to go for a 4-3-1-2 midfield diamond shape in attack, which often looked like a 4-4-2 in a low block. A low block refers to a team that retreats deep in their own half out of possession, generally only disrupting their opponents around their own box. The goal of David De Gea was guarded by Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelöf, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young. In midfield featured a trio of Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay—who took over from an
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