By 90Min
October 15, 2017

Gary Neville thought both managers of Liverpool and Manchester United, Jurgen Klopp and José Mourinho held back too much in the goalless draw at Anfield on Saturday.

Liverpool dominated the game for parts, and David de Gea made a brilliant save to deny the Reds from taking lead.

Mourinho tends to sit back in the 'big' away games, but Neville, talking on the his podcast, thought there was a similarity to the game last season: "In the first half I thought that United, to be fair, were definitely different to a year ago, there was more intent.

"The second half drifted back towards a year ago, I have to say, where Liverpool were the only team pressing. United's intent and quality in the second half were nowhere near good enough. They started to resign themselves to a draw."

The Sky Sports Pundit was disappointed with both the United attackers who were on the field, but Liverpool as well: "[Anthony] Martial, [Marcus] Rashford, [Romelu] Lukaku and [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan were all on the pitch at various points. I expected more confidence and authority from them on the counter-attack."

United only managed to get one shot on target against Liverpool with the five other efforts wide of the goal. 

"I'm sure the headline out of this game will be that Jose has parked the bus. Liverpool put in a good performance but Jurgen Klopp could have turned it up in the second half if he had wanted to.

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"He could have taken off [Emre] Can, [Jordan] Henderson or [Georginio] Wijnaldum and brought [Philippe] Coutinho back into the midfield three and made it a more attacking team and taken more chances."

Liverpool failed to take advantage in the second half and Neville thought it was because they were afraid to lose the game: "He dared not lose. They were trying to attack and be positive but they were still measured in their positivity. There wasn't that what I would call Liverpool gung ho, that wasn't Liverpool today.


"They didn't want to leave the counter-attack open. They were making sure United didn't cut through them."

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Liverpool had 62% of the ball, but couldn't find a goal despite the 19 efforts they had on goal. 

But Gary Neville understood the predicament Klopp was in and that he couldn't lose the game: "So whilst Liverpool were the better team in terms of performance, it wasn't with reckless abandon that we have sometimes seen from Jurgen Klopp because he's not in a situation at the moment where he can afford to lose this game.


"That's what we saw in the second half, when they were pushing but they weren't pushing as hard as we have seen them in the past."

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He was rather impressed with David de Gea's performances over the last few years and it continued following a fine save to keep United in the game on Saturday: "Over these last five, six, seven, eight years there have been debates about who's the best goalkeeper in the world. De Gea has certainly been growing and maturing - he must be getting there now.

"De Gea now, there isn't a weakness to his game. You think of his journey coming to England. He was physically immature. He was unable to deal with any long balls. For a couple of years I was genuinely concerned that he would ever be able to cope with the physicality. But he's grown.

"The save today and the save at Stoke a few weeks ago are world class. I don't think you can win this league without a great goalkeeper. David de Gea is the standout world-class player in Manchester United's team by a street. He's wonderful, he really is."

Despite United not getting all three points at Anfield on Saturday, to come away with a point is something that most teams can't even manage. A job well done for Mourinho and his men.

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