By 90Min
February 24, 2019

Manchester United drew 0-0 with Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, as a game of missed opportunities and injuries saw both sides emerge with a solitary point.

A series of misfortunes saw United use all three of their substitutions in the first half, while the Reds lost Roberto Firmino to an ankle injury. Few chances were created, with Mohamed Salah blasting an ideally situated free-kick over the bar.

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Despite a frenetic final fifteen minutes, neither side was able to find the breakthrough, and the two rivals sides were forced to accept stalemate after a frustrating encounter for both teams.

Here's how the season's most eagerly anticipated match played out over the ninety minutes...


MANCHESTER UNITED

KEY TALKING POINT

The first half of the match bore striking a similarity to the harrowing opening scene of Steven Spielberg's masterpiece 'Saving Private Ryan', as United players toppled and hobbled around the pitch nursing a litany of troublesome injuries. Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, and even substitute Jesse Lingard had to leave the field after just twenty minutes of action.

The injury problems completely undid United's first half game plan, as their expected bullish approach was cut short by a string of enforced substitutions.

The United fans were baying for blood, but their side were unable to reproduce the clinical edge that has seen them romp to victories under caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær since Christmas. Marcus Rashford looked to be suffering from a hamstring injury for most of the game, and was unable to cause the Liverpool backline any problems.


Player Ratings:

Starting XI: De Gea (6); Young (8), Smalling (6), Lindelöf (6), Shaw (7); Herrera (N/A), McTominay (6), Pogba (7); Mata (6), Lukaku (6), Rashford (6).


Substitutes: Pereira (6), Lingard (N/A), Sánchez (6)


STAR MAN - Ashley Young

OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

His blunder just seconds into the match almost gifted Liverpool an early lead, but he didn't put a foot wrong from then on. The veteran full-back kept the likes of Salah and Sadio Mané quiet for the duration of the match, and was repeatedly on hand to hurl in last ditch challenges and make crucial interceptions to help his side.

Bizarrely, his performance went down like a lead balloon on social media, with United fans tearing in to the England international:


LIVERPOOL


KEY TALKING POINT

It was billed as a must-win game for Liverpool, who had the chance to move three points ahead of Manchester City with a victory. Unfortunately for Reds supporters, their side failed to capitalise on a host of defensive errors from United - with Firmino bizarrely opting to pull out of a challenge with David de Gea just seconds into the game.

Liverpool's defending has been superb this season, and it was as solid as it's ever been under Jürgen Klopp on Sunday afternoon. However, the attacking players lacked any real potency, with talismanic forward Salah putting in an uncharacteristically underwhelming performance. 

The stage was set for a season-defining performance, but the Reds just weren't able to deliver.

Arguably, losing Firmino in the first half robbed Klopp's side of their usual flow and swagger, and their front three looked a shadow of its former self when Daniel Sturridge stepped in to fill the Brazilian's boots. All this being said, a draw is far from a nightmare for Liverpool, who could look back on this as a precious point in a title-winning campaign.

OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

Player Ratings:


Starting XI: Alisson (6); Milner (7), Matip (7), van Dijk (6), Robertson (6); Henderson (6), Fabinho (8), Wijnaldum (7); Salah (6), Firmino (6), Mané (6)


Substitutes: Sturridge (6), Shaqiri (6), Origi (N/A)


STAR MAN - Fabinho

OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

It's taken Fabinho a fair while to get accustomed to Premier League football, but the Monaco man is starting to show why Liverpool splashed an eye-watering £43.5m to sign him last summer. Back in his favoured midfield position, the Brazilian bulldozer bossed the midfield for his side, and gave the defence some Fort Knox level security.

Here's how his performance went down on social media:





Looking Ahead:


Next up, United travel to Crystal Palace for some midweek Premier League action. The Eagles powered to a 4-1 away win over Leicester City on Saturday, and will be in fine spirits ahead of the Red Devils' visit.

Liverpool host Watford on Wednesday, who are also coming off the back of a fine result; the Hornets hammered Cardiff City 5-1 on Friday night, with former Barcelona man Gerard Deulofeu firing in a stunning hat-trick.

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