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Liverpool 0, Manchester United 0: First Thoughts

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Liverpool and Manchester United share the spoils, as neither team can break the deadlock.

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool 0
Manchester United 0

  • Pre-match thoughts: I hate this fixture. The joy of winning rarely seems to surpass the unbearable sorrow from losing. But. But a win tonight puts us level on points with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the table, where we belong. Tonight would be a good time for Klopp to knotch his first league win against our archrivals.
  • Harsh challenge early on James Milner by Marcus Rashford. No card is shown. So that’s how it is, is it? Let the conspiracy theories begin.
  • Sloppy opening ten minutes, with neither side really showing the best they have to offer.
  • Manchester United have been doing well to pin Liverpool back and force them to play long balls in the early stages of the match. However, they have yet to really challenge Karius, with their best efforts coming from long range shots.
  • Halfway through the first half and Liverpool are getting pretty thoroughly bossed at the moment. Still no real chance for United at the moment, but it’s only a matter of time if the Reds can’t get out of their own half.
  • Loris Karius challenged for the first time tonight on a wicked Rashford cross. He does well to parry it wide and away from lurking danger.
  • Liverpool with their first real chance as we near the half-hour mark, as Firmino latches on to a Henderson cross to send the header goal-ward. If he had just played it across the box, there was a lurking Sturridge waiting to tap it in. Still, much better from the home side.
  • Halftime thoughts: I’m shocked—shocked—to see Liverpool leading possession 66-34 percent. Of course, there’s a difference between possession and dangerous possession, and Liverpool have clearly had much more of the former. That was a rough half to watch, but Liverpool finally started getting a foothold in the game in the last quarter of an hour. Still, Mourinho gonna Mourinho, and he’s clearly set this side up to frustrate and maybe nick a lucky goal on a set piece or counter. The press started working better as well, which led to some better build-up play as the half progressed. Although United haven’t really threatened yet, we better come out and score some goals if we want a result.
  • Dear Fowler, Karius nearly just gave us all a heart attack. A horrendous pass out from the back nearly led to a 1-on-1 with Zlatan. Thankfully the Swede was offside, and Liverpool escape unscathed.
  • Pogba absolutely tees up Zlatan at the far post with a great cross. Again, Liverpool are lucky not to concede.
  • Can is shocked to find himself in the box with the ball. His shot manages to test de Gea, who, naturally makes the diving save.
  • Adam Lallana for Sturridge, Firmino goes up top. Come on Reds, let’s do this!
  • Five minutes after Lallana’s introduction and Liverpool immediately look a much better side. It’s hard to overstate how important the English international has become to this squad.
  • Coutinho let’s loose with a worldie, but de Gea is worldie-er. That’s a sure fire goal against any other keeper in the league.
  • Firmino was set through on goal after a brilliant no look back heel from Coutinho, only to be beaten to the ball by Valencia. It’s a game of inches, and right now those inches aren’t going Liverpool’s way.
  • With five minutes of regulation to go Origi comes on for Firmino, and Moreno comes on for Milner. Milner’s substitution might have something to do with his head-to-head collision with Rashford earlier. Maybe.
  • Aaaand Mourinho has decided to waste time with a late game sub deep in stoppage time. Really proud of that draw, ain’t ya, Jose?
  • Final whistle thoughts: It was a much better second half for Liverpool, but it just wasn’t enough to break down United. But we have our first clean sheet, so that’s something right? Silver linings?

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.