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Manchester United 1, Liverpool 1: First Thoughts

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Liverpool give a strong performance with a compromised squad but can only swing a draw

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Manchester United 1 Ibrahimovic 84’
Liverpool 1 Milner 27’ (pen)

  • Prematch Thought: *looks at teamsheet and goes back to bed*
  • ACTUAL Prematch Thought: So, no Matip, no Clyne, no Coutinho. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Ok seriously though, between the teamsheet and the return of TOXIC THUNDER I feel like we could seriously choop this one.
  • To the extent that I actually enjoy this fixture, the opening five minutes are always very furious and fun.
  • Alexander-Arnold, Trent. My name is Alexander-Arnold, Trent. And there’s a million things I haven’t done...
  • Have to say, this really is a different team without Henderson.
  • Martial brought down in the box! No penalty! The Mancs are getting restless!
  • Close-up on Mourinho jotting down something in his notebook. Oooh. This looks bad, you guys? WHAT IS HE PLOTTING????
  • Zlatan pounces on a bad backpass from Lovren, manages to get enough toe on it to chip it over Mignolet but it hits the roof of the net. So this is going well!
  • And immediately after that Pogba is played through but his shot is just wide of the post. Jeez Louise.
  • Liverpool’s first real threat comes from a goalmouth scramble where no one was quite in position to take advantage. That definitely bodes well for the future!
  • There’s an animated ad hoarding featuring Pogba’s head and it’s kind of hypnotizing, to be honest with you. (UPDATE: Apparently the ad is for Twitter and the head is the new custom emoji for the #Pogba hashtag. That’s cool, I guess, if you’re into that sort of thing.)
  • PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL! Pogba goes up to head a ball away and hits it with his hand! Right to the spot! Excite!!!!
  • MILNERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! 1-0 to the Mighty Effing Reds!
  • More like ROCKS IT THUNDER, amirite?? (Yes I am right.)
  • Liverpool conceding two free kicks and a corner in less than two minutes. Hmm.
  • Oh dang Pogba just straight-up put Hendo in an arm bar and threw him to the ground by his neck. Michael Oliver, knowing all too well the extent to which we brutalize each other as we move through this vale of tears, does nothing.
  • Zlatan hits a free kick low and through traffic and almost forces it in. Migs did really well to save it but... yeesh.
  • Origi almost gets in a good position in the box but can’t quite hold on to the ball. Womp womp.
  • Mkhitaryan played through but Mignolet saves.
  • Really, really glad Simon is having one of his Good Days.
  • Halftime Thought: Messy but even, much less of a goat rodeo than I was expecting. The penalty was exactly the boost we needed. I suspect Mourinho will do something over the break to try and get his team angry and ready to fight back, because he hates losing to us. Hold on to your butts.
  • WAYNE ROONEY KLAXON
  • Emre Can gets a little too fighty in the box and a corner kick attempt is whistled dead. But I can’t get stay mad at that face. Love you bby.
  • United likely need Rooney this half but taking off Carrick to do it is going to give them problems in midfield. This would be probably be a good time to bring on Morgan Schneiderlin.
  • ... oh. I see.
  • Mkhitaryan is played through by Zlatan and beats Mignolet with a shot but it flashes across goal. Lucky, there.
  • The past few minutes have been really hecking intense but there hasn’t been one defining moment, yes.
  • COUTINHO’S BACK YOU GUYS
  • Bobby Firm nearly makes it two! Good stuff good stuff good stuff.
  • Rooney gets in a great position to shoot but he doesn’t put enough juice into his shot.
  • Mou sends in Juan Mata. Combined with Coutinho’s return, this is officially the cutest derby in England.
  • Coutinho somehow manages to squeeze past three United players trying to play Light As A Feather Stiff As A Board with him. His shot and the rebound go nowhere but dang that was some nice maneuvering.
  • 20-ish minutes left and, in a fit of pique and desperation, Mourinho is turning to his last best chance to turn things around: Marouane Fellaini. (snerk)
  • Pogba gifted a huge opportunity but he sends it into the stands. We’ve been good and we’ve been lucky and either of those things could fail at any moment.
  • It’s the clearances, I think. With one or two exceptions Liverpool’s back line has been good about clearing things out when United is on the attack. Can they keep this up for another 10 minutes?
  • Rooney gets the ball to drop at his feet and hits the half-volley but Mignolet parries. Yikes yikes. (Oh, offside anyway. Well. Still.)
  • There it is. A goalmouth scramble, a near-miss, and then Zlatan finally forces it in. Bleh.
  • Haha he was offside too. Cool, cool cool cool.
  • Herrera commits misdemeanor assault on Firmino and only gets a yellow. Yup.
  • Four more minutes!
  • Gini with an incredible opportunity but no force behind the shot and De Gea cleans up. Neither side is content with a draw, even with literally seconds left.
  • Final Whistle Thought: So, way better than I was expecting at prematch, but we really should’ve won this game. The defending was fine, we just couldn’t get the attack going. Still, a point is fine, all things considered, and we’ve got this in the rearview window now.

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.