Although Manchester United – Liverpool failed to record a record-equalling 18th straight Premier League win, Adam Lallana’s late equaliser saved the European champions from a shock defeat at MU in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
The controversial goal of Marcus Rashford handed the struggling Red Devils of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a 1-0 half-time lead; however, they could not hold out for a much-needed victory when they left substitute Lallana unmarked at the back post to level with 5 minutes to play.
Liverpool move 6 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the board, but will still feel that this was a missed opportunity to inflict more pain on a MU side sitting 13th in the Premier League, just 2 points off the relegation zone.
The 2 most successful teams in English football could not have got into the game in more contrasting form.
However, MU answered the calls of Solskjaer to rise to the occasion.
Liverpool were without Mohamed Salah due to injury and the Egyptian’s trickery was badly missed. Having to play a game without Salah, has greatly dropped the premier league top goal scorer odds for Salah. Now, he has to work really hard to get back as fast as possible to back up his team and his own statistics.
Although the visitors welcame back goalkeeper Alisson Becker for the first time in 2 months after a calf injury, the Brazilian was rarely tested as MU were happy to sit back and counter-attack.
In an attempt to limit Liverpool’s flying full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Solskjaer changed his formation to a 3-5-2 and it was greatly effective when the hosts restricted the visitors to precious few chances.
The league leaders Liverpool’s best opening before the break came as Sadio Mane finally found some space to counter-attack, but Roberto Firmino fired too close to David de Gea.
Although MU had not scored in their 2 previous matches prior to the international break, they finally produced a moment of quality going forward to take the lead. That was an amazing thing to see.
Victor Lindelof looked to have upended Divock Origi on halfway; however, no foul was given by Martin Atkinson and when United broke forward, the cross of Daniel James perfectly picked out Rashford to prod past Alisson.
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool manager, was furious on the touchline even before a VAR review didn’t overturn the decision. But, can anyone really blame him?