Manchester United welcomed fierce rivals Liverpool on Sunday afternoon in a game which turned out to be quite an eventful affair.
Both teams displayed great desire to win the game, but were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw which will not work in either one’s favour.
Having watched the game here are our 5 conclusions from the Old Trafford:
Ibra the saviour
Despite the slower start to the game, the derby at Old Trafford ended up being an entertaining affair.
The first half yielded just three shots on target, one of which ended up in de Gea’s net with Milner successfully converting the penalty caused by Pogba’s reckless handball. Zlatan Ibrahimovic tried with a blistering free kick just out of the area, which was one the best chance Red Devils got in the game.
Manchester United were well on top after falling behind as they opened the second half dominating the proceedings. The Red Devils pressed hard while Jurgen Klopp responded with the introduction of Philippe Coutinho who managed to restore some of the on-pitch balance.
In-form Manchester United almost saw their impressive 15-match unbeaten run come to an end hadn’t it been for the big-game man Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored an 84th-minute equalizer to frustrate the visiting side.
The towering Swede stepped under the limelight to score his 14th goals of the season, which he managed in only 20 games – the same amount of games legend Alan Shearer took for his first 14.
Paul Pogba should focus on football rather on fashion
He headed into the game on the wings of social media hype with his own Twitter emoticon and with a new outrageous hairstyle, but Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba did nothing to make his appearance worth remembering.
The world-record transfer from Juventus is yet to start earning his whopping deal and is yet to provide Manchester United with an edge when it is most needed.
The Frenchman struggled to gain his footing at the beginning of the season, and just when you start thinking he might be getting back to his best he goes on to handle a ball and cost his team a penalty – and ultimately a goal.
With more hairstyles to his name than goals and assists, Paul Pogba needs to step it up for his new-old club.
Alexander-Arnold graduated with flying colours
Jurgen Klopp is renowned for his youth promotion and Trent Alexander-Arnold has been the latest example to attest to it.
The 18-year-old has been one of the three Reds teenagers to step up from the Liverpool academy this season, but the youngster could not have wished for a better moment to make his full Premier League debut than against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Nathaniel Clyne’s abdominal injury forced Jurgen Klopp to make an unexpected change, but the German tactician was not afraid to give his youngster an opportunity – and he was right to do so.
Alexander-Arnold displayed a mature performance and came of age to pass his final exam with flying colours. The 18-year-old teenager was in control at the back, while he also participated in the attack with one blocked shot from within the are to account for.
Overall, quite a positive performance from the Liverpool starlet.
Underrated Milner once again steps up the plate
Often labelled boring – jokingly to be honest – James Milner is not your classical modern-day footballer. You won’t see him wearing flashy clothes, or experiment with crazy hairstyles, but one thing you can always rely on is that he will deliver.
Jurgen Klopp has transformed Milner into arguably the most reliable member of Liverpool’s team, a universal soldier who is this season filling in at left-back to where he had been shifted from the midfield.
Penalty scorer for the Reds has scored each of his last 10 penalties in the Premier League, whereas his club have also scored more penalties (28) in the league that any other teams since the start of the 2012/13 season.
England international loves scoring against Manchester United as he has now done it wearing a Liverpool, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Newcastle shirt.
Coutinho’s return an instant impact
Brazilian magician Philippe Coutinho did not start the game as Jurgen Klopp decided against risking his talisman player from the start.
Coutinho recently returned to action after more than a month on the sidelines and was forced to start the game against Manchester United from the bench. His 61st-minute introduction brought great excitement for the visiting supporters, but it also brought a new dimension in Liverpool’s game.
The Brazilian created a chance for his teammates with his first touch on the ball, while he also had another notable effort moments later. Manchester United were well on the dominating end prior to Coutinho’s introduction, which is another aspect to illustrate his impact for the Reds.
MANCHESTER UNITED: de Gea 6.5 – Valencia 6.5, Jones 6.5, Rojo 7, Darmian 6.5 (Fellaini 6.5) – Herrera 7, Carrick 6.5 (Rooney 7), Pogba 5.5 – Mkhitaryan 7, Ibrahimovic 6.5, martial 6.5 (Mata 6.5)
Unused subs: Blind, Rashford, Romero, Smalling
LIVERPOOL: Mignolet 6.5 – Alexander-Arnold 6.5, Lovren 7, Klavan 7, Milner 8 – Wijnaldum 7, Henderson 7, Can 7.5 0 Firmino 6.5, Origi 6.5 (Coutinho 7), Lallana 7
Unused subs: Ejaria, Gomez, karius, Moreno, Stewart, Sturridge
REFEREE: Michael Oliver
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