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Liverpool, Manchester United Split Points as Kobbie Main Goes on Score Sheet

Whether it was Dominik Szoboszlai, Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez or Luis Diaz, Liverpool were wasteful from open play — just as they had been last month.

  • 23′: Diaz gives Liverpool a 1-0 lead, volleying home after a corner.
  • First half: Liverpool outshot United 15-0.
  • 50′: Fernandes levels the match with United’s first shot after Quansah’s error.
  • 67′: Mainoo scores a stunning goal to give United a 2-1 lead.
  • 84′: Salah levels the match from the spot after Wan-Bissaka foul on Elliott.

Wasteful Liverpool
Whether it was Dominik Szoboszlai, Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez or Luis Diaz, Liverpool were wasteful from open play — just as they had been last month.

With each chance that passed the away side by, the more thoughts drifted back to the FA Cup tie when Liverpool should have extended their 2-1 lead. Despite their control and chances, they did not finish off Erik ten Hag’s side, and it proved costly.

Liverpool lost their way completely when Kobbie Mainoo netted United’s second. Salah’s penalty may have salvaged a point, but those supposed lessons from the cup tie are yet to be learned.

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Quansah Blunder, Bruno Equalizer
Quansah has been a revelation for Liverpool this season.

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The 21-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at League One side Bristol Rovers. Few expected him to be thrust into the limelight this season, but in every test he has faced he has passed with flying colours.

That was until he misjudged a simple square pass to Virgil van Dijk. Fernandes capitalised and hit a first-time shot that flew past Kelleher and leveled the scores with United’s first shot of the game.

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Any chance of a controlled and composed performance from either side went out the window when Alejandro Garnacho rounded Kelleher to score within the first 100 seconds.

The ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside, but the message was clear: we were going to get more of the counter-attacking silliness from the 4-3 on March 17.

Ten Hag’s plan appeared to centre around catching Liverpool cold and scoring early… except Liverpool held their nerve and eventually got the game’s opener in the 23rd minute. United’s reaction to being a goal behind? More chaos.

A back four of Diogo Dalot, Willy Kambwala, Harry Maguire and Wan-Bissaka made for United’s 26th different defensive configuration this season.

Darwin Nunez bullied Wan-Bissaka a little ahead of the penalty spot to get the flick-on assist for Luis Diaz’s finish. A look at the image above will show you, Nunez’s header was in an area multiple teams target when playing United.

Sharing defensive stats with Sheffield United and Luton Town is not what any United fan envisioned at the start of the season. Ten Hag will point to injuries affecting his side’s ability to play at their maximum. Critics will ask why it’s so hard for the United manager to muster anything better than this.

Eric Ten Hag
Erik ten Hag has also spoken to the BBC after the match: “Very mixed emotions. On one side I am disappointed that we have dropped seven points in one week after being in winning positions, but we have to blame ourselves for making stupid mistakes.

“On the other side I am very proud. You see how we are improving and the potential of this squad is amazing.

“In decisive areas we were losing battles, especially with young players we were not confident to win them. We encouraged in the second half to do better and they stepped up.”

On Willy Kambwala: “He has been training a while with us and progressing well. The next generation need to step in and he is doing brilliant. The challenge for him is doing it consistently. Great opportunity for him and we have other options like bringing Casemiro in at centre-half, but today he deserved it and he showed it on the pitch.”

On United’s league position in sixth place: “I don’t know. We will keep fighting and we have to do the same and learn from the moments. Brentford was our worst performance, we didn’t deserve to win there.”

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp says he’s not watching the matches of Liverpool’s fellow title contenders, but he is aware that Arsenal’s final away game this season comes at Old Trafford: “Arsenal is a good football team and if (United) play like today, Arsenal will win that game, I’m 100 percent sure. I’m really sorry to say that but this is a matter of fact. We should’ve won both games and didn’t. That’s our fault.”

 

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