Manchester United held Liverpool to a goalless draw at Anfield on Monday, in what was certainly a game of two halves. José Mourinho’s side shaded the first half courtesy of an impressively organised display, though were reliant on some heroics from David de Gea in a disappointing second. By the final whistle, the visitors were certainly fortunate to have avoided defeat.
The game got off to a noticeably slow start, and didn’t change a great deal before the halftime whistle sounded with the score still goalless. United certainly hadn’t put in a bad performance, and indeed had done fairly well to stifle a Liverpool team whose high-tempo football has proven problematic for almost everyone they’ve faced so far this season. However, Mourinho’s men hadn’t done particularly well with the ball, and with the exception of a dangerous cross by Marcus Rashford, which required a hand from Loris Karius, the hosts’ goalkeeper had nothing to do in the opening period. It certainly wasn’t a classic.
Things didn’t change early in the second half, with the play still bogged down in midfield and goalscoring chances few and far between. It took until just before the hour mark before the game's first clear-cut chance, and it came at the wrong end. Emre Can worked enough space in the penalty area to drive a low shot towards the far corner of David de Gea’s goal, though the Spanish shot-stopper got down astonishingly quickly to push the shot around the post. It triggered a wave of Liverpool pressure for the first time in the match, though United’s defence just about held firm.
That, however, didn’t stop Liverpool managing to test de Gea again, with a venomous Philippe Coutinho strike drawing another great save inside the final 20 minutes. Liverpool’s introduction of Adam Lallana for the ineffectual Daniel Sturridge had completely tipped the game’s balance in the hosts’ favour, and if anyone looked like finding a winner, it was them. Mourinho’s late attempt to stem the tide by introducing Wayne Rooney for Marcus Rashford did little, though fortunately the visitors hung on for a point — in the end, a disappointingly unconvincing one.