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Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool: Ibra nicks late equaliser

United left it late, but salvaged a point at home to Liverpool on Sunday.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester United maintained their unbeaten record at home to Liverpool on Sunday, but they certainly left it late to do so. A James Milner spot-kick gave Liverpool the lead early in the match, and was only cancelled out when Zlatan Ibrahimović headed home inside the final few minutes. However, United had dominated for most of the game, and the point was the least they deserved.

The only goal of the first half came just short of the half hour mark, and was the result of a moment of madness from Paul Pogba while defending a Liverpool corner. He egregiously handballed under pressure from Milner, who subsequently stepped up to convert from 12 yards, and give Liverpool the advantage.

United had been on top, having earlier gone close to breaking the deadlock twice in quick succession. The first chance came when Simon Mignolet smacked a poor backpass against an onrushing Ibrahimović, though the ball looped just over the crossbar. Seconds later Henrikh Mkhitaryan slipped Pogba through, though Ragnar Klavan did enough to distract the Frenchman, who dragged wide.

United remained in the ascendancy after going behind, and created a couple of other good chances before the interval. Ibrahimović elected to drill a free-kick from the edge of the area, which Mignolet got down well to parry. Five minutes before the whistle Ander Herrera found Mkhitaryan in space, though the Belgian keeper was once again equal to the attempt.

The second half started with a brave José Mourinho substitution: Wayne Rooney was inserted in place of a rather ineffectual Carrick, and promptly occupied the space just behind Ibrahimović. However, he wasn't directly involved when United produced their next big chance, and a counter-attack started by Anthony Martial finished with Mkhitaryan prodding wide.

With nothing doing, Mourinho elected to make his second sub on the hour, with Juan Mata introduced in place of Martial. It may have hinted at a more intricate approach, but an increasingly frustrated United instead looked more direct, punting long balls in the direction of Ibrahimović.

The aerial bombardment only increased when Marouane Fellaini was introduced in place of Matteo Darmian with just over 10 minutes left. It almost paid dividends when a deep cross fell at the feet of Rooney, though his volley stung the palms of Mignolet.

It looked like an equaliser would never come, but finally, inside the final 10 minutes, United restored parity. A teasing Rooney cross was flicked against the post by Fellaini, before Antonio Valencia scooped up the rebound and crossed for Ibrahimović to head home from close range. It was certainly a deserved leveller, and one that made Mourinho’s Allardycian substitutions look rather more sophisticated.