Troubles pile on for Man Utd while smart subs save the day for Liverpool: A tactical review of their 1-1 stalemate

A tactical review of Man United’s 1-1 draw vs Liverpool at Old Trafford

Jurgen Klopp came to Manchester United with the hope of claiming his first win at Old Trafford. However, in his five games at the iconic ground as Liverpool manager, the German has been held to four draws and one defeat.

Klopp was lucky to find a late equalizer from substitute Adam Lallana after Marcus Rashford put United ahead with a first-half goal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to utilize three central defenders. Marcos Rojo was a part of the line-up after Axel Tuanzebe suffered an injury during the warm-ups, despite being in the original starting XI.

Rashford continued his brilliant record against the ‘big six’. He has scored 11 of his 31 Premier League goals against big-six opponents, while it was his third strike against Liverpool in the competition.

Klopp definitely impacted the game by making the right substitutions, bringing in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana. Oxlade-Chamberlain moved to the wide wings and tired out Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s legs which ultimately gave more space to Andrew Robertson for the crosses.

Robertson’s cross went through United’s defence – the result of a mix-up between Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo – which led Lallana to score his first Premier League goal for Liverpool since May 21, 2017, when he scored against Middlesbrough.

The draw saw Liverpool’s impressive 17-match winning streak and 225-day run in the Premier League come to an end, meaning they fall one victory short of equalling Manchester City’s top-flight record.

Meanwhile, with three wins and three draws, United have heralded their longest unbeaten run against Liverpool at Old Trafford since they accumulated 10 between 1991-2000.

Jurgen Klopp with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

In five of the seven past league meetings, the match ended in a goalless draw. Liverpool were without their talisman, Mohamed Salah, who missed the starting line-up only for the second time in the past 52 league games due to an ankle injury.

This is the first time an English player has scored for both sides in a Premier League meeting between Manchester United and Liverpool since November 2001, when Michael Owen and David Beckham scored.

The draw also meant that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains the only unbeaten manager to have faced Klopp more than once in the Premier League.

However, United registered their second-lowest possession figure (32.1 per cent) in a Premier League home game since 2003-04, second only to a 32.06 per cent figure also against Liverpool in March 2018.

United have dropped more points (8) from winning positions in the Premier League this season. Currently, they are level with Aston Villa and the situation indeed looks dire for the Red Devils.

While Liverpool will continue on their upward trajectory, it remains to be seen as to how things fare for United in the coming days.

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Written by Jatin Gulia

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