Check back soon for full Liverpool player ratings vs. Manchester United February 24, 2019
Two Premier League titans faced off today in a match with so much on the line for both squads.
Liverpool are fighting off a surging Manchester City to win their first Premier League title. Manchester United are fighting to hold on to fourth and a place in next year’s Champions League.
The games went to half tied 0-0. With four first half substitutions (including all three used by United), the second half was set up to be an open, volatile 45 minutes.
Liverpool did nothing with a toothless, uninspired attack. Despite out-possessing United 64-36%, only managed one shot on target (United had three).
The 0-0 draw leaves Liverpool one point clear of Manchester City, and struggling to find answers as to how to fix their non-existent offense.
Jurgen Klopp (3) – This is getting to be concerning.
Liverpool had two close range set pieces in the first 15 minutes and made nothing of them again. Klopp must find a way to improve his squad’s set piece creativity and effectiveness.
With United having used their three subs in the first half, the big question was how Klopp would attack and take advantage of this opportunity. He didn’t. United played with more energy and purpose throughout the second half. Klopp isn’t pushing the right buttons and seems content with draws. The only thing that keeps this score from being lower is he had the guts to sub a totally ineffective Salah out early.
Alisson (8) – Came off his line to make a brilliant save in the 41st minute. Was the difference in the match.
James Milner (6.5) – Was fine. One of the few Reds who played with some purpose.
Virgil van Dijk (7.5) –Back in form early, VVD made a crucial clear with his head off a laser beam Paul Pogba strike. Steady play helped secure the draw.
Joel Matip (7) – Great anticipation early and drive getting up the field. His slicing through the attacking third in the 15th minute lead to a wasted free kick (eventually sent into the upper deck by Mo Salah). Got VERY lucky to have an OG negated by an off-sides in the second half.
Andrew Robertson (5) – Maybe it was the near-injury received after being flattened by Lukaku at the end of the first half, but an unusally quiet performance from Robbo.
Jordan Henderson (7) – Another strong showing from Hendo. One of the few Liverpool players who showed a sense of urgency, so of course Klopp subbed him out.
Fabinho (6) – Was steady and strong in a performance that maybe didn’t dazzle, but supported Henderson and Gini to get forward in the first half. By the second half, was making poor decisions on ball. Liverpool needed a midfielder to break down United in the second half and Fabinho struggled to do so.
Georginio Wijnaldum (6) – More noticeable than normal, partly because half of his teammates slept-walked through the game. Seemed to be on the attack more than usual, so at least somebody realized that you actually need to score goals to win games.
Roberto Firmino (N/R) – Came off early with an injury, not much of an impact before leaving.
Sadio Mane (3) – Sloppy passing, slow (for his standards), invisible.
Mohamed Salah (3) – Appears to have fallen out of form again in perhaps his worst performance of the year. Is being dispossessed too easily and not making much happen with his usual creativity. Luke Shaw consistently owned him. Subbed for Origi in the 79th, should’ve come off sooner. Still not scoring against elite teams. Liverpool needed the best version of Salah today and got the worst.
Daniel Sturridge (3) – Entered the game unexpectedly early for an injured Bobby Firmino. Like the rest of his front-line, had literally zero impact.
Xherdan Shaqiri (N/R) – Inexplicably subbed in for Jordan Henderson, he was sloppy and ineffective.
Divock Origi (N/R) – Came on for Salah and Liverpool immediately looked more lively…until that fizzled as Klopp seemed happy to let them secure a draw.