Dull draw as Manchester United & Liverpool share the spoils

Jurgen Klopp slapped the outstretched palm of Jose Mourinho after the final whistle and headed to embrace his weary warriors.

A sense of pride was laced with a dose of frustration. Liverpool had been on the cusp of a cherished triumph on enemy territory.

The Reds of Liverpool so nearly added Old Trafford to the Emirates, Stamford Bridge and Goodison on their list of conquests this season.

They had worked tirelessly to hold on to the lead given to them by James Milner’s first-half penalty.

Liverpool appeared to have weathered the storm. Manchester United looked to have run out of ideas.

But Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late looping header in front of the Stretford End transformed the mood and ensured that the spoils were shared.┬áJust as at Anfield three months earlier, Liverpool were left with a nagging feeling of what might have been.On top of that, Nathaniel Clyne was ruled out with an abdominal injury and Philippe Coutinho was deemed only fit enough for a cameo off the bench. With Sadio Mane away at the Africa Cup of Nations, this was a Liverpool side without four guaranteed starters.

Yet in their absence others rose to the occasion. It’s a day Trent Alexander-Arnold won’t ever forget.

The 18-year-old right-back from West Derby enjoyed an accomplished full Premier League debut. Thrown into the heat of battle, he handled the occasion superbly.

Alexander-Arnold had his hands full dealing with Anthony Martial flying at him but he could be proud of his afternoon’s work.

Ragnar Klavan and Emre Can were much improved after their recent woes.

How Liverpool benefited from the injection of energy provided by captain Jordan Henderson’s return from injury, while Divock Origi more than justified Klopp’s faith in picking him ahead of Daniel Sturridge.

Simon Mignolet produced one of the most complete performances of his rollercoaster Liverpool career.

Nonetheless both teams look to march on from yesterday’s draw as they push for a top 4 finish , even a title crown.

 

 

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