There’s A Lack Of Quality In These Two Sides
Remember the days of in-form Torres, Gerrard, Ronaldo, pre-average Rooney? You were guarantedd entertainment and quality in this fixture. Not anymore.
It was genuinely alarming how much the ball was given away in the first period of this game. No one seemed capable of finding a team-mate and the amount of time the ball spent out of play was Incredible. For two of the Premier League’s biggest clubs the standard was generally pretty dire and an advert for the top-flight, this was not.
Roberto Firmino and Lucas did their best to add some class to the occasion but he seemed to be fighting a lone battle at times. Next season’s Liverpool team will be massively different to this when Klopp has his way and boring the viewing public has become a United speciality. This was ninth v sixth, and that is what it looked like.
David De Gea Is Manchester United
Rooney scored again but and this may be a bit of a huge statement, but without David De Gea United could pretty much forget about any hopes of making the top four, you could say they can anyway. The Spaniard has kept them in so many games this term it is hard to quantify how many points he has saved.
He made a number of crucial stops in this match as Liverpool did all they could to win the game. His double save in the second period was a particular highlight and his team-mates owe him once again.
Real Madrid’s transfer ban may be the only thing that keeps him at the club next term but should that be over turned then United must do everything they can to keep him, he is their best player by a country mile.
Liverpool Need A Goalscorer
You may argue they have one, Christian Benteke, but he clearly does not fit into the style of play that Jurgen Klopp wants to implement at Liverpool. He will always be a plan B. In Daniel Sturridge they have a proven performer but one who is constantly injured.
It’s a conundrum they must solve. The problem for Klopp is that he has Danny Ings to return from injury, alongside Sturridge as well as the aforementioned Benteke and Origi. If he signs a striker in this window he could have serious overload up top.
Nevertheless, players can be offloaded in the summer and the Reds need goals now. Firmino is a superb player and will continue to grow into the league but he is never going to score on a regular basis. They created more chances than any other team have against United but still couldn’t find a way past David De Gea.
Man United’s Newcastle Display Was A Flash In The Pan
Many felt that Louis van Gaal bowed to pressure and went all out attack at Newcastle, and to one extent it worked, his team scored three goals, however, they conceded three at the other end. Some of the chat ahead of this game was that he could be for the chop should his side lose at Anfield.
Unsurprisingly, he went back to his previous gameplan of not conceding and total and complete rigidity. That system makes the Red Devils difficult to break down, but boy does it make for a boring way for millions of supporters to spend their Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
At times you could see United players itching to go and press the ball but forcing themselves to stay in their designated area. The lack of threat in this system is sad and it is terrible for the Premier League. They won here but Liverpool’s wastefulness was the main reason.
Lucas Is Liverpool’s Big Game Charlie
Jurgen Klopp played Lucas at the base of the Liverpool midfield and that decision proved a wise one. The Brazilian has become one of those players you know will just play in the bigger games, he’s Liverpool’s Ji-sung Park.
The Reds number 21 patrolled the space in between the United midfield and attack well, stopping Rooney from picking the ball up in deeper areas and reducing the space for Ander Herrera to operate in.
His passing was also excellent as he shifted the ball on to the likes for Henderson and Can and switched play with ease. He played an excellent early ball through to Adam Lallana which nearly resulted in a goal and that set his stall out in an offensive manner for the rest of the game. Defensively he made it his mission to upset Marouane Fellaini, a feat he most certainly achieved. He did not deserve to be on the losing side.