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Football news - Liverpool go top but struggle in injury-laden draw

Liverpool go top but struggle in injury-laden draw

24/02/2019 at 14:58Updated 24/02/2019 at 16:48

Premier League, Old Trafford – Manchester United 0 Liverpool 0

Liverpool went back to the top of the Premier League - but their lead over Manchester City stands at just one point as they failed to break down Manchester United in an injury-laden drawn at Old Trafford.

Jurgen Klopp's side came into the game level on points with champions City, who were not in Premier League action this weekend due to facing Chelsea in the League Cup final.

However, the title contenders looked some way below their best, as they made basic errors and struggled to find any sort of fluidity.

United were hindered by a series of first-half injuries as Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all came off, the latter having already been brought on as a substitute.

Liverpool also suffered a crucial injury of their own as they lost Roberto Firmino in the opening 45 minutes.

In the second half United had the ball in the net from a Joel Matip own goal, but it was ruled out for Chris Smalling being offside.

Smalling had another opportunity to take all three points for the hosts in the final minutes of the match too, but failed to make contact with a good ball from Romelu Lukaku.

Jesse Lingard of Manchester United receives treatment on an injury during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford on February 24, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Jesse Lingard of Manchester United receives treatment on an injury during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford on February 24, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom.Getty Images

TALKING POINT

The first-half injuries. OK, bad luck played its part, but rushing Jesse Lingard back into action after a hamstring injury that's kept him on the sidelines in recent weeks seems to have been a calculated risk that did not pay off.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Luke Shaw (Manchester United). Kept Mo Salah completely quiet, kept calm when chaos unfolded around him.

Manchester United - FC Liverpool

Manchester United - FC LiverpoolGetty Images

RATINGS

Manchester United: De Gea 7, Young 7, Smalling 7, Lindelof 7, Shaw 8, Herrera 6, McTominay 6, Mata 6, Pogba 7, Rashford 7, Lukaku 7. Subs - Romero, Bailly, Dalot, Andreas 6, Fred, Lingard 6, Alexis 7.

Liverpool: Alisson 7, Matip 7, Van Dijk 8, Robertson 6, Milner 6, Wijnaldum 6, Henderson 7, Fabinho 6, Mane 6, Salah 6, Firmino 6. Subs - Mignolet, Keita, Sturridge 6, Lallana, Shaqiri 7, Origi 7, Alexander-Arnold.

KEY MOMENTS

21' - INJURY! Herrera is sitting on the floor. Andreas Pereira replaces him.

25' - INJURY! Juan Mata looks like he's pulled his groin. Jesse Lingard is coming on.

37' - CHANCE! Pogba lets fly, Van Djik gets his head in the way, but it looks like Alisson anticipated it all in time and would have got there regardless.

43' - INJURY! Lingard staggers off and looks like he's about to cry. Alexis Sanchez is the next man on.

75' - OFFSIDE! Young swings in the free kick, Smalling squares it, Matip skids it into the net, but the flag is long up and Smalling knew it.

90' - CHANCE! Why doesn't Chris Smalling throw himself at that as he tiptoes in to the far post? He knows he should have done, and knows that Matip was never going to stick a boot out for fear of diverting it into his own net.

Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool and Victor Lindelof of Manchester United

Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool and Victor Lindelof of Manchester UnitedGetty Images

KEY STATS

Jesse Lingard is the first player to be substituted on and off in the first half of a Premier League match since Kevin Long for Burnley v Newcastle United in January 2015.

There have been four first half substitutions in the Manchester United v Liverpool match; the first time this has happened in the Premier League since February 2009 (Wigan Athletic v Fulham).

David De Gea is the seventh goalkeeper to keep 100 Premier League clean sheets for a single club, and the second to do for Man Utd, after Peter Schmeichel.

Stats courtesy of @OptaJoe

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