It wasn’t a classic, by any means, but tonight’s clash at Anfield between Liverpool and Manchester United was still a hotly-contested, tense match between two of English football’s great rivals.
After an opening 45 minutes low on quality, the match livened up, with Liverpool pressing hard in search of all three points.
However, the home side couldn’t find a way past David de Gea, who produced two stunning saves in the second half.
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The Spanish goalkeeper is one of three players who impressed at Anfield.
But there are another three players who will feel they could have played much better this evening.
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Ander Herrera was easily the game’s best player in the first half, bossing the midfield alongside Marouane Fellaini.
With six interceptions, three blocks and eight tackles, the Spanish midfielder was too hot for either Jordan Henderson or Emre Can to handle.
Herrera continued from where he left off in the second half and was arguably the game’s best performer, perhaps with the exception of De Gea.
David de Gea
De Gea had been a virtual spectator until he was required to made a fabulous save from Emre Can on the hour-mark.
The Spaniard then produced the moment of an otherwise fairly forgettable match, saving Philippe Coutinho’s long-range effort with an extraordinary one-handed save.
Best ‘keeper in the world right now?
Before tonight’s match, Ryan Giggs explained why Marouane Fellaini has often been picked for the big matches since joining Manchester United in 2013.
“He does exactly what a coach says,” Giggs told Sky Sports. “You tell him to do one thing and he’ll do it.”
Jose Mourinho would have asked the Belgium international to show discipline and composure in central midfield and he didn’t disappoint the Portuguese tactician.
Daniel Sturridge had the chance to nail down his place in Jurgen Klopp’s starting line-up but it was a night to forget for the 27-year-old.
The English forward was anonymous during the 60 minutes he was on the pitch and it came as no surprise when Klopp subbed him off for Adam Lallana with 30 minutes left to play.
Sturridge has now gone 615 minutes without a Premier League goal.
It’s just not working for him under Klopp, is it?
Manchester United signed Paul Pogba to make an impact in the big matches, but the Frenchman flattered to deceive.
No player was dispossessed more in the first half than the £89 million summer signing, who did little more - aside from his pass to Ibrahimovic - in the second 45 minutes.
Needs to start producing the goods.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic looked his age tonight.
The 35-year-old had United’s best chance of the match in the second half when Paul Pogba swung in a cross to the back post, but the Swedish forward fluffed his lines at the crucial moment.
Is Zlatan too old to perform against the best teams in the Premier League?