It was a frustrating night for Liverpool as Manchester United parked a tank in front of a world-class goalkeeper, and their efforts are graded here.
Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United
Premier League, Anfield
October 17, 2016
Loris Karius – 6 (out of 10)
Had some simple catches to make early on, and was also involved in quite a lot of the buildup play from the back.
Not really sure what he’s like under crosses yet—whether he’s bad or just unconventional. Not sure he knows which he is yet either.
Had a shaky moment in the second half following a poor back-pass from Dejan Lovren, but was relatively untroubled in terms of shots.
Can kick the ball a respectable distance from goal-kicks, too.
Nathaniel Clyne – 6
Unfortunate that the couple of shots he had in the second half were blocked, else it might have been more than the usual Clyne six or seven out of 10.
Showed the usual effort up and down the right flank, but couldn’t combine with Sadio Mane as well as he might have hoped.
Joel Matip – 7
Did a good job of getting his body in the way of things, even if he couldn’t always get to the ball first.
Likes to roam forward in the style of Kolo Toure, and this has to be admired.
On one of his forays forward he played a pass to Emre Can which set the German up for a great chance to score.
Dejan Lovren – 6
Very hit-and-miss in the first half, when he seemed detached from the rest of the defence.
Looked more comfortable in the second despite a back-pass which put Karius under unnecessary pressure.
Played some good passes forward and made the odd good intervention in defence.
James Milner – 6
In the wars throughout the game but continued fighting.
Technically not the best, and at times it felt like the rumbustious attacking play of Alberto Moreno might have been a better option to break down this stubborn defence.
Jurgen Klopp and Zeljko Buvac eventually thought so too, introducing the Spaniard with five minutes to go.
This meant the end of a hard night’s work for Milner, which yielded nothing but aches and pains!
Jordan Henderson – 6
In the second half he let Paul Pogba go past him far too easily before the Frenchman set up Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who should have scored.
It should have been an easy game to dictate from his position, but incisive forward passes were difficult to make.
Emre Can – 7
Looked slightly off the pace on his return to the starting lineup, as he waited for challenges to arrive rather than riding them.
Grew into the game though, and had one of the best chances of the match but saw his effort saved by David De Gea.
It was a good runout for Can, who will hope he can stay in the team even when other players return to fitness.
Enjoyed his run out in a deeper role, putting in a tackle on Antonio Valencia early on which set the tone for the battle in the midfield.
He also had time for some of his Brazilian magic, drinking the ball around Ander Herrera on numerous occasions as the pair fought it out for the prize of best midfielder.
Almost scored later in the game with one of his trademark efforts from distance, but was thwarted by a brilliant save from De Gea.
Sadio Mane – 5
Found it difficult to break down the opposition defence down the right-hand side, though it wasn’t for a lack of trying: even if he managed to beat a man there were several more lying in wait.
Had a good chance to create something on the break in the second half after a slip from Daley Blind, but played the wrong pass.
Also had a couple of careless moments in possession which might have been more costly on another day.
Roberto Firmino – 6
Had a good chance to score from Henderson’s cross in the first half, but his header went straight at the ‘keeper.
Moved into the centre-forward position once Daniel Sturridge was withdrawn, and gave the United defence problems by regularly dropping deep.
Had another good chance in the second half but allowed Valancia to catch up with him and tackle the ball cleanly in the area.
Picked up a dose of cramp shortly after, and was substituted.
Daniel Sturridge – 5
Almost impossible for him to get involved in attack unless he dropped deep, which he didn’t do often enough.
Was a good touch away from being in on goal following a long ball form the back, but it was a difficult chance, especially for a player short on game time.
Had just 22 touches of the ball before being taken off with around an hour gone.
Adam Lallana (on for Sturridge 59′) – 6 – Had an immediate impact on the game with quick feet in tight spaces, but even he struggled to thread passes through a stodgy United back line.
Divock Origi (on for Firmino 85′) – N/A – Given no time to change the game.
Alberto Moreno (on fr Milner 86′) – N/A – As with Origi, though perhaps should have been introduced earlier.
Jurgen Klopp – 6
Though the lineup suggested a return to Klopp’s favoured 4-2-3-1, the manager stuck with the 4-3-3 he’s used so far this season.
Coutinho and Can played ahead of Henderson in midfield, with Mane and Firmino either side of Sturridge.
The team struggled to implement an effective pressing game, as Jose Mourinho’s side regularly bypassed and defensive buildup play, opting to lump the ball up to Pogba and Ibrahimovic instead.
Lallana replaced Sturridge after an hour, and this allowed Firmino to play as a false nine, which was slightly more effective than the previous setup.
After consultation with his assistant, Buvac, Klopp brought both Moreno and Divock Origi into the fray, but neither had much time to make a difference.
In the end, Mourinho got the draw he came for, and Klopp will have learnt the odd lesson for the trip to Old Trafford.