MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 7, 2024: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah reacts after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man United 2-2 Liverpool: Failure to finish cost Reds again

Exactly three weeks after the FA Cup quarter final defeat, Liverpool were back at Old Trafford and it was an almost exact replica.

Man United 2-2 Liverpool

Premier League (31), Old Trafford
April 7, 2024


Diaz 23′ (assist: Nunez)
Fernandes 50′
Mainoo 67′
Salah 84′ (pen)

Looking to avenge that FA Cup defeat and retain their place at the top of the Premier League table, Liverpool failed to finish their chances and were made to pay again.

Jurgen Klopp made three changes from the side that began in midweek, with Wataru Endo back into midfield and Andy Robertson and Jarell Quansah in defence.

Dominik Szoboszlai had two chances in the opening 10 minutes but failed to put either away. It was to become the story of the game, again.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 7, 2024: Liverpool's Luis Diaz celebrates scoring the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool worked their way into the game after a slow start and got the breakthrough midway through the half when Luis Diaz acrobatically finished from Darwin Nunez‘s flick on from a corner. 1-0.

From there, it was complete domination from Klopp’s side, with 15 shots before half time – but the manager grew increasingly frustrated as his side failed to convert and extend their lead, just as was the issue in the FA Cup tie.

Half time: Man United 0-1 Liverpool

Liverpool’s failure to kill the game bit them in the backside five minutes into the second half when Quansah’s poor pass near the halfway line went straight to Bruno Fernandes, who shot from 40 yards out over Caoimhin Kelleher.

It was United’s first shot of the game, while Liverpool had had 17. Laughable.

The goal completely changed the complexion of the game and United almost went ahead within three minutes of the unexpected equaliser.

And yet, Liverpool still had another opportunity to show their woeful killer instinct, this time on the counter that ended with Nunez failing to finish.

Time and again, Liverpool created chance after chance but the final pass or finish was lacking. “Liverpool should be punishing this, the space is so vast,” said Gary Neville on Sky Sports’ commentary.

At times it resembled a basketball match, end to end and so open.

The home side took the lead in the 67th minute through Kobbie Mainoo, curling in from just inside the box on the turn. A lovely finish, showing Liverpool exactly what they had failed to do. 2-1.

Klopp was rightly incandescent on the sidelines and made another double sub, taking off Nunez and Endo.

Harvey Elliott won a penalty for a foul by Wan-Bissaka, which Salah converted to equalise with six minutes remaining of regular time.

Liverpool’s failure to kill the game meant they were the architects of their own downfall. Two huge points dropped and the title no longer in our own hands.

Where would be with a clinical forward like Diogo Jota available?

TIA Man of the Match: Alexis Mac Allister

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Man United: Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Kambwala, Wan-Bissaka; Casemiro, Mainoo; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford (Antony 66′); Hojlund

Subs not used: Bayindir, Amass, Ogunneye, Amrabat, Eriksen, Mount, Forson, Diallo

Liverpool: Kelleher, Bradley (Gomez 66′), Quansah, Van Dijk, Robertson, Endo (Elliott 68′), Mac Allister, Szoboszlai (Jones 66′), Salah, Nunez (Gakpo 68′), Diaz

Subs not used: Adrian, Konate, Tsimikas, Gravenberch, Danns

Next Match: Atalanta (home, Thursday 11 April)