Manchester United 2-2 Liverpool (Apr 7, 2024) Game Analysis

Mohamed Salah scored a late equaliser from a penalty as Liverpool escaped Old Trafford with a point in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Sunday to end the weekend level on points with league leaders Arsenal.

Salah stroked home in the 84th minute for his sixth league goal at Old Trafford, the most of any visiting player in the league’s history, overtaking Steven Gerrard’s five.

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With seven games remaining in the neck-and-neck title race, Liverpool and Arsenal have 71 points with Mikel Arteta’s team leading on goal difference. Reigning champions Manchester City are third on 70 points, while United are sixth with 49.

“It feels like a loss, it is our fault again,” Liverpool skipper Virgil van Dijk told the BBC. “We had so many chances and we should finish the game off.”

Luis Díaz got Liverpool on the scoreboard in the 23rd minute when Dominik Szoboszlai swung in a corner that Darwin Núñez headed to the unmarked winger who hooked in a volley from close range.

But Bruno Fernandes scored a wild goal — the United skipper’s 50th league goal for the side — with their first shot on target in the 50th minute when he latched on to a loose Liverpool pass and lobbed the ball from the centre circle past keeper Caoimhín Kelleher.

Kobbie Mainoo had the Old Trafford faithful roaring with his rocket from just inside the 18-yard box that sailed into the far top corner in the 67th minute.

Mainoo was the first 18-year-old to score a league goal against Liverpool since Cesc Fabregas for Arsenal in 2005, and the delighted teenager sprinted to the corner flag to salute the crowd in celebration.

Jurgen Klopp’s hopes of ending his Liverpool tenure with a Premier League title triumph were dented at Old Trafford.

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“It’s an unbelievable feeling to score my first Old Trafford goal and to do it in this fixture was even more special,” Mainoo told Sky Sports.

“We didn’t get the three points and that’s the main thing. I think we performed really well in the second half. The lads made minor mistakes and if we iron them out then we win the game.”

Liverpool were awarded their penalty when Harvey Elliott was taken down in the box.

It was the second time in recent weeks that Erik ten Hag’s team had struck a blow against Liverpool, dispatching them from the FA Cup with a dramatic 4-3 quarterfinal home win in extra time last month.

But it was also the third consecutive game that United had given up late goals, in a 1-1 draw at Brentford and 4-3 loss at Chelsea.

“Very mixed emotions,” Ten Hag said. “On one side I am disappointed that we have dropped seven points in one week after being in winning positions, but we have to blame ourselves for making stupid mistakes.

“On the other side I am very proud. You see how we are improving and the potential of this squad is amazing.

The match marked the first time Liverpool had failed to win a league game in which they held a lead since October against Brighton.

“We should have won the game, that is clear,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports. “We should have had other goals in the first half already. As far as I’m concerned, we have a point more than we did before. They put an extra shift in, that’s how it is.

“We don’t have many home games left. The team who wins the league in the end should deserve it. We are in the race and I’m absolutely fine with it.”

Liverpool dominated with 62.1% possession and 28 shots to the home side’s nine. They denied United a single shot on target in the first half of a league match for the first time since April 2022, also against Liverpool.

Alejandro Garnacho briefly had the United crowd on their feet with a goal in the second minute but it was chalked off for offside.

United have won just one of their past 12 Premier League games against Liverpool — this fixture last season.

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