Manchester United 2-2 Liverpool: Red Devils grind out point, hurt rivals title hopes

Manchester United’s latest visit from Liverpool took plenty of twists and turns, as the rivalry delivered a 2-2 draw that put a dent in the Reds’ Premier League title hopes.

WATCH MANCHESTER UNITED vs LIVERPOOL FULL MATCH REPLAY

The Reds dominated the Red Devils in the first half, taking all 15 of the game’s shot attempts. They led through a sliding Luis Diaz finish and the match only looked to be headed in one direction.

But Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo scored in the first 21 minutes of a much-improved second half, and Liverpool could only manage a Mohamed Salah penalty in dropping points for just the third time in 2024 (loss to Arsenal, draw with Man City).

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

It had been smooth sailing of late for leaders Liverpool, with just one draw and one defeat in their last 12 games in all competitions, but they now drop behind Arsenal on tiebreakers atop the Premier League table. Both have 71 points, one more than Manchester City.

Erik ten Hag will feel no small amount of relief after his Red Devils drew 1-1 away to Brentford last Saturday and followed that up with a 4-3 defeat to Chelsea on Thursday. Man United’s 49th point keeps them sixth, eight points off fifth and 11 out of the top four.

Youthful errors, substandard finishing catch up to Liverpool

This game could’ve been over well before halftime, as Manchester United were very poor at home. In fact, the Red Devils were booed off the pitch down 1-0, the Old Trafford faithful knowing full well the score line was fortunate given the performance.

Jurgen Klopp’s attack was lively but could only manage the one goal, as Andre Onana made a number of saves in a 45-minute period which saw the Reds cue up 15 shots and 1.66 expected goal compared to 0 and 0.00 for the insipid Red Devils.

Klopp has been able to overcome his injuries because his finishers have been doing their jobs so well. Young defender Conor Bradley had an own goal last time out but the Reds struck thrice to beat Sheffield United. This time, it was an awful decision from young Jarell Quansah and Caoiminh Kelleher’s inability to secure a bail out for his fellow young back that allowed the Red Devils hope.

These errors are always going to happen, as Klopp has trusted the young bucks because of the players in front of them while inexperienced Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez sit on the bench. The philosophy had them first in the table, but it didn’t help Sunday.

Red Devils beat rivals, no closer to knowing their future

Credit Manchester United for showing up after an embarrassing first half, but how does a team start so poorly at home against a rival mere days after an embarrassing loss to another rival?

Can we really say we have any clue whether United have real hope of their future lying with Erik ten Hag?

The goals were great but came off individual moments from two players who have already been fantastic for the club over years or the single season. Bruno Fernandes has been the key man for United, while Kobbie Mainoo a teenage Godsend. Diogo Dalot and Casemiro were also decent but, again, nothing new there.

The Red Devils seem likely to go back to the Europa League and should reach an FA Cup Final. Would either or both of those things convince the INEOS group that Ten Hag deserves to start another season at the helm?

Manchester United vs Liverpool player ratings (fotmob.com)

A six-save day for Andre Onana played no small part in this point, while Casemiro and Kobbie Mainoo were fantastic and allowed Bruno Fernandes the freedom to make the center of the park an advantage for the Red Devils. Liverpool will look to Quansah’s mistake and Kelleher’s unfortunate positioning as the reason this went foul, as well as the lone goal from the dominant first half.

Manchester United vs Liverpool player ratings (fotmob.com)

Manchester United vs Liverpool player ratings (fotmob.com)

Manchester United vs Liverpool player ratings (fotmob.com)

What’s next?

Liverpool host Atalanta at 3pm ET Thursday in a Europa League quarterfinal first leg, then welcome Crystal Palace at 9am ET Sunday for a Premier League scrap.

Manchester United head to Bournemouth at 12:30pm ET Saturday.


How to watch Manchester United vs Liverpool live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10:30 am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Watch live online via NBC.com & Peacock Premium


Manchester United vs Liverpool final score: 2-2

Goalscorers: Diaz (23′), Fernandes (50′), Mainoo (67′), Salah (84′)

Manchester United vs Liverpool live updates — By Nick Mendola

Liverpool penalty! Manchester United 2-2 Liverpool (84th minute)

Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s wild slide takes out Harvey Elliott in the box, and the Liverpool sub had ironically already misplayed his dribble.

Mohamed Salah goes to the spot and rolls it the other way of Andre Onana.

Subs

Sofyan Amrabat replaces Garnacho, and Bruno Fernandes moves to the wing as Erik ten Hag looks to salt away what would be a relatively famous victory.

Kobbie Mainoo! Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool (67th minute)

What a hit from the kid. What presence of mind!

Garnacho dribbles inside and plays shot to Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who finds Mainoo with his back to goal.

Mainoo knows where he is, though, and spins to fire a pearler inside the far post. Kelleher can’t react in time.

2-1 United! What a turn of this tale!

Subs for both

Manchester United removes Marcus Rashford for Antony, while Liverpool inserts Curtis Jones and Joe Gomez for Dominik Szoboszlai and Conor Bradley.

Perhaps only one of the moves makes clear sense — Gomez for Bradley — so let’s see how this goes.

Liverpool fail to finish break

It’s a lightning-quick counter attack but Darwin Nunez gets the final ball wrong.

Neither shooting nor dropping it back to an open Dominik Szoboszlai, Nunes squares the ball through the six where it’s absent receiver.

The talking points are piling up at Old Trafford.

What a mistake, and what a hit! Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool (50th minute)

Jarell Quansah plays a terrible ball into the middle of the pitch and Bruno Fernandes spies Caoiminh Kelleher way off his line.

And that’s how a team getting dominated restores level terms at home.

Wow.

Halftime — Manchester United 0-1 Liverpool

Man United look terrible. Liverpool are good, too, but Man United…. oof! That’s the story.

The Red Devils do not have a shot attempt and have conceded 15 to Liverpool, with four finding their way to Andre Onana’s frame.

Liverpool have taken eight corner kicks to United’s three. Rasmus Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho have combined for 23 touches.

There’s been some luck for United on the left side with Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka but it’s been minimal compared to the constant threat of Salah, Darwin Nunez, and Luis Diaz.

And Liverpool’s left side is having a field day with Willy Kambwala, Kobbie Mainoo, Garnacho, and the relatively-ancient 25-year-old Diogo Dalot on United’s right.

Onana makes another save

The Manchester United keeper goes to his right and denies Mohamed Salah but concedes a corner kick.

He helps deny the danger from the set piece, then flies to his right and will feel fortunate that Darwin Nunez just misses with a sensational curler.

Liverpool looking to put this to bed as quickly as possible.

Liverpool goal — Luis Diaz! Manchester United 0-1 Liverpool (23rd minute)

It’s a set piece, and it’s a brilliant flick from Darwin Nunez that sets up a goal.

Luis Diaz is at the back post and gets low to snap the ball home for 1-0.

Frenetic start includes offside goal, Onana save

That’s a wild 200 seconds to start!

Alejandro Garnacho makes a brilliant run but the pass to send him through is sent a second late, and his rounding of Kelleher to deposit a would-be opener is defied by the flag.

Liverpool go back the other way and Andre Onana has to make a big left-handed save on Darwin Nunez to keep it scoreless.

Close to kickoff!

There’s a lot to like about the lineups, and it should be a day for chances given two inexperienced and/or substandard back lines.

There’s youth on both sides with Kambwala and Mainoo for Man Utd and Quansah and Bradley for Liverpool. and we know both of these clubs have intense attacking talent.

On this season’s evidence, you’d like Liverpool to feast more than United but Garnacho’s in great form and Rashford knows this rivalry. He has seven goals in 17 appearances against the Reds including three in his last four home matches. One of those? A 112th-minute equalizer in last month’s FA Cup quarterfinal triumph.

Manchester United lineup

Onana, Dalot, Kambwala, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Mainoo, Fernandes, Rashford, Garnacho, Hojlund

Liverpool lineup

Kelleher, Robertson, Van Dijk, Quansah, Bradley, Endo, Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Diaz, Nunez, Salah


Manchester United focus, team news

Ten Hag opted for his best-available lineup to face Chelsea less than 72 hours before Sunday’s derby, and that was before Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans hobbled off to (re-)join fellow center backs Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof on the injury list. 19-year-old Willy Kambwala replaced Evans, who earlier replaced Varane, has made five appearances in the PL this season and would presumably be next in line to start.

OUT: Anthony Martial (groin), Victor Lindelof (thigh), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Luke Shaw (thigh), Lisandro Martinez (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Casemiro (undisclosed), Raphael Varane (ankle), Jonny Evans (undisclosed), Altay Bayindir (undisclosed)

Liverpool focus, team news

Liverpool, on the other hand, are trending toward something resembling a healthy squad, with Andrew Robertson and Curtis Jones recently returning from injuries, and the trio of Alisson, Diogo Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold also nearing their respective returns in the next week or two.

OUT: Trent Alexander-Arnold (knee), Diogo Jota (knee – out months), Alisson (thigh injury), Joel Matip (torn ACL – out for season), Stefan Bajcetic (calf), Thiago Alcantara (groin) | QUESTIONABLE: Wataru Endo (undisclosed)

First appeared on www.nbcsports.com

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