5 talking points from Liverpool's 0-0 slog against Manchester United

Liverpool missed the chance to go back to the top of the Premier League after being held to a lacklustre 0-0 draw by ten-man Manchester United.

It was an incredibly underwhelming first half from both sides, with Liverpool in particular failing to capitalise on early pressure.

Sloppiness was rife in the final third, with the Reds unable to create any clear-cut chances from open play. As such, the teams went into half-time goalless, with serious improvements needed on all accounts.

Things began to open up after the break, with Trent Alexander-Arnold coming agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock with a low, curled effort from outside the box.

Ibrahima Konate then nearly produced a moment of magic on the spin, turning two United defenders in the box before firing towards goal, only to shoot straight down the throat of Andre Onana.

Liverpool would end the game a man up, with Diogo Dalot seeing red for dissent in stoppage time, but were nonetheless unable to find a breakthrough, seeing out a frustrating goalless draw against their North West rivals - a result no Liverpool fan would have taken before a ball was kicked.

Here are five talking points from today’s contest.

1) Liverpool's luck runs out

At long last, Liverpool have dropped points from a game where they have underperformed.

Going into this game, the Reds had been in fine form results-wise - however, the same could not be said from a performance perspective.

Outings against Fulham, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace saw Liverpool come out with the three points despite seriously below-par displays. One way or another, they kept getting bailed out.

This was not the case today, though. Another disappointing performance and a result to boot. Potentially the kick up the backside needed to get back to Jurgen Klopp's trademark free-flowing ways.

2) Sloppy from Szoboszlai

Dominik Szoboszlai has so consistently been a source of brilliance for Liverpool this campaign and, so far, is definitely a contender for Premier League signing of the season.

However, for much of today’s contest, he was simply not at the races. His productivity in the final third left a lot to be desired – whether it was his through passes, his first touches, his give-and-gos... nothing was coming off for the Hungarian.

A rare off-day for Szoboszlai, and he was unsurprisingly dragged on the hour mark.

3) Darwin goes ten without a goal

The Darwin Nunez goal drought continues.

Going into today’s contest, Nunez had gone nine games without a goal, with his last Premier League strike coming at the end of October against Nottingham Forest.

And after a pretty lacklustre display against the Red Devils, it’s now ten outings since the Uruguayan has seen his name on the scoresheet.

It’s the recurring issue of final product: he gets himself into decent positions, but gets the finish wrong. It's not what we want from our inciter of chaos.

4) Gravenberch injury fears

Not another one...

Ryan Gravenberch was one of Liverpool’s better players this afternoon, producing bursts of quality from the midfield.

However, he was on the deck on the hour mark, having picked up an injury, and was promptly replaced by Cody Gakpo.

With Alexis Mac Allister already on the shelf with a knee injury, joining long-term absentees Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago, another midfield injury is the last thing Jurgen Klopp needs during this hectic festive period.

5) Quiet for a record crowd

Today’s game marked the long-awaited opening of Liverpool’s Anfield Road Stand extension, with approximately 57,000 fans in attendance.

It was the largest turnout seen at Anfield in over 60 years, with Ronnie Moran on the scoresheet the last time Liverpool achieved such an attendance figure.

However, given the standard of play witnessed today, there really wasn’t much to cheer about – and as such, you could hardly tell that an extra few thousand voices were inside the stadium.

Opening up the Anfield Road end not with a bang, but with a whimper.

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