5 talking points from Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Manchester United

It’s very much a case of two precious points dropped in the Premier League title race for Liverpool following a disappointing 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford. 

Goals from Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah were matched by United’s Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo but that doesn’t tell half the story. 

Liverpool dominated from start to finish, barely allowing the hosts a sight at goal, and will be bitter about failing to press home their advantage and put themselves back in front of Arsenal - and further ahead of Manchester City - at the top of the table. 

Here we look through five talking points after the game. 

Reds fail to make their dominance count

This is THE story of the game, yet again. It feels very much like three weeks ago when Liverpool came to Old Trafford, dominated the encounter, and left with nothing but FA Cup elimination confirmed. 

Here, Manchester United had NO shot at all in the first half against Liverpool’s total of 15. At the end of the game, United’s expected goals [xG] total was hovering around the one mark while Liverpool’s was closer to four.

And yet the scoreboard read 2-2 with the Reds requiring a late penalty to rescue a result. 

Work that one out. 

Big chances came and went for players like Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai, Darwin Nunez and the goalscorer Diaz. Had the team been two or three clear, like they should have been, then it would be much harder for United to peg them back. 

The frustrating element is that Liverpool have now played Man Utd THREE TIMES this season and not beaten them once. For a team like Erik ten Hag’s, who have a reputation as a bit of a walkover at times, that could ultimately count against the Reds in the title race. 

All is not lost, however, with Liverpool level on points with Arsenal and still plenty to play for. It’s not a decisive blow in the race for the Premier League title but it’s enough to be called a set-back. 

Decisive Diaz defies doubters

Luis Diaz has been criticised plenty for a perceived lack of output in front of goal but the Colombian forward has hit a good patch of form at a decisive time of the season. 

He has got five goals and three assists in his last 10 league games, and two goals and one assist in his last three. 

He was on the spot to fire the Reds ahead here at Old Trafford and was, perhaps, unlucky not to win it late on when reacting to an Andy Robertson knockdown. 

Remember, Diaz made a HUGE impact during his first season at Anfield, arriving from Porto midway through the campaign to inject life into Liverpool’s attack. 

And he could well be vital in the run-in with his combination of chance creation, disciplined defensive work and a goalscoring flourish. 

Salah can’t do it all himself and there have been vital contributions from the support cast around him, none more so in recent games than Diaz. 

Quansah’s 'Gerrard' moment 

Despite playing 90 minutes against Sheffield United on Thursday night, Ibrahima Konate was again absent from the Liverpool lineup for the game at Old Trafford. 

Jarell Quansah took his place in the starting XI and it was a fateful switch. 

Manchester United barely had a kick before Quansah’s short square pass to Virgil van Dijk was intercepted by Fernandes just inside the Liverpool half. 

The United captain’s shot was absolutely on the money but Reds fans will no doubt be angry that he got the chance in the first place. This was a game of precious few Man Utd chances and it’s hard not to feel like that it could have been a turning point not only in this game but in the title race as a whole. 

It’s not dissimilar to Steven Gerrard’s slip which allowed Demba Ba to race clear and score for Chelsea at Anfield all those years ago. 

Let’s hope Liverpool and Quansah have a chance to make amends. 

Salah extends record against favourite prey

It wasn’t the best of games from the 31-year-old but he still stood up when it counted and Liverpool required his composure from the penalty spot. 

He created plenty of chances, meanwhile, for his team-mates and cannot be blamed that they didn’t take them. And again Salah broke new ground for Liverpool against his favourite prey, Manchester United.

That was his 11th goal against the side from Old Trafford, no opposition player has scored more with Alan Shearer in second place on 10.

He has scored SIX away league goals at Old Trafford, the most of any away team player, and moves ahead of Steven Gerrard on five.

And the 209-goal superstar is the first player EVER to score in four consecutive away games at the home of Manchester United. 

That’s 14 goals for Mo in only 15 games against the Red Devils. What a player, what a record. 

Elliott aside, subs make little impression

Harvey Elliott again did very well when summoned from the bench, and made a decisive contribution in winning the match-saving penalty kick, but elsewhere there was little to write home about on the part of Liverpool’s substitutes

Curtis Jones looks to be still working his way back to full fitness but seemed to be lacking something in his display. 

He wasn’t close enough to Mainoo when the United starlet turned and shot inside the box to put the hosts 2-1 to the good, leading to a mightily unhappy reaction on the Liverpool sidelines from manager Jurgen Klopp. 

Cody Gakpo, a versatile forward the manager regularly turns to, didn’t offer enough up front and wasted the few occasions of possession he enjoyed. 

Joe Gomez came in at right back to replace Conor Bradley but does not possess the same attacking thrust as either Bradley or Trent Alexander-Arnold. 

Liverpool needed something extra from their replacements but didn’t get it. 

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