Reaction of players to draw at Anfield shows Manchester United mentality shift

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke of a disappointment among the team after Manchester United drew 0-0 at Liverpool. The stalemate at Anfield keeps United top of the Premier League, three points clear of Sunday’s home side.

Solskjaer was the only one to comment on the disappointing feeling penetrating through the squad after the result. Luke Shaw, who was superb defending against Mo Salah, and Harry Maguire spoke about the same thing.

Manchester United squad reacts to 0-0 draw against Liverpool

“It’s a bit flat in the dressing room,” Shaw told BBC Sport.

Solskjaer had this to say: “I’m disappointed but still a point is OK if you win the next one.”

Maguire explained that United will “feel a bit disappointed.”

Reactions show a change in United mentality under Solskjaer

Disappointment at drawing at Anfield is the right reaction. It’s not a bad result and it keeps United top of the league, but it’s the right reaction. And it’s not the one that would have happened, for fans or players, even a year ago.

Solskjaer has slowly worked to develop a different mentality at the club. He’s rid the side of Alexis Sanchez. That was step one. But it’s not just that.

He’s balanced after games. When United win, he responds by pointing out the negatives. When United lose, he highlights the positive. It keeps the mood at United balanced and consistent. Not necessarily with the fans, but certainly with the players.

The result is a team who believes they can win every game but aren’t complacent about it. It has to continue.

United are a different team to last year

It was pleasing, actually, to see Solskjaer not draw comparisons on past games. He has done so in the past, particularly at stadiums where United have endured bad results. United are now in a position where they cannot just compare to last year’s poor results. Solskjaer has set higher expectations.

Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Maguire did mention it, though.

“You can see our performance compared to last year when we weren’t brave at all,” he said to Sky Sports. “We were a bit timid.”

It’s worth pointing out, even though Solskjaer is right not to. United are such a different team to the one that went to Anfield this time last year and were beaten 2-0. In quality of play, certainly, but also in mentality. It’s not everything, but it is an essential feature of good teams.

It’s one factor in a few that means United are above Liverpool after the trip to Anfield this season rather than 30 points behind.

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Life-long Manchester United fan with a strong interest in the club's academy. Host of the Manchester United Weekly Podcast and United Through Time. First game at Old Trafford was the 7-1 rout of AS Roma in 2007.