Manchester United battled hard for a 0-0 draw at Anfield and should really have won it with a couple of late chances.

The win keeps United three points ahead of Liverpool at the top of the league, with City also lurking closely behind.

A lack of goals meant there was not too much to get excited about in this game. While there was considerable progress compared to our result at Anfield last season, it also felt like a missed opportunity.

Here is a look at six statistics you may have missed from the goalless draw…

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Paul Ellis – Pool/Getty Images)

Luke Shaw was United’s top creative player

Left-back Luke Shaw almost had the match winning assist after setting up Bruno Fernandes for a late chance.

This was one of two key passes made by Shaw. He was the only United player with more than one.

It is a sign of Shaw’s progress that this is not even that surprising. While he only has two assists this season, the 25-year-old has been consistently excellent and he is justifying keeping Alex Telles out of the side at present.

Anthony Martial completed six dribbles

United actually looked better when Edinson Cavani came on and gave the team more shape up front. However, Anthony Martial’s fruitless performance was not through lack of effort.

Martial made six successful dribbles. The rest of the United team managed seven combined,

The Frenchman lacked the productivity to make Liverpool pay, but at times he did not make it easy for their defenders.

No United forward had a shot on target

Martial, Cavani and Marcus Rashford are still figuring things out in front of goal, and they were starved of service.

 

Between them they managed just one shot in total which came from Rashford. This missed the target.

United need to figure out a way to increase the supply to the frontmen in big games, because so far this season it is not quite clicking yet.

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Harry Maguire blocks five shots

Harry Maguire blocked five shots as he contributed to United keeping a clean sheet.

For context, even after this game, he is still averaging 0.8 shots blocked per game.

This was an impressive and alert performance from Manchester United’s captain in which he stood out as one of the team’s top players.

Fred and McTominay made 10 tackles

If United lacked a bit of creativity, it was because Solskjaer favoured the midfield industry of Fred and Scott McTominay.

The duo did not let Solskjaer down, despite a worrying opening 20 minutes when Liverpool started on top.

By the end of the game both players combined for 10 tackles, five each. They prevented Liverpool from ever really getting a grip on the game beyond their initial start.

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Paul Ellis – Pool/Getty Images)

Paul Pogba adjusts to wide role

Paul Pogba was in an unfamiliar role wide on the right and had a chance to win the game late on.

What you sacrifice by putting Pogba out here is his influence in possession.

Pogba was only able to complete 59 per cent of his passes and did not create any goalscoring opportunities.

Solskjaer praised his performance after the game. This was an unusual and inefficient game from the Frenchman, and one you should expect if playing him out of position against a top team.

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