It was a gutting finish to a close game at Anfield as Mo Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead in added time.
Three players dragged Manchester United forward at their rivals after Virgil van Dijk had given the home team a 14th-minute lead.
Fred puts in storming midfield display
The Brazilian midfielder is having the best spell of his United career. Since his move from Shakhtar Donetsk, this was by far his finest performance.
Fred was responsible for keeping United in the game during a consistent pelting of Liverpool chances at the start of the second half.
Once United had survived that period, Fred was a key part of the semi-comeback. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side didn’t manage to score but threatened the champions-elect.
Fred turned well on the ball, distributed it well and stormed forward with three key dribbles that opened up space for United.
Brandon Williams impresses alongside Shaw
The pre-match hysteria surrounding Williams and Luke Shaw’s inclusion of the starting line-up was unsurprising.
So too was the composed performance of Williams. The 19-year-old worked with Shaw to nullify the impact of Salah on the left side. He went off with half an hour remaining after another really good display.
Williams often gave United a route out when under pressure, dribbling from defence over the halfway line.
Even if he lost the ball, it was an important attribute in certain moments in the match. In defence, he performed responsibly to regularly swap positions with Shaw at left-back.
Though he was beaten by Van Dijk for Liverpool’s opening goal, it wasn’t necessarily his responsibility and it certainly shouldn’t have been.
David de Gea recovers from VAR drama
David de Gea came under great scrutiny in Sky Sports’ half-time analysis. The VAR ruled out a Roberto Firmino goal after De Gea had been fouled by van Dijk. It was a foul and De Gea was rightly furious at the referee for initially allowing the goal to stand.
Aside from that incident, De Gea made a couple of crucial saves. He denied Sadio Mané in the second half and made a couple of catches from long shots which could otherwise have landed at the feet of Salah or Firmino.
The first goal was pretty much unstoppable and the second was irrelevant to the scoreline, though De Gea perhaps could have done better.
The difference between De Gea and Alisson was shown in that goal, where the latter delivered a fantastic ball to give Salah the chance. De Gea’s distribution is very far off that.
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