The hotly anticipated grudge match at Anfield ended in a disappointing goalless draw, as neither side had many attempts on goal. Jose Mourinho used his highly criticised defensive tactics against an in form Liverpool side to prevent them from scoring and United were close to scraping a 1-0 win had it not been for Zlatan missing.
This is completely different to Moyes and Van Gaal as Mourinho came with a gameplan, and we’ll only really know in May whether the point was worth it, but could we have come out with a win had Mourinho set the team up differently?
It was surprising to see Fellaini and Young on the team-list prior to the game and they were early evidence of Mourinho’s defensively orientated gameplan. Young had a solid game, but was playing quite deep. This left the forward line short on numbers and the same goes for Fellaini’s deep lying midfield role alongside Herrera, who by the way was absolutely fantastic. With these 2 players replacing the more attacking minded Mata and Lingard the team’s attacking line was much less prominent and so therefore we didn’t witness the type of attacking performances we have enjoyed recently.
So far this season, the team has clicked most when Mata has been given freedom in the number 10 role, with Herrera supporting him in midfield and with the pace of players such as Lingard and Rashford around him. Every player has had their own role in the front four that has caused big problems to some defences, with Mata being the key creative influence and Lingard going under the radar constantly making runs that stretch defences giving Mata more space. It was no surprise then to see United create barely any chances and had Mourinho brought on either Mata or Lingard rather than Rooney then maybe we could’ve knicked a goal late on.
In the end it was Mourinho’s decision to not risk losing and ensuring at least a point against a high firing Liverpool side and at least he had a plan unlike the past 2 managers. Let’s just hope it all works out come May!
David De Gea: 9.
Antonio Valencia: 7.
Chris Smalling: 6.
Eric Bailly: 7.
Daley Blind: 6.
Marouane Fellaini: 6.
Ander Herrera: 9 (my man of the match).
Marcus Rashford: 7.
Paul Pogba: 5.
Ashley Young: 6.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 4.
Thank you! BUT it’s not over yet…
Thank you for all your votes as I have made it as a finalist in the Football Blogging Awards for the third year in a row! BUT it’s not over yet. With competition high, it would be an honour to retain my crown and win it yet again at my home away from home (Old Trafford).
To help me do so just vote for me!
You can either vote on their website here –> vote here (I am in the Young Category as “The United Girl”)
or you can vote via twitter –> tweet here
It only takes a few seconds and every vote really does count!!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!