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Man U’s Romelu Lukaku failed to show his ‘powerhouse’ at Anfield

Full time: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United

Man U’s Romelu Lukaku failed to show his ‘powerhouse’ at Anfield

Full time: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United

14 October 2017 Saturday 15:29
Man U’s Romelu Lukaku failed to show his ‘powerhouse’ at Anfield

Full time: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United

It’s hard to know what to make of thatLiverpool were much the better team but only forced one admittedly miraculous save from David De Gea; United were diabolical going forward but got a good point.  

90+3 min F**k me it’s Victor Lindelof! He comes on to make his Premier League debut, replacing Ashley Young, who did his job as defensive winger pretty well.

90+1 min Another corner for Liverpool, who are ending the match on top. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s dipping outswinger is nutted over from 12 yards byu Lovren. Jones did enough to ensure he didn’t have a clear header.

90 min Gary Neville gives Joe Gomez the Man of the Match award. Liverpool have a corner, as we approach three minutes of added time.

89 min “I wonder what Ferguson and Bobby Charlton make of away days against the top six these days,” says Paul Fitzgerald, who may have forgotten United’s performances at Anfield in the mid-2000s.

Since you’re here … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. You can give to the Guardian by becoming a monthly supporter or by making a one-off contribution. - Guardian HQ

88 min Gomez, who has had a fine game in defence and attack, does excellently to dispossess Rashford during a rare United attack.

87 min Ashley Young’s afternoon of suffering ends with the inevitable yellow card for a high foot. Liverpool make their final change, with Dominic Solanke replacing Roberto Firmino.

85 min You couldn’t accuse the United players of being an unprofessional bunch of clowns. They have given their all, they have just played badly going forward. It happens.

83 min Darmian kicks his team-mate Matic in the head while stretching for a high ball. As he foot falls it hits Can on the back of the neck. Darmian now has cramp. It’s been a long afternoon of the soul for him, the poor bloke.

82 min “United have been absolutely hopeless today,” says Justin Kavanagh, “but might this have John O’Shea written all over it?”

Well it might. Or it might not.

Since you’re here … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. You can give to the Guardian by becoming a monthly supporter or by making a one-off contribution. - Guardian HQ

80 min That’s a decent statement of intent from Oxlade-Chamberlain, who roasts Darmian thrillingly before his dangerous cross is cleared at the near post.

What the world needs now is not, in fact, love, sweet love but a podcast about 80s and 90s football. It’s called Nessun Dorma, and the first episode is mainly about Italia 90: Gazza, Roger Milla, Benjamin Massing and, of course, Jack Charlton threatening to chin Frank Rijkaard.

That was a lively end to a fairly quiet half. David De Gea made the 4234213948345634254th awesome save of his career to deny Joel Matip, while Romelu Lukaku - who should certainly have been booked and might have been sent off - and the otherwise excellent Mo Salah missed good chances. 

On reflection, Lukaku should have scored there - his shot was far too close to Mignolet and at a good height for the keeper as well.

78 min A double Liverpool change: Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replace Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho. That’s interesting.

76 min Whatever the result, this has been a desperately disappointing attacking performance from United. They have defended very well for the most part, with De Gea only having to make that one extraordinary save, but they have been so poor in possession.

74 min Smalling is penalised, and booked, for going through Coutinho to win the ball on the halfway line.

73 min I’d bring Sturridge on for either Can or Wijnaldum and move Coutinho into midfield. There’s no sign of that happening yet, however.

74 min Smalling is penalised, and booked, for going through Coutinho to win the ball on the halfway line.

73 min I’d bring Sturridge on for either Can or Wijnaldum and move Coutinho into midfield. There’s no sign of that happening yet, however.

71 min This half has been a training session: Liverpool attack v United defence. Coutinho clips a high-class pass over the defence to find Firmino on the left of the box. He chests it down and lobs a cross fractionally over the head of Salah at the far post. Firmino bangs the ground in frustration; a fractionally softer cross would have given Salah an open goal.

70 min Wijnaldum gets away with a really late tackle, with his studs plunging into the side of Herrera’s leg.

Posted at 69 mins

Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United

It's very much been the sort of game we expected. Feared.

Georginio Wijnaldum is perhaps lucky not to get booked for a high challenge on Ander Herrera.

56 min An outstanding cross from Gomez, lofted from a deep, narrow position on the right, drops over Jones and is volleyed over from six yards by Can at the near post. It was a very good chance, although he was probably unsighted as it came over Jones’s head and he had to go at it with the outside of the left foot. It was such an imaginative ball from Gomez.

Updated at 1.44pm BST

55 min Darmian adds depth to an increasingly poor performance with a foul throw.

53 min Coutinho surges forward from midfield and stabs a gorgeous through pass for Firmino, who is a couple of yards offside. De Gea saved his shot anyway.

52 min I don’t think it’ll be long before Mourinho makes an attacking change. He could hook any of them but I suspect it’ll be Mkhitaryan, who hasn’t been able to get in the game at all.

51 min United aren’t just stuck in their own half; they’re stuck in their own third. It’s been a brilliant start to the half from Liverpool, full of intent and energy.

50 min Another 50/50 decision goes against Ashley Young. Bom bom bom...

Since you’re here … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. You can give to the Guardian by becoming a monthly supporter or by making a one-off contribution. - Guardian HQ

45 min Lovren falls over as he challenges Lukaku, who then catches him in the face with his heel. It’s hard to know on first viewing whether it was deliberate, but my instinct is that he might get a three-match ban for that. He has been on edge in the last 20 minutes and should have been booked earlier.

43 min Mignolet makes a terrific save from Lukaku! Out of nothing, United sliced through Liverpool with some brilliant one-touch passing from Martial and Lukaku on the edge of the area. Lukaku then whacked a shot across goal from 12 yards and Mignolet flew to his left to palm it away. I think it was more a good save than a bad miss, though I’d like to see it again.

42 min Lovely play from Coutinho, who sits Herrera down before dancing into the area on the left. Eventually a defence takes the pace off his cross and it goes through to De Gea.

 “Don’t swim Paul!” says Nuwan Alahakoon. “It should be fun. I can’t imagine better stand-up comedians than Smalling and Jones. I am gonna bet $100 that a fly will go inside Jones’ open mouth.”

“The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support a show (a musical, no less) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ipswich Town’s most, er, recent FA Cup win,” writes Philip Genochio. “Called “Our Blue Heaven”, the show will use people’s stories and recollections of the momentous day to create something befitting Bobby Robson’s flying team of blue-shirted footballing geniuses.

“The Indigogo page is here, and, if nothing else, you can marvel at the lovingly titled list of offers available to generous souls you have fond memories of a victory that represents 33% of the stars that hover over the club badge. More details - and how to share any memories with the production team - on the Wolsey’s website here.”

If it’s anything like last season’s game at Anfield, I’d say during the game is your best option. But it really should be better this year. Should.

 Juergen Klopp makes two changes with Emre Can and Roberto Firmino back in the side. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

The Liverpool team is as expected. The United team isn’t: Eric Bailly is injured, while the defensive ability of Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young means they have been selected. Anthony Martial also starts, with Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford on the bench. It seems Rashford isn’t fully fit.

Liverpool (4-3-3) Mignolet; Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Coutinho.

Substitutes: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Klavan, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Solanke.

Manchester United (4-2-3-1) De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Darmian; Herrera, Matic; Young, Mkhitaryan, Martial; Lukaku.

Substitutes: Romero, Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Blind, Mata, Lingard, Rashford.

The Guardian

Updated: 14.10.2017 16:46
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