Tuesday 18 October 2016

David De Gea Ensures Manchester United Hold Liverpool In Stalemate

United boss Jose Mourinho will have his goalkeeper David De Gea to thank for the point.
The Spanish 'keeper made a pin-point save from Emre Can after the Germany playmaker tricked his way into some space in the box just before the hour mark, and then with 20 minutes remaining he pulled off a magnificent stop to parry Philippe Coutinho's stunning  long-ranger.

The first-half began the cagey narrative of the contest, both teams packing the midfield to stop the game from flowing in any way. Entertaining? No, not at all.

  • ·         Match night was two years five months and 20 days since Jose Mourinho came here with Chelsea and broke Liverpool’s hearts with a 2-0 win that ultimately cost the Kop their first title since 1990.
  • ·         There has been an incredible turnaround in personnel at Liverpool since that match with only Philippe Coutino in last night’s line up from that game. Six of the starting line-up against Chelsea have now left Anfield.
  • ·    Jose Mourinho is known for his quick starts when he joins new clubs but with United has been his slowest. With Chelsea (first time), Inter and Real Madrid he had 17, 16 and 17 points respectively after seven games. Even his second spell with Chelsea began with 14 but he went into this game with just 13.
  • ·       Wayne Rooney might have been on the bench again but the stats about his career are still pretty impressive. A goal in this game would have been a record 88th away from home in the Premier League one ahead of Alan Shearer.
  • A comparison in how these two teams play can be seen in the average ground covered by both sides in their opening seven games. Liverpool are top of that table at 116.4km and United bottom with 105 km. That is a km less per player than Liverpool.
  • ·         Liverpool’s more energetic high pressing game this season can be put down to a few factors. Jurgen Kloop has had a proper pre-season to prepare his players after arriving in October last year to succeed Brendan Rodgers. He poached Bayern Munich’s nutritionist Mona Nemmer and fitness coach Andreas Kornmayer.
  • ·         Last night began a crucial ten days of football for United which could help to define their season. While Thursday’s match against Fenerbahce may be neither here nor there the trip to Mourinho’s former club Chelsea next Sunday certainly is. Then it is Man City in the League Cup.
  • ·         Mourinho seemed to be having a dig Klopp’s touch line antics when he twirled his hands in the air when talking about technical area behaviour on Friday. The Liverpool boss should send him an early Christmas present of a eight inch high Klopp Bobblehead as advertised in last night’s programme.
  • ·         With the extension and refurbishment of the new stand last night’s attendance of nearly 54,000 for this fixture was its biggest here in three decades.
  • ·         The extra tier on the remodelled main stand certainly makes a difference to the noise here in what was already one of football’s most atmospheric stadiums.

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