Manchester United hosted Liverpool in a grim atmosphere for the hosts of Old Trafford who started the season poorly.
To make things worse for the Red Devils, their biggest rival, Liverpool, looks like the strongest team in the league, demolishing everything in its path.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also fighting injuries in the squad with Paul Pogba out for the derby, while the other Frenchman, Anthony Martial was still in the latest phase of the recovery, starting the match from the bench.
David De Gea and the newcomer, Aaron Wan Bissaka were the last-second calls, but they made the starting eleven.
Manchester United playing with three at the back
Solskjaer opted for an interesting approach of playing with three typical center-backs with Rojo, Harry Maguire, and Victor Lindelof formed the defensive wall backed by the wing-backs in Ashley Young and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The midfield also had a defensive flair as Fred and Scott McTominay protected the backline, with Andreas Perreira in front of them.
Marcus Rashford and Daniel James were expected to break on the counters using their quick pace, trying to use Liverpool’s aggressive approach high up the pitch.
The guests and the current European champions played in their typical 4-3-3, although they missed Mohamed Salah with injury, as a cult hero and the fan-favorite, Divock Origi took his spot in the starting eleven. Henderson, Fabinho, and Wijnaldum were the usual suspects in the midfield, while the defensive line was, as usual, featuring Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, and Van Dijk. Alisson returned between the posts after the first fixture injury against Norwich.
Motivated and pacey United
Manchester United opened the match with a lot of energy and running, showing a serious intent and motivation to prove their worth.
Even though Liverpool controlled the possession, United struck first when Origi lost the ball in the midfield, which led to James and Rashford combining for the goal, just as Ole imagined it would be.
Klopp was fuming as he though that VAR should’ve overruled the goal due to an apparent foul on Origi in the build-up.
However, the scoreboard said 1-0 for the Old Trafford side.
The end of the first half saw another excitement with Mane scoring, but only for it to be overruled by VAR due to an obvious handball by Sadio Mane.
Klopp switching things up
Klopp tried changing to the system to 4-2-3-1, and when that didn’t work, Oxlade-Chamberlain entered the match which saw the Reds go with the good old 4-4-2.
Lallana was another bench boost for Liverpool and proved to be the key as he scored the only goal of the match for the Reds in the 85th minute.
United scrambled to get a draw, desperately defending until the end, and they succeeded in doing so, giving themselves a boost, but also a feeling they could’ve gotten away with a win in this match.
Klopp’s men almost had a similar scenario of a penalty in the 96th minute, but the ball hit Fred in his body rather than his arm, contrary to Liverpool players’ suggestions.
This leaves Manchester United with a belief in a better future, as they stopped Liverpool’s eight-match winning streak, but the Reds are still six points clear off of City at the top of the Premier League.