Manchester United left it late to rescue a point against Liverpool this afternoon.
The visitors were awarded a penalty midway through the first-half after Paul Pogba handled in the penalty area. James Milner made no mistake from twelve yards, powering home past the helpless David De Gea.
Jose Mourinho oversaw a vast improvement from his side in the second half, and they got their reward in the 84th minute as Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s looping header beat Simon Mignolet. It was a goal that drew the Swede level with Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez at the top of the Premier League’s goal-scoring rankings.
It finished honours even, and it was very much a fair result. United remain in sixth place, trailing arch-rivals Manchester City by two points. Liverpool saw the gap between them and leaders Chelsea grow to seven points, and have work to do if they want to prevent the Blues running away with the crown.
Here’s three things we learnt during today’s stalemate:
Paul Pogba is not the finished article: Despite Man United forking out a world-record fee for the Frenchman in the summer, he still has a long way to go before he can be considered one of the best players in the world. It is in this sort of fixture that you need your star players to shine, but Pogba cowered away and was merely a passenger. The penalty he conceded in the first-half epitomised a disappointing performance for him.
Liverpool have the squad to go all the way: They may have seen the deficit between themselves and Chelsea grow to seven points this match-week, but Liverpool went a long way to outlining their title credentials at Old Trafford. With Joel Matip, Sadio Mane and Nathaniel Clyne all unavailable, and talisman Philippe Coutinho still not match-fit, the Reds could well have been overwhelmed by an in-form United side. However, Klopp’s men proved that they have quality in reserve, and they do not rely on any one individual to win them games.
Jose Mourinho has work to do: Going into today’s game, United had won nine consecutive games in all competitions, their longest winning run since 2009. However, their first-half performance suggested that Mourinho still has work to do to turn his side into genuine title contenders. Liverpool looked comfortable throughout, even during United’s late onslaught. The Special One will have to make further investments in the upcoming transfer windows if he wants to return his side to their former glory.