A draw at Old Trafford against a United side on a nine-match winning streak is never a bad thing, but I don’t half feel cheated and I’m not sure whether it’s a well-earned point or two dropped. Jurgen Klopp switched it up a bit and once again showed why he’s one of the best tactical coaches around. The Reds went with a diamond shape and looked to clog up the pitch centrally. To an extent it worked.
Beforehand many fans had their reservations after what happened against Southampton on Wednesday and just how poor the team performed but they impressed today.
Jurgen Klopp sprung a surprise when he named his starting XI with Trent Alexander-Arnold coming in to replace the injured Nathaniel Clyne. It’s a vote of confidence for the local lad because the German manager could’ve went with James Milner at right-back and started Alberto Moreno at left-back. The 18-year-old had a few hairy moments but given the circumstances he did well.
Philippe Coutinho’s Return
How good was it seeing Philippe Coutinho in the Premier League again? The little Brazilian came on and we immediately looked better. He was positive on the ball, inventive with his passes, and just showed why he’s that class above most others. The link-up play between Coutinho and Firmino was almost telepathic and it cut United open on countless times.
His return couldn’t have come at a better time with the team looking in need of that adrenaline shot.
Firmino played in a central role today and we got to see the Brazilian in his natural element. He was pressing from the front, disrupting their play and harassing their players. He had a lot of joy doing it and Liverpool nearly benefited from it on a few occasions.
He probably should have done better with the chance he hit straight at David De Gea after Coutinho played him in but his overall performance was similar to the Firmino of old.
He just needs to play centrally.
How good was the Belgian today? Some superb saves kept Liverpool 1-0 up and he was unfortunate not to keep the Ibrahimovic header out. It was a far cry from the tepid Mignolet that fans have seen sporadically throughout his time at Anfield and it’s something he should be looking to build on. In that sort of form he’s rightly keeping Karius out of the team.
His distribution is still questionable but he’s never going to be perfect.
The Reds are still undefeated in matches against Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and Everton this season. It sets us up for a good end to the season with 10 of the remaining 17 matches being at Anfield. So long as this run continues we should be in with a good chance of top four even though it’s possibly the most competitive season in recent memory.