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De Gea defiant as Man Utd stifle Liverpool


Manchester United custodian David De Gea (R) sticks out a hand at Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino’s effort during their English Premier League match at Anfield, on Monday.
 LIVERPOOL, Oct 18: Arch rivals Liverpool and Manchester United failed to spark as England’s two most successful clubs played out a forgettable 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Monday.

Victory would have lifted Jurgen Klopp’s in-form Liverpool level with leaders Manchester City and Arsenal, but they remain fourth after seeing a five-game winning streak come to an end at Anfield.

Liverpool came closest to winning, United goalkeeper David de Gea thwarting Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic spurned the visitors’ best chance with a weak header.

“They didn’t create chances, maybe two in the second half, and De Gea made two or three great saves, but in the end our performance was not what it should be,” said Liverpool manager Klopp.

“We weren’t calm enough. That is not the way we want to play, but I accept it. We got a point. There are worse things in the world.”

Klopp could console himself with a first clean sheet in 10 league games, but it was the first time his side had failed to score at home in the league since a 1-0 loss to United exactly 10 months previously.

Jose Mourinho’s United remain seventh and have won only one of their last five league games, although this was a display much more in keeping with the defensive rigorousness their manager demands.

“I think it was a positive performance,” Mourinho said.

“The reaction from their crowd was permanent disappointment. People expected us to come here and be really in trouble, which we were not.”

It was the first night game in front of Anfield’s rebuilt Main Stand and Mourinho unveiled a new formula for the occasion, fielding Paul Pogba in an advanced role behind Ibrahimovic.

Liverpool were without the injured Georginio Wijnaldum and with Adam Lallana only fit enough for the bench, there was a sluggishness to their play in the early stages that United looked to exploit. – AFP

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