There could not have been a greater contrast in form between the two sides playing on Sky Sports’ Super Sunday – Manchester United had a paltry 17 points from their previous 17 league games, while Liverpool came into this game on the back of a 17-game winning run in the league, looking to equal Manchester City’s Premier League record by winning at Old Trafford. A 15-point gap between Liverpool and United meant that while the Reds were looking to consolidate their position at the top of the table, United needed the win just to move into the top half. Ole Gunnar Solskjær had come under pressure following the defeat to Newcastle United in United’s previous league game, and it looked as if there would never be a better chance for Jürgen Klopp to end his winless run in the league at Old Trafford.
This tactical analysis piece will look at the tactics employed by both sides, and this analysis will aim to identify just how Manchester United were able to keep Liverpool at bay and almost come away with a win.
Solskjær named a back three for this game, with Marcos Rojo coming into the starting XI after Axel Tuanzebe was injured in the pre-match warm-up. Aaron Wan-Bissaka returned from illness to play at right-back, while Paul Pogba’s continuing injury problems meant that Fred partnered Scott McTominay in midfield. In attack, Andreas Pereira played as a ‘false nine’, with Marcus Rashford and Daniel James as the wide attackers.
Klopp went with what seems to be his first-choice XI at the moment, save for one change – Mohamed Salah’s injury allowed Divock Origi to come into the side, with Sadio Mané switching over to the right flank to accommodate this change.
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