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Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch (left) in a duel with Man United striker Sofyan Amrabat

Photo: Jon Super / dpa

Klopp's wrath: It was already the 85th minute of the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United. Liverpool constantly pushed their once so great and currently so indisposed rival in the back, but missed the goal. Then Liverpool's Kostas Tsimikas crossed into the middle, the ball bounced up and bounced onto the hand of Man United's Luke Shaw. The whole of Anfield called for a penalty, the video referee checked the scene – and saw nothing objectionable. A justifiable decision, although there had of course already been penalties for similar handballs. Of course, Jürgen Klopp and his players did not agree with the decision and loudly scolded referee Michael Oliver.

The result: After the penalty kick was not given, Liverpool FC did not manage to score again, and Manchester United also remained harmless. Due to the 0-0 draw, Liverpool loses the lead in the table to Arsenal, Manchester United is stuck in the upper midfield of the table. The visitors finished with a man down after Diogo Dalot saw two yellow cards for complaining in an action shortly before the end and had to leave the pitch (90th+4th minute).

You know them: Jürgen Klopp has given his Liverpool FC a thorough facelift after the disappointing pre-season and, above all, rebuilt the midfield. Klopp mainly used his home country of Germany. Wataru Endō arrived as a regular from VfB Stuttgart, who were almost relegated last season, Dominik Szoboszlai was creative at RB Leipzig, Ryan Gravenberch moved from Bayern's substitutes' bench to Anfield. Against Manchester United, all three were allowed to play side by side from the start.

Fear at United: And they all did what Klopp expected them to do. They closed the centre, moved up front again and again together with the attacking players and put the pitiful Manchester players under pressure. In the first 20 minutes, Man United's players were filled with naked panic on their faces, Liverpool didn't give them time to breathe. After that, United were able to break free with long balls from time to time, but the statistics after the first half spoke for themselves: 15-2 shots on goal, 9-0 corners, 68 percent possession for Liverpool.

Headless: But in the most important statistic, the score was 0-0. And that wasn't just bad luck: Mo Salah was unusually erratic, Darwin Núñez was too hectic in front of goal several times, Virgil van Djik failed again and again with his head. Liverpool created chances, some really good ones. But not from the category that would be colloquially classified as a "surefire opportunity".

Ray of hope: Manchester United are having a miserable season, recently embarrassingly eliminated in the Champions League group stage (behind Bayern, Copenhagen and Galatasaray) and losing 0-3 to Bournemouth last week. The infirmary is full to the brim, in Liverpool the yellow-suspended (but also in-form) midfield director Bruno Fernandes was still missing. Instead, 18-year-old midfielder Kobbie Mainoo played in midfield and made his fourth Premier League appearance. He played within his means, won the ball a few times and did not attract negative attention at all.

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Far from old Manchester: Mainoo's teammates, on the other hand, hardly reached a level worthy of Manchester United. The fact that there is little going forward is nothing new, striker hope Rasmus Højlund proved once again that all comparisons with Erling Haaland belong to the realm of fables. But what was most frightening was how often Manchester United gave the ball away in the build-up, even in the few scenes in which Liverpool did not exert any pressure, United's players came up with absolutely nothing. An omission that must be blamed above all on coach Erik ten Hag. Legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson sat in the stands and saw the shadow of a Manchester United as he knew it from his time.

Ran in vain: The fact that it was still enough to win the point is solely due to Liverpool FC, who continued to play superiorly, but also more and more hectic as the game progressed. Klopp's team hit cross after cross, tried again and again from distance. Without a plan. On this day, one player was missing for the last and also the penultimate pass, and even the ex-Bundesliga trio could not remedy this shortcoming. "The decisions in the final third weren't really good," defender Van Djik told Sky after the game. Criticism of the people in front is not always appropriate, but in this case it is. 34 shots were not enough for a goal.

Goodbye dream balance: This is the first time this season that Liverpool have missed out on full points in a league game at home this season. Nevertheless, Liverpool remain unbeaten in the Premier League since the end of September.

Here's what's next: On the day before Christmas Eve, Liverpool host Arsenal, who are top of the table, and can regain the lead with a victory. Man United play at West Ham, also a game between two neighbours in the table. Man United are seventh, West Ham are eighth.