86 mins: Gomez pops up inside the box and rifles a shot from a tight angle but it smashes into the sidenetting.
85 mins: Tsimikas sends in a cross that misses everyone in read but does seem to hit Shaw’s hand. It is not a penalty, despite Liverpool’s best claims. Not much reason to watch too many replays.
84 mins: Gakpo drives towards the box before shooting from 20 yards but Varane is in the way to block. Gakpo does love shooting from absolutely anywhere.
83 mins: Richard Harris suggests: “If Liverpool fail to score then Onana has to be MOTM surely?”
I would suggest any of the back four …
82 mins: Elliott tries to inject a bit of energy into proceedings but it ends with a shot from 25 yards that Onana gobbles up.
Hojlund looks pretty tired up top for United but they do not have anyone who could naturally replace him. Pellestri and Hannibal are on for Mainoo and Antony.
80 mins: Tsimikas sends Liverpool’s 11th corner of the match into the box but Van Dijk loops a header straight to Onana.
78 mins: Konate controls the ball in the box and spins on a six pence but he is not a striker and calmly shoots straight at Onana.
Elliott and Jones on, Nunez and Diaz off.
76 mins: WHAT A CHANCE! The ball reaches Diaz in the box and he fires at goal but there is block from Onana. Nunez does not chase the rebound because he thinks there is a penalty for a foul on Diaz but he is very wrong.
75 mins: Elliott is getting stripped to come on, Jones too.
74 mins: Liverpool are struggling to do anything of use in the final third. They are just hoping something comes up. Nunez chips a pass over the top to no one.
A pass goes down the line for Nunez to chase but the ball goes out for a goal kick. Nunez claims a foul but the referee is not keen.
72 mins: Antony is working very hard defensively. I am not his biggest fan but he has certainly put in a shift today.
70 mins: United have been boosted by that Hojlund chance. And go on another attack but McTominay is stopped in the box.
Liverpool go down the other end. Salah gets in the ball inside right and cuts in looking for the far corner but it is a fine save from Onana.
The United go back down the other end but McTominay fires over from 25 yards. A lively couple of minutes.
Here comes Rashford! Garnacho off.
We might have a football match here.
68 mins: A lovely move from Manchester United! Antony passes to McTominay who turns it round the corner for Hojlund to latch onto, he holds off the defender and takes aim from eight yards but it is straight at Alisson and the striker cannot do much with the rebound.
66 mins: Antony has the chance to slip a ball through the defence for three players to chase but sends it straight to Konate.
Down the other end, Alexander-Arnold aims for the bottom corner from 18 yards but his shot slides wide.
Dechlan Brennan emails: “I think Klopp through his tenure has done so well to get the best replacements for injured players. But it is very noticeable that they lose a lot with Robertson injured down the left flank.”
64 mins: Gomez does down the right for his first involvement in the match. He pulls the ball back to Salah on the edge; the Egyptian takes aim for the far corner but Onana has little trouble catching the ball.
63 mins: United have had to defend on the edge of their own box quite a lot this afternoon but they have done it well. They look organised and disciplined, making it very difficult for Liverpool to find gaps to work with.
62 mins: Gomez receives some instructions from the coaching staff. Gakpo replaces his compatriot Gravenberch, while Gomez comes on for Szoboszlai. Alexander-Arnold goes into midfield.
61 mins: Jeremy Boyce emails: “As a neutral (actually a NastyLeeds) I was looking forward to some hot red-on-red action today, but as it goes I am thinking of listening to the latest Gardeners Question Time podcast to fill up time before reading that Klopp had been stretchered off as McTominay scores a 90+7 mins goal deflected of Virgil’s arse to deliver Man U a resilient 3 points and give Ten Hag a peaceful week with only the sword of Damocles hovering over his neck.”
60 mins: Szoboszlai throws himself to the ground when in the vicinity of Amrabat in the box. It is a dive and he deserves to be booked.
Klopp is looking at his notebook, potentially plotting a change. Gomez on for Endo and push Alexander-Arnold into midfield? He might be forced into one as Gravenberch goes down injured. Gakpo ready to come on.
58 mins: Jamie Carragher: “This has been absolutely awful.”
57 mins: Richard Harris says: “Ten Hag clearly has 0-0 as his Plan A, so when Liverpool score the question is does Plan B mean United try to equalise and risk getting stuffed, or do they carry on with Plan A and take a narrow defeat?”
55 mins: Diaz drives towards the box but Dalot holds his ground and performs a fine tackle. The Portuguese is having a good game at right back.
Down the other end … Garnacho gets the wrong side of the Liverpool defence thanks to a ball through the middle from Mainoo. The Argentinian is through one-on-one but Alexander-Arnold gets back to tackle him.
53 mins: Hojlund wins a free-kick near the halfway line. The Dane had four touches in the first half.
Dalot puts a cross into a dangerous area but there is no one in white to get on the end of it and Alisson claims.
51 mins: It is very much all Liverpool in the second half. Salah aims a cross for Nunez but Onana beats the Uruguayan to the ball. Liverpool have upped their performance and I think United will need to do the same to match them.
49 mins: Jeff Sax agrees with Eric Peterson: “He is right!!! Fernandes not playing is a positive thing for the team.”
47 mins: Just like the first half, Liverpool start on the front foot. They make it into the box and Salah shoots but a United defender is there to block.
Another attack comes with Salah laying the ball into the path of Alexander-Arnold, he takes a couple of touches and fires into the sidenetting. The full-back runs back to his position while trying to get the crowd going. Liverpool need a lively Anfield.
Here we go again!
“I’m desperate to send you some keen insight or amusing commentary to liven up the MBM but that whole half was so unbelievably Meh! I’m feeling about as inspired as Roy Hodgson press conference.”
I am doing my best, Richard South.
“Hello from Pittsburgh!” hello Eric Peterson. “A Manchester United team playing with cohesion and composure in a hostile atmosphere? Credit to the leadership among the players on the pitch, and in particular the absence of a supposed leader whose tempestuous and combative comportment on the pitch is far too often at odds to what should be expected from someone who wears the armband. Addition by subtraction.”
Tim Gill sums it all up: “Man U haven’t been terrible. Liverpool haven’t been great. You’re welcome, that’s free at this time of year.”
John Magee offers: “Just a thought about about all this extra time being added on to games that managers and players feel is potentially adding to the risk of injury in an already crowded schedule. What about if it was made optional.
“Scenario – at end of each half – amount of possible extra time is announced
Then both managers have a device which can signal the referee that they do not wish to have it, If BOTH managers dont want it – the ref blows the whistle and the half or game is over.
”Rationale. Most of the time if a team is losing you would assume that the losing team would want the extra time – esp at the end of a game. But if it was already 3 or 4 zero the game is essentially over and not sure what’s to be gained by going through motions of an extra X minutes on tired legs.
At end of first half the both managers may just want to talk to their teams whether they are winning, losing or drawing. At the same time if one manager wants the time – exciting finishes would not be lost.”
Half-time correspondence …
Antony O’Connell emails: “This Liverpool United game is basically… One team afraid of getting hammered and the other afraid of getting caught on the break.”
Philip Haran says: “The only way Utd will score will be a monumental error from Liverpool. They are totally dominant. It looks like a damage limitation exercise already.”
Dechlan Brennan: “Nunez will get himself sent off one day (perhaps today) for his consistent shaking head and kicking the ball away. It’s minor but unbearably petulant and will cost his team. I’d simply not stand in an offside position if I didn’t want to be offside.”
Liverpool have dominated possession but not provided that extra bit of quality or spark in the final third. The game is lacking in overall quality and United will be happy with that at this stage. Let’s hope for better after the break.
45 mins: “This is the worst atmosphere I have seen at Anfield for a Liverpool-Man United game.”
Two minutes added on.
44 mins: Salah fumes about being penalised for a foul on Garnacho, which might be a sign of his overall frustration with the situation.
42 mins: Gravenberch pings a pass to Salah 20 yards from goal, he takes a touch and shoots but his low drive does not have the power required to test Onana who drops on the shot.
40 mins: Onana looks to send the ball out to Shaw but instead finds touch. United have been good defensively but given the ball away too often when trying to play out from the back.
38 mins: Liverpool have enjoyed two thirds of possession, helping them to create 13 shots at goal but only two have been on target. United are yet to have a shot on target.
36 mins: Diaz glides past Amrabat who pulls him back to earn himself a booking. That’s both of United’s defensive midfielders in the book now with 55 minutes to go.
The free-kick is lifted into the box and headed out to Gravenberch on the edge of the box. He volleys it straight back but sees his shot deflected wide. The resulting corner is attacked by Konate but he heads over from six yards.
34 mins: Alexander-Arnold lets a simple pass roll under his foot and out for a throw. Liverpool must be a little frustrated that they have not tested Onana too much despite their dominance.
32 mins: Anfield seems a little quiet. Have United won the first battle by keeping Liverpool at bay for half an hour? The next step for United to threaten in the final third.
30 mins: Peter Oh says: “The sight of United’s teenage midfielder stooping to tie his bootlaces just a few minutes into the match took me back. Picture this. It’s 2009. Fernando Torres is bearing down on the United goal with the nearest defender getting caught up in the wheels of El Niño’s chariot. Somewhere in Manchester, the Mainoo family is watching as Liverpool equalise on the way to an emphatic win. Young Kobbie shakes his head in dismay and turns his attention back to practising shoelace-tying.” I didn’t see this email ending here.
28 mins: Mainoo joins Nunez in the book with a late sliding challenge on Endo.
Liverpool win their seventh corner of the match. Alexander-Arnold lands it perfectly on Van Dijk’s head but it goes straight at Onana, who tips over.
26 mins: Martin Lancon calls for Nunez to be off: “Yellow for foul, yellow for kicking the ball away, ( CF v Bournemouth last week) yellow for applauding referee’s decision?”
He has a point …
24 mins: Antony tries to slip the ball through the Liverpool defence but it is blocked by Endo’s arm. The referee does not spot the infringement, however, much to United’s chagrin.
I don’t think Hojlund has touched the ball yet.
22 mins: Nunez is penalised by the assistant referee for barging into Evans’ ribs without making an attempt to win the ball. He is rightly given a yellow card before moaning about the decision.
20 mins: Liverpool are all over United and must take great pleasure whenever they give their opponents a goal kick. The latest ends well for United as Onana drops the shoulder to send Nunez the wrong way.
18 mins: United have already caused themselves a few problems with their inability to play the ball out from the back. It does not seem to be a sensible ploy to use.
Diaz drifts across the pitch with the ball at his feet before laying it off to Salah, who cuts in but his shot is blocked by Shaw.
16 mins: Lordy! Alexander-Arnold lifts a cross to the back post from the right. Nunez heads it down towards Gravenberch and Diaz but neither can turn the ball goalwards and United scramble it behind.
14 mins: Antony controls a throw-in from Dalot and looks to pass it back to the full-back but he’s run off and the ball goes out of play. Neither are happy with the end result.
12 mins: Szoboszlai receives the ball from Diaz in the middle of the pitch, he gets the ball out of his feet and takes aim from 30 yards but his shot flies well over the bar. I think Liverpool are keen to test Onana early on.