Relief for Ten Hag as Man United holds Liverpool to draw at Anfield
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Manchester United held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Sunday as Jurgen Klopp's team was knocked off the top of the table by Arsenal.
Erik ten Hag's United soaked up the pressure at Anfield and goalkeeper Andre Onana pulled off a string of saves to earn a valuable point in a match that saw Diogo Dalot sent off in stoppage time for dissent.
Arsenal had provisionally moved to first place after a 2-0 win against Brighton earlier in the day. The Gunners are one point above second-place Liverpool ahead of their visit to Anfield next Saturday.
United was routed 7-0 on its last trip to Liverpool in March and went into this game with speculation hanging over Ten Hag's position after 12 defeats in all competitions and elimination from the Champions League.
But his team produced one of its most battling performances of the campaign to frustrate its fierce rival, and had a chance to score a winner through Rasmus Hojlund's close-range effort in the second half.
It was Liverpool, however, which dominated with 69% of possession, and 33 shots compared to six from United.
Onana kept out the home team’s best chance of the first half when pushing Virgil van Dijk's header over the bar and he also held onto Mohamed Salah’s low effort from distance before the break.
United appeared intent on frustrating Liverpool and the Anfield crowd, which created a hostile atmosphere.
As the clock ticked on, it was a tactic that worked as Liverpool struggled to create clear chances for much of the game.
In the second half Salah had another long-range effort saved and Trent Alexander-Arnold fired narrowly wide from distance with a chance that looked to have Onana beaten.
United’s best opening came when Hojlund had a sight of goal from a tight angle and Alisson saved.
From then on, the game opened up and when a promising United break came to nothing, Salah forced Onana into another save as the keeper pushed away a curling shot from inside box.
Soon after Sofyan Amrobat just managed to deflect Luis Diaz’s shot wide and Ibrahima Konate fired straight at Onana from close range following a corner.
Liverpool had a late penalty appeal rejected after the ball hit Luke Shaw’s hand in the box and Dalot was sent off for two yellow cards after reacting angrily to a throw in decision.
Liverpool is on 38 points, 10 points ahead of seventh-place United.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
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