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United handcuffs vaunted Reds

2016-10-19 11:08:40 | Author: Agence France-presse in Liverpool | Source: China Daily
Abstract: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his team exposed Liverpool's shortcomings after holding Jurgen Klopp's high-scoring crew to a 0-0 draw on Monday.

Mourinho's squad limits Liverpool to two shots on goal

Manchester United's David de Gea leaps to block a shot by Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho during Monday's English Premier League match at Anfield. De Gea faced only two shots in the 0-0 draw. [Photo/Agencies]


Liverpool went into the match at Anfield seeking a sixth straight win in all competitions and bidding to draw level on points with Premier League leader Manchester City and second-place Arsenal.


But United held the Reds to few chances, with visiting goalkeeper David de Gea largely untroubled apart from a pair of eye-catching second-half saves to deny Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho.


"The goalkeeper (De Gea) was on holiday for 90 minutes, but he had two big saves to make and he made them," said Mourinho, whose side remains seventh in the standings.


"When we got the ball I was expecting the team to be more dangerous, (although) we had two good chances ... but Liverpool did too.


"They are not the last wonder of the world like you (the media) say they are, but they are a very good team so we had to adapt a little."


Premier League statisticians Opta said United only had 35 percent of possession - its lowest tally for a league match since the statistic started being gathered in the 2003-04 season.


Mourinho returned to the media room after he finished addressing reporters to say the club's own statistician said United had seen a little more of the ball.


"My guy did it - 42 (percent), not 35," he said.


"I thought that number was crazy. We chart it ourselves, with better people than them."


Mourinho had earlier dismissed the importance of statistics, pointing out that United won 1-0 at Anfield under his predecessor Louis van Gaal last season despite being largely outplayed.

"Last season United won here, Liverpool had 14 shots on target and United had one," he said.


"How many shots on target did Liverpool have today? Two. Two shots on target - with 65 percent of possession.


"You have to be critical of Liverpool. It is their problem, not our problem."


Six-man defense

Emre Can of Liverpool battles with Paul Pogba of Manchester United during English Premier League match at Anfield, Oct 17, 2016. [Photo/IC]


United largely succeeded in keeping the Reds off balance, with wide players Marcus Rashford and Ashley Young notably dropping deep to create a six-man defense at times.


The visitors managed a clear chance early in the second half when Paul Pogba, playing in a more advanced role, picked out Zlatan Ibrahimovic, only for the Swede to miscue his header.


Liverpool improved following the 59th-minute introduction of Adam Lallana, either side of which De Gea made brilliant saves to foil Can and Coutinho.


"We lost patience far too early and our passing game was not good," said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, whose side trails City by two points.


"We had 65 percent possession, but we have to do better. I didn't expect we would have 10 to 15 chances. We had chances in the second half, but De Gea was finally warm and he made brilliant saves.


"They had that chance with Ibrahimovic. The best news tonight is we have one point more and a clean sheet, nothing else.


"We can do much better and we must do much better. We have to stay cool. When they want to chase us, we have to use smart counter movements.


"My side had really good attitude. They tried everything, only with the wrong tools."


Klopp dismissed suggestions his players were affected by being pegged as the pre-match favorite.


"Maybe you think it is very important for the rest of the world what you write, but for us it is not important at all," he said.


"We were not favorites in the dressing room. Tonight nobody thought about this.


"You could see Man United is physically stronger than we are. We couldn't get rid of the hectic mindset-that was the problem.


"When you have the ball you have to calm down immediately and that is what we didn't do."

Related Information:

Mourinho Manchester United Liverpool