Five Things We Learned From The 0-0 With United
1. Mourinho loves his bus
Mourinho instructed his team to strangle the life out of a football match on Monday night, it's a simple as that. Frustratingly, his plan once again worked perfectly. As a fan of Italian football I am happy to stand back and appreciate a good defensive performance, however I can't accept it when it's from a Jose Mourinho side.
If Tony Pulis set up like that against his United boys he'd be in the post match interview complaining of 19th century tactics and "anti-football". If United are happy playing like that then that's their prerogative but I certainly wouldn't be happy with it. I suppose in a way we must take a positive from this tactical set up, the fact that Mourinho has to resort to this now to try and get the better of Liverpool shows how much of a threat we are.
He can keep his bus for all I care, I can't see it getting him far this season.
2. Karius not that convincing
I discussed in a recent match round up post here on The Liver Bird how Karius looked shaky but I tried to pin most of my worries down to the fact it was first match nerves. While any fixture against United for any goalkeeper is a daunting one, Karius must accept that he was very indecisive on Monday evening.
I still feel with time he'll settle in but at the moment he isn't filling me with much confidence. As a keeper you need to have some conviction, if you make the decision to come out for the ball you need to nail it and for me, he's not quite there yet. Despite all this he did of course keep a clean sheet, so there is something to build from.
3. De Gea's save top class
After a terrible first half Liverpool finally got into the game in the second half with a string of decent and pacey attacks. It was Coutinho though who popped up with the best effort. One of his famous stinging shots looked destined to smash the back of the net only for De Gea to pull off a stunning save to keep his side in the game. Bloody annoying!
4. Lallana is key
I've been known to criticise Lallana quite often, I'm not sure why but I just don't appear to have a lot of patience with him compared to other fans but I will hold my hands up as last night it was evident we were missing him almost immediately.
For me Lallana is definitely a player I feel we can do without, it's only when he's not there that I truly realise how much we need him. His injection of pace in the second half along with his ability to spot killer passes and link up with the likes of Coutinho and Firmino was invaluable. It's a real shame he wasn't on the pitch in the first half.
5. Draw not so bad
After getting over the majority of the frustration that Monday night's game brought, overall a draw really isn't that bad. Games against United are always tough and whilst on paper it looked as though the Reds were ready to batter United, in all seriousness you cannot battle against those kind of tactics without something really special.
That special moment didn't occur last night but it's fair to say that Liverpool can take some strong positives from the game, namely keeping a clean sheet and fighting in tough conditions to hold on to a draw against United, in seasons gone by I'm not so sure we'd have managed that.