Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes Manchester United did a job on Jurgen Klopp’s side during the 0-0 draw at Anfield.
Many expected Liverpool – in sensational form after netting 16 goals in their previous five games – to go straight for Man United’s jugular on Monday night.
However, to everyone’s collective surprise, it was Jose Mourinho‘s side pinning Liverpool lack in the early stages.
Speaking on Monday Night Football after the game, Carragher was quick to praise Man United for the way they executed their game plan.
“That performance tonight I wouldn’t expect from a Manchester United team, especially in the second half with how defensive it was,” he said.
“But you’d expect it from a Jose Mourinho team.
“I don’t think there’s anyone better in world football as a manager at nullifying the opposition. But will Manchester United fans be frustrated how defensive they were second half?
“No one is going to change Jose Mourinho, I think even the board and supporters will have to accept that. Tonight was a good point and they’ve done a job on Liverpool. This is a man with two European Cups and titles all over the world, he’s going to do it his way.
“At times it will be killing games and nullifying the opposition. It may not be the Manchester United way but for Manchester United it’s more about getting back to winning trophies and challenging for the title again than how you play.”
Going into the game, the onus was placed firmly on the home side. A win would send Jurgen Klopp’s side, seemingly unable to stop scoring, joint top of the table. This was a chance to lay a marker, to distance themselves from those squabbling around them.
But Mourinho, not for the first time, had other ideas. The Liverpool train was abruptly stopped, suddenly bereft of the attacking fervour that had hallmarked the early stages of their season, and indeed the Klopp era as a whole. This was the first time Liverpool failed to score at home in the league since, funnily enough, United’s last visit back in January.
To call it a tactical masterclass is perhaps a step too far. But make no mistake: Mourinho had a plan, and he carried it out well.