Manchester United managed to hold on for a goalless draw against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday evening; an unexpected result given the team’s turbulent season so far.
While the home side dominated proceedings with 69% possession and a colossal 34 shots on goal, Man United’s defence held steady, earning a valuable point in one of the most challenging fixtures of the Premier League season on paper.
At the heart of United’s defensive resilience was goalkeeper Andre Onana.
Despite his rocky season to date, Onana showed composure from the start of the match, when Liverpool immediately sought to put United under pressure.
In one of the home team’s most dangerous goalscoring opportunities of the first half, Virgil van Dijk rose to header the ball at goal from just a few metres out, with the United goalkeeper showing quick reactions to tip his shot over the crossbar.
Four minutes from the break, Salah unleashed a shot from distance which deflected off Jonny Evans’ leg, however, Onana managed to track the ball, securely catching it to keep United level going into the break.
In the second half, Onana got the best of Salah yet again, leaping to catch another long-range shot from the winger.
Overall, Onana made an impressive eight saves throughout the match.
While he only managed a passing accuracy of 61% due to completing 30 of his 46 attempted passes, he produced an impressive flurry of long balls, with 17 of 33 finding their target.
The Cameroonian managed to win his only aerial duel of the contest, while also making 57 touches; a high number for a goalkeeper and the second-most of any United player.
He also successfully completed his only runout of the match, clearing a ball that would have otherwise fallen to Salah who had beaten United’s last defender before Onana.
Despite a few shaky moments, Onana showed focus and composure that had otherwise been lacking in many of his performances, helping United to become the first team to earn a clean sheet against Liverpool this season.
With this performance, Onana was able to restore faith in his goalkeeping ability, going one step closer to proving himself as United’s starting goalkeeper.