Few would have given Manchester United a chance when they travelled to Anfield with a severely weakened team for Sunday’s Premier League encounter against Liverpool.
Instead, the Red Devils came away with a hard-fought point after a goalless draw which saw Erik ten Hag’s men become the first side to stop Liverpool from scoring at Anfield this season and the first to gain a point there this term.
The manager replicated last season’s model to perfection with the entire defensive unit putting in a solid performance, which should give the club confidence heading into the festive period.
Shaw wants consistency
Luke Shaw, who overcame injury concerns to start the match, urged his teammates to try and build on this performance and try and show consistency, something that the Old Trafford outfit still needs to improve.
A strong win against Chelsea was followed up by yet another abysmal display in the clash against Bournemouth, something that has been repeated far too many times throughout the current campaign.
“That has to be the foundation now,” Shaw was quoted as saying by F365. “Every game, whether it is at Anfield away or at Old Trafford, it always has to be the same and I think that is where we have been lacking I think is the consistency.
“I think one game we are excellent, for example the game against Chelsea here – we played a really good game, then we go and let ourselves down by playing Bournemouth here and losing 3-0.
“It’s not acceptable, we can’t accept that and it’s something that needs to be addressed and changed very quickly because we can’t keep doing this.”
Fans were fearing a repeat of last season’s horror show and the full-back admitted that the team was aware of the need to improve at the home of their arch-rivals.
Defending diligently was the mantra ahead of the contest and the England international admitted that everyone did their jobs to perfection and it probably was one of the best defensive displays this season.
Great defensive performance
In fact, both Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund had chances to nick a win in the second-half but failed to score from promising positions.
“To go there, especially away at Anfield, what happened last year there – we all remembered that very well. It was one of the worst days in my footballing career. And for all of us.
“I think it was definitely showing a step in the right direction, still obviously little things we can do better on when we have the ball, but I think as a defensive block, a defensive unit, I think that is the foundations we need to approach every game with, exactly how we defended in that game.
“We could have maybe snatched it at the end of the game, of course they had more possession, they had a few chances but more from set plays – not really too many from open play.”