Injury-stricken Manchester United hold leaders Liverpool to a goalless draw at Old Trafford
Liverpool got the point they needed to return to the top of the Premier League but were left frustrated by their failure to break down a Manchester United side that was ravaged by injuries. A draw at the home of their fiercest rivals would usually be seen as mission accomplished for Jurgen Klopp's side, but this has to go down as something of a wasted opportunity to get some daylight over nearest rivals Manchester City.
Injuries to three midfielders meant United were forced to use all of their substitutes in a bizarre 25-minute period before half-time with one of them, Jesse Lingard, quickly being replaced himself. Liverpool did not escape unscathed, with Roberto Firmino only lasting until the half-hour mark, and without him his side struggled to pose any sort of threat in front of goal in what was was a typically intense encounter.
The constant disruptions made for a disjointed first half and neither side could truly find their rhythm after the break - although the lack of quality did not affect the raucous atmosphere throughout. Klopp's side failed to truly test United keeper David de Gea, with a shot from distance by Firmino's replacement Daniel Sturridge their only shot on target in the 90 minutes.
United had the best chance of the game, but Alisson brilliantly denied Lingard after he ran on to Romelu Lukaku's pass and attempted to go around the Reds keeper. The hosts thought they had stolen victory near the end when Liverpool defender Joel Matip put through his own net from a free-kick, but Chris Smalling was adjudged offside in the build-up.
With Manchester City in action in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, the result means Liverpool move a point ahead of them with 11 games to go. United drop to fifth place, with Arsenal leap-frogging them with their win over Southampton.