Liverpool 0-0 Man Utd: Jurgen Klopp claims hosts were more dominant than in 7-0 win

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he cannot remember his side producing a “more dominant” performance against Manchester United than they delivered in Sunday’s goalless draw – including their 7-0 victory last season.

In terms of possession and shots attempted, Klopp’s assessment was correct.

At Anfield on Sunday, Liverpool had 69% possession and attempted 34 shots (8 on target, 26 off target) without finding a breakthrough.

In the same fixture back in March, Liverpool had 60% of the ball and converted seven of their 16 efforts.

Erik ten Hag’s side tried to go toe to toe with Liverpool in that game but were left brutally exposed and clinically punished by the home team.

It was a different approach this time. With a host of players out injured, including centre-back Harry Maguire, Ten Hag set the visitors up to defend deeper with a compact shape which laid down the challenge for Liverpool to break them down.

    “I saw a lot of good things, the one thing I don’t like is the result. We should have scored, we had the opportunities and should have had more clear-cut chances,” Klopp told Sky Sports afterwards.

    “I can’t remember such a dominant performance against Man United – even the 7-0 they were more in the game.

    “If we play like this it is difficult for the opposite team to get out of their own half. The way United defended was clean with a lot of passion.

    “If you score, it changes the dynamic of the game and they open up a bit and take more risk. But nothing changed, they threw everything in and in the end it’s a 0-0.”

    The stalemate meant the Reds missed the chance to return to the top of the Premier League after being leapfrogged by Arsenal earlier on Sunday.

    The atmosphere at Anfield, which was hosting its biggest crowd since 1963 after recent expansion, became increasingly subdued as the game wore on.

    That was a stark contrast to the buoyant mood among many Liverpool fans going into the match.

    With last season’s thrashing of United fresh in the mind, and with the Red Devils coming into the game fresh from a 3-0 humbling by Bournemouth at Old Trafford last weekend and a Champions League exit, some pundits wondered whether an element of complacency had crept in for Liverpool.

    ‘What everyone says only helps United’

    Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher suggested the game turned out to be “not as easy” as Klopp’s team may have thought, while ex-Manchester United full-back Gary Neville said he felt there might have been some “over-confidence”.

    Klopp denied that was the case.

    “We knew it would be difficult,” said the German.

    “What everyone says only helps United. Why should we listen to that? It was not our problem today that they were fired up. I can’t remember a game when they came here with a white flag – that doesn’t happen.

    “We tried everything and the numbers we created – in terms of shots – is crazy. But with that amount of shots there should be a few more on target. That was our fault today and now we will go from here.”

    In a separate post-match interview with BBC Sport, Klopp bemoaned some of the choices his team made in attacking areas.

    He said: “This today hurts. That’s good. But it gives us a lot of good information as well. We can do these kind of things and now we need to finish the situations off.

    “In a couple of situations we had, we shot from distance when there probably would have been a better-positioned player.

    “I knew it when we scored against Fulham four times from outside the box that there would be a moment when we shoot and everybody thinks ‘why didn’t we pass the ball?'”

    Klopp praised United’s “passion” in their defending but suggested Liverpool were close to a perfect day, adding: “You need one goal and everything is right today.”

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