Manchester United's Paul Pogba has a great opprtunity to win the game against Liverpool. Picture: Phil Noble/Reuters
Manchester United's Paul Pogba has a great opprtunity to win the game against Liverpool. Picture: Phil Noble/Reuters

Solskjaer bemoans ’missed opportunity’ as Klopp ponders scoreless streak

By AFP Time of article published Jan 17, 2021

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LIVERPOOL - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United's 0-0 draw at Liverpool was a "missed opportunity" after Alisson Becker made two superb saves to deny the Premier League leaders.

Solskjaer's side weren't at their best but still had the main chances in a scrappy clash at Anfield on Sunday.

They had to settle for a point after Alisson's brilliant stops kept out close-range efforts from Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in the second half.

United are two points clear of second placed Leicester and three ahead of third placed Liverpool.

"It's only a good result if we win the next game. It was an opportunity missed with the chances we had but then again we were playing a very good side." Solskjaer said.

"I think we grew in the game and toward the end it was there for us to win. We created two massive chances and it was two brilliant saves by the keeper.

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"It's not just the result we're disappointed with, it's some of the performance. I know these boys can play better. We have improved and progressed."

Top of the Premier League at this stage of the season for the first time since 2013, United's trip to Anfield was billed as a chance to show their unexpected emergence as title contenders was not a flash in the pan.

Injury-hit champions Liverpool, now without a win in four league games, had to play midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson at centre-back, making them more vulnerable than usual.

But Solskjaer conceded United lacked composure at times and struggled to impose themselves in the first half.

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"We were stronger towards the end. We didn't start at all in the first half. We didn't have any composure or try to impose ourselves," he said.

"I thought Paul (Pogba) was absolutely brilliant. We knew he had to do a job defensively to help us with (Andrew) Robertson. I thought he was excellent and should have got the goal his performance deserved.

"Fair play to Liverpool. With two central midfielders at the back and to defend as well as they did shows their quality."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, said there are no easy answers as to why Liverpool have failed to score in three consecutive league games for the first time in 16 years.

The English champions needed some late heroics from goalkeeper Alisson Becker to preserve their unbeaten Premier League run at Anfield to 68 games as the Brazilian denied Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.

Klopp's men have now failed to win their last four league games to slip to third in the table, three points behind United.

And the Reds could end the weekend fourth should Manchester City beat Crystal Palace later on Sunday.

"There is no easy explanation. We always missed chances, even in the games we won, we just had another one which we used," said Klopp.

"We had to be good to get a point. I think we were good enough to get three points but we didn't score.

"These moments happen in football. There are moments where you can't explain why you score from all angles, like we did against Crystal Palace (in a 7-0 win).

"You have to create and create and create and then you will score."

Liverpool dominated possession in the first-half before United grew into the game after the break, but rarely troubled David de Gea.

However, there was some positive news for Klopp as a makeshift defence with midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho paired together at centre-back held out for a clean sheet.

"I thought we did enough to win the game, especially first-half. We had a lot of the ball, we created chances but just couldn't find the back of the net," said Henderson.

"The performance levels haven't been up to our standards in the past few weeks. We have got to keep going, work hard and improving. We will not stop now."

AFP

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