Adam Lallana’s late equalizer prevented Manchester United from taking all three points against Liverpool. The final result of the biggest English derby was 1-1.
The match was entertaining but also marked by a decision of the main referee, Martin Atkinson, which happened shortly before the opening goal of the home team. He didn’t stop the game due to an apparent foul on Liverpool’s Divock Origi, and United struck on the counter-attack.
It was Marcus Rashford who netted following a perfect cross from Daniel James. Alisson Becker couldn’t stop the shot from a nearby, and the home team went ahead.
Jordan Henderson, the Reds captain, wasn’t happy about it, and he mentioned that some of Atkinson’s decisions weren’t very good.
“I felt the referee gave a lot of similar type of free-kicks to them in the first half and he didn’t give it to us. But we’ve got to defend the goal better so that’s no excuse. Our level wasn’t up to our normal level.”
Atkinson did check the VAR system, but he didn’t want to change the initial decision. Plus, he was just a few yards away from the spot where the tackle took place, meaning that he had an excellent view of the situation.
VAR was in the middle of the attention once more until the end of the first 45 minutes. Sadio Mane scored a goal, but it was disallowed. The officials from the VAR room signalized that the ball struck the Senegalese in his hand while searching a position to shot.
Liverpool took over the command of the field in the second period, and the majority of the action took place on United’s half. The Reds were in their usual mode, pressuring the rival already in front of its goal, and concentrating their players around the box. They had 79% of the ball in their possession in the second half, and six attempts towards De Gea’s goal. But nothing happened on the field until six minutes before the end of the regulations.
It was then when Adam Lallana broke the lock of United’s defense and caused Liverpool’s fans to go crazy. He reacted very well inside the Red Devil’s box and hit the back of the net.
Liverpool didn’t want to settle with one point but aimed to turn the result upside down. Jurgen Klopp’s boys continued to attack until the last whistle, not allowing the home team to breathe. Eventually, United got away with one point and preserved their positive streak against Liverpool at Old Trafford. Seven years have passed since the Reds got away from here with a win.
The German was 100% positive that United’s goal came after a foul.
“For me, it was a clear foul. We cannot change that, it’s just a general problem with VAR,” Klopp said, adding that having in mind the circumstances on the field in these 90 minutes.
“So, the result is now okay. It’s not what we wanted beforehand, obviously, but with the way the game developed, we have to be happy with a point.”
Liverpool is still unbeaten, but they don’t have the perfect record anymore. After eight matches, they have seven wins and one draw. Still, the reigning European champions are first in the Premiership with 25 points, six more than Leicester and Manchester City.
United, on the other hand, is 13th with 10 points. They are facing Partizan in Belgrade this Thursday, in Europa League. Liverpool travels to Belgium, to meet Genk.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.
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