It was a game of few chances and the odd flying tackle in Monday night’s instalment of Liverpool vs Manchester United, with both sides failing to score in a game that was highly anticipated by many.
Mourinho’s side had David De Gea to thank twice in the second half, after he produced two world class saves to keep the game goalless.
United started the game promisingly, and their positive play in the first 15 minutes effectively silenced Liverpool’s 12th man – the crowd.
The first half as a whole was a fierce tactical battle that presented very few chances to either side. Liverpool had the greatest chance of the first half in the 29th minute, but Roberto Firmino’s tame header was easily collected by De Gea.
United, playing in their blue strip, controlled the play well for the majority of the opening 45, but created very few real chances; the only things worth a mention are Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s and Paul Pogba’s wild long range efforts, and a few teasing crosses from the likes of Marcus Rashford and Ashley Young.
Despite not creating much, Mourinho must have been happy with his side’s first half showing, as it took the sting out of what would usually be a game played at an electric pace.
The Red Devils had the first chance of the second half, when Paul Pogba swung in an inch-perfect cross towards the head of Ibrahimovic, but the Swedish giant’s header lacked any real power or precision, and trickled along Loris Karius’ six-yard box.
Five minutes later, it was De Gea to the rescue as he got down well to save Emre Can’s effort, despite seeing the ball late.
In the 71st minute, De Gea was tested again, this time by Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian unleashed his shot from 25 yards, but the Spanish shot-stopper kept the score at 0-0 in acrobatic fashion.
With Firmino one-on-one with De Gea in the 84th minute, United fans covered their eyes in horror, but Antonio Valencia’s superb last-ditch challenge kept the home side at bay.
Mourinho will be content with a point from one of the toughest fixtures of the season, especially after his side created so few chances. United controlled the game well in patches, and produced a performance that the manager would be happy with, yet lacked the result that would stamp a real statement of intent on their season.