Over the years, Manchester United and Liverpool have offered up some absolute crackers. In recent memory, standouts include the the Reds' 3-0 humbling of United in 2014,
Interestingly, the result saw the two sides rack up their fifth draw in their last seven meetings - that's more than they produced in the previous fifty encounters. For a fixture that's enthralled both fans and neutrals alike for decades, it's an alarming statistic, and one that is certainly worth some examination.
Now, the latest match between the two sides was particularly rich in footballing narrative; Liverpool were looking to power three points clear at the top of the table, while United were looking to derail their title challenge. Perhaps, with such a build-up, this game was always going to prove a disappointment.
#MUNLIV The build up to this game has been massively let down by the performance of both teams. Liverpool spent the entire game hoofing the ball up the field, nobody benefits from that.— Samuel Lowe (@HeadOfSam) February 24, 2019
But there's surely more to it than mere hype; ever since the advent of the Premier League, football coverage in the UK - and indeed around the world - has increased exponentially, and the matches between the two sides have been veritable goal feasts throughout the competition.
No, the aforementioned statistic can be explained by two key factors: 1. Jose Mourinho's reign at Old Trafford, and 2. Liverpool's remarkably improved defence.
Certainly, the 'Special One' took great pride in his ability to completely stink the house out in high-profile matches during his reign. Time and time again, Mourinho would head into such games looking to grind out a narrow result, and relished the opportunity to frustrate his opponents with a deeply defensive mindset. And
On Sunday, the charismatic coach once again set his defence up perfectly, with the backline never looking in any real danger against their opponents. This was also helped by the industrial midfield pairing of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, who harried United's attacking players relentlessly.
The recent meetings between the two sides have been similar from a Liverpool perspective, with their 3-1 win magically combining the best of attacking and defensive football. Certainly, a wiser team has emerged at Anfield this season, and their more measured approach will put them in excellent stead to win their first ever Premier League title in May.
Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see whether matches between the two sides will continue to be cagey affairs. With caretaker boss
Source : 90min