LONDON: Liverpool slipped off the top of the Premier League after allowing Manchester United to disrupt them in midfield and hold them goalless at bay in attack. This was not the way manager Jurgen Klopp had wanted to see his team mark the opening of the new upper tier of the Anfield Road Stand.

An expanded 57 000 crowd saw United hold out for a welcome point after a bad week despite having defender Diogo Dalot sent off for a second yellow card in stoppage time. Until this point Liverpool had won all 11 home games in all competitions. For United to survive was a major relief for under-pressure manager Erik ten Hag and a delight for Arsenal who thus regained the league leadership.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “I saw a lot of good things. The one thing I don’t like is the result. We should have scored. We were in a rush in moments but I liked a lot the intensity of the game and the start to the game. I cant remember such a dominant performance against Man Utd – even the 7-0. Now it’s 0-0 they probably feel slightly better than us. It was the type of game I expected.

“If we play like this it is difficult for the opposite team to get out of their own half. So we take the point and keep going.”

That means at home to West Ham in the League Cup on Wednesday and then home again in the all-important clash with leaders Arsenal on Saturday.

Scott McTominway, captaining United for the first time, said: “The boys did everything they could have done. We’ve had a number of injuries which don’t help and we knew it was tough coming here but in the end we were disappointed we didn’t have more opportunities and make it more of a game.”

Liverpool made a quick start, as if eager to repeat the 7-0 thrashing handed out last season. United should have been vulnerable. They had just tumbled out of the Champions League and uncertainty continued over the future of manager of Erik ten Hag and the progress of the Glazers’ sales of a 25pc stake to Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

United were rarely able to escape their own half in the first half but they held firm in defence as Liverpool forced eight corners in the first 35 minutes. Mo Salah lobbed just wide and Virgil van Dijk had a header turned away by keeper Andre Onana who also dived low to save from Salah.

Liverpool were below par in midfield where Dominik Szoboszlai failed to match his excellent early form of the season. The failure to break through, despite the energetic efforts of Darwin Nunez, silenced the Anfield crowd and United went in the more contented team at halftime.

Manager Jurgen Klopp evinced his frustration on the hour by replacing the disappointing Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch with Joe Gomez and Cody Gakpo. Gomez took over at rightback with Trent Alexander-Arnold moving up into midfield. Immediately the new arrivals created a shooting chance for Salah from which Onana saved well. Then Gakpo and Salah set up Alexander-Arnold for a shot which skimmed inches wide.

United should then have taken the lead on the counter-attack only for Ramus Hojlund to be denied at close range by Alisson. Ten Hag brought on Marcus Rashford but it was Liverpool who raised the pace in the closing minutes.

** Brentford’s Thomas Frank became the latest manager shown a yellow card after defender Bee Mee was sent off against Aston Villa. Frank’s anger was exacerbated as Villa, 1:0 down the time, capitalised on their one-man advantage to win 2-1.

Mee was originally shown a yellow card for a foul on Leon Bailey and Frank reacted angrily when it was upgraded to red after a VAR check. Tempers exploded again in the final minutes when Villa’s Boubacar Kamara was sent off and manager Unai Emery was also cautioned.

** Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was pleased with Kai Havertz after the summer signing from Chelsea struck the late goal which sealed a 2-0 win over Brighton. It was his fourth goal in his last seven games.

Arteta said: “In terms of goals Kai is now giving us what we expected. In terms of performances he’s exactly the same as at the start of the season. You can see he’s confident and enjoying his football.” Arsenal are unbeaten in 13 home games since losing 3-0 to Brighton in May.

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi had no complaints saying: “We deserved to lose. Arsenal played much better than us.”

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