Premier League
Man UtdManchester United1LiverpoolLiverpool1

Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Old Trafford
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores Manchester United's equaliser against Liverpool
Zlatan Ibrahimovic's equaliser against Liverpool means he has scored 14 goals in his first 20 Premier League games

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's late equaliser earned Manchester United a point they fully deserved after a typically thunderous encounter with Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Liverpool led through James Milner's 27th-minute penalty, awarded after Paul Pogba inexplicably handled a corner as he went up to challenge Dejan Lovren.

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was Liverpool's hero with superb first-half saves from Ibrahimovic's free-kick and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as Jurgen Klopp's side put up stern resistance and threatened on the break.

It looked like the visitors were going to hold on and move back to second in the Premier League, but United finally forced the goal they merited when Antonio Valencia reacted first when substitute Marouane Fellaini's header came back off the post, crossing for Ibrahimovic to head home off the bar.

Liverpool are now in third place, seven points adrift of top-flight leaders Chelsea, while United - whose nine-match winning run in all competitions came to an end - are now 12 points off the top.

MOTD2 analysis: How Mourinho changes countered Klopp

Mignolet rewards Klopp's faith

Reds boss Klopp had no hesitation in restoring Mignolet in goal, despite the midweek heroics of Loris Karius in defeat in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg at Southampton.

Klopp has decided, for now at least, that the Belgium international is his first choice - and Mignolet demonstrated exactly why on Sunday.

Mignolet's decision-making has often been questioned, but he has always been capable of making outstanding saves. And so it proved in this draw.

He rescued Liverpool twice in the first half with a brilliant reflex save from Ibrahimovic's fierce free-kick and a decisive advance from goal to make a one-handed block from Mkhitaryan.

Klopp has had to make big decisions with his keepers this season - and this one was fully justified by Mignolet.

Manchester United had more possession but their touchmap shows they had fewer touches in the opposition area than Liverpool
Manchester United had more possession but their touchmap (left) shows they had fewer touches in the opposition area than Liverpool (right)

Ibrahimovic United's talisman - again

Ibrahimovic may be 35 and in the twilight of a wonderful career - but he is the new talisman of Manchester United and the leader of Mourinho's team.

This may not have been the former Sweden striker's best performance of the season but he was still the man who made the difference and produced the decisive contribution when United needed him.

Ibrahimovic brings a winner's mentality to Old Trafford and it showed when he raced back to the centre circle after his 19th goal of a stellar season, finger pointing to the skies before whirling his arms around demanding more noise and support from United's fans in the closing moments.

He has now scored 14 goals in his first 20 Premier League games since joining last summer - the same total as Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, former Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle striker Alan Shearer, and ex-Coventry City forward Micky Quinn.

Pogba's nightmare

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba joined Manchester United last summer for a world record fee of £89m

Pogba's Manchester United career has been a slow-burner - but he has come into his own throughout United's recent run of victories.

This, however, will be a game he will surely want to forget as quickly as possible as the £89m man endured a nightmare from first to last.

Pogba revealed his own emoji before the game, but he will have wanted to keep his profile as low as possible after needlessly conceding a penalty and missing a clear chance when he raced through earlier in the first half.

The 23-year-old France midfielder is a player of undoubted quality but this was not his finest 90 minutes.

Was referee Oliver too lenient?

This was a match short on high quality but one that still had plenty of action and incident to keep the capacity Old Trafford crowd occupied to the final whistle.

Liverpool - who, despite keeper Mignolet's fine work, had opportunities themselves in the second half, especially when Roberto Firmino forced a save from David de Gea - even had a chance to win the game after Ibrahimovic's late leveller.

Georginio Wijnaldum missed that good chance, so honours were even in a game that had plenty of talking points.

Referee Michael Oliver was a central figure in two second-half incidents that could have brought red cards from the official.

United substitute Wayne Rooney was lucky to escape serious punishment for an ugly challenge on James Milner that left his former England team-mate requiring lengthy treatment.

And Firmino was also arguably fortunate to receive only a yellow card for a two-handed shove on Ander Herrera, referee Oliver perhaps taking his frustration into account because he was reacting to being crudely dragged back by the shirt by the United midfield man as he tried to break free.

Oliver will also have noted the extremely theatrical reaction from Herrera as he fell to the ground, an incident which brought the two managers together on the touchline. This may well have helped him come to his decision.

Some will accuse Oliver of leniency but both Jose Mourinho and Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp appeared to feel he had handled the incidents sensibly - other officials may not have reacted in the same fashion.

Man of the match - Simon Mignolet

Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet saves from Manchester United forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet saves from Manchester United forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan

What they said:

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: "I didn't think the game had super quality. We didn't reflect the qualities we have and Liverpool have - but it was very emotional, intense, aggressive. We fought until the last second.

"They were clever. They took their time, they know how to play football and control the emotions of the game. They knew they would be in trouble in the final few minutes.

"We were the team that attacked and Liverpool were the team that defended - let's see if the critics are fair. I enjoyed it but I will obviously be disappointed we didn't get the three points."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: "In the end period of the game when United started playing long balls after 80 minutes of high intense football it is really hard.

"I hoped we would have a bit of luck, unfortunately not but all good. Tomorrow I can enjoy the result, but tonight only the performance.

"It is so intense. They play long balls, it was a wild game. There was a lot of action in the last few minutes. We were here to win the game, which is why we we are not 100% satisfied."

Performance pleases Klopp after changes

Milner a good luck charm - the stats

  • Only Dwight Yorke and Ruud van Nistelrooy (15) scored more goals for Manchester United in their first 20 Premier League games than Ibrahimovic's 14.
  • Liverpool have scored six penalties at Old Trafford - the most by a team on an opposition ground in the Premier League.
  • Milner has scored his past 10 penalties in the Premier League, including all seven for Liverpool.
  • The former England international has lost none of the 46 top-flight games in which he has scored (37 wins), equalling the record held by ex-Aston Villa forward Darius Vassell.
  • Wayne Rooney became the 17th outfield player to play 450 Premier League games.
  • Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has lost just one of his seven matches against a side managed by Jose Mourinho, winning three.
  • This is the first time since the 1987-88 season that both league games between these sides ended as a draw.

What next?

Liverpool are in FA Cup action when they travel to League Two side Plymouth Argyle for a third-round replay at 19:45 GMT on Wednesday. Their next league game is at home against Swansea at 12:30 on Saturday, with Manchester United visiting Stoke City at 15:00 on the same day.


Man Utd

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1de Gea
  • 25A Valencia
  • 4Jones
  • 5Rojo
  • 36DarmianSubstituted forFellainiat 76'minutes
  • 21HerreraBooked at 90mins
  • 16CarrickSubstituted forRooneyat 45'minutes
  • 6Pogba
  • 22Mkhitaryan
  • 9Ibrahimovic
  • 11MartialSubstituted forMataat 65'minutes


  • 8Mata
  • 10Rooney
  • 12Smalling
  • 17Blind
  • 19Rashford
  • 20Romero
  • 27Fellaini


Formation 4-3-3

  • 22Mignolet
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 6LovrenBooked at 31mins
  • 17Klavan
  • 7Milner
  • 5WijnaldumBooked at 61mins
  • 14Henderson
  • 23Can
  • 11FirminoBooked at 90mins
  • 27OrigiSubstituted forCoutinhoat 61'minutes
  • 20Lallana


  • 1Karius
  • 10Coutinho
  • 12Gomez
  • 15Sturridge
  • 18Moreno
  • 35Stewart
  • 53Ejaria
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamLiverpool
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 1, Liverpool 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, Liverpool 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United).

  4. Post update

    Ragnar Klavan (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Dejan Lovren (Liverpool).

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emre Can.

  9. Booking

    Ander Herrera (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Booking

    Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Ander Herrera (Manchester United).

  12. Post update

    Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Manchester United. Paul Pogba tries a through ball, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Ander Herrera (Manchester United).

  15. Post update

    Emre Can (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Phil Jones.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  18. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester United 1, Liverpool 1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Antonio Valencia.

  19. Post update

    Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) hits the right post with a header from very close range. Assisted by Wayne Rooney with a cross.

  20. Post update

    Offside, Manchester United. Juan Mata tries a through ball, but Wayne Rooney is caught offside.


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