Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool were more dominant against Manchester United in Sunday’s 0-0 draw than in last season’s 7-0 Anfield victory against Erik ten Hag’s team after watching his side miss the chance to leapfrog Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.
Liverpool created 34 shots against United, who had just six, and amassed 12 corners. Ten Hag’s side failed to register a single corner.
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But despite their dominance, Liverpool were unable to score and will now face league leaders Arsenal with a one-point deficit at Anfield on Saturday.
“I can’t remember such a dominant performance against Man United — even the 7-0 they were more in the game,” Klopp said. “Now it’s 0-0 they probably feel slightly better than us. But we take the point and keep going.
“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 and the way United defending was clean with a lot of passion.
“If you score, it changes the dynamic of the game and they open up a bit and take more risk. But nothing changed, they threw everything in, and it’s a 0-0.
“If you play in the Premier League with a team of quality like Man United and they just defend, then it doesn’t make life easy. We should have scored and that would have changed the dynamic of the game. The chances were big enough, so we were unlucky.”
Having lost 7-0 and 4-0 on their past two visits to Anfield, United ended their dismal run of results away to Liverpool despite being without several key players due to injury. And despite the manner of his side’s defensive performance, Ten Hag said it was a big point to take away from Anfield.
“Every point you take is important,” Ten Hag said. “Football is about results, and we could have won today if we’d taken our chances. We take this point and we are pleased with the point because Liverpool are in very good form here at Anfield.
“They always score and we avoided that, we stopped them creating chances and scoring. All 11 on the pitch were very good. Football always starts with good organisation and defending. If I have a criticism, it is that we should have had more passes going into the box to hurt the opponent. That’s the next step we have to make.
“We have to get more consistent in our performance levels.”
Liverpool face West Ham in the Carabao Cup quarterfinal in midweek before the top-of-the-table clash against Arsenal on Saturday, and Klopp said he is concerned by the games beginning to pile up for his side going into the Christmas fixture list.
“It’s a tough period,” Klopp said. “We play Wednesday against West Ham, they’re flying and playing really well at the moment, then we have Arsenal and Burnley. It’s horrendous. We have to make sure we get enough points in this period, but then there’s a lot of football to play after that, too.
“It’s important we get through this with as many players as possible.”