Mohamed Salah spot on to save point but Manchester United dent Liverpool title bid

Jurgen Klopp's side miss host of first-half chances then have to fight back to earn 2-2 draw at Old Trafford

Powered by automated translation

Manchester United put a dent in Liverpool’s title hopes as Mohamed Salah’s late spot-kick rescued a 2-2 draw in the departing Jurgen Klopp’s final trip to Old Trafford.

Just weeks after Erik ten Hag’s side edged an FA Cup thriller at the end of extra-time, this bitter rivalry produced another chaotic battle in the Premier League on Sunday.

Luis Diaz gave Liverpool a deserved half-time lead against struggling United, only for Bruno Fernandes’s 45-yard stunner and some magic from Kobbie Mainoo to turn the match around.

Salah equalised with a late penalty after Aaron Wan-Bissaka brought down Harvey Elliott, but the visitors could not find a winner as Ten Hag’s side instigated another twist in an already absorbing title race.

Liverpool have taken an incredible 27 points from losing positions this season but now sit level with leaders Arsenal on 71 points, although way behind on goal difference. Manchester City are a further point back.

Liverpool will hope a damaging Old Trafford draw does not cost them glory as it did five years ago.

“We should have won the game, that is clear,” said Klopp afterwards. “We should have had other goals in the first half already. No shots [from United] in the first half and 1-0 is the lowest we could expect. Really well done from Bruno. “Then the stadium is coming and we needed a few minutes to settle again and they scored another screamer. We had big chances before and after they scored. As far as I'm concerned, we have a point more than we did before. They put an extra shift in, that's how it is. We will face that again against Everton. Fully deserved equaliser.

“I'm not angry at all with the boys but in the game I'm not just going to let things happen. We dropped too deep. There were plenty of situations where we could have defended the ball. You need to be proactive.

“We play now at home against Atalanta, difficult game but at home and then another. We don't have many home games left. The team who wins the league in the end should deserve it. We are in the race and I'm absolutely fine with it.”

United did have the ball in the net after just 90 seconds but Alejandro Garnacho had run offside before receiving Fernandes' pass. What followed was complete domination by Liverpool, who finished the half with 15 shots to United's none.

Home keeper Andre Onana produced a fine save to deny Dominik Szoboszlai but Liverpool were guilty of consistently butchering chances when well placed. Szoboszlai, Salah and Darwin Nunez were all guilty of letting United off the hook.

Liverpool did lead 1-0 at half-time as Diaz swept home Nunez's header from a corner. The pattern looked set to continue at the start of the second half but Liverpool were stunned as the title race took another twist out of nowhere on 50 minutes.

Jarell Quansah's errant pass went straight to Fernandes, who spotted Caoimhin Kelleher off his line, and expertly guided a shot into the empty net from just inside the Liverpool half.

United came alive and Garnacho's deflected effort flew just over.

But Liverpool were still cutting the United defence open at will and Nunez should have restored the lead but shot across goal at the end of a blistering counter-attack from a United corner.

Instead, it was United who hit the front 23 minutes from time thanks to another bolt from the blue as Mainoo produced the biggest moment of his fledgling career by curling into the top corner.

Klopp raged on the touchline and immediately sent for Elliott and Cody Gakpo. Elliott was the man tripped by Wan-Bissaka for the penalty and Salah held his nerve to score for the 14th time in 15 games against United.

Updated: April 07, 2024, 5:46 PM