Sunday, 17 January 2021 21:13

Staff Reporter.

Manchester United stayed top of the Premier League with a mediocre goalless stalemate against champions Liverpool at Anfield.

It was a game that failed to justify the pre-match anticipation and while United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be happier with a point than Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp, he will also know they had the better chances to claim a statement victory.

Liverpool dominated possession in the first half but it was United who came closest when Bruno Fernandes' 20-yard free-kick curled inches wide.

Fernandes was then thwarted after the break by the outstretched leg of Liverpool keeper Alisson before Thiago's long-range effort finally brought the previously unemployed David de Gea into action.

Alisson was Liverpool's hero late on when he blocked Paul Pogba's drive from point-blank range.

The result leaves United two points ahead of Leicester City in second. Liverpool, who have scored just one goal in their past four league games, are a point behind the Foxes in third.

Manchester City will move up to second, two points behind United, if they beat Crystal Palace in Sunday's late game.

"They started better than us but second half we came into a lot more. We created the best chances and on another day we win," United captain Harry Maguire said after the game.

"It was cagey. Two good teams matching up. We created openings and had two great chances, two great saves.

"We wanted to win. You could see our intent in the second half, we wanted three points. We'll feel a bit disappointed. It's a tough place to come."

Meanwhile John Stones scored twice for Manchester City as Pep Guardiola's resurgent title challengers cruised past Crystal Palace to go second in the Premier League.