A goalless draw with Manchester United saw Liverpool return to the top of the Premier League on Sunday.

An attritional affair at Old Trafford featured little in the way of clear-cut opportunities for either side, with the Reds unable to convert their 64 per cent share of the possession into an elusive goal.

Jürgen Klopp’s side have, though, overtaken Manchester City and hold a one-point lead on Pep Guardiola’s team with 11 games remaining.

Team news

Virgil van Dijk and James Milner returned to Liverpool’s starting line-up as Klopp made two changes from Tuesday’s Champions League draw with Bayern Munich.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita dropped down to the bench.

First half

An indirect free-kick earned inside the opening minute when Roberto Firmino read Ashley Young’s intention to pass back to David de Gea and prompted the goalkeeper to handle was blasted into the wall by Milner.

The early stages unfolded at the frenetic tempo that is customary in these fixtures, but they did so with Liverpool enjoying more of the ball.

Mohamed Salah’s first involvement of note saw him dart past Luke Shaw in the box and drill in a low cross that was fielded by De Gea.

Another confident passing sequence from the visitors ended with Sadio Mane’s attempted cutback to Georginio Wijnaldum being intercepted, before a marauding run forward from Joel Matip drew a foul from Ander Herrera 20 yards from goal.

Salah curled the 15th-minute free-kick into the Stretford End but, from a Liverpool perspective, an encouraging pattern had been set.

The flow of the game was stymied somewhat by three enforced substitutions in the first half an hour, with Herrera and Juan Mata’s withdrawals being quickly followed by an exit for Firmino, who rolled his ankle and was replaced by Daniel Sturridge.

Jesse Lingard, who had come on for Mata, quickly became the third United player to succumb to injury, but only after he’d been denied a goal by an outstanding piece of work from Alisson Becker.

The Reds’ stopper raced off his line and clawed the ball off Lingard’s toe after he’d latched onto Romelu Lukaku’s slide-rule pass.

A final attempt of an eventful yet goalless half belonged to Matip, who headed Milner’s corner over the crossbar.

Second half

A ragged start to the second period featured a promising Liverpool break down the right, which concluded when Andreas Pereira blocked Jordan Henderson’s cross.

Midway through the half, Wijnaldum shimmied away from two challenges and shot over the bar from distance and, soon after, Klopp introduced Xherdan Shaqiri in place of Henderson and switched to a 4-4-2 system.

The Reds were relieved to see the offside flag raised when Matip’s miscued clearance of Chris Smalling’s volleyed delivery across the six-yard area flew past Alisson and into the net, and the boss then turned to Divock Origi in search of more attacking thrust.

But the match’s last opportunity was United’s, with Smalling just failing to connect with Lukaku’s cross at the back post to ensure it ended all square.

Match stats

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