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Manchester United 2-2 Liverpool: Key Takeaways From A Pulsating Game

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Manchester United drew 2-2 with arch-rivals Liverpool in a pulsating encounter at Old Trafford, with stunning goals from Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo in between strikes from Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah for the away side. Here are the Manchester United Key Takeaways from an engrossing contest between two huge enemies.

Manchester United Key Takeaways as An Improved Second Half Sees Red Devils Grab A Draw Against Rivals Liverpool

André Onana Shines Again

The Cameroon goalkeeper came under intense scrutiny in his first few months at Old Trafford, but has seen a strong upturn in form since the turn of the year, showing more of the ability that helped Inter Milan to the Champions League final last season.

Gifted with the ball at his feet as well as shot-stopping, he was instrumental in keeping Erik ten Hag’s side in the contest today, making a number of fine saves to keep Liverpool out. Considering the amount of shots Onana has faced this season and indeed faced just in the first half of this game (15), Manchester United can consider themselves lucky he is there.

Makeshift Defence Copes Well

Ironically perhaps, considering the team once again conceded a huge number of shots (28). As the squad’s last fit centre-backs, Willy Kambwala and Harry Maguire coped admirably with Liverpool’s considerable attacking talent, conceding from a set-piece and a penalty that neither was at fault for.

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At just 19 years old, Frenchman Kambwala struck an authoritative figure, regularly barking at his team-mates and cajoling the cauldron of the Old Trafford crowd.

A Captain’s Performance from Bruno Fernandes

Justifiably under fire for his chaotic brand of football and body language at times this season, the Portuguese number 10 produced a fantastic display today, capped by a truly wonderful strike from range after a mistake in the Liverpool rearguard.

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Always willing to track back and help the team defensively, it felt like there was much more of a calculated, deliberate performance from the gifted playmaker, contrary to much of this season when he has seemed to be the embodiment of the chaotic, rushed Manchester United that has struggled for control of games.

Chaos And An Utter Inability To Control Games.. AGAIN.

It’s mentioned almost every week, but the fact remains that the games that they have had firm control of this season can be counted on one hand. With a Casemiro seemingly in terminal decline and rapidly losing athleticism, the Red Devils midfield is porous and has been a problem area for the team all season long. With Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his new appointees currently examining the football side of the club, a replacement for the ageing Brazilian should be of utmost priority.

Lucky To Get A Point: Key Takeaways

Ultimately, that’s the conclusion of this game. Liverpool should have been out of sight by half-time and Ten Hag should consider himself and his team incredibly fortunate to come away with a draw against a technically, tactically and mentally far superior football team.

With that being said, signs of encouragement are there and the fans will hope to see foundations built for next season in the coming weeks, with silverware and top 4 increasingly unlikely.

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