There’s plenty of reasons to smile if you are a Manchester United supporter. The fact we’re disappointed with being held to a 0-0 draw at Anfield shows how we are moving in the right direction under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Manchester United were nine points adrift of reigning champions Liverpool in the Premier League at the beginning of November, but two-and-a-half months later we have a three-point cushion over them — and it would’ve been six had we found a way to score on Sunday.
It took the Red Devils 45 minutes to get going which is often the case at Anfield, where Liverpool always tend to come out of the traps early — even without fans at the game. But once we gained control of the match after half-time, Solskjaer’s side were on top and failed to put away two glorious second half chances through Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.
Most United fans would have been happy with the point before kick-off as it was a game we simply did not want to lose. That said, Liverpool started with a makeshift defence — Jordan Henderson partnering Fabinho at centre-back — but were not put under enough pressure until the dying stages of the match.
It was a chance to take advantage but the coaches understandably didn’t want to push the boat out too far and lose the game.
I’m not yet convinced this United team can go all the way and win the Premier League title this season, but we’re in the mix and that is a step forward.
With United and Liverpool dropping points at the weekend, Man City took advantaged after crushing Crystal Palace 4-0 at the Etihad. Defender John Stones scored a rare brace as Roy Hodgson’s Eagles failed to respond.
That result saw Pep Guardiola’s side jump to second place in the Premier League standings — two points behind United — and it was a statement to everyone in the league that ruled out City early on, according to Efirbet.
City take on Aston Villa before United travel to Fulham, so they could move to the top of the league before we kick a ball again.
It’s shaping up for a dramatic second half of the season and it’s important that United fans remember their expectations at the beginning of the campaign. The fact of the matter is nobody expected us to be challenging with City or Liverpool.
Long may it continue.