Damon Savenelli discusses a few talking points from Liverpool’s score draw with Manchester United.
It was yet another draw between the Red Devils of Manchester and the Reds of Liverpool. Sunday’s contest ended 1-1 with goals coming from James Milner (pen) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It was a cagey and physical contest. Liverpool had to play a significantly weakened side due to injuries, international duties and bans.
With 18-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold making his full Premier League debut in place of the injured Nathaniel Clyne, the Liverpool side held their own. The Reds now sit third in the table, level on points with second-place Tottenham, while United still sit in sixth. Here are the three things we learned from Sunday’s derby.
Simon Mignolet looks to have cemented a place in the starting 11
After a below average campaign last season, many fans were calling for the Belgian stopper to be sold. Then when Klopp purchased Loris Karius from Mainz in the summer, it looked as though Mignolet’s starting spot was gone. Karius started a decent amount of fixtures but after a few vital mistakes and intense pressure from the media, Klopp put him on the bench.
Mignolet got his chance and has not looked back since. After a string of decent performances, the goalkeeper had a stellar performance on Sunday. He made a few crucial saves that allowed his side to stay in the game. After working extremely hard and staying focused, it looks as though Mignolet will be Liverpool’s No. 1 for the time being.
James Milner is the best penalty taker in the league
Midway through the first half, the Reds were awarded a penalty thanks to a Paul Pogba handball. Up stepped James Milner who calmly put away his seventh penalty of the season. The Englishman has never lost a Premier League game in which he has scored in (W37-D9-L0). A record that he shares with Darius Vassell. Madness.
Milner has scored some crucial penalties including a penalty against Tottenham in the third week of the season. Always so composed, it is almost a given that the left back will convert from the spot every time.
Liverpool have a great record against teams in the top six
With the draw against United on Sunday, Liverpool have yet to lose to a team in the top six. Wins over Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester City have showed how Klopp’s men have stepped up in the big games. Draws against Tottenham and Manchester United (2x) have accompanied these wins.
Having already gone to Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and White Hart Lane, Liverpool have escaped some of their toughest fixtures unscathed for the most part. With matches still to come against Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea, and Arsenal, we will see if the Reds can keep this impressive record.
With the Reds sitting in third, life is pretty good for Liverpool fans. Klopp’s men will take on Plymouth Argyle next in the third round of the FA Cup. The Reds will then return to Premier League action on January 21, when Premier League strugglers Swansea City visit Anfield. Those were the three things we learned from Sunday’s 1-1 draw. Until next time.