Liverpool’s Title Hopes Dashed as Fernandes and Mainoo Secure 2-2 Draw for Man United

Liverpool's Title Hopes Dashed as Fernandes and Mainoo Secure 2-2 Draw for Man United | English Premier League

The away team largely controlled the game but relied on a late Mohamed Salah penalty, six minutes from time, to avoid a second defeat at Old Trafford within three weeks.

This draw keeps Liverpool trailing Premier League leaders Arsenal by goal difference and just one point ahead of Manchester City, with only seven games left in the tightly contested title race.

If Liverpool fails to secure Jurgen Klopp’s final season with a 20th English top-flight title, matching United’s record, they will reflect on this day and ponder how they let two crucial points slip away.

For Liverpool, this echoed their thrilling 4-3 FA Cup quarter-final defeat, squandering numerous chances to widen their lead before succumbing to a sudden United counter.

Although the home side had the ball in the net just 90 seconds in, Alejandro Garnacho was offside well before receiving Fernandes’ pass.

What followed was complete Liverpool dominance, finishing the first half with 15 shots to United’s none.

Andre Onana’s exceptional save denied Dominik Szoboszlai, but Liverpool repeatedly failed to capitalize on their opportunities. Szoboszlai, Salah, and Darwin Nunez were all profligate in front of goal.

Liverpool led 1-0 at halftime as Luis Diaz struck from Darwin Nunez’s header off a corner. The trend seemed set to continue as Nunez had a goalbound effort blocked early in the second half.

However, the title race took an unexpected twist on 50 minutes. Jarell Quansah’s errant pass went straight to Fernandes, who spotted Caoimhin Kelleher well off his line and chipped the Irish goalkeeper from just inside the Liverpool half.

United suddenly revived, with Garnacho’s deflected effort narrowly missing over the crossbar.

Klopp was furious on the touchline with his players for allowing Mainoo to take his shot, prompting immediate substitutions as Harvey Elliott and Cody Gakpo were brought on.

Elliott was the player brought down by Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s challenge, leading to the penalty that Salah calmly converted, maintaining his remarkable record of scoring 14 times in 15 games against United.

However, Liverpool couldn’t secure a winning goal, ultimately giving Arsenal the edge in the title race due to the Gunners’ significant nine-goal advantage on goal difference.

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