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Death, Taxes, and Manchester United vs Liverpool sending us all to sleep

The bitter rivalry of Manchester United and Liverpool yet again failed to produce a memorable match, and the footballing public are as bored as ever of the over-hyped biannual event following Sunday’s goalless draw.

For the first time in a long time a meeting between Manchester United and Liverpool was really relevant: the latter are in the midst of a title challenge, while the former are challenging for a place in the top four following an excellent run of form under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

As ever the game was hyped up beyond oblivion by Sky Sports — THE HOME OF FOOTBALL — in the lead-up to Sunday’s kick-off, despite the overwhelming body of evidence that this fixture does not entertain the masses. Before Sunday, four of the last six Premier League meetings between the two had ended in boring draws. Indeed, one has to go back almost a decade to recall a true “classic”.

Even the four goal scoreline from last December’s contest at Anfield belies the fact that it wasn’t much of a game at all, with Jose Mourinho’s side clearly outmatched by the Reds. The Special One’s exit from Old Trafford following that result hasn’t done much to improve the fare on show, the ‘action’ on the field during Sunday’s 0-0 draw doing little to warrant the hype and emotion off of it.

Jurgen Klopp summed the whole affair up best on the final whistle:

Although no one was more upset by the result than Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness, apparently:

It was something of an odd game, with United being forced to use up all of their substitutions before half-time. Liverpool also had to make a first-half sub, with Roberto Firmino coming off for Daniel Sturridge in the 31st minute.

That meant they were as many subs as they were shots on target in the opening 45 minutes, and onlookers were no more impressed by the second-half either. And almost all of the ire was directed at the away side, primarily Klopp for not figuring a way through the opposition.

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Despite the performance, some Liverpool fans chose to look on the bright side.

The game is probably best summed up by the New York Times’ football correspondent Rory Smith:

Liverpool remain top of the table, but their confidence to go all the way will have taken another beating this afternoon. Meanwhile, the wait for a bout between them and United that actually meets expectations goes on.

Read: Systems, space and the tactical influence they have had on conventional roles in the Premier League

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