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FootballManchester United 2-2 Liverpool: Reds relinquish control of title race with thrilling...

Manchester United 2-2 Liverpool: Reds relinquish control of title race with thrilling draw

Liverpool relinquished control of the Premier League title race despite Mohamed Salah’s late penalty salvaging a 2-2 draw against Manchester United in a thrilling encounter at Old Trafford.

Salah beat Andre Onana from the spot with 84 minutes played after Aaron Wan-Bissaka tripped Harvey Elliott, denying United a stirring comeback win.

Liverpool had earlier gone ahead through Luis Diaz, only for Bruno Fernandes to equalise from near the halfway line before 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo bent a sumptuous finish beyond Caoimhin Kelleher to put United 2-1 up.

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The Red Devils were unable to hold on for a win which would have boosted their Champions League hopes, though they succeeded in denting Liverpool’s title aspirations, with Jurgen Klopp’s team missing the chance to leapfrog Arsenal at the summit.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City are now separated by a single point with seven matches remaining for each team, while United are 11 points adrift of the top four with a game in hand.

Alejandro Garnacho thought he had put United ahead after just two minutes, only to be flagged offside when rounding Kelleher to tap home, before Liverpool began to dominate.

Their breakthrough came with 23 minutes played. United were static as Darwin Nunez flicked Robertson’s in-swinging corner onto Diaz, who was given the freedom of the six-yard box to beat Onana with an acrobatic finish at the far post.

Salah blazed over when in space on the right side of the area as Liverpool failed to extend their lead before half-time, which arrived without United attempting a single shot.

However, Liverpool’s wastefulness was punished as United levelled five minutes into the second half. Jarell Quansah passed straight to Fernandes, and he spotted Kelleher off his line to find the net from inside the centre-circle.

With United a team transformed, the game became increasingly stretched, and it was the Red Devils who took advantage of the chaos.

Turning on Wan-Bissaka’s pass near the edge of the area, Mainoo bent a wonderful effort into the top-right corner, prompting wild scenes at the Stretford End and a furious outburst from Klopp on the sideline.

Salah somehow missed on the rebound after Onana was worked by Diaz with 11 minutes remaining, but the Egyptian got another chance to level when Wan-Bissaka dangled a leg to fell substitute Elliott.

He sent Onana the wrong way from 12 yards, but Liverpool couldn’t find a winner in seven minutes of stoppage time as they dropped two potentially costly points, Diaz volleying over when presented with their best opportunity.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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