Backup brigade do the trick as Reds rescue point at Old Trafford

Form went out the window at Old Trafford, but Liverpool’s substitutes proved vital to the Reds’ victory in Manchester.

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Liverpool’s 100% record in the league came to an end when Jürgen Klopp’s side were held to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. Substitute Adam Lallana rescued a point for the Reds after Marcus Rashford’s first-half strike.

The Merseysiders were the favourites going into the clash with an out-of-form Manchester United. However, Liverpool showed little signs of the form they had prior to the international break.


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The Reds were sloppy in possession and struggled to create concrete chances against Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team. Manchester United were able to keep Liverpool quiet and changes were needed to break down the resilient hosts.

Klopp’s first substitute arrived in the 60th minute when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Divock Origi. The No.15 provided much needed legs to a tiring midfield. The Englishman provided a solid performance from the bench and could have won the game for the Reds, but his 92nd minute shot was just off target.

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Klopp’s second substitute would prove even more influential. Adam Lallana replaced Jordan Henderson as a right-sided midfielder — his introduction gave Liverpool a new dimension in attack, which was later rewarded in the 85th minute.

The former Southampton player was lurking at the back post when Andy Robertson’s low driven cross found him. Lallana was left free with an open net and was able to equalise for his side and record his first strike since May 2017.

Just before that, Naby Keïta was brought on in place of Gini Wijnaldum. The Guinean was one of the best on the pitch on Sunday, despite only playing 15 minutes. The No.8 managed 22 passes in only eight minutes at Old Trafford, and it was Këita’s well-timed pass to Robertson that allowed the Scot to find Lallana at the back post.

All three changes had a positive impact on the game and this will give Klopp some selection problems — albeit not the worst problem to have. In truth the Reds performed poorly in Manchester but the German will have some reassurance that he does have players in his ranks who can come on and make a difference.

Liverpool next travel to Belgium for their Champions League clash against Genk. Lallana, Keïta and Oxlade-Chamberlain will be hoping that there displays off the bench will have proved enough to start against the Belgians.

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