The highly anticipated fixture ended with both teams settling for a point, but as it appears, the actual battle was won by United boss Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese is one of those managers who doesn’t shy away from using the park-the-bus tactics against top oppositions, and while that was quite clear from the first whistle, Redknapp believes that Klopp still should have found a crack in the Red Devils’ defensive wall.
The former England international wrote in his column for the Daily Mail: “It was up to Liverpool to unlock the door but they could not deliver.
“With 10 minutes to go, United looked there for the taking, but Klopp took off Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho — Liverpool’s two most dangerous players on Saturday. I do not blame Mourinho for the dull display. By the end, Klopp was as guilty in settling for a draw.”
Former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher had also suggested that the German manager had to be more bold with his substitutions.
Klopp prefers to make player for player substitutions instead of switching the roles of his on-field players, and Carragher had previously suggested the former Dortmund boss to sub off a midfielder, like Emre Can, in order to bring in an attacking player like Daniel Sturridge, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, or Dominic Solanke to give an extra boost towards the end of the game.
Building on Carragher’s comments, Redknapp further scrutinized Klopp for his tactics, and wrote that questions need to be asked from the German in regard to the disappointing performance. The Sky Sports Pundit also stated that it was absurd to suggest that someone like Mourinho would ‘go to Anfield and open up’.
“Did anyone seriously expect Jose Mourinho to go to Anfield and open up? Mourinho is one of the Premier League’s greatest managers, but rarely do you see him involved in thrilling, high-scoring encounters,” added Redknapp.
“I cannot recall his teams winning too many games 3-2. He hates those matches. This game was built up as if it was El Clasico but, if Jose was able to get his way, this was always going to be a boring draw. Mourinho is not bothered by the spectacle. Staying unbeaten was the only thing on his agenda. You have to ask questions of Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool, not Mourinho.”
The Special One is known to adopt a defensive approach when his sides travel away from home, and last six away league games with the top six from last year clearly indicate the same. Mourinho’s men managed to score only once and recorded three goalless draws in their high profile away fixtures last year.
The draw at Anfield has kept United in the second spot, but they now trail Manchester City with 2 points. Meanwhile, Liverpool are now nine points adrift of the league-leaders, and remain eighth in the Premier League.
Written by Sidharth Jindal
Sports fanatic with a passion for writing (predominantly football) and “Wants to live life to its fullest.” Writes about the Premier League on his personal blog.