Gary Neville was among those left less than impressed with the performances of Liverpool and Manchester United on Monday night as the much-anticipated clash between the two north-west rivals petered out into a goalless draw.
There was no separating the two sides as David De Gea kept Liverpool at bay with two world class saves, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a glaring opportunity to win the match when he headed the ball wide of the goal.
Neville was on Sky Sports commentary duties at Anfield for the encounter, and he joined former United teammate Ryan Giggs in the studio afterwards alongside Liverpool great Jamie Carragher to dissect the match and the 0-0 draw played out.
However, Neville left his most scathing analysis for Twitter as he took aim at the Liverpool fans. Posting a picture on his account, Neville was clearly questioning what had happened to the famed Anfield atmosphere as he uploaded an image of Jose Mourinho taking his seat in the dugout.
In the past, a United manager would have been forgiven for expecting a hostile atmosphere upon their arrival at Anfield, such is the rivalry and the history between the two club. But instead, Neville’s picture displayed a number of supporters taking pictures of Mourinho on their smart phones, with Neville adding the caption “Welcome to Anfield”.
Unsurprisingly, Neville’s words drew a response from a number of Liverpool fans who didn’t quite agree with the former United and England defender. Yet when one user by the name of @MusticMO11 asked “bitter, Gary”, Neville responded to claim that it was not an indictment of the Merseyside club, but of football as a whole.
Liverpool vs Manchester United player ratings
Loris Karius – 4 out of 10
Didn’t have too much to do but looked nervous when the crosses did come in and his loose pass nearly gave United the lead.
Nathaniel Clyne – 5 out of 10
Couldn’t attack anywhere near as much as he normally likes to and was restricted in what he could contribute.
Joel Matip – 7 out of 10
Had a good battle with Ibrahimovic throughout and probably got the better of the big Swede.
Dejan Lovren – 7 out of 10
Like Matip, did well to keep Ibrahimovic quiet and read the play well.
James Milner – 7 out of 10
Could have had a tough night against Rashford but continued his impressive run at left back.
Jordan Henderson – 5 out of 10
Struggled to get his foot on the ball as he lost the midfield battle to United’s pairing.
Emre Can – 5 out of 10
Much of the play passed him by as it seems he is still lacking match fitness on his first Premier League start of the season.
Sadio Mane – 6 out of 10
Continued to drop deep in hope of making something happen and was probably the liveliest of Liverpool’s attacking players.
Philippe Coutinho – 5 out of 10Philippe Coutinho – 5 out of 10
Looked out of sorts and made uncharacteristic errors with his forward passing and crossing.
Roberto Firmino – 5 out of 10
Similar to Coutinho, he also struggled to find any space between the lines to work in.
Daniel Sturridge – 4 out of 10
Anonymous in the first half and replaced before the hour mark by Lallana. He has now gone 615 minutes without a Premier League goal.
David De Gea – 8 out of 10
Didn’t put a foot wrong and was needed to pull off two world-class saves from Can and Coutinho.
Antonio Valencia – 8 out of 10
Continued his fine start to the season and saved the game for United with a stunning last-ditch challenge.
Chris Smalling – 6 out of 10
Did well to keep Coutinho and co. out but United’s captain for the night was overshadowed by his new centre-back partner.
Eric Bailly – 7 out of 10
A strong and commanding performance by Bailly as he kept Liverpool’s attacking quartet quiet.
Daley Blind – 5 out of 10
Could have been found out with his lack of pace but held his own against the Reds’ pacey attacks.
Marouane Fellaini – 7 out of 10
Helped control the game from midfield and broke up play well alongside Herrera.
Ander Herrera – 8 out of 10
Was the best outfield player of the game. He was dynamic and won possession well on multiple occasions.
Paul Pogba – 5 out of 10
Played in a more advanced role but other than a few neat passes he looked frustrated as he struggled to make anything happen.
Marcus Rashford – 5 out of 10
Didn’t get past Milner as much as he’d have liked but the one time he did he fired in a dangerous cross that Liverpool struggled to deal with.
Ashley Young – 6 out of 10
Did exactly what he was put into the team for. Crossed well and worked back industriously to keep Clyne quiet.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 4 out of 10
Cut a frustrated figure up front as he struggled to link with his midfielders amid the pressure from Matip and Lovren.
“It wasn’t a dig at Liverpool actually,” Neville said. “It’s scary for all football.”
Neville followed up by tagging the Premier League and FA into the tweet, although what the two would be able (or want) to do about fans taking pictures of Mourinho remains unknown.