Manchester United maintained their three-point advantage over Liverpool at the top of the Premier League but were denied a famous win at Anfield by Alisson Becker’s heroics in a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
Liverpool remain third after failing to score for a third straight league game, but were grateful to their Brazilian goalkeeper to extend a 68-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League as he denied Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba late on.
United are now unbeaten in 12 league games as they bolstered their claim to be title contenders for the first time since former manager Alex Ferguson retired eight years ago.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men may rue the chance to open up a six-point gap against the under-strength champions, who are on their longest run without a league win in four years.
Manchester City could be the big beneficiaries of dropped points for both their title rivals.
Pep Guardiola’s men are five points off the top, but have two games in hand on those above them, the first of which comes at home to Crystal Palace later on Sunday.
Liverpool were again without any fit senior centre-backs, forcing Jurgen Klopp into partnering midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in defence.
But they were rarely tested in the first-half as the champions started with a determination to reassert their title defence.
Despite the loss of the talismanic Virgil van Dijk, it is scoring goals, not conceding them, that has been the root of the Reds’ struggles in recent weeks.