Manchester United have failed to win their first three home league games for the first time in 48 years, after Edinson Cavani’s debut failed to inspire the hosts in Saturday’s dour 0-0 draw against Chelsea. Uruguay striker Cavani almost scored with his first touch after coming off the bench in the second half, but United were unable to break down Chelsea’s well-drilled defence. Beaten by Crystal Palace on the opening weekend of the Premier League season and crushed 6-1 by Tottenham in their previous home match, United once again looked lacklustre at an empty Old Trafford.
United’s only win in their last six home games was in the Europa League against Austrian side LASK last season, when they were already 5-0 up from the away leg.
They are languishing in 15th place after a spluttering start that raises serious questions about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hopes of ever turning United into title contenders.
Any optimism engendered by United’s midweek Champions League win at Paris Saint Germain evaporated in the Manchester rain.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp praised Liverpool’s ability to cope with “injustice” as the Premier League champions survived a scare to beat Sheffield United 2-1 on Saturday. Klopp’s side trailed to Sander Berge’s controversial first-half penalty at Anfield, with the Reds frustrated that VAR gave the spot-kick despite Fabinho’s foul appearing to take place outside the area. But Roberto Firmino equalised before the break and Portugal forward Diogo Jota completed the escape act with his second goal since signing from Wolves in September. After losing Virgil van Dijk to a serious knee injury in last weekend’s Merseyside derby draw at Everton, the Reds have proved they can survive without their influential Dutch centre-back.
“The penalty was not even a foul. During a season there are so many different periods, we have had an injustice and we have had to go again,” Klopp said.
“I love these games. You have to work hard. You earn the easier games when it all goes your way on nights like this.”
A gritty 1-0 Champions League win against Ajax in midweek set the tone and Liverpool again dug deep to earn their first win in three Premier League games.