Manchester United’s obstructive approach in Monday night’s goalless draw at Anfield served as commendation for Liverpool's scorching start to the season, according to goalkeeeper Loris Karius.
Mourinho’s men recorded just 35% possession - their lowest figure in the Premier League since Opta started collecting data in 2003 - as they used their physicality and cunning to circumvent the Reds’ fast, fluid football.
Karius admitted the hosts didn’t expect United to be so passive in their own attacking ambitions, but that their gameplan was praise for Liverpool’s performances thus far in the campaign.
“Not exactly like that, but we knew we had to be patient because it’s going to be tough,” the goalkeeper told Goal when asked if Mourinho’s methodology was anticipated.
“United maybe waited for the one chance to get a goal, as obviously their priority was to stop our play, our attacks.
"They know we’re a really strong team, so that’s a compliment for us.
“Second half, we managed better to get through, but United defended well with [David] de Gea making top saves.”
Karius’ counterpart between the sticks was at his inspired best in the second half as he thwarted both Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho.
The first saw the Spaniard get down smartly to deny the German midfielder’s low shot, before he then left the Brazilian in disbelief with an outstanding one-handed intervention to redirect his long-ranger from settling into the top corner.
“It was a really good, strong stop which was unfortunate because he was the opponent, and I would’ve much rather seen it go in,” Karius said of the save on Coutinho’s effort.
“But credit to him because it was impressive. He’s enjoyed great development over the last few years and you can just see he gets better and better.
“He’s right up there among the very best in the world, playing at a consistently high level and is a top goalkeeper.”