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Liverpool v Manchester United

‘Man Utd felt completely in control against Liverpool’ – Matic takes positives from Anfield reversal

14:46 GMT+4 20/01/2020
Nemanja Matic Manchester United Sadio Mane Liverpool
The Serbian midfielder believes the Red Devils offered enough to take something from the Premier League leaders and remains hopeful heading forward

Nemanja Matic felt that Manchester United were “completely in control” against Liverpool despite suffering a 2-0 defeat at Anfield.

The Red Devils have become the latest team to be swept aside by Jurgen Klopp’s relentless winning machine.

Liverpool have dropped just two points this season – against United at Old Trafford – and are fast closing in on a first English top-flight title in 30 years.

They were given the odd scare by arch-rivals on Sunday, with VAR chalking two efforts off and the likes of Anthony Martial squandering decent opportunities to impact the final scoreline.

With that in mind, Matic believes there are positives for United to take despite missing out on bragging rights against old adversaries and passing up the chance to close on the Premier League’s top four.

The Serbian midfielder told MUTV: “On the pitch, we felt, ‘We are in the game, we can score, we can create’.

“I think we played some good football. In the last 35 to 40 minutes, we were the better side. But it’s hard. If you don’t score against this kind of team it’s hard to draw or to win.

“I think everyone on the pitch from our team felt that we were in control, completely in control, so that’s the model of how we should always play against top teams.”

Matic added on Martial’s costly second-half miss: “Yeah, I think that he made a great action, a one-two with Andreas, and tried to do his best to score. We also had one great chance in the first half.

“As I said, we have to use these chances because against top teams you can create three or four in the game, and you have to use at least one. If you don’t score, they score.”

Matic put in a decent showing against Liverpool, while his midfield partner Fred impressed once again.

The Brazilian appears to have finally settled in English football, with the challenge being for United to become more consistent as a collective.

Matic added on Fred and the Red Devils as a whole: “It’s great to play next to him.

”He played a great game. He always gives his best, fighting for the team, exactly what I try to do.

“We will continue to do our work - we’re working every day for this club and in three days [against Burnley] we have the chance to show that we are better than this [result].

“If someone says we played completely badly in this game, I do not agree. We were against probably the best team in the league. In the last 35 minutes we played better, we controlled it and we felt we could score. We have to keep doing exactly that. 

“Let’s focus on the next one, Burnley at home. We have to get three points to keep fighting for the fourth spot for the Champions League.”

United, after 23 games in 2019-20, remain five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League table.