Micah Richards and Roy Keane were in disagreement at half-time over Manchester United’s performance against Liverpool after the former Man City defender claimed they were overly negative.
In a low-key opening 45 minutes, Liverpool started the game brightest with Thiago Alcantara and Xherdan Shaqiri pulling the midfield strings.
United grew into the half and continued to pose a threat on the counter-attack, although Marcus Rashford was penalised several times for being offside against Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.
Richards, though, was left unimpressed with United’s reluctance to come forward in the opening 45, claiming they would never win the Premier League table playing negatively.
“I’ve been disappointed with Man United if I’m being totally honest,” Richard told Sky Sports.
“I gave them the big spiel beforehand, we know they’re at Anfield, a tough place to go, but they’re just dropping too deep. It’s a team that is top of the league, take the game to Liverpool.
“We know Anfield is a difficult place to play, but it doesn’t matter. You cannot win the league playing like that. Yeah, they’re good on the counter-attack.
“Rashford has been offside seven times in that first-half, or Man United have been. If they want to win the league, I’ve talked up Man United especially on the counter-attack, but they can’t win the league playing as negatively as that.”
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Manchester United secured a vital 1-0 victory over Burnley on Tuesday night to go top of the Premier League.
Paul Pogba scored the decisive goal in a hard-fought contest at Turf Moor, meaning United are now three points clear of Liverpool — who they face this weekend at Anfield.
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Roy Keane felt Richards’ assessment was harsh, however, and believes United posed a good threat on the counter-attack.
“I think United have been dangerous,” Keane argued.
“I know they’ve been caught offside seven or eight times but I think that’s a good sign. They just need to get one of those passes right. We said before the game, Liverpool are gonna start quickly, they’ve had 10 or 11 days off, they’ve not been quite at their best, but they were gonna be out of the traps quickly.
“I think United will be delighted going into half-time at 0-0. They’ll wanna pass it better and create more, of course, they do, but they’re going to the champions, Liverpool, with a fantastic home record and United need to just get one of those passes right for someone to be clean through on goal.”
Asked his thoughts on Richards’ comments, Gary Neville joked: “He’s a good Manchester City ambassador, I’ll tell you that”