Liverpool have dropped their first points of the English Premier League season at Manchester United, needing a late Adam Lallana goal to preserve their unbeaten start.
Adam Lallana has scored his first goal in more than two years to rescue a point for the league leaders in an eventful 1-1 drawat Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford put the hosts in front in the first half but Lallana popped up to tap in from close range five minutes from full-time on Sunday.
Although Liverpool dropped points for the first time since last season in March, Jurgen Klopp’s side still went six points clear after nine games.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson says the result was more important than the performance, which he admitted had been below-par as their 17-match winning streak came to an end.
“We could have been better today, we know that,” he said.
“Second half we were much better and wanted to go and win the game but if you can’t win, don’t lose.”
United went into the game after their worst start in the top flight for 30 years but produced a far better display as they pushed Liverpool all the way.
Rashford in particular was a threat throughout and the England striker broke the deadlock, though there was controversy about the goal.
Divock Origi, replacing the injured Mohamed Salah in the starting line-up, thought he had been fouled but the play was allowed to go on and Rashford scored, with VAR allowing the goal to stand.
Liverpool thought they had equalised just before halftime as Sadio Mane beat David De Gea, but VAR ruled it out correctly for handball against Mane.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp brought on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with half an hour to go and that gave the midfield some impetus.
Suddenly, Liverpool were a threat and Lallana, also on as a substitute, made no mistake as he turned in Andy Robertson’s cross from a couple of yards out with five minutes to go.
Oxlade-Chamberlain almost won it for Liverpool in injury time as he flashed a shot just wide but United held out for a point.
“The result is good,” Klopp said after failing to win in the league for the first time since a draw with Everton in March.
“It’s not what we wanted before the game. But the way it developed I feel we have to be happy. We take the point because for a long time they were 1-0 up.
“We had good moments in the second half but I didn’t like the first half, because we gave Manchester United opportunities to do what they wanted.”
United goalscorer Rashford said he thought the home side might have done enough to win.
“We deserved the three points,” he said.
“I don’t think they were good enough to get a draw out of the game or a win but this is football.
“It was a big opportunity missed and we just fell short. Hopefully in mid-week we can get a win and it will start a run for us.”