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MO SALAH’S late penalty spiked an extraordinary Manchester United comeback to earn Liverpool a point.

But wasteful Liverpool still squandered the chance to return to the top of the Premier League as they failed to capitalise on their complete dominance of the first half.

Mo Salah netted from 12 yards to rescue a point for Liverpool.


Jurgen Klopp’s side are behind leaders Arsenal on goal difference and just a point ahead of third-placed Manchester City after another extraordinary clash with their bitter rivals United.

After Luis Diaz had volleyed Liverpool into the lead, Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo produced stunning finishes to turn a one-sided game on its head.

Fernandes’ equaliser came from a horrible error by young Liverpool centre-back Jarrell Quansah, which could yet be looked back on as this season’s ‘Demba Ba moment’.

Because Liverpool had outclassed United until that point and seemed to be cruising back to the summit.

But Salah equalised from the spot after Aaron Wan-Bissaka conceded an 84th-minute penalty as United threw away a lead for the third successive match.

This was almost as dramatic as United’s crazy 4-3 FA Cup win over Liverpool three weeks earlier.

And while Erik ten Hag is facing the sack at Old Trafford, he has done much to dent Klopp’s farewell tour – ending the German’s Quadruple dream and now damaging his bid for a treble.

It was difficult to know precisely which chaos would have been at the forefront of United minds – the shambles of Thursday’s late collapse at Chelsea, or the glory of their FA Cup win over Liverpool here just three weeks ago.

This match began in a similar vein to that FA Cup classic – end to end, wide open and the volume cranked up around Old Trafford.

Rasmus Hojlund had the ball in the Liverpool net in the second minute but as soon as Bruno Fernandes had picked the pass, the Dane always looked offside.

Liverpool, though, were soon on the front foot – Dominik Szoboszlai going close three times before Diaz’s opener.

First the Hungarian was sent clean through but was denied by a smart stop from Andre Onana, then he pinged a long-ranger just over and skewed a shot wide from a low Andy Robertson centre.

After the mayhem of the Cup quarter-final, this was formbook stuff – Liverpool exerting their superiority, outclassing United.

The opener arrived midway through the first half from a corner which was well-executed by Liverpool but disastrously defended by United.

Robertson delivered it to Nunez, who beat Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Casemiro to steer a header towards the far post where an unmarked Diaz volleyed into the ground and past Onana.

Klopp’s side were voracious in their appetite for a second goal but wayward in their finishing.

Nunez was causing problems for teenager Willy Kambwala – making only his second United start due to four centre-backs on the United injury list.

A rapid break ended with a Salah shot pushed wide by Onana, then Nunez, in space, curled one over before Salah shot wide from Szoboszlai’s crossfield pass.

It was as one-sided as Liverpool’s 5-0 win here during the dog days of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign but the visitors were nowhere near as clinical.

Casemiro enraged his own fans by kicking the ball out when Diaz went down feigning injury.

And Fernandes, who so often seems short of friends, seemed to be picking out imaginary ones with some truly shocking passes.

Andre Onana was once again busy facing a number of shots against himCredit: Getty
At half-time, the shot-count was 15-0, which became 17-0 before United – in some surreal Alice-in-Wonderland plot twist – equalised.

Quansah’s attempted square pass to Virgil Van Dijk wasn’t even remotely close to its target but it was still quite some finish from Fernandes to loft a first-time finish from almost 40 yards over Caoimhin Kelleher, who might have done better.

The scoreline was not so much flattering United as bathing them in asses’ milk.

Suddenly, though, Old Trafford was reverberating with song and United were purring, Alejandro Garnacho had a shot deflected over and Marcus Rashford’s cross-shot caused panic for Kelleher.

Still, Liverpool should have regained the lead when they broke from a United corner, and were five-on-two at one point, before Diaz – who should have shot – crossed for the far post where Nunez, true to form, miscued his shot.

Ten Hag withdrew the injured Rashford, sending on Antony, while Klopp replaced Conor Bradley – rather than Quansah – with Joe Gomez.

Then the remarkable turned into the unthinkable and United took the lead.

Casemiro played an overhead pass to Mainoo who found Garnacho. The winger skipped a pass to Wan-Bissaka who squared for Mainoo, who turned and curled a gem of a shot inside the far corner.

It was a ridiculous finish from a teenager who is primarily a defensive midfielder.

While Liverpool had squandered so many clear chances, here was a United kid conjuring a goal out of nothing.

Soon Onana was performing a Cruyff turn on Cody Gakpo, Garnacho was passing up a decent opportunity and a United win was beginning to look a distinct possibility.

Klopp was fuming when Kambwalla was only booked for a heavy challenge on Gomez – although the United man did when the ball.

Then Salah skied a glaring chance after Onana pushed out a Diaz shot.

Soon, though, the Egyptian made amends. Wan-Bissaka lunged at Harvey Elliott in his own penalty area, missed the ball, and Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot.

Salah sent Onana the wrong way and Liverpool were back on terms.

Diaz skied a brilliant chance from close range and Antony shot straight at Kelleher when he could have won it in injury-time.

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