Richard Buxton: Liverpool need a proper Plan B
Mourinho right to say that Klopp's men can struggle against teams that defend deep
Even in unemployment, Jose Mourinho still somehow manages to get under Liverpool's skin.
The man who used to plot Anfield's downfall continues to unveil its uncomfortable home truths.
Snatching a late point away to Manchester United could be spun as proof that Juergen Klopp's side still wear the hallmark of champions.
Mourinho, however, knows different.
Three years ago, the Special One had pointed out that the Reds were "not the last wonder of the world".
Last Sunday, he elected to twist the knife in further and pointed out their deficiency in playing against teams that deploy a low block.
No manager has frustrated the English Premier League leaders quite like Mourinho.
The man who put paid to Liverpool's penultimate title tilt in 2013/14 now does so from the comfort of a television studio rather than the largely unforgiving terrain of the touchline.
Klopp downplayed potential narratives of either a point gained or two dropped against United, but the latter was the harsh reality in a game the visitors should have won comfortably.
The German lamented his team's lack of cutting edge and the deficiencies of the video assistant referee (VAR).
They headed to the Theatre of Dreams as overwhelming favourites in this age-old rivalry, but left having been heavily exposed and in dire need of fresh contingency planning.
A competent stand-in whenever one of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane is unavailable would definitely be a start.
For all Divock Origi's super-sub antics in last season's breathless title EPL race, he still poses far more problems than solutions.
Another ineffectual display from the Belgium international as Salah's understudy was compounded by the similarly muted performances of Firmino and Mane.
The Egyptian's return later this week, be it against Genk or Tottenham Hotspur, really cannot come quick enough.
It would be lazy to suggest that Liverpool are a team greater than the sum of their parts.
The reality is that their greatest strengths lie in a settled line-up knowing what is required of it.
But even that does not carry guarantees.
United's tactical game plan stifled their key attacking outlets, while also dragging a normally solid defence far beyond its comfort zone.
LIMITING THE FULLBACKS
Both Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip found themselves drawn in by Marcus Rashford in the first half, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer packed the hosts' defence with the sole purpose of limiting Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.
And it worked.
The fullbacks were rarely allowed to venture out of their own half during the opening 45 minutes.
Dropping points can become a slippery slope for Liverpool if last season is a reliable barometer.
Manchester set the scene for their eventual downfall in the title race. It could again now.
Klopp railed against his critics the last time they failed to win a league game, in March's draw with Everton, when asked if his side needed to "go for the jugular more".
No one could accuse him of erring on the side of caution this time around.
He switched to a 4-2-4 formation and made a raft of changes, including bringing on eventual goalscorer Adam Lallana, a source of both derision and defeatism in his cameo at Goodison Park just seven months ago.
Lightning is unlikely to strike twice for Klopp, though.
He needs to devise a watertight Plan B or risk Liverpool's current six-point lead being cut down to size once more.
MAN UNITED: De Gea, Lindelof, Maguire, Rojo, Wan-Bissaka, Young, Fred, McTominay, Pereira (Williams 90+4), James, Rashford (Martial 84)
LIVERPOOL: Alisson, van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Wijnaldum (Keita 82), Fabinho, Henderson (Lallana 71), Origi (Oxlade-Chamberlain 60), Firmino, Mane