Pundit: This Liverpool defender was at the heart of the scrap at Man United

The former Tottenham forward Garth Crooks hails Dejan Lovren's performance in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United

Dejan Lovren played a vital role in helping Liverpool to secure a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, according to Garth Crooks.

The Croatia international partnered Ragnar Klavan at centre-half for their trip to Old Trafford in the continued absence of Jurgen Klopp’s summer signing Joel Matip.

Lovren was charged with keeping tabs on Zlatan Ibrahihimovic as the striker looked to score his tenth goal in 10 successive Premier League outings.

The ex-Southampton defender managed to keep Manchester United at bay for 84 minutes as he marshalled the Liverpool back four superbly.

However, the Reds struggled to cope with Marouane Fellaini and Ibrahimovic when Jose Mourinho brought on the towering Belgium midfielder and opted to resort to long ball tactics.

Ibrahimovic equalised with six minutes remaining to cancel out James Milner’s penalty and salvage a point for the hosts.

Writing in his BBC Sport column, former Tottenham forward Crooks was impressed with Lovren’s commanding performance in the Liverpool defence.

“I thought a draw was a fair result but if Liverpool had left Manchester United with all the points I wouldn’t have complained,” Crooks said.

“The way they defended against Jose Mourinho’s side’s second-half aerial bombardment was admirable – and the man at the heart of that scrap was Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren.”

Crooks added: “Nevertheless, Lovren marshalled his troops around him brilliantly and, if Liverpool can defend this well in future matches, I may have to revise my position on where they might finish.”

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