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Half-Time Report: Quality lacking in uneventful Manchester United, Liverpool clash

It remains goalless at half time in a quality-sapped Premier League meeting between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Manchester United and Liverpool have been unable to break each other down in an uneventful goalless first half at Old Trafford.

Neither side provided any real quality in the attacking third, which paved the way for a tame opening 45 minutes in the derby affair.

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino and Man Utd's Memphis Depay tussle on September 12, 2015© Getty Images

The best opportunity of the half fell the home side's way, and it came about following some shaky goalkeeping from Reds stopper Simon Mignolet.

Just seven minutes were on the clock when the Belgian threw the ball straight at Juan Mata on the edge of the box, with Marouane Fellaini - fielded as United's most advanced player this evening in the absence of Wayne Rooney - lofting his attempt over the bar.

It was the Red Devils who found their groove the quickest, but Fellaini was unable to turn and hit the ball when picked out by a marauding Matteo Darmian down the right in the next attacking move.

Liverpool, who have avoided defeat on just one of their last eight visits to the Theatre of Dreams, did show signs of growing into the game when Nathaniel Clyne sliced wide from range 20 minutes in.

Man Utd keeper David de Gea in action during the game with Liverpool on September 12, 2015© Getty Images

As the first half wore on, Louis van Gaal's charges continued to dominate possession, without truly troubling their opponents in an attacking sense.

Christian Benteke, with goals in each of his last two games against United, did find himself in behind the hosts' defence only for the offside flag to be raised, as the uninspiring opening 45 minutes continued.

The first half eventually came to a close with neither keeper having a single save to make, as the returning David de Gea watched on as a mere spectator in goals.

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David de Gea warms up prior to Man Utd's game with Liverpool on September 12, 2015
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Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

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