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Kobbie Mainoo blamed “little mistakes” as the reason why Manchester United were unable to hold on to their lead against Liverpool in today’s 2-2 draw.

Heading into the final period of the game, United were winning 2-1, courtesy of two outrageously good goals by Mainoo and Bruno Fernandes. But, as has become a worrying trend in recent weeks, Erik ten Hag’s side made an unfortunate error at a key moment, and allowed Liverpool to draw level.

As Harvey Elliott danced into the United box, Aaron Wan-Bissaka made a lazy slide tackle, almost inviting the Liverpool winger to fall over his leg. The referee immediately awarded a penalty which Mohammed Salah duly converted to make the game 2-2.

It’s the third game in eight days where United have been leading in the final stage of the game, only to concede a late goal and drop points.

While today’s was not on the level of the implosion at Chelsea three days ago nor the last-gasp equaliser by Brentford last weekend, it speaks to a defensive frailty United need to eliminate.

Liverpool’s first goal was a similar case of shoddy defending by United, as a flick on from Darwin Nunez at a corner found Luis Diaz completely unmarked in the box who blasted the ball past Andre Onana.

The space the Colombian international was afforded bordered on criminal and Mainoo acknowledged his part in allowing Diaz to run away from him in his post-match interview.

“It was minor, little mistakes,” Mainoo revealed as the reason why United failed to come away with all three points. “I feel like it was just little mistakes, on the ball, off the ball…and that’s what cost us.”

United had only been leading thanks to the 18-year-old starlet in the first place, as he scored his first ever goal at Old Trafford, against the club’s fiercest rivals – and it was an absolute beauty.

Mainoo received the ball on the half turn in the box from Wan-Bissaka, took a touch to open up the angle, before unleashing a perfectly placed shot into the top corner of the Liverpool goal. He described the moment after the goal as an “unbelievable feeling” but was quick to point out it did not mean much without a win.

“At the end of the day we didn’t walk away with three points, so I can’t be too happy,” the midfielder stated.

It’s a reflective assessment which speaks to the maturity Mainoo is already demonstrating in the infancy of his Old Trafford career, both on and off the pitch.

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