Liverpool 1-4 Manchester City: The Verdict

Stephen Killen

Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
City XI: Ederson; Joao Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, Gundogan; Sterling, Mahrez, Foden.
Goals: 63′ Salah, 49′, 73′ Gundogan, 77′ Sterling, 83′ Foden.
Bookings: 3′ Thiago, 70′ Fabinho; 62′ Dias
Subs: 67′ Shaqiri & Milner (on for Thiago & Jones), 85′ Tsimikas (on for Robertson); 72′ Jesus (on for Mahrez)

Read Time:4 Minute, 59 Second

Manchester City cruised to victory as an Ilkay Gundogan double and goals from Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden dismantled Liverpool at Anfield increasing their lead at the summit of the Premier League.

Ilkay Gundogan atoned for his earlier penalty miss as he thumped Manchester City in front from six yards.

Mohamed Salah showed the City goalscorer how to take penalties after pouncing on Ruben Dias’ mistake.

But Pep Guardiola’s side made their dominance count, like hungry hyenas they feasted on the mistakes from Alisson to top off a miserable few months for Liverpool

Gundogan doubled his tally for the season as Sterling and Foden chipped in with the goals.

Slow Start as City Squander from the Spot

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It was a slow start rather than an exciting one in the early stages.

However, midway through the half the Reds began to grow into the game putting Pep Guardiola’s side on the back foot.

The first opening came from the reigning champions, Trent Alexander-Arnold weaved in and out beating Oleksandr Zinchenko, he found Sadio Mané but, in his first start for two games, failed to test Ederson.

Liverpool continued to threaten the leaders, Roberto Firmino stung the palms of his fellow countryman in the City net with an audacious volley.

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10 minutes before the break, Manchester City were given a chance to go in front after Fabinho’s trailing leg brought down Raheem Sterling.

Up stepped Gundogan who sent his spot-kick sailing over Alisson’s bar.

The teams went in goalless after a timid first 45, City blazed over a golden opportunity through the former-Borussia Dortmund midfielder as Liverpool threatened on occasions.

PositivesNegatives
Curtis Jones work ethic was brilliant. By far the best player on the park in the first half.Thiago can’t tackle but we’ve come to recognise this.
Huge let off as Gundogan couldn’t hit the target from 12 yards.Quite a slow start, very tentative from both sides.
City easily transitioning after being isolated into the corner from the high press.
An uncharacteristic mistake by Fabinho for the penalty, very fortunate to not be a goal down.
First Half Reflection

City Deal the Hammer Blow

Gundogan made up for his earlier penalty miss with an emphatic finish after Alisson made a good save from Phil Foden.

Jones came agonisingly close to equalising as he cut in from the left but John Stones vital block deflected it just wide.

Just after the hour mark, Salah pounced on a lapse in concentration from Dias who pulled the Egyptian to the ground and won the Reds a penalty.

For the second time this season, the top goalscorer found the net against Manchester City from the spot.

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Bernardo Silva effort flashed wide after Sterling showed Alexander-Arnold a clean set of heels.

John Stones thought he put the league leaders back in front but was marginally ruled offside – a worrying sign for Liverpool who were defensively non-existent.

Soon after two moments of madness from Alisson were capitalised on as Foden found Gundogan who made no mistake in restoring their lead.

Lightning struck twice as the Brazilian shot-stopper made another mistake with his distribution.

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Sterling nods on the line after a chip from Silva.

Phil Foden piled on Liverpool’s misery, he wreaked havoc on the defence. He topped off a title-winning performance with a finish out of the top drawer.

PositivesNegatives
Curtis Jones creativity, movement and commitment was unrivalled, he looked a real spark and livewire for Liverpool. Even after being a goal down, when in possession there was no urgency.
The ever-reliable Salah. Cool as you like. Thiago hasn’t been at the races, he played the ball well but hasn’t orchestrated as we’d like and was rightly pulled off with 20 minutes left.
Another close call and a warning shot from City when Stones was offside. Defensively Liverpool were poor.
Story of 2021. A mistake costing us at home. Speechless.
Second Half Reflection

Liverpool Transfer Room Verdict

Following the game, we asked LFCTR Writers; Priyasha and Ritchie for their match reaction.

Priyasha’s Verdict:

Priyasha said: “Just an utter humiliation by a world-class City side who undoubtedly deserved the victory.

“Two turning points in the game was Jones being subbed off and Alisson’s first mistake.

“We didn’t build onto a great first half and crumbled away defenceless.

Can’t help but feel that maybe Henderson in CB was a bad idea, it was a “can’t lose anything” game and I feel a new CB should have started, letting Hendo fill his void in the midfield.

In my personal opinion, the title is gone. We should aim for Top 4 and the Champions League.

Ritchie’s Verdict:

Ritchie said: “I think it will take nothing short of a miracle for us to retain the title.

“The lads looked spent both physically and mentally after giving us two/three seasons of pure ecstasy.

“Injuries have played a huge part this season and have caught up with us in the past month.”

Need to dust ourselves off and go again and prepare themselves for a CL qualification dogfight. We still have the CL title to play for – not all is lost.

Stephen’s Verdict:

Lost for words. A bad day at the office. A day to forget.

Inexcusable mistakes from Alisson and it paints a sorry tale. We haven’t been good enough over the last two months.

We played into City’s hands and they took advantage, it’s been a tough few weeks with defeats at home to Burnley and Brighton but Liverpool have been taught a footballing lesson.

The top four is imperative now, it’s the same thing every week but a reaction is needed.

It’s a real eye-opener and some players have to fight for their shirt.

Written by Stephen Killen.

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