Liverpool have lost back-to-back games at Anfield and go into the potential title-decider against Man City in desperate need of a win to stay alive in the Premier League title race. Everything went wrong for them as City picked up a 4-1 win, meaning LFC have lost their last 3 successive league games at Anfield.
Despite Liverpool dominating early proceedings, the Citizens received a penalty in the 36th minute when Raheem Sterling was brought down by Fabinho. However, IIlkay Gundogan skied his attempt into the rafters, giving the Reds a lifeline in the game. They were unable to take their chances and Gundogan didn’t miss in the 49th minute, scoring into an open goal to put his side in the lead.
Just as it looked like the Reds were going go down to another frustrating loss, Mo Salah came alive after the hour-mark and earned a penalty in the 63rd-minute before converting it with utter conviction to make it 1-1. Just as it looked like City’s winning run was ending, Alisson made a horrible, uncharacteristic mistake by gifting the ball straight to Phil Foden to assist Gundogan’s second in the 73rd minute.
But one mistake wasn’t enough for Alisson. He did one better to give the ball away straight to Bernardo Silva inside the box three minutes later, with the Portuguese midfielder finding Raheem Sterling to score against his former side and make it 3-1. Foden added insult to injury with an absolutely thunderous strike in the 83rd to make it 4-1.
City are now 5 points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand. 10 points clear off Liverpool. This basically ends LFC’s title dreams. City now have one hand on the trophy. I hate life right now.
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Man City
Jurgen Klopp (4.0) –
Klopp picked his strongest XI and made the right decision to start Jones ahead of the underperforming Milner. Actually set up his side decently to counter City’s tiki-taka style and go toe-to-toe with them. Then Alisson’s mistakes happened. Can’t really be blamed for individual errors. But his subs were poor, taking off Jones who was Liverpool’s best midfielder on the day and bringing in Milner!
His side looked scared and too error-prone than they have been in the past. Needs to make some tough decisions and try different stuff to ensure his side regains their original form if he wants a top-4 finish because the title dreams are over.
Alisson (1.o) –
A mere spectator in the first half, but made himself look big to intimidating Gundogan into skying the penalty. Did well to save Foden’s attempt before watching Gundogan score from the rebound. But then has a horrible brainfart when he passed the ball straight to Foden outside the box, allowing him to come in and assist the second.
If the first one was an unlucky error, the second was comical as he played with fire with his distribution and gave the ball straight to Bernardo, allowing him to assist Sterling’s strike. His worst performance in a Liverpool shirt and it HAD TO COME against City. Absolutely pathetic.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (6.5) –
A pretty solid start defensively for Trent, making some great interceptions to keep Sterling & co quiet. Makes a sweet forward run and a brilliant cross to create Mane’s chance in the 24th. Despite being defensively brilliant all game long, he allows Sterling to get past him too easily to assist Gundogan’s strike.
In his defence, that was Trent’s only mistake in the game and he looked much more hungry to get something out the game than some of his other teammates. Created a few good chances, made 4 tackles & 10 recoveries and was Liverpool’s only decent defender in a woeful day.
Fabinho (3.0) –
Fabinho’s back in defence after missing the last few games. Couldn’t read Sterling’s movement and makes a poor challenge to concede the penalty. Thankfully his blushes were spared by Gundogan’s miss. But then caught ball inside the box watching for City’s goal. Booked for a cynical foul after being outmanoeuvred by Foden in the 69th. Looked extremely rusty and not at all match fit.
Jordan Henderson (4.0) –
Hendo’s facing his national junior teammate Phil Foden today and dominated him with panache in the first half. Lost all track of Gundogan behind him for his goal. Then only a mere spectator as he saw Alisson make those shocking mistakes. Ultimately, his junior Foden outperformed him and Hendo couldn’t do anything to inspire his teammates to stop City’s onslaught.
Andy Robertson (5.0) –
Robbo has dealt really well with the tricky Mahrez in the first half, allowing him no space to delivery crosses or shots on goal. Tried his best to block Gundogan’s strike, but unable to do so. Could’ve perhaps done better to stop Foden from taking the shot for his goal. Taken off after that amidst injury worries. Not at his sharpest today.
Thiago (5.0) –
Bit unlucky to get booked early on for what seemed a clean challenge made to look bad by Gundogan. Very smart with his passing and pressing the City midfielders really well. Still too static with his overall game and couldn’t create anything – for which he was subbed after the hour-mark.
Gini Wijnaldum (5.0) –
Gini’s starts in a deeper role to keep a lid on City’s counters. Working hard to close down spaces in midfield and made some key interceptions to shut down City’s penetration through midfield. Kind of faded away in the second half, allowing City to take control and get the win.
Curtis Jones (7.0) –
Jones definitely added some much-needed thrust in Liverpool’s midfield. Makes a potential goal-saving recovery to deny Foden to go through on goal at the half-hour mark. Tries an ambitious left-footed drive in the 55th, only to see it fly over the bar. Then does brilliantly to steal the box inside the box two minutes later, but his shot from a narrow-angle gets deflected wide.
A real spark in midfield, moving in all around the place and putting in a lot of good defensive work to frustrate City. Bit unlucky to get subbed in the 67th.
Mo Salah (7.0) –
Salah loves scoring against City and looks to break his mini goal drought at Anfield today. Got a few shots blocked in the first half, including one which struck a City player’s hand and should’ve been a penalty or at least freekick outside the box. Pounced on Dias’ error and forced a foul on him to earn the penalty.
Then scores it in emphatic fashion. Didn’t really get anything else as City just took over the game towards the end.
Roberto Firmino (4.5) –
Bobby has to come up with something special to oust the dominant Ruben Dias today. Almost capitalized on a Dias error and struck an emphatic volley in the 29th, only to see it saved. Nothing noteworthy apart from that, even though tried his best with his link-up play on a few occasions.
Sadio Mane (3.0) –
Mane’s back and looks quite hungry to get things going in attack for Liverpool. Got a big scoring chance in the 24th, but couldn’t keep Trent’s cross on target. Glances another header into the hands of Ederson before half-time. If he had scored either of that, the result could’ve been VERY different.
Xherdan Shaqiri (N/R) –
The Swiss playmaker was brought on to create chances. Couldn’t really have any say in the result.
James Milner (N/R) –
Added some energy to the game but ultimately ineffective in the short cameo.
Kostas Tsimikas (N/R) –
Made his PL debut on the worst possible occasion.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Curtis Jones was perhaps Liverpool’s most exciting aspect, but none of their players deserve the MOTM after that. Foden gets that for inspiring City to get the big win.