Liverpool stun league leaders Manchester City
Liverpool and Manchester City produced a Premier League classic with Jürgen Klopp’s team running out winners in a thrilling clash at Anfield. Liverpool’s risky attacking tactics paid dividends as they inflicted a first league defeat on City.
Manchester City’s unbeaten run and hopes of emulating Arsenal’s ‘invincibles’ are over after Liverpool produced a spectacle of attacking football to beat City. Liverpool served up a masterclass in attacking football and despite a spirited fightback from the Cityzens, Liverpool hung on to clinch a famous victory.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had opened the scoring for Liverpool on nine minutes only to see Leroy Sané equalise for the league leaders shortly before the halftime whistle. The game then swung Liverpool’s way with goals scored by Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah in a pulsating ten-minute period of play in the second half.
With just over 20 minutes remaining, Liverpool had a three-goal cushion.
Understandably, as the Liverpool players were chasing each and every cause, tiredness became an issue and late goals from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gündoğan made for an exciting finale to the match. Liverpool however were able to hang on and managed to extract a degree of revenge for the 5-0 mauling they received at the hands of City back in September.
Whilst the gap between Liverpool and City even after this result is a seemingly unassailable fifteen points, this win for Liverpool does at least show that the footballing juggernaut can be stopped. It would still however require a self-implosion by City, something never before witnessed in the Premier League era, for them to lose the title.
Klopp gets tactics right
Liverpool played with high energy and pressured their opponents at every opportunity, forcing City into mistakes and having the quality up front to punish these mistakes.
It was a high-risk strategy from Klopp but on this occasion fortune favoured the brave and the Liverpool manager became the first Premier League manager to win against City this season.
Going into this game Liverpool were no doubt underdogs. Selling the wonderful technician Philippe Coutinho for £142million and an injury to the world’s most expensive defender Virgil van Dijk had increased the likelihood of a routine win for City in many observers’ eyes.
But Klopp tore up the form book and continued his team’s amazing form over the big 6 clubs and remarkably Pep Guardiola has now lost more matches (five) to Klopp than any other manager he has ever faced in his career.
The league in reality is probably already City’s but Liverpool’s exciting win has given the chasing pack at least a glimmer of hope and breathed a little life back into the Premier League season that was in danger of going stale.