Liverpool produced a stunning display to end Man City‘s long unbeaten run in the Premier League, sealing a 4-3 victory at Anfield on Sunday.
Liverpool 4-3 Man City
Premier League, Anfield
January 14, 2018
Oxlade-Chamberlain 9′ (assist – Firmino)
Sane 41′ (assist – Walker)
Firmino 59′ (assist – Oxlade-Chamberlain)
Mane 61′ (assist – Salah)
Salah 67′ (assist – Ederson)
B Silva 84′ (assist – Gundogan)
Gundogan 90+1′ (assist – Aguero)
On the back of a 17-game unbeaten run, the Reds faced their biggest challenge since their 4-1 humbling at Tottenham back in October.
With champions-elect City travelling to Anfield looking to continue their near-pristine league campaign, Liverpool were tasked with becoming the first side to defeat them on the domestic stage this term.
Pep Guardiola’s side had dropped points on just two of 22 occasions heading into Sunday’s clash, with draws against Everton and Crystal Palace coming four months apart.
Having lost Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool were primed for a real test of their credentials with Jurgen Klopp also without the injured Virgil van Dijk.
Eager to prove they can continue their ascent without their No. 10, the Reds took to the field looking for a statement victory, and they certainly delivered.
- Van Dijk sidelined while Klopp sticks with Karius as No. 1
- Oxlade-Chamberlain opens scoring with blistering long-range effort
- Sane capitalises on Gomez error to score excellent equaliser
- Firmino, Mane and Salah take control with goals in quick succession
- Silva and Gundogan strike late but Reds hold on for victory
Liverpool took the fight to City in the opening stages, with a swift interchange between Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah seeing the top scorer have an early shot blocked.
The hosts had their goal before the 10-minute mark, though, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picking the ball up from Firmino and driving forward to hit a low, long-range effort past Ederson to make it 1-0.
With Anfield roaring them on, the Reds kept up the pressure following their opener, though Sergio Aguero was within inches of an equaliser at the other end on 20 minutes.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was in fighting form throughout, and the ex-Arsenal midfielder almost teed up Firmino for a near-post header after muscling early substitute Danilo off the ball on the right.
But the Reds were pegged back just before half-time, with Loris Karius—preferred to Simon Mignolet as Klopp considers a changing of the guard—beaten at his near post by Leroy Sane.
Both sides kept up the intensity after the break, and City centre-back Nicolas Otamendi struck the bar in front of the Kop with a header from a corner.
At the other end City were left to rely on the heroics of Ederson to deny both Salah and Oxlade-Chamberlain, with Liverpool pushing hard to edge ahead for a second time.
The Brazilian could do nothing to stop Firmino’s curling effort just before the hour, though, with Liverpool’s No. 9 shrugging off John Stones after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s through pass and lifting the ball over his compatriot to make it 2-1.
And after hitting the post with a scorching effort directly after, Mane gave the Reds a two-goal lead with a powerful strike into the top corner as City began to fall apart.
Then with Ederson shanking a clearance into the path of Salah after rushing out, the goalkeeper could do nothing but watch as the Egyptian lifted a 35-yard shot over him and into the net.
Liverpool were allowed to enjoy themselves after that eight-minute flurry, and though Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan reduced the deficit late on Klopp’s side were able to hold on for an incredible win.
TIA Man of the Match: Roberto Firmino
Referee: Andre Marriner
Next Match: Swansea City (A) – Premier League – January 22