Liverpool matched the lofty expectations of the biggest game of the season so far, producing a formidable display to put Man City to the sword for 3-1.
Liverpool 3-1 Man City
Premier League (12), Anfield
November 10, 2019
Fabinho 6′ (assist – none)
Salah 13′ (assist – Robertson)
Mane 51′ (assist – Henderson)
Despite City’s concerns of another unsavoury welcome at Anfield, Sunday’s clash opened up in the vein Jurgen Klopp called for in the buildup, with a raucous atmosphere heralding kickoff.
Both sides rose to the occasion, too, with City looking to pin Liverpool back and Klopp’s defence beginning shakily, but at the other end they were clinical.
Fabinho broke the deadlock after just six minutes, with the No. 6 blasting a long-range effort beyond stand-in goalkeeper Claudio Bravo after a shout for handball against Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Reds’ box.
Alexander-Arnold kicked off the move for the second soon after, with the right-back producing a stunning, wrong-footed cross-field pass to Andy Robertson, whose brilliant deep cross from the left was headed in by Mohamed Salah.
There was a big scare as Salah required treatment on his ankle following a tangle with Fernandinho, but fortunately the No. 11 recovered and almost produced a fine finish from outside the box which would have capped a perfect first half.
HT: Liverpool 2-0 Man City
Liverpool made their visitors wait as they emerged late from the tunnel for the second half, but there certainly wasn’t any complacency as they started strong, with Sadio Mane heading home a third from Jordan Henderson‘s stellar cross.
That was clearly a mental blow for City, as their passes in the final third became increasingly sloppy and both Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero dallied and were repeatedly run down by an industrious Reds midfield.
The Kop roared Liverpool on throughout, serving their purpose as the 12th man against a City side which continually seemed like they were down to 10.
Unfortunately the pursuit of a first Anfield clean sheet of the captain was denied again, as Bernardo Silva scored a consolation effort which left Klopp raging after a foul on Fabinho in the buildup.
Klopp looked to shut up shop and further stymie the persistent Sterling by sending on Joe Gomez, and the Reds were able to hold on for a famous, vital victory to go eight points clear of second-placed Leicester.
TIA Man of the Match: Fabinho
Referee: Michael Oliver
Subs not used: Adrian, Lallana, Keita, Origi
Man City: Bravo; Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Angelino; Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero (Jesus 71′)
Subs not used: Carson, Otamendi, Cancelo, Silva, Foden, Mahrez