Too many Liverpool players were well short of their best in the 2-2 draw away to Man City, as the Reds battled their way to a fortunate point.
In truth, the Reds were poor in all facets of their play for much of the game, falling behind to Kevin De Bruyne’s effort, equalising through Diogo Jota and going behind again after a Gabriel Jesus strike.
Sadio Mane levelled matters again in the first minute of the second half and Liverpool held on for a draw in the end, staying one point adrift of their title rivals.
It was Mane (7.5) who earned the highest average rating at the Etihad, following an increasingly influential showing.
After a quiet opening 45 minutes, the Senegalese took his goal superbly and became far more of an all-round threat for Liverpool.
TIA’s Joanna Durkan agreed with others that Mane was the Reds’ star man, hailing a “clinical finish” on his 30th birthday.
Ian Doyle of the Echo felt Liverpool’s No. 10 took his goal “superbly,” as he bagged arguably his most important strike of the campaign to date.
The Independent‘s Jamie Braidwood lauded Alisson‘s “big save” to thwart Raheem Sterling early on, only to be beaten by De Bruyne straight after.
Meanwhile, Durkan described Thiago as Liverpool’s “most progressive and assured player,” highlighting a “beautiful diagonal across to Alexander-Arnold” in the lead-up to Jota’s goal.
The former’s “long legs constantly got the visitors out of trouble,” according to Doyle, while the latter produced an inch-perfect assist for Mane’s goal.
Fabinho (5.6) produced his worst game of the season on the most important occasion, throwing in a strangely slack performance.