Liverpool beat Manchester City 4-3 in a classic Premier League encounter at Anfield to end their unbeaten run in the league.
The last time Liverpool and Manchester City met in the Premier League, the Reds were walloped at the Etihad Stadium as Pep Guardiola’s side embarked on a fabulous run of 22 games without defeat.
Loris Karius – 5
Jurgen Klopp threw Loris Karius into the deep end as it appears his patience has finally run out with Simon Mignolet. The result, however, was that many fans realised why it might be that the German shot-stopper has been kept on the sidelines for so long.
When Leroy Sane cut in and fired a shot on goal, Karius allowed the near post shot to rebound off his arm and into the goal. At that point, Manchester City did not deserve to be level and supporters were right to feel aggrieved with their no.1.
But, it didn’t cost us the game so there’s no point crying.
Joe Gomez – 6
Similar to Karius, Gomez was at fault for Sane’s goal after getting sucked underneath a crossfield ball from Kyle Walker. I understand that the fullback is young and will learn from his mistakes, but he will be kicking himself after making another poor decision in a big match.
Aside from that, Gomez was clean in possession and allowed his midfield counterparts to press high up the pitch by getting out of the defensive third as soon as possible.
Joel Matip – 6
Not what I’d like to see from the Cameroonian in defensive areas but his passing was crisp and he didn’t give the likes of Sergio Aguero any time on the ball.
Dejan Lovren – 6
With Virgil van Dijk missing the clash through injury, Lovren replaced the Dutchman and was even handed the armband as the senior player in the starting eleven.
Given that Liverpool conceded 3 goals, even to a great side like City, is really poor and some of the blame must fall on Lovren who failed to read several passes from City players, most notably the cross to Gundogan, who had too much space to score in the box.
Andy Robertson – 8.5
The Scotsman kept Raheem Sterling under wraps very well and always looked to get the ball down the line for Sadio Mane when possible.
The former Hull City left back got huge cheers from the crowd after putting Sterling on his backside in the second half and the City man eventually got substituted as he continued his trend of failing to come back and haunt Liverpool at Anfield.
Emre Can – 8
Tackles. Everywhere. Can may or may not have his heart set on a summer move to Juventus but one thing is damned sure, he was hell-bent on tackling every member of Manchester City’s midfield at least four times.
His use of the ball was intelligent and relieved pressure when City looked to counter press after losing the ball to Liverpool.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 8
Liverpool’s midfield was perfection and Klopp really seemed to get his tactics spot on. Wijnaldum, like Can, has been a player that has drawn plenty criticism but his interceptions and runs from deep allowed the Reds to get up the pitch quickly.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 9 – MOTM
Chamberlain made his debut at the Etihad when Liverpool lost 5-0 earlier this season and if he had plans of ridding himself of any demons, he certainly started in the right place by rifling a shot into the bottom corner in the eighth minute.
He was everywhere as he looked to get onto the end of second balls and his energy was vital to Liverpool being the sharper team.
Played a delightful ball behind the City defence to set Firmino up for the winner to get an assist as well.
Sadio Mane – 8
After a rather iffy first half, Mane came out after the interval and scored an absolute peach with his weak foot to send Anfield into rapture. His pace and trickery had Kyle Walker on the backfoot all evening and it looks like he may well be returning to his best.
Roberto Firmino – 8.5
So often Klopp’s go-to man, the Brazilian led the Liverpool line with his energy and will to win the ball back crucial to the manner in which Klopp’s side ran Guardiola’s into the ground.
Special mention has to go to the way in which he scored against Ederson. Using his muscle to bully John Stones, Firmino then dinked the Brazilian goalie to find the back of the net in truly special style.
Mohamed Salah – 8
The Egyptian’s superb looped finish over the stranded Ederson now means that he has now equaled Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge’s top scoring seasons with Liverpool.
Scoring stats aside, it’s important to stress just how valuable Salah’s pace, goal threat and surprising strength are to this Liverpool team. Although the no.11 was fortunate to score after being gifted the ball in midfield, he had great composure to score from 40+ yards to win the game for the Reds.