Liverpool brutally expose gap to Man City as title race gets seismic power shift


Anfield was rocking, shaking with excitement and anticipation.

This felt like a season-defining victory for Liverpool because it looks a long, long way back for Manchester City now.

Liverpool sit eight points clear at the top, Manchester City stranded all the way down in fourth nine points behind and even Leicester and Chelsea are ahead of them.

Realistically, however, the title race is still surely all about Liverpool and City – and the gap between the two this year was exposed in the most brutal fashion.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have the momentum, the belief and the overwhelming confidence that this, finally, will be their year as it felt like a seismic power shift in the title race. Liverpool are the team to beat while City are now big underdogs.

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane (centre) celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game

The biggest danger to Liverpool will be themselves, the fixture backlog with the Club World Cup and Carabao Cup fiasco next month, but it is hard to see anyone else stopping them now.

Liverpool just have this wonderful winning habit, they look unstoppable and, in the power of Anfield, they have perhaps the biggest weapon of all. This was their 13th consecutive Premier League win at Anfield.

There were times when City deserved more, they were poor defensively and their finishing was wasteful but VAR and the officials also gave them a raw deal and Pep Guardiola had every right to feel aggrieved.

They used to say referees were afraid to give decisions against Liverpool at Anfield and it would appear even video technology gets intimidated. Some of the decisions were baffling on another bad day for VAR.

READ  Andros Townsend slams Crystal Palace Twitter account for "making fun" of Ashley Young

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (left) scores his side’s second goal of the game

But Liverpool had an edge in most departments. Fabinho was man of the match as he ran midfield and arguably the game. Liverpool were ruthless with their finishing while City were wasteful. But perhaps the biggest difference was at the back.

City’s stand-in keeper Claudio Bravo looked an accident waiting to happen while Liverpool keeper Alisson just swallowed up everything that was thrown at him.

It was fine margins and that was highlighted by the first goal after just six minutes. The ball pinging around the Liverpool box, Raheem Sterling’s cross hit Trent Alexander-Arnold’s hand and, by recent standards, it looked a stonewall penalty but referee Michael Oliver let it go.

Liverpool raced up the other end, Ilkay Gundogan’s poor clearance only found Fabinho and his 25-yard rocket flew in. Just 22 seconds between the incidents. City still screaming penalty, VAR looked and yet Liverpool’s goal stood. The whole game was defined by that moment.

Fabinho of Liverpool scores the opening goal

Read More

Liverpool vs Man City

City were still angry when Liverpool got their second. It came after 13 minutes when Andy Robertson’s stunning cross from the left flew into the City box, City’s defence went AWOL and then Mo Salah timed his run to perfection to head home. Two shots, two goals.

By contrast, City missed gilt edged chances. Kevin De Bruyne found openings, Raheem Sterling ran himself into the ground and yet uncharacteristically Sergio Aguero fired wide, shot tamely at Alisson and failed to get on the end of passes he normally gobbles up.

READ  Gary Neville questions Ole Gunnar Solskjaer substitution in Man Utd defeat to West Ham

City refused to give up, they actually played well but were undone by their defence. Liverpool got a third after 51 minutes when Jordan Henderson’s deep cross found Sadio Mane, Bravo got caught in two minds and ended up being beaten by Mane’s close range header.

Finally, City got one back when Bernardo Silva provided a ruthless finish. Sterling screamed penalty when his cross hit Alexander-Arnold’s hand again while Gabriel Jesus back heeled a chance wide. It just was not City’s day but it was one Liverpool will remember for a long time.





READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here