Liverpool vs Man City
Sunday’s marquee Premier League clash would play out a short time ago.
The match pitted Liverpool against Manchester City at Anfield. The pair have dominated the English top-flight in recent years and are expected to be amongst the contenders for the title this campaign as well.
Liverpool headed into the game as the only side still unbeaten in the PL this term, whilst Manchester City had a mixed week which included them beating Chelsea and then losing to PSG.
But when all was said and done on Merseyside, the two Premier League powerhouses were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Man City dominated the first 45, with Liverpool looking especially weak in midfield.
1 – Liverpool have had just one shot in the first half, their fewest in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League match at Anfield since January 2017 against Chelsea (also one). Tepid. pic.twitter.com/HH5eCUjVbu
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 3, 2021
However, Pep Guardiola’s men could not make their chances count and would be made to pay in the second half when the hosts were given a new lease of life.
Liverpool opened the scoring shortly before the hour mark when Mohamed Salah burst forward to slip in Sadio Mane to nudge his effort past Ederson.
Liverpool lead! 🔴
Superb work from Mo Salah, and Sadio Mane produces a clinical finish! 💥
What an atmosphere inside Anfield! 🔥
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 3, 2021
Man City would eventually hit back after 70 minutes, though, via Phil Foden.
🎙️ “What a player he is!”
Phil Foden delivers against Liverpool yet again! 💥
Stunning strike from Foden, after a brilliant run from Gabriel Jesus!
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 3, 2021
Then, Liverpool quickly restored their lead courtesy of a sensational Salah goal. This was followed minutes later by Kevin De Bruyne netting a deflected strike of his own to make it 2-2 80 minutes in, rounding out the scoring.
Here are five things 101 learned from the game.
Joel Matip is Klopp’s go-to centre-back
With Joe Gomez returning from injury and Ibrahima Konate signed from RB Leipzig over the summer, many likely expected the ageing, injury-prone Joel Matip to be far down the Liverpool centre-back pecking order this term.
However, Matip would once again be selected by Klopp to partner Virgil van Dijk on Sunday.
The 30-year-old has now started in all but one – a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace – of Liverpool’s Premier League ties this campaign, and it is easy to see why, given how solid he has looked.
Konate and Gomez will likely eventually take their place alongside VVD, but for now, it appears that Klopp is aiming to stick with experience.
And on Sunday, though Liverpool were dominated for much of the first 45, Matip was one of the Reds’ best performers.
Grealish false-nine experiment fails
This evening’s clash saw Jack Grealish as the latest City attacker to be deployed in the false-nine role this season.
To this point, we have seen Phil Foden, Ferran Torres, Raheem Sterling and now Grealish used in this role, as the Sky Blues continue to cope without the services of a traditional number nine until at least January.
On the whole, Grealish did not look terrible, though he did very little to convince Guardiola that he should start in that spot moving forward, before being replaced by Raheem Sterling.
So far, Foden and Torres have put in the best displays in this role, and are likely frontrunners to start there for Man City vs Burnley on October 16th.
Man City need to keep Bernardo Silva
Over the summer, Pep Guardiola confirmed that Bernardo Silva was amongst the City players looking to potentially leave the club.
Of course, the Portuguese would eventually end up staying put, and what a great boost that has since proven for the club this season.
The 27-year-old has been one of City’s star performers, and put on another superb display vs Liverpool.
The Reds were especially overrun in midfield during the first 45, with Silva one of the main reasons why.
The former Monaco man looked sharper than most on the pitch, with his ability to glide past players and pick a pass causing the hosts all sorts of problems.
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 3, 2021
Of course, Silva may still wish to depart City in the near future, but Sunday’s game once again proved why Guardiola and co. should attempt to maintain the midfielder’s services at all costs.
Liverpool miss Wijnaldum
Whilst Bernardo Silva and co. should be praised for their dominance, it was also fairly clear, especially in the first half, that Liverpool were missing the presence of Georginio Wijnaldum on Sunday.
The Dutchman was an absolute workhorse during his time at Anfield, and this evening’s clash was crying out for a player of his calibre in the middle of the park.
Jordan Henderson and Curtis Jones gave it their best on the day, but it is clear that Wijnaldum is a cut above such players when it comes to tracking runners and chasing the ball.
Granted, Liverpool did eventually grow into the game and go on to secure a point, but if Man City had a decent striker, and took their chances in the first half, it could have been a very different story.
Liverpool should have had 10 men before Salah goal
As already mentioned, Salah made it 2-1 to Liverpool late in the game.
Moments before, however, the Reds should clearly have been down to 10 men.
James Milner was already on a yellow card from the first 45 when he brought down Bernardo Silva for what was perhaps the most obvious bookable offense imaginable on a football pitch.
However, the referee did not deem it so. Pep Guardiola was furious at this, and it is easy to see why as Milner was involved in the Salah goal to make it 2-1.
James Milner now taken off. Jurgen Klopp should not have had the option to do that. He should have been sent off for that foul on Bernardo Silva. Joe Gomez on.
— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 3, 2021
Would City have won the tie had Milner been sent off?
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
Liverpool betting odds, next game:
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|Man Utd vs Liverpool Result/Both teams score||Yes||No|
|Man Utd vs Liverpool Goalscorers||First||Last||Anytime|
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|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||7|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||7|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||5|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||5|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||4|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||4|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||4|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion||4|
|Sarr, Ismaila||Watford FC||4|
|Greenwood, Mason||Manchester United||4|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||3|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||3|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||3|
|Gray, Demarai||Everton FC||3|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||3|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||3|
|Lukaku, Romelu||Chelsea FC||3|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United||3|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||3|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||3|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||0||4|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||4|
|Veltman, Joel||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||4|
|Skipp, Oliver||Tottenham Hotspur||0||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||0||2|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||0||3|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||3|
|Cooper, Liam||Leeds United||0||3|
|Duffy, Shane||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||3|
|Norgaard, Christian||Brentford FC||0||3|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||3|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||0||3|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||3|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa||0||3|
|Canos, Sergi||Brentford FC||0||3|
|Struijk, Pascal||Leeds United||1||2|
|McArthur, James||Crystal Palace||0||3|
|Brownhill, Josh||Burnley FC||0||3|
|Etebo, Oghenekaro||Watford FC||0||3|
|Djenepo, Moussa||Southampton FC||0||3|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||7|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||3|
|Saint-Maximin, Allan||Newcastle United||3|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||2|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||2|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||2|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||2|
|Toney, Ivan||Brentford FC||2|
|Jimenez, Raul||Wolverhampton Wanderers||2|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||2|
|Manquillo, Javi||Newcastle United||2|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United||2|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||2|
|Azpilicueta, Cesar||Chelsea FC||2|
|Gross, Pascal||Brighton & Hove Albion||2|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||2|