Liverpool beat Manchester City to stretch lead atop table


“The boys were completely focused and concentrated. It was so good,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said.

Anfield exploded when Liverpool grabbed a sixth-minute lead with a thundering drive from Brazilian Fabinho, who pounced on a poor clearance from Ilkay Gundogan and blasted past Claudio Bravo from over 20 metres out.

Yet City felt the stunning effort should have been ruled out – and a penalty awarded to them – as prior to the break that led to the goal Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold appeared to handle the ball inside the box but the VAR review went against the visitors.

It was the latest VAR controversy in the Premier League and is certain to spark more debate, but while the opening goal set the tone, Liverpool’s dominance was soon evident all across the field.

City pushed forward in response and Raheem Sterling missed a close-range header, but Liverpool struck again in the 13th minute when Andy Robertson crossed from the left and Salah nodded the bouncing ball past Bravo to make it 2-0.

Klopp’s European champions, without a domestic league title since 1990, now had a firm grip on the game and caused constant trouble for City’s shaky defence with their powerful surges forward.

Liverpool were on top physically and their pressing stopped City from establishing their usual possession game but still they managed to carve out some openings.

Manchester City players speak to match referee Michael Oliver.Credit:Getty

Sergio Aguero, who had a disappointing game, forced Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker into action in the 25th minute and then the Argentine should have done better three minutes before the break when he shot wide after being fed by Kevin De Bruyne.

Guardiola needed to adjust something at the break to find a foothold in the game but City’s third defeat of the season, after losses to Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, was assured when Liverpool made it 3-0 six minutes after the interval.

Jordan Henderson superbly worked space on the right flank and whipped in a cross which Mane dived to head home at the back post.

Bernardo Silva pulled a goal back for City in the 78th minute, drilling home a low cross from Angelino and the visitors enjoyed some late pressure but it was too late for a comeback from the champions.

City have not won at Anfield in the league since May, 2003 – their only win at Liverpool in 38 years, but manager Pep Guardiola took positives from Sunday’s performance.

“It’s not easy after being two goals down to react the way we reacted. It was one of the best performances I have ever seen from my team. That’s what we needed and hopefully we can continue to make the steps we need,” he said.

At Old Trafford, Liverpool’s biggest rivals United climbed to seventh place on 16 points from 12 games after stretching their unbeaten home run against the Seagulls to 12 matches in all competitions. Mat Ryan’s Brighton slipped to 11th place on 15 points.

The home side benefited from a fine individual display by Anthony Martial, who set up two goals and ran tirelessly at Brighton’s defenders.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised the Frenchman alongside 19-year-old left back Brandon Williams.

“Anthony Martial did not get a goal but he was outstanding,” Solskjaer told the BBC.

“Brandon Williams was excellent too, he has had some good games already and he seems he wants to be out there and enjoy himself.

“We should have scored many more goals. It was an excellent performance from the lads, when you see them going forward it is a joy to watch.”

Loading

Pereira fired United ahead in the 17th minute with a fortuitous goal, as his shot from inside the penalty area took a heavy deflection off Dale Stephens and left Brighton goalkeeper Ryan stranded.

Propper then bundled the ball into his own net two minutes later as an inswinging free kick from Fred caused havoc in Brighton’s six-yard box. The goal was awarded after a VAR check.

Lewis Dunk pulled one back for Brighton in the 64th minute with a close-range header, but Rashford restored United’s two-goal advantage two minutes later when he blasted in a shot from 12 metres off the underside of the bar.

The match ended on a sour note for United midfielder Scott McTominay, who limped off injured moments before the final whistle after an innocuous-looking duel.

Reuters

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading



Sports

Related posts

Make a comment