A FEW OBSERVATIONS FROM THE GAME TONIGHT: LIVERPOOL 2-2 MANCHESTER CITY
Liverpool held Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to a 2-2 home draw in a top of the table clash this evening. It was goalless at halftime before the Reds went infront through Sadio Mané. Phil Foden replied for the visitors, then Mo Salah scored a worldie to put the hosts back infront. De Bruyne’s shot deflected past Alisson and that’s how it stayed.
Read on for player ratings from the game.
Alisson – 7
Played one pass straight to a City shirt first half and it spread the nerves around. Made himself big and stopped Foden one on one. He then threw in a slide tackle to nick the ball away from Foden when he went racing clear again. Played some raking balls to the wings. Not much he could have done about either goal.
Milner – 5
Struggled with Foden throughout. His lack of pace was targeted and City played pass after pass in behind him for Foden to run onto. Picked up a booking and could have been sent off for a crunching tackle on Bernardo second half. Subbed not long after that. Did his best. Poor set piece delivery though.
Matip – 8
First half he was the only one in red shirt who wasn’t afraid to take a risk with his passing. He strode into midfield time after time and played line breaking passes to start moves. One into Jota second half saw us register our first shot on target. Defended well when isolated one on one. Probably could have been quicker on the cover for Milner as it was clear as day where City would attack from.
Van Dijk – 7
Played too many back passes to Alisson. When he did go long, his radar was unusually off. Let a few runners in behind him as his blind trust in the offside line never waivers. Made some crucial interceptions as the game stretched last twenty or so minutes, halting several threatening situations and dealing with the danger. He hasn’t scored since returning from injury. Could do with some better delivery from set pieces.
Robertson – 6.5
Full of energy as usual, and when there was a lull, he’d usually get the crowd going again by stepping in to win the ball back or at least press with a bit of bite. His deliveries let him down again though, terrible set pieces all game. Defended well as always, not a bad performance, not outstandingly great either.
Fabinho – 5.5
He was involved in some big moments. His cute pass to Salah set us away on the counter for our first goal. But then he allowed Jesus to just skip inside him too easily and assist Foden. After that he actually remembered he was a DM and yellows are an occupational hazard. He chopped down Bernardo when he tried going past him and got a booking. Got a chance to win it late on but he couldn’t move to shoot quickly enough as Rodri put in a huge block.
Henderson – 4.5
Not at the races today. Early on he had openings to play long balls to set Mané or Jota away but it was either overhit or underhit. Then there was that moment where he chested the ball down and let Bernardo nick it off him. He didn’t foul him, just let Bernardo take him on a merry go round before setting Foden away. It was that sort of game for the skipper. I’m shocked he lasted the whole game. Too many players got away from him, and there’s wasn’t enough surety with his passing. His passing accuracy stood at 50% at halftime.
Jones – 5.5
First few touches he got, he tried to go past his man or play a pass in behind. He lost possession each time and it was almost as if he stopped trying. He was now keeping it safe, passing it backwards at the merr sight of a blue shirt around him. As such, the game passed him by. He gets an assist for Salah’s goal but that goal was all Mo. Defensively Jones’ man was De Bruyne. He left him free too many times and De Bruyne punished us. He’s another I’m surprised lasted the whole game. Didn’t build on his midweek performance.
Salah – 9
This guy is at the peak of his powers right now. First half he couldn’t get a kick and when he did, it was usually to miscontrol a pass hit too firmly. Second half he was out of this world. Dropped deep to pick up the ball and wiggle his way out of a tight spot. All of a sudden space had opened up and he attacked it, before laying on a perfect pass for Sadio to put us 1-0 up. His goal was otherworldly. Picked up a nothing ball and with three around him, somehow wriggled free. He burst into the box and skinned Laporte before putting an unstoppable shot past Ederson with his weaker foot. In injury time he was in the right back position heading a ball out for a corner. Unbelievable.
Jota – 6.5
Dropped deep second half and got us playing. Won a few free kicks here and there to help us progress up the pitch. His forceful running and pace saw him get a few sniffs at goal. First one he skinned about three players by feigning to shoot, but he just couldn’t toe poke it to Salah as Dias cleared. The second was a beautiful turn from a Matip pass and a snapshot that Ederson had to push away. That lifted the crowd and the team. Gave away a needless foul on De Bruyne before being subbed.
Mané – 7
Took his goal clinically. One chance, one goal. His movement for the goal was superb too, with that out to in run seeing him free from his marker to run on to Salah’s pass. He played well enough but just didn’t see too much of the ball. Kept Kyle Walker honest.
Firmino – 5
Didn’t have any impact on the game. Lost the ball a few times because he dwelled on it. Won it back once or twice. Nothing really of note.
Gomez – 6
Made a crucial interception at the back post. Slotted in well enough to stop the tidal wave of attacks down that side.
Named the same lineup as he did for the midweek thrashing of Porto. He looked flabbergasted on the sidelines at the first half showing. He must have done something in the halftime team talk as the second half was much much better. Took off Milner for Gomez to avoid a red. The Bobby for Jota change was always going to happen, but that’s the second game in a row Naby Keita has been an unused sub. With Henderson and Jones not imposing themselves in midfield, it’s a surprise he didn’t make that sub. Two points at home to Chelsea and City. Is that enough?