PLAYER RATINGS: MANCHESTER CITY 2-2 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool fought to a highly entertaining 2-2 draw at the Etihad. An early De Bruyne goal was cancelled out by Jota before Jesus gave City the lead again just before halftime. Mané replied early in the second period and the scoreline remained the same. Here are player ratings from the match.
Alisson – 7.5
Another fantastic one on one save when Sterling went through early on. He couldn’t much about their two goals. Made a cracking save from Laporte’s header although the flag went up. Was quick off his line to clear one through ball over the top. Looked comfortable in possession and pinged some lovely balls to the forwards.
Alexander-Arnold – 6.5
Showed a calm head to pull Robbo’s cross back to Jota for the equaliser. Was targeted by Cancelo who got in behind him a couple of times (tight offside checks would have ensued had he scored). Caught sleeping at the back post for Jesus’ goal. Better defensively second half. Locked down Foden and Cancelo’s forays down that side. At one point he was playing centre forward and was unlucky not to get on the end of a long ball.
Matip – 7.5
Defended well but was unfortunate to deflect De Bruyne’s shot past Alisson, just like in the reverse fixture. Played Jesus onside for his goal. He marauded forward well but couldn’t always find the pass to match. Stood firm when they mounted pressure late on. Fantastic tackle to halt Grealish’s progress on the break.
Van Dijk – 7
He looked uncharacteristically nervy early on and was booting balls out and clearing a few straight to City players. He was back to himself second half. Took a yellow when De Bruyne was breaking through. Defended Sterling impeccably well when he went through second half. Blocked an effort on the line.
Robertson – 6
Kept hoofing the ball up the pitch at the slightest sign of pressure. Was played into space down the left flank after we pulled it back to 2-2 but his delivery was disappointing. Didn’t provide much going forward. Kept honest defensively and held firm.
Fabinho – 4.5
I thought he was piss poor today. Kept giving the ball away and losing out on tackles and duels in the middle of the pitch. De Bruyne just waltzed past him for his goal. He was sloppy throughout and his giveaway under no pressure in injury time saw Mahrez break through and almost win it for them. Shocking today.
Henderson – 6.5
He got through a lot of work pressing Bernardo deep into the City half and also covering for Trent when he could. Lacked imagination on the ball however, turning down two good chances to shoot on the edge of the box. If only he backed himself more. Did well to track Bernardo and halt a counter right before he was taken off.
Thiago – 7.5
Pinged an outstanding ball over the top to Salah to set us away for the move that ended with Jota’s equaliser. Played a similar one to Mo for a two on two counter but his decision making let him down. Thiago battled well in midfield and was one of a few who didn’t look overawed by the occasion.
Took a yellow after fouling De Bruyne in an attempt to halt a counter. Did well to win a free kick when it looked like he should have been sent off for a second bookable offence instead. Kept playing throughout, never panicked.
Salah – 7
Didn’t get much change out of Cancelo but pit in the hard yards to track the Portuguese going the other way. Played a sensational ball for Sadio to pull us level early in the second half. He was at his best when he was seeking to play his teammates through. Seems to have lost that midas touch when taking on his man. An improved performance nonetheless.
Jota – 7
Johnny on the spot again. First chance for the Reds fell to him and he tucked it away with typical unerring accuracy. Could have had another second half after Mo played him through but Ederson made the save. You have to take the rough with the smooth when it comes to Diogo as his passing can leave you pulling out your hair. Several chances to play teammates in went straight to a City shirt. Taken off around 70′.
Mané – 8.5
Thought he was our best player on the day. He put in so much work defensively to track Walker’s runs forward. He also offered the side an outlet, with Alisson going long to him on several occasions to beat the City press. Sadio’s ability to bring a ball down and keep it under pressure helped the side build attacks today.
He finished Salah’s pass with aplomb to pull the side back level in a goal reminiscent to the one he netted at Vicarage Road earlier in the season. He moved into the centre after Jota went off and was still a threat. Defended the backpost brilliantly from a City free kick just before he was taken off. Balled on his birthday.
Diaz – N/A
Couldn’t really get in the game as nobody could pick him out with a pass that put him in space. He had to scrap for every ball, usually in the air, against Walker and Stones.
Keita – N/A
Another who couldn’t really get into the game. Did well to win the ball back on the right wing on one occasion but no real chance to drive at their defence.
Firmino – N/A
Same really. Couldn’t get involved. Was throwing in tackles in our box late on.
The manager went with his strongest side on paper. His boys looked nervy first half and went in 2-1 down at the break. Whatever he said a halftime worked a treat as they equalised early in the second period.
He made his changes at the right time and you could see what he was going for. Diaz to offer more energy and driving runs down the left with Jota misplacing one too many passes. Naby for a tiring Hendo late on to keep the intensity levels in midfield.
Bobby for a tiring Sadio with just a few minutes left on the clock, again for freshness and for Bobby’s ability to link play. A point isn’t what we wanted but it’s not over. Seven games left, we have to keep winning to at least keep City on their toes.
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