Liverpool defeated the reigning champions Manchester City today at Anfield with 3-1, increasing the advantage on the standings between them and the Citizens to 9 points. The Reds’ furious start decided the contest, as they stunned the visitors who didn’t have the power to come back and turn this game around.
Though, we need to say that Liverpool scored both goals after situations that could be controversial. Liverpool’s first goal came after Alexander-Arnold’s handballing in his own box. The intensity of the contact is very problematic because it seems that the ball just touched his hand. Following that, the hosts had a quick counter-attack, which ended with Fabinho’s powerful strike from some 20 yards, with the ball surging past Claudio Bravo. Man City’s players were furious, but the referee Michael Oliver firmly stayed behind his initial decision even after the VAR and pointed towards the center of the field.
Mohamed Salah delivered the second one, but it is still problematic to see whether was the Egyptian striker offside or not. Andy Robertson’s perfect cross fell right in front of Salah, who routinely headed the ball into the net. Once again, the guests felt robbed, and their protests were pretty intense.
“Please ask the referees [about the Alexander-Arnold handball], please don’t ask to me. Ask to Mike Riley, and the guys in the VAR,” said frustrated Pep Guardiola after the match. The Spaniard was more than mad on several occasions throughout the event, but that didn’t change anything.
Anyway, the European champions had a two-goal advantage after the opening 45 minutes, meaning that they could be relaxed in the second half. It gave the Reds the possibility of waiting for counter-attacks, while City needed to pressure more and hope for a quick goal.
The hosts got what they wanted in the 51st minute when Jordan Henderson found Sadio Mane with a cross on the far post of Bravo’s goal. The Senegalese player, and probably Liverpool’s best player since the season started raised the lead to 3-0, setting the Anfield on fire.
The Reds brought down the tempo of the match after that, and they didn’t have too many troubles in stopping Citizens’ attacks. The only time Liverpool’s defense cracked was 12 minutes before the end, when Bernardo Silva decreased the gap to 3-1.
“We knew it was a big game. City are a fantastic team. We knew the importance of the game and wanted to put on a good performance and win the game,” said Klopp.
"I think it is done!" ❌
Jose Mourinho believes Liverpool will win their first Premier League title this season
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 10, 2019
Liverpool is still the only undefeated team in the Premier League and has 34 points in 12 rounds. The reigning champs, however, are fourth with 25, one fewer than Leicester City and Chelsea. The current distance between the two rivals is massive, but according to Klopp, the season is long and that doesn’t have to mean anything.
“There’s still so long to go, so our first mistake would be to look at the gap. For us it’s irrelevant. For us, it’s about keep winning, keep the momentum going.”
He probably remembers the experience from the previous season, when L’pool had 7 points more than City and still lost the title in the last few rounds.
Both teams will have a pause next week due to international break, and after that, Liverpool heads for London to meet with Crystal Palace. Selhurst is not a very comfortable place for the Reds, who lost the title there with Brendan Rodgers in charge a couple of years ago.
On the other side, City has a big derby against Chelsea at home coming up.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.