Liverpool’s Energy Halts City Charge
Anfield has been a tricky place for Manchester City to visit in recent years and so it proved again on October 16th, as Liverpool won another big battle between the fierce rivals thanks to a second half goal by Mo Salah.
City had been unbeaten in all competitions so far and had seemingly gone up yet another level with Erling Haaland on hand to gobble up the numerous goal chances sent his way by the likes of Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne.
By contrast, Liverpool’s form had been poor in the Premier League, although they did go into the match on the back of a 7-1 Champions League slaughter of Rangers at Ibrox.
In the event, the hard preparation work Liverpool do at Melwood in their Nike training gear was again to the fore as the team’s capacity to press and close down opponents was decisive. Not only were City’s ball players closed down at every opportunity, but Joao Cancelo’s attempt to clear a punt upfield by Liverpol goalkeeper Allison was pickpocketed by Salah, who ran through to net the only goal.
Salah’s strike was the decisive moment of a game packed with incidents, including a goal for City disallowed on a VAR check due to a foul by Haaland and Jurgen Klopp’s angry tirade at the referee’s assistant that led to him being sent to the stands.
Klopp may be somewhat happier with the result, however, which may just kick-start what has been a stuttering season so far for his team.
It remains to be seen if they can reel in City, but while they and Haaland will surely be back to winning ways soon, Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Leeds means the Gunners, a team nobody outside north London tipped to challenge for the Premiership, finished the weekend four points clear. They must surely be considered serious contenders now.