Manchester City earned a crucial 2-1 victory over league leaders Liverpool at the Etihad and that means the unbeaten record of the Merseyside club is over.
Goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane handed the champions their victory that reduces the gap from seven to four points between the sides. Roberto Firmino was responsible for Liverpool's goal.
Man City was caught off-guard but the resilience of John Stones saved their night in front of their fans and manager. Robertson threaded a neat pass for Mane who initially beat Ederson who had left his line to make an attempted clearance. The Brazilian was beaten but the ball hit the woodwork. Stones cleared, hit Ederson on the ground and the ball rebounded towards the goal again. The centre-back did well to react fast and make a match-winning clearance right from Salah’s feet in the 9th minute.
Observation at Etihad
"Interesting exchange on the touchline between Klopp and Mane, with the Liverpool manager berating the forward’s positioning. Mane gives as good as he gets, though, fighting his corner in a heated exchange of words. It would appear this start from City has just ruffled a few Liverpool feathers." Jack Wilkinson told Sky Sports during the game.
Live Commentary: https://futaa.com/event/14736653
"This stadium is often accused of lacking atmosphere but that isn’t the case tonight as both sets of fans match this incredibly intense start from the champions. Pep Guardiola’s side is usually calm, composed and clinical but they’re going hell for leather in the opening exchanges. Liverpool may be top of the league but they’re on the champions’ home patch!" Wilkinson observed during the game.
Fernandinho did well in spraying forward passes and one such was the one he found Sterling with down the right flank. Sterling beat Robertson before slotting it for David Silva but the Spaniard dilly-dallied for a long time with the ball and that gave Van Dijk time to make a bock in the 28th minute.
Aguero fired City ahead in the 40th minute from a tight angle after initially going down from a Van Dijk shove and his penalty appeal turned down. Aguero collected a Bernado Silva’s cross from the left flank and fired past Alisson in full glare of Dejan Lovren.
Roberto Firmino leveled for the league leaders in the 64th minute after Alexander-Arnold found his fellow fullback Robertson who cut in with a swinging pass that found Firmino unmarked. The Brazilian just headed the ball into an almost empty net.
Sane restored Man City’s lead in the 72nd minute after Sterling made the run that actually brought the change. Sane had the option of passing it for Aguero but did try his best and it was the best indeed as it beat Alisson for the bottom far corner.
- City has won just one of their last 11 meetings with Liverpool in all competitions (D3 L7), although that was a 5-0 thrashing at the Etihad in the Premier League last season.
- Liverpool has only won one of their last nine league visits to the Etihad Stadium (D3 L5), winning 4-1 in Klopp's first away game against the Citizens after taking over at Anfield. They have conceded 20 goals in those nine away games (2.2 per game)
- Guardiola has lost more matches against Klopp (seven) than he has against anyone else in his managerial career, although only two of those defeats have come in home games (P6 W2 D2 L2).
- February 2016 was the last time City lost consecutive home Premier League games, losing to Leicester and Spurs; manager Pep Guardiola has never lost consecutive home league games as a manager.
- Liverpool have won only five of their last 17 matches in all competitions in January (D5 L7), with the Reds losing nine of Klopp's 24 matches during the month (W8 D7)
- At the end of the year, Liverpool topped the Premier League table by seven points - no team has ever failed to win the English top-flight title with such a lead coming into the New Year.