The Etihad Stadium
FA Premier League
1/03/2019 8:00 pm
Referee: Anthony Taylor of Wythenshawe
|Agüero (40'), Sané (72')||Firmino (64')|
|31 Ederson||13 Alisson|
|3 Danilo||66 Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|5 John Stones||6 Dejan Lovren|
|4 Vincent Kompany||4 Virgil van Dijk|
|14 Aymeric Laporte||Walker 86'||26 Andrew Robertson|
|20 Bernardo Silva||5 Georgino Wijnaldum|
|25 Fernandinho||14 Jordan Henderson|
|21 David Silva||Gündogan 65'||7 James Milner||Fabinho 57'|
|7 Raheem Sterling||11 Mohamed Salah|
|10 Sergio Agüero||9 Roberto Firmino|
|19 Leroy Sané||10 Sadio Mané||Shaqiri 77'|
|2 Kyle Walker||3 Fabinho|
|8 Ilkay Gündogan||8 Naby Keita|
|17 Kevin De Bruyne||15 Daniel Sturridge|
|26 Riyad Mahrez||18 Alberto Moreno|
|30 Nicolas Otamendi||20 Adam Lallana|
|33 Gabriel Jesus||22 Simon Mignolet|
|49 Aro Muric||23 Xherdan Shaqiri|
Johnny On The Spot: #BOOM! What a mesmerising football match. Ravenous City roared out of the blocks against their arch rivals tonight from the first whistle. They were brilliant in bossing and rattling a well organised, well drilled Liverpool side who had been imperious since their last defeat in Paris seemingly many moons ago.
The Blues out-of-possession work, most notably from lung bursting Bernardo Silva was awesome. Fernandinho was everywhere, Agüero netting his 250th career goal was a mighty atom. Despite a couple of unnecessary scares, the reigning champions went in at the break on top, on merit.
The second period opened to more of the same intensity and the longer the game wore on, the Merseysiders frustration descended into an increasing lack of discipline. Jurgen Klopp was screaming like a mad tramp at his players, James Milner was incensed at being subbed before the hour mark.
However. The Blues had been guilty at the back of not staying tight enough and this degree of vulnerability persisted. Yet again, our weakness at not cutting out crosses aggressively at source this season was exploited far too easily by a Liverpool equaliser. The instant extra bodies were thrown forward at City, our defence failed to cope. Following drawing, level Liverpool ominously began to keep the ball more comfortably. Would City crack?
The pressure from both sides upped yet again and a firecracker of a pulsating advertisement for the Premier League exploded with a swashbuckling riposte from Leroy Sané who simply murdered Trent Alexander-Arnold all night.
As more top quality reinforcements entered the fray from both benches, City were bracing for an expected overload up top from Klopp’s men who were mixing it up in all areas around our backline. It was frantic, desperado stuff at both ends with City’s front men putting in some breathlessly berserking runs which culminated in profligacy.
The atmosphere was feverish throughout the heavyweight clash and the nerve jangling momentum continued. Air Traffic Controller Guardiola, going mental in all directions, urged the fans on, changed the guard at the back and madman Klopp opted for a front five. The game remained fraught right to the final second, but City’s reinforced rearguard action stood firm. Liverpool gave it everything but it wasn’t enough in an Etihad wall of noise.
Pep Guardiola’s 100th win in charge of Manchester City has reduced Liverpool’s lead at the top to four points and all of a sudden we have a thing of beauty on our hands. Legions of fawning hacks and pundits this week crowned big spending Liverpool as the people’s champions elect in a weirdo cult frenzy right across the media reminiscent of the expectation they piled on to Brendan Rodgers side who cracked up in 2014. It will be fascinating to read their reactions as they survey the wreckage that Klopp must pick over tomorrow.
JB’s Man of The Match: Bernardo Silva who ran 12.93km for the cause.