And the meeting started on sacred bases, at least for the band of Mohamed Salah. After a contentious action in the Liverpool area, Fabinho put his team in front of a sudden and powerful shot from outside the area (1-0, 6th). Powerless, Claudio Bravo could not do anything. After a brief reaction from the Skyblues, the locals were still going to hit. This time, it was Salah who beat the Chilean goalkeeper of the head, after a very good center of Robertson (2-0, 13e). Anfield was, logically, on fire. Even if Wijnaldum was close to the third (21st), Pep Guardiola's troops would finally be able to be dangerous, via Aguero in particular, who saw Alisson prevent him from reducing the gap of a beautiful parade (25th). A few minutes later, Van Dijk came against Angelino but the Dutch had the chance on his side, since the leather ended his race on the post (29th).
Foolproof efficiency for Liverpool
The encounter was exciting anyway, with a feeling of imminent danger as soon as one of the two teams approached the rival surface. Firmino wanted to mingle with the party and showed all his opponents colors, but he was often missing in the last gesture, as on this point (36th). Claudio Bravo hijacked an attempt by the Canarinha player as he could two minutes later. Aguero crossed him too much his shot (42nd). An advantage of two goals for the locals at the break, in a sublime match and exciting to follow. And while we thought the Citizens were able to return, Liverpool was going to crucify Bravo.
Henderson center, the ball crossed the surface and Sadio Mane put a nice helmet on the back post (3-0, 51st). Mass was practically said with this score. Lovren, on the ground, managed to divert a good attempt from Sterling (54th). It was necessary to note the good reaction capacity of the Citizens, never slaughtered, but they did not have the effectiveness of their adversary. Aguero was too short to take center Debruyne (68th), while Sterling began to raise his level of play. Alisson had to release a ball delivered by Mane practically on his line (75th). The Citizens were finally rewarded for their efforts in the 78th minute. After a ball from Angelino, Bernardo Silva scored a shot that grazed the inside of the left post of Alisson and ended at the bottom (3-1, 78th). Gabriel Jesus did not take advantage of a balloon love of Sterling (80th). The score has not changed, and Liverpool hit a huge blow, taking nine points ahead of the formation!
Relive the film of the meeting on our live commented.
The man of the match: Wijnaldum (8): a big presence to recover the balloons and to project forward. Accurate passes and always in the right tempo, the Dutch ruled midfield. A big job in the recovery that relieved his team in the adverse moments. He has been in all the good moves of his team, whether defensively or in attack. A serious and applied match where his influence was huge.
Alisson (6): a small fright at the beginning of the match but without gravity (5th). The Brazilian is well worth a shot Aguero (25th). Solicited but not put in danger either, he especially allowed the Reds to restart properly. Sure in the air, he has been imperial in everything he has had to do today although he sometimes takes risks that must give cold sweats to Jurgen Klopp (75th). He must still bow to a shot by Bernardo Silva (78th).
Alexander-Arnold (7): in the oven and at the mill. The Englishman did not stop in his hall. It can never be said enough but his pass quality is worthy of a number 10. Projection, defensive withdrawal, the right side is a complete player and he displayed all his talent during this meeting.
Lovren (5): unlike his teammate from the center hinge, the Croatian suffered a lot. A small bridge Aguero in the area (25th), struggling to contain incursions Mancunian, the defender experienced a complicated start to the game. Better afterwards, where he worked to prevent the Citizens from taking the depths behind him.
Van Dijk (6.5): impassable. The Dutch colossus again delivered a solid match. Always well placed, he completely extinguished Aguero. He did not leave a crumb to the attackers of City. He emerges a lot of confidence and this is passed on to his teammates, including Lovren who was not always reassuring on certain phases.
Robertson (6): the lateral perfectly entered this meeting. For the second goal of his team, he delivers a marvel of pass to the second post for Salah who adjusts Bravo head (13th). Continuous back and forth in his hallway either to bring the excessively offensively, or to muzzle Bernardo Silva on his side.
Fabinho (7,5): a thunderous start to the match, rewarded by a clear shot that ends his race at the bottom of the nets Claudio Bravo (6th). Strong in the duels, the Brazilian does not hesitate to take risks, paying, the revival. His passes, often precise, bring imbalance that puts in great difficulty the opponents players. A successful service in the image of his team.
Henderson (6): Not necessarily the most prominent in the middle of three, the English has focused on filling the spaces and initiate high pressing his team. More involved offensively in the second half, he moved higher on the field. On the third goal, he overflows the right side and delivers a perfect center, at the back post, for Sadio Mane (51st). Replaced by Milner (61st) who brought his physical impact to keep the ball.
Wijnaldum (8): a big presence to recover the balloons and to project forward. Accurate passes and always in the right tempo, the Dutch ruled midfield. A big job in the recovery that relieved his team in the adverse moments. He has been in all the good moves of his team, whether defensively or in attack. A serious and applied match where his influence was huge.
Salah (7): discreet in the first minutes, he is perfectly placed to regain his head a dipping center Robertson (13th). Already his fifth goal of the season. Close to doubled on a strike wound in first intention that requires Bravo to release a parade exceptional (45 + 1e). Always in motion, the Egyptian has constantly sought to create danger and imbalance especially in the transitions assassinations of the Reds. Replaced by Gomez (87th).
Firmino (6): perhaps the most discreet of the three in front, but a rare game intelligence. The Brazilian was in power over the first half to the image of his two strikes that seriously worried Claudio Bravo (36th, 38th). Often just in his transmissions, he is an important relay in the attacks of his team. It gives way to Oxlade-Chamberlain (79th).
Mane (7): a big activity from the beginning of the game. It is he who provokes the goal of Fabinho by overflowing left side (6th). Not stingy defensive folds (25th, 55th, 68th), it is a valuable asset for his team. However, he did not always make the right choices offensively. Much better in the second half where he scored the goal of the knockout on a diving head (51).
Claudio Bravo (4): hard night for the former doorman FC Barcelona. In concrete terms, he is not directly responsible for any of Liverpool's three goals. But he can do better on all three, and he's often struggled on Reds opportunities. He did not really manage to reassure his teammates, also making some rather limited stops.
Walker (3): very poor performance of the former goalkeeper – for a mid-week evening – the formation of Pep Guardiola. Bad defensively, facing a Firmino who often did what he wanted today, little influence on the offensive sequences, he was a real shot. A match in the image of this third goal of the premises, where he is caught in the back by Mane who arrives to pitch his head.
Stones (4): with a clearly recomposed defense to Anfield, he was the one to be the boss. But the Englishman never showed any reassuring signs, and did not release any sensation of serenity, especially during the first forty five minutes. It is still necessary to put to his credit a savage interception to cut a balloon of Robertson for Milner to quarter of an hour of the end which could have been very expensive.
Fernandinho (4): he was repositioned in central defense this afternoon, and as expected, he had a complicated encounter with the armada liverpuldienne. The Brazilian was behind most of the Reds offensives, and on the second goal in particular, where he leaves Salah back to the far post. A little annoyed, he did not hesitate to raise the tone, facing the particular Egyptian (41). Clearly, we have seen that he is far from being a central professional defender.
Angelino (5.5): the young Spanish side had a job today. Like the entire citizen rearguard, he has sometimes been in trouble defensively speaking. But when he had to look forward, he was one of the best on his team, thanks in part to his quality of center. He was on the verge of provoking a goal to narrow the gap (29th). He was decisive passer for Bernardo Silva on the gap reduction.
Rodri (4,5): Positioned in front of the defense, the player trained at Atletico de Madrid has, like most of his partners, not been at the expected level. He has managed to recover too few balloons, not cutting enough Liverpool offensives. He did not succeed in serving as the first filter in his defense, and when it was necessary to produce the game, it was to absent subscribers. Like the citizen circles, better in the second period to report anyway, with more activity ball at the foot.
Gundoğan (3,5): the match started very badly for him, since it was on his release much too soft that Fabinho opened the score. Yet very convincing since the beginning of the season in the system of Pep Guardiola, the German was then far too much below the level required for such a match, does not exist against a medium of the Reds too powerful.
Kevin de Bruyne (5.5): in the midfield, the Belgian international had trouble distinguishing himself in the first half. Too little active, not very participative, and not very influential in the game. As the game progressed, it climbed a notch on the field, touching a few more balloons and combining better with its partners. For example, he dropped an excellent center that Aguero could not get back to, too short (68th).
Bernardo Silva (5.5): the Lusitano is usually very precious in front, but tonight it was complicated. He has certainly given a lot in the defensive work, giving a hand on the corridors in particular, but he has struggled to distinguish himself. It's a player who needs the ball, and on Anfield's lawn, he has hardly had one. He still managed to narrow the gap after the ball Angelino, a shot down (78th). The only highlight of his match.
Aguero (4): the Argentine goleador has, as often, managed to afford several dangerous situations. But as is so often the case, he harvested a lot. His team could have returned to the locker room with a less severe score if it had been a little more precise. An insufficient meeting, in short. He left his place to Gabriel Jesus in the 71st minute, who could have scored on the perfect ball Sterling (80th).
Sterling (6): back on his land, the former Reds was not able to distinguish in the first period. A lot of last moves and failed centers for the attacker of the Three Lions, well muzzled by a Trent Alexander-Arnold very vigilant. After the locker room, he was much more active and dangerous, with a good individual action (54th) and good openings, including a caviar that Jesus did not put in the bottom (80th). Clearly the best player of his team tonight.