The standout match in the English Premier League (EPL) for the weekend was a chess game between two masters but unfortunately, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker became the villain of the piece as three glaring mistakes led directly to the second, third, and fourth Manchester City goals.
It was City’s 14th consecutive win-the longest winning run in Pep Guardiola’s managerial career.
Ilkay Gundogan made the first breakthrough in the first half, but that was after he had blazed his penalty high and wide.
Mohamed Salah equalised for Liverpool from the spot in the second half, and then Alisson took over with two glaring mistakes. His shanked clearances gifted the ball to City players.
Gundogan got his second and Raheem Sterling scored his first goal against Liverpool at Anfield since he moved away in 2015.
Phil Foden put in the last nail when his shot went through Alisson in the 83rd minute.
This was a statement win from Cityzens, who are now 10 points clear of the defending champions, with a game in hand.
City had a lion share of the ball possession at the beginning and had the clearest chance to take the lead but Liverpool also had their chances but it was
If the match had ended 0-0, the narrative would have been City’s inability to convert their chances, especially from the penalty spot.
In three consecutive meetings, City have blazed over from 12 yards. Ilkay Gundogan followed the example set by Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez, when he failed to hit the target when Raheem Sterling was brought down by Fabinho in the 36th minute.
The first half kicked off with City immediately on the front foot and had over 65% of ball possession in the first 20 minutes. City pressed Liverpool into making safe passes in their half just to keep the ball and Thiago Alcantara was straight into the book for a foul on Gundogan in less than two minutes from the start.
Liverpool gradually grabbed a footing in the match and Sadio Mane should have at least tested Ederson in the 25th minute when Trent Alexander-Arnold found him in the box, but he headed over.
Five minutes later, Roberto Firmino had a crack from outside the box and the shot needed Ederson to make a save.
By the end of the first half, Liverpool had clawed back possession to 54% when referee Michael Oliver called a halt to the first half proceedings.
The second half started with Liverpool in more aggressive mode, but it was City that made the breakthrough. And the goal was instigated by former Liverpool man, Raheem Sterling, who dribbled into the box and fed Phil Foden, whose shot was saved but Gundogan was quickly on hand to pounce on the rebound and blast home. Redemption for the midfielder who has achieved the best goal scoring season in his professional career with eight goals in 17 league games.
In the 62nd minute, Ruben Dias made his first major mistake since he made the summer move from Portugal when he pulled Mohamed Salah to the floor in the box. The Portuguese defender was booked, and a penalty given. Salah stepped up and slammed the ball past Ederson.
Jurgen Klopp sent on Xherdan Shaqiri and James Milner for Curtis Jones and Thiago on 68 minutes. John Stones had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside on 70th minute and Pep Guardiola responded by sending on Gabriel Jesus for Riyad Mahrez.
A bad clearance from Allisson in the 74th minute led to City’s second goal as Foden went round Andy Robertson before teeing up Gundogan who crashed his effort in off the bar.
Three minutes later, Alisson made another mistake as he gifted the ball to Bernardo Silva, who lifted the ball unto Sterling’s head. That would have been the easiest goal ever scored by Sterling.
Foden then crashed a shot through Alisson to compound the Brazilian goalkeeper’s miserable evening.
In this form, Manchester City will gallop to the title at a canter while Liverpool will seek to pick through the rubble for a Champions League spot.
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