Liverpool vs Manchester City, Alisson Becker blunders, reaction, Phil Foden, Jurgen Klopp, title race

10 Min Read

Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker has rued a number of key blunders as the Reds slumped to a demoralising 4-1 defeat to Manchester City to leave their title hopes in tatters.

Ilkay Gundogan scored twice and missed a penalty as Pep Guardiola’s men moved five points clear of Manchester United, with a game in hand to come, at the top of the table.

A third consecutive home defeat leaves Liverpool 10 points off the top in fourth, having also played a game more than City.

Raheem Sterling and the outstanding Phil Foden were also on target for the visitors on a day to forget for Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who was at fault for three of City’s goals.

Watch European Football with beIN SPORTS and ESPN on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Allison’s blunders sums up Reds woes | 01:02

After a club record-breaking run of 68 league games unbeaten at Anfield, Liverpool have now lost three consecutive home league games for the first time since 1963.

The margin of defeat was also the Reds’ biggest in the Premier League era as City landed a knockout blow to their title defence.

Not for the first time in City’s fine run, Guardiola started without a recognised striker, but a half-time tinkering of his formation to push Bernardo Silva closer to Foden in attack paid immediate dividends.

Another purposeful burst from Sterling fed Foden and after his low shot was saved by Alisson, Gundogan this time made no mistake on the rebound to score his seventh goal in 11 league games.

City had conceded just twice in their 13 league games, thanks in large part to the formidable partnership of Ruben Dias and John Stones in central defence.

In contrast, Liverpool had not scored at Anfield in over six hours until a rare error from Dias handed the champions a lifeline just after the hour mark.

The Portuguese’s attempted clearance was blocked by Mohamed Salah, who was then pulled down by Dias.

Salah has not missed a penalty for Liverpool since 2017 and made no mistake when he fired straight down the middle.

But Liverpool could not build on that reprieve as the normally dependable Alisson gifted away two goals in comical fashion.

The Brazilian cleared the ball straight to Foden, who wriggled clear inside the area before squaring for Gundogan to tap home his second off the underside of the bar.

Seconds later, Alisson’s confidence seemed to have gone as another wayward attempted clearance picked out a City player as this time Silva crossed for Sterling to score his first goal at Anfield since leaving Liverpool six years ago.

“He is probably the best in the world,” Sky Sports’ Gary Neville said.

“He is having a nightmare. What is he doing? He is not under massive pressure. He passes it straight to him!

“Bernardo to Sterling. Game over.”

Foden then completed the rout and an outstanding personal performance with a blistering shot seven minutes from time that also escaped Alisson’s grasp.

Jurgen Klopp leapt to Alisson’s defence post-game, saying: “Ali has saved our lives so many times, but tonight he made two mistakes.”

City’s club record run of 14 consecutive wins, 10 of which have come in the league, has seen them pull away from the pack at the top of the table from what seemed a wide-open title race just a few weeks ago.

That run is reminiscent of the City and Liverpool sides at their best over the past three seasons as they have ran up record points tallies in combining to win the last three league titles.

However, Liverpool appear to have run out of gas in an injury-hit campaign after ending a 30-year wait to win a league title by taking City’s crown as champions last season.

The Reds have now lost three-straight home games and become the first to do so after winning the English top-flight since Chelsea 65 years ago in 1956, per OptaJoe.

Liverpool writer for The Athletic James Pearce saw Alisson’s errors as part of a bigger problem for the club.

“Liverpool can forget about the title race. It’s over for them this season,” he tweeted.

“All about top four and the CL now. Chastening defeat and many of the wounds were self-inflicted with Alisson’s meltdown. City so much better in every department. Foden outstanding.”

Neville admitted the dip was going to come at some point, simply reasoning that Liverpool looked “tired” after the big defeat.

“What I would say about Liverpool is that this is the fourth season really. Three seasons: Champions League final, Champions League win, then winning the Premier League. They have been at it full pelt,” he added.

“It is difficult to keep that momentum going for four years. They have been amazing for three years. It is just a natural dip. I don’t think there is a need for too much panic. I don’t think it’s that bad. They are just going through a bad moment. It was always going to come at some point.

“They just look a bit tired, a bit sapped of their energy, a bit drained. It happens.”

Last second heart break for United | 01:29


Harry Kane’s return from injury helped ease the mounting pressure on Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho as the England captain opened the scoring in a 2-0 win over West Brom, while Leicester were held 0-0 at Wolves on Sunday.

Spurs had lost their previous three Premier League games to fall off the pace in the battle for a top-four finish.

But with Kane reunited with Son Heung-min after missing the last two games through an ankle injury, both of Tottenham’s talismen were on target to push Sam Allardyce’s Baggies ever closer to the drop.

Mourinho’s men had not even scored in defeats to Brighton and Chelsea in the past week, but, after a goalless first-half, Kane showed what they had been missing with a cool finish to move level with Bobby Smith as Spurs’ second top goalscorer of all-time with 208 goals.

Four minutes later it was 2-0 as Son was sprung clear by Lucas Moura on the counter-attack and his shot had too much power for Sam Johnstone.

Victory moves Tottenham up to seventh and within four points of fourth-placed Liverpool, who face leaders Manchester City later on Sunday.

West Brom remain rooted in 19th and a mammoth 11 points off safety having taken just 12 from 23 games so far in their first season back in the top-flight.

Fernandes goes BANG | 00:41


Leicester remain third, but missed the chance to move level with Manchester United in second after failing to find their rhythm in a 0-0 draw at Molineux.

Jamie Vardy’s penalty when the sides met earlier in the season is the only goal from the last four meetings between the sides and chances were again at a premium.

Wolves enjoyed the better of them in the second-half as Pedro Neto spooned Adama Traore’s dangerous cross well wide before Kasper Schmeichel rushed off his line to deny Fabio Silva what seemed a certain goal.

Vardy made his return from injury off the bench for the final half hour and had the Foxes’ best chance to snatch all three points in stoppage time when he headed wide from close range.

All eyes will be on Anfield later as Liverpool aim to haul themselves back into the title race and halt City’s club record 13-game winning run.

Jurgen Klopp again named a starting line-up without a recognised centre-back due to an injury crisis with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho deputising at the back, but Alisson Becker and Sadio Mane returned from illness and injury for the Reds.

City are two points clear at the top of the table with two games in hand on Manchester United, but have not won away to Liverpool since 2003.

Ridiculous red card | 00:50

Source link

Share this Article
Leave a comment