Liverpool hold on to end battling Manchester City’s unbeaten record
- Premier League, Anfield – Liverpool 4 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 9′, Firmino 59′, Sadio Mané 61′, Salah 68′) Manchester City 3 (Sané 40′, Silva 84′, Gündogan 90+1′)
Liverpool moved up to third in the Premier League table as they ended leaders Manchester City’s 30-match unbeaten run with an incredible 4-3 win at Anfield.
Leroy Sane’s solo strike had cancelled out Alex Oxlade Chamberlain’s rasping opener going in at the interval, but three goals in nine second-half minutes ended any hope Pep Guardiola’s team had of matching Arsenal’s invincible season of 2003-04, despite a barnstorming finish.
Roberto Firmino’s sublime dink put the hosts back in front before Sadio Mane banished the demons of his red card in the corresponding fixture back in September with a rising shot into the top corner.
Mohamed Salah then seemed to rub salt in City’s wounds when he pounced on Ederson’s kicking error to lob the keeper from 40 yards to put the Reds 4-1 up.
However, substitute Bernardo Silva reduced the arrears six minutes from time before Ilkay Gundogan made it a nervy finale when he fired home in injury time.
Liverpool held on to stretch their own unbeaten run to 18 matches in all competitions and move level on points with second placed Manchester United, who have played a game less.
City remain 15 points clear at the summit, but could see their lead cut to 12 if their neighbours beat Stoke City on Monday night.
City’s invincible hopes are over as Liverpool threaten to undo their good work. Guardiola’s side were running out of major hurdles to overcome in their pursuit of an unbeaten league campaign – but perhaps it is no surprise that their run has come to an end at a ground where they have won just once since 1981. The Citizens will still go on to win the title, while Liverpool showed why they won’t despite a brilliant attacking performance. Jurgen Klopp was without £75m defender Virgil van Dijk through injury, and his side’s issues with managing commanding leads surfaced once more. The Reds have a mesmerising frontline – even without the departed Philippe Coutinho – but Loris Karius showed once again he is not the answer in goal for Sane’s near-post effort, while the defence overall remains an Achilles heel.
MAN OF THE MATCH.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (Liverpool). The England midfielder is showing signs that he is really relishing life at Anfield and raising his level. He played with real confidence and quality, capping his all-action display with a sizzling opener.