Manchester City defeated Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in what was deemed a final just half way through the season. This was Liverpool first defeat in the league this season, and their hopes for going invincible ended on the night after a disappointing performance from the reds.
Klopp trying to be clever with his lineup and be conservative where he could have gone all out playing his 4-2-3-1 formation with Fabinho and Shaqiri in the team. City with defensive problems started Danilo at RB with their best defender all season Laporte playing out of position at LB. With all these frailties, Klopp formation did not allow Salah, Mane and Firmino capitalize on those defensive lapses as City chocked the reds midfield.
Manchester City on the other hand, played the game as expected, pressed for the full length of the 90. Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho chased every single ball, Fernandinho won almost all the tackles in midfield with Klopp needing to change Milner for Fabinho early in the second half. Pep capitalized on the weakness of Lovren and Arnold on the left side of Liverpool defense, every meaningful City attack came from that position and they were rewarded with both goals. Robertson and Van Dijk where solid in silencing Sterling, with Aguero staying with Lovren where he had more joy in attack.
Manchester City started the game strong with high pressing and attacking the Liverpool defense majorly from the left-hand side with Sane leading the attack from his position. City dominated the game until a quick spell of Liverpool attack which saw Mane hit the post and Stones making a goal line clearance to deny the Reds a goal. City got rewarded with a goal just before half time after a fine cross from Bernardo Silva to find Aguero who beat Alisson at his near post with a powerful strike.
In the second half, Liverpool failed to control the midfield until Fabinho came on for Milner to give Liverpool some control. With City trying to adjust to the change of shape of Liverpool, a quick passage of play from Liverpool at the 64th minute saw Firmino score from a Robertson assist.
Barely 10 minutes later, City capitalized on a counter which saw Sane beat Lovren for pace and fired the shot past Alisson for the second goal. Liverpool pulled out all their Arsenal and tried to get an equalizer but Pep’s men where resilient in defense. Pep brought on Otamendi and Kyle Walker to secure the lead in the final minutes of the game.
Liverpool still has a four-point lead at the top of the table and will hope to avoid dropping any more points as their fans are eager to lift the league title after 30 years wait for it. Manchester City and Tottenham will chase them for the title until the final matchday as this year’s EPL promises to be even more interesting.