• Whatever you think of this wonderful game and Manchester City finally losing a game; City are still far and away the best team and will definitely win the premier league anyway despite this loss. They are 15 points ahead of Manchester United (though that could change at even time tomorrow). You’d be foolish not to fancy City for the title. But what a game that was. It was nerve wrecking for the fans involved and a feast for neutrals and that City could very much have snatched a draw at the end was a cherry to this clash of the titans. It was end to end and an great advert for the Premier League.

 

  • I predicted a 3-2 win for Liverpool because i know going unbeaten throughout the season was always going to be a big task – even for City. What Arsenal did 15 years ago may not be replicated in League football again. And it was 4-3 because of Liverpool’s bravery and with the crowd backing the team with such raucous noise would scare any team off their wits. I’m trying really hard to gather my thoughts, that’s how brilliant the game was. And the fact that they could have lost it in the end was intriguing.

 

  • There was a lot of talk post match about how Liverpool would cope without Coutinho. Though the stats suggests that Liverpool do well without their talisman, you’d still want a talent like Coutinho in your starting eleven. And what a response to the Brazilian’s departure. Liverpool played like they didn’t miss a beat and what is easily noticeable about Liverpool is how quickly the ball is played quickly into the attackers. Somehow Mane had the freedom to dominate on the left. With Coutinho on the pitch, he’d vacate space for the Brazilian to work his stuff. Mane look liberated from the player that sulked and underperformed for much of the season. Phil who?

 

  • Roberto Firminho might be the the understated member of the Fab Three but he’s no way less important that the rest of the trident. He worked his socks off disrupting the passing of City. He wasn’t alone in this duty but given that he still had the responsibility to lead the line and get the goals is admirable. And get the goal, he did. Out muscling John Stones to lop the ball over the keeper was a combination of steel and wits from the Brazilian. I remember when he first came under Brendan Rodgers and was thought of as a waste of money as he was wasted on the flank and was utterly out of sorts. To see his importance grow every week, every year is a testament to his determination to succeed and his coach’s faith in him. His mate may have abandoned ship but this chap is becoming indispensable. Boy’s done good.

 

  •  Oxlade-Chamberlain at some point in the season must have wondered if switching clubs was a mistake but he had to wait for his chance to shine. Having played many of the games wide and from off the bench, he promptly started in the middle and took his chance. The belief to wiggle through and slam a ball beyond Ederson was just sublime. Coutinho’s absence would dip the creativity in midfield but with Adam Lallana still in the cooler and Chamberlain hustling and bustling on the pitch, the future doesn’t look so grim. Which leads me to..

 

  • Georginio Wijnaldum was disappointing and was probably Liverpool’s worst performer. Now it is juvenile to point out bad showings in a team who were brave and won the game. It is worth pointing out that he gave the ball away constantly and attempted ill advised dribbles in tight spaces. I was infuriated thinking he would undo the work his teammates had crafted. But fortunately for the Dutchman, Liverpool won despite him. Maybe it was a one off bad display but Lallana would be confident of usurping the Dutchman.

 

  • Does this game prove Kevin De Bryune needs a rest? The Belgian has been the Houdini behind this great cast of players. He’s probably City’s best player. But in recent weeks, he’s shown signs of fatigue and his performances has dipped as a result of player nearly every game. Even David Silva have had some rest in the run in. He was by no means disastrous, but by his high standards, this was a subdued performance, perhaps due to Liverpool’s relentless pressing. Give him a breather and let the ginger man get back to top form.

 

  • This was a game that had some suspect goalkeeping from both keepers in the first half. While i thought Ederson could have done more to stop Chamberlain’s shot, i couldn’t lay any blame on Karius. Sane, on his day, is a frightening prospect for any defender. Having no joy up to his goal, he did well to bamboozle Gomez (who is racking up the mistakes by the game) and shoot a missile past the Liverpool blondie. I know pundits talk about goalkeepers safe guarding their near post but it’s nonsense. If it’s struck well and hard, near post or no, the ball will probably nestle in the back of the net. From then on, it was left to the outfield players to turn the narrative to their direction.

 

  • With Virgil Van Dirk in the stands, it was left for Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren to stop Man City. They coped admirably well but concentration fell after leading City 4-1. To think that City were a set piece away from equalizing a three goal deficit was unbelievable. The defense simply watched as İlkay Gündoğan walked into the penalty area with the ball rebounding to Bernando Silva to finish emphatically. with Liverpool’s defense, it doesn’t rain, it pours. Up came Aguero and İlkay Gündoğan to craft a goal from nothing despite being surrounded by red shirts. Look, Van Dirk is a fantastic addition to the squad, but he’s just one man. Saying He’ll solve their defensive woes will be a terrible oversight. There need to be positive attention given to Liverpool’s concentration on defensive situations.

 

  • But to be frank, Liverpool were defensive healthy going into this game. And a part of this journey has been the re-introduction of Andrew Robertson to the team. With Moreno out injured, the Scotsman has taken his chance with aplomb. He did start well at the start of the season but was strangely kept on the bench by Jurgen Kloop. But he’s come in and snatched it and probably made the left flank his. A particular run to disrupt City high up the pitch was appreciated by the Red Faithful. I think he’s the answer to the left back problem which have dogged Liverpool for years.

 

  • While this was not a title decider, Man City will be jolted to a positive reaction after this defeat. They were never going to go unbeaten and will win the league but now teams will go up against Manchester City and have hope they’d take points off them. That in itself is a challenge for Pep Guardiola. It will not disrupt their march to the title but Liverpool have made the hier to the Invincibles look beatable. Don’t think the German wouldn’t enjoy this victory over his old nemesis.

 

  • Liverpool take Chelsea’s spot in third and are only behind Manchester United in goal difference. There is stiff competition for the Champions league places and they have given themselves a shot in the arm. Arsenal are falling off the pace and Chelsea have been dogged with ugly performances in the new year. Liverpool are seemingly with the advantage in this race for the top four.
Michael Okoye
Blogger/Football Analyst at Sportskick
Michael Okoye is an ardent football fan as well as a writer. He lives somewhere in West Africa with Lions and Leopards for company. He takes interest in football and detests mediocrity in sports writing. He has a massive man crush on Juan Mata. A Chelsea fan and a great lover of wits and sarcasm.
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