Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool took a big step towards getting their season back on track by securing a hugely important 1-0 win over rivals Manchester City at Anfield.
The game began in a frenetic manner with neither team given a second to settle when in possession. It would take 15 minutes before we saw an effort on target, with Liverpool ‘keeper Alisson doing well to save a bouncing IIkay Gundogan volley from the edge of the area.
It would then be Liverpool’s turn to look dangerous, with Ederson forced to palm away an excellent cross from James Milner before the Reds’ other full-back, Andy Roberston, blasted over on the half-volley.
Much of the pre-match talk was about Erling Haaland and just after the half-hour mark Man City’s number nine came alive. Firstly he latched onto a ball in behind, but Alisson did well to palm down his chipped effort before the big Norweigan looped a header over the bar from six yards out.
Five minutes later Haaland could only power a header straight at Alisson after Kevin de Bruyne picked him out with a beautiful cross from his trademark inside right position.
Just after the break, Liverpool had a golden chance to take the lead when Mohamed Salah ran clean through on goal, although the Eygtian’s effort was turned around the post by Ederson.
In the 53rd minute, an already electric atmosphere within Anfield ratcheted up a notch when Phil Foden had a controversial goal ruled out for a foul in the build-up by Haaland on Fabinho.
Minutes later Diogo Jota was guilty of missing a sitter, with the Portuguese attacker heading over from a few yards out when he had been left entirely free in the area.
On 63 minutes Alisson was again called into action, this time the Brazilian got down well to his left to deny a Haaland effort from the edge of the box.
Despite having earlier missed the best chance of the game, on 76 minutes, Salah stepped up and showed why he is a truly world-class talent when he put his side ahead. Firstly Salah did brilliantly to both control a long pass from Alisson and spin Joao Cancelo all in the same movement before clinically stroking the ball past Ederson.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 16, 2022
City poured forward in search of an equaliser but Liverpool defended valiantly and held out for a much-needed three points.
Speaking afterwards Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was thrilled with his sides showing and paid homage to both Joe Gomez and veteran utility man James Milner, who were both key to a brilliant defensive performance.
“Very important, we cannot be too picky in this situation,” Klopp told BBC MOTD. ”Against the best team in the world it is incredibly hard, but we deserved the three points with an incredible performance.
“Nobody could set a high press so you have to be smart, and we were, and you have to defend with a big heart, which we did. It was a game of real passion and we go there in the end.
“Joe Gomez was outstanding, he is outstanding no doubt about it. James Milner – come on, how many people thought ‘oh no Milner v Foden’? But he did outstandingly well, we had to find a few solutions but they all did incredibly well. You cannot get by even with nine good [individual] performances against City.”