Liverpool takes care of business against Man City
What a game.
Liverpool’s performance at home against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City was first-class, keeping them at the top of the Premier League table nine points ahead of City.
From Trent Alexander-Arnold’s potential handball— which actually touched Bernardo Silva’s arm first— to the three stunning goals slashed in by the Reds, this match was intense and dramatic from the beginning through the end.
Guardiola was livid throughout the game, but the scoring comes first and foremost/
Six minutes into the game, City thought they should’ve gotten a penalty for a handball that flicked off of Alexander-Arnold’s thigh and onto his arm, but the ref waved play, and Liverpool scored off the counter.
That goal was brilliantly blasted in by Fabinho after it was cleared out by City and into the space that Fabinho positioned himself to strike the ball from 25-yards out.
Reds left-back, Andy Robertson, was hesitant to celebrate the goal as he went off to the side to drink some water, waiting for VAR to decide whether the goal stands or not. And it did… giving Liverpool the lead just 7 minutes in.
Just minutes later, Robertson’s impeccable cross bounced to find Mohamed Salah’s head to knock it into the far end of the goal past City Keeper Claudio Bravo, who played this match for Ederson, while out with a thigh injury.
Salah’s beautiful header was on-side, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead just 13 minutes into the match.
After more cross-ball played by Liverpool throughout the whole match, Sadio Mane found Jordan Henderson’s cross and knocked it into the goal to make it 3-0 in the 51st minute.
City fought and played hard, and most of the time controlled the game, but just couldn’t up the Reds. In the 79th minute, Bernardo scored a low and deflected shot off his teammate Angelino’s cross to make it 3-1.
Now let’s discuss the most dramatic performance of the game: Manager Pep Guardiola’s performance.
Guardiola had another livid moment when a second-potential handball by Alexander-Arnold wasn’t called by the refs. They made the right decision, because Alexander-Arnold was clearly in a natural position with his arms down, so it was not a handball.
Guardiola began shouting and shooting his arms up, waving his two fingers to signal two uncalled “handballs” in the match, while swearing repetitively.
After the game, Guardiola walked across the field, over to the refs and aggressively shook their hands while sarcastically saying “thank you so much, thank you so much.”
Guardiola was asked about this moment in a post-game interview, and he said he was not being sarcastic or aggressive— that he was just being polite— although the video conveys and proves otherwise. This isn’t the first time Guardiola has done something, but then said the complete opposite in his interviews, concealing his feelings.
The City manager said that the handball was the deciding moment of the game and said, “we showed why we are the champions today.”
Was Guardiola watching the same match that we all were? If they were the champions, then why did they trail 3-0 until the 79th minute?
The “handball” in the 6th minute could not have been the deciding moment of the game, because Guardiola’s City had a whole 84 minutes to score their way into a victory and prove themselves, but they just couldn’t get past Liverpool.
On the other side, came the coach who is known for never concealing his feelings, Jurgen Klopp. In his post-game interview, he was all smiles, and was proud of his team in their dominant victory at home.
Klopp showed his class by starting off and saying that “City are a fantastic team,” and then went on to discuss the momentum of the game.
This fierce game may have decided who will be crowned champions of the Premier League at the end of the season.
Liverpool remain unbeaten through their first 12 games of this season, and will be heading into the international break after this fine W.