Manchester City missed the chance to close the gap to Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield after the video assistant referee once again providing the narrative for such an important fixture.
Liverpool took the lead through Fabinho after just six minutes when the Brazilian’s 25-yard strike nestled its way past Claudio Bravo. It wasn’t until VAR checked for a handball against Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold in the build-up. After consultation, the goal was given, to Pep Guardiola’s distain.
Whilst threatening going forward, the Spaniard found his Manchester City side two-nil down after Mohamed Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead six minutes later following a devastating counter-attack.
Sadio Mané added Liverpool’s third to put the game beyond any doubt just six minutes into the second-half, again with pin-point attacking play from Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. Bernardo Silva added a consolation for the visitors before Guardiola raged at the final whistle after another City penalty decision was waved away by Michael Oliver.
Overall, Manchester City played well, but Liverpool’s counter-attacks were ruthless. Klopp now finds his side eight points clear of second-place Leicester City, who beat Arsenal two-nil on Saturday, whilst the Citizens drop down to fourth, one point behind Chelsea, whom they play after the international break.
“We lost – we’d liked to win but now we have to rest and prepare for Chelsea next,” said Guardiola. “We played an incredible performance, I don’t know how many teams can come to this stadium and play the way we did. They scored with the first shot on target, but we played incredibly well.
“There are three teams that have more chances to win the Premier League than us. We’re in November so let’s see what happens.”
Guardiola rightly fumed at the final whistle, to the joy of the Liverpool supporters, given he finds his side nine points behind the leaders. They didn’t play all that bad, on another day VAR may have gone the other way whilst it’s now Liverpool’s title to lose after City live to rue missed chances.
They won’t give up the fight, but it’s hard to see any team up there next to Liverpool this season. The Reds are more driven than their Premier League rivals while Manchester City seem to be missing that drive from midfield, that Liverpool have.
Of course, it doesn’t help that City have numerous injuries, but their lack of activity in the transfer market, despite the arrival of Rodri from Atletico Madrid, has cost them the Premier League title.
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