Manchester City once again faced their most dangerous opponent in their least favorite place and once again He left Anfield empty-handed After Liverpool’s defeat.
City’s four trophies in five seasons have firmly and deservedly established them as the dominant force at home, followed all the way by Liverpool, but the arena that brings them discomfort, disappointment and strife is Pep Guardiola’s manager here. In front of the cup.
In the last 22 seasons, City have only emerged victorious from Anfield twice and one of those came behind closed doors when the atmosphere and noise that inspired Liverpool was removed during the pandemic.
Those 22 games have also brought 14 defeats, with City adding another painful loss to their tally as Mohamed Salah’s 76th-minute runaway goal decided a full-speed, ill-tempered but engrossing game.
Guardiola was left with a familiar feeling, believing City were the victims of an injustice when referee Phil Foden’s opener was ruled out by the video assistant, with a visit to the screen convincing referee Anthony Taylor that Erling Haaland’s tug on Fabinho’s shirt had halted the celebrations. at the end of the visit and it sparked joy and relief at Anfield.
City manager He was also the target of objects thrown by Liverpool fans near his technical area, saying, “They tried to flip coins but they didn’t touch me. Maybe they’ll do better next time.”
Guardiola recalled when Liverpool fans attacked the City manager before a Champions League quarter-final in April 2018.
Liverpool He also gave a note Condemning the “vile chants associated with the tragedies in the football stadium”, they added that a hall was also daubed with graffiti of a similar nature.
Anfield is not a happy place for Guardiola or Manchester City and they will not be feeling any better after their first away defeat in the league since losing at Tottenham on the opening weekend of last season. It was also the first time they had not scored in the league this season.
The latter stat is perhaps the biggest surprise of all, given City’s unstoppable spearhead Haaland has been taking defenses to the cleaners this season.
Here, City’s final touch – even Haaland’s – was lacking and when the margins are traditionally thin, it was decisive.
City had plenty of the ball, enjoying possession for long periods, but for once couldn’t find the finishing touch.
Haaland certainly had his chances, but Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson found the crossbar when he saved a first-half header and an attempt, as well as a second-half shot that was deflected away with an outstretched right hand.
And Liverpool’s winning goal, while a rich source of joy at Anfield, was a mess from City’s point of view, with Alisson’s free-kick wasted, Joao Cancelo panicking, Salah in his sights from the keeper’s long-range clearance. he gave the Egyptian an opportunity he would not miss.
In the end, for all the sound and fury Anfield called for, it was this comment from Cancelo that settled the contest.
He summarized the day of the council. It was a lot of good, but not enough from a team that is still the best in the country. In some ways, City’s rare loss in recent seasons was a reprieve when all of their possession and territorial presence was undermined by the lack of a killer touch that Haaland now gives them.
City will not allow a painful experience to derail them, although Arsenal must also be increasingly reckoned with in the title race after the Premier League leaders. great start to their season.
This excellent Manchester City side will take defeat away, with the sense of injustice that often accompanies leaving Anfield, and it won’t be long before they win again and Haaland scores again.
City, however, were far from their best and at times like this at Anfield, that can prove costly as they are now four points behind Arsenal and 10 ahead of Liverpool, who have a game in hand.
Guardiola and Manchester City are probably happy to have their annual league visit to Anfield behind them after this latest punishing experience.
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