In what could be a Season Defining Match, Liverpool Fc (The Reds) were held to an surprising 1-1 draw by the hosts Manchester City Fc (The Cityzens) in the Premier League.
To counter Home side’s attack, Jürgen Klopp employed a 4-2-3-1 Formation with Mohamed Salah leading the attack and Roberto Firmino playing behind the Egyptian. In-form Diogo Jota continued playing on the Right Wing with Sadio Mané playing on the Left Wing.
The Cityzens as expected had majority of the possession but the Reds took the early lead. In the 11th minute Kyle Walker tripped Mané inside the Penalty Box and Craig Dawson had no qualms to award the Penalty. After VAR Confirmation, Salah then duly converted the Penalty despite Ederson springing in the right direction to the Left.
The home side looked to equalise quickly in the 24th minute but Alisson Becker denied Raheem Sterling after Kevin De Bruyne provided a sumptuous cross.
It did not take too long for the Citizens to equalise as another assist from De Bruyne found Gabriel Jesus in the 31st and the Brazilian slipped past Trent Alexander-Arnold to slot past fellow countryman Alisson to make it 1-1.
The Reds had their fair share of chances but did not capitalize on their limited opportunities and the visitors were given an Almighty Scare after the cross from De Bruyne touched the hand of Joe Gomez in the 39th minute.
After lengthy VAR Check, the penalty was awarded but De Bruyne blazed shot wide past to the left much to the relief of Alisson and the First Half ended at 1-1.
After the Second Half began, the Reds had another reprieve as the cross from João Cancelo was headed wide by Jesus in the 54th minute.
Xerdan Shaqiri later replaced the ineffective Roberto Firmino in the 60th minute as the Reds reverted back to their usual 4-3-3 Formation with Jota leading the attack and Salah switching to Right Wing.
Midway through the Second Half, Alexander-Arnold suffered an injury and made way for James Milner in the 63rd minute.
The Reds in particular looked culpable in playing too safe and Matip was somewhat ineffective with his passes as some of the passes were wayward. Perhaps that could be the rustiness of having not played for a quiet a while.
Both sides looked ineffective in their finishing as the game ended in an unexpected 1-1 draw.
Reds Team Performance Ratings
Liverpool (4-2-3-1 Formation)
Alisson Becker – 7: Solid Goalkeeping from the Brazilian. Made good saves to deny Sterling in the First Half and intercepted the crosses during the Second Half.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6: Quiet Game with not much influence and his poor marking led to Jesus equalising in the First Half.
Joël Matip – 7: Wayward passes but defended quiet well and did the job for the team.
Joe Gomez – 7: Did a commendable job to partner with Matip and did well to quieten the Home Side’s attack.
Andrew Robertson – 6: Rare quiet game for the Scot and was largely ineffective going forward.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 7: Shielded the defence well but nothing more can be expected from the Dutchman in terms of creativity.
Jordan Henderson – 7: Alongside Wijnaldum, shielded the defence well and tried his best but could not influence the game. The Home Side defended resolutely.
Roberto Firmino – 3: Very subdued performance and beginning to look Out-of-Form. Was hauled off and made way for Shaqiri in the Second Half.
Sadio Mané – 6: Won the Penalty during the First Half but could not make much of an impact during the Second Half.
Diogo Jota – 6: Left Frustrated as the young Portuguese could not make his mark on the game. His movements and positional sense created problems for the Home Side.
Mohamed Salah – 6: Scored the Penalty to give an early lead for the Visitors but like Mané could not make much of an impact.
Xherdan Shaqiri – 6: Could not make the desired impact and some of his wayward passes did not help the cause either.
James Milner – 6: Replaced the injured Alexander-Arnold midway through the Second Half and did a decent job to ward off the Home Side’s Attack.
Jürgen Klopp – 7: By being bold, Klopp utilised 4-2-3-1 formation to make the best use of his forwards but his forwards were made largely ineffective by the Home Side’s defence.
However, the German Coach would feel content with the result as the Reds managed to hold on to a 1-1 draw.
This match could be a Season Defining but all eyes will turn to the return match at Anfield around early February.
For the moment, the latest injury of Alexander-Arnold will add more to the worries.
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