Georginio Wijnaldum scored the only goal of the match with an amazing header to beat Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and to keep in touch with Chelsea at the top of league table in the English Premier League.
Jürgen Klopp made one change to his starting eleven and he replaced the Belgian striker Divock Origi with the German international Emre Can. Jürgen Klopp decided to start with Simon Mignolet again in the Liverpool goal. James Milner started in this match and faced his former club at Anfield. The rest remain unchanged.
Liverpool | S-XI: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Can, Lallana, Mane, Firmino. Substitutes: Karius, Moreno, Lucas, Alexander-Arnold, Ejaria, Origi, Sturridge.
Sergio Agüero and Fernandinho were both back in the starting eleven after their suspension given by the English Football Association for violent conduct in the match against Chelsea at City of Manchester Stadium. Pep Guardiola decided to bench both Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna replacing them with Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksander Kolarov. Raheem Sterling was also included in the starting eleven against his former club. The rest remained unchanged.
Manchester City | S-XI: Bravo, Zabaleta, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Sterling, Silva, De Bruyne, Aguero. Substitutes: Caballero, Clichy, Sagna, Fernando, A. Garcia, Iheanacho, Navas.
Both teams started the first half and the match quite cautiously. Surprisingly, Manchester City dominated the ball possession given that Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool were playing at Anfield, their own home ground. However, Liverpool were more defensively disciplined, relying on effective and direct countersattacks. A great attacking performance led Adam Lallana to put in an amazing cross into the Manchester City penalty box, finding Georginio Wijnaldum, who scored with a header in the eighth minute. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City failed have a clear-cut chance in the first half as it ended Liverpool 1, Manchester City 0.
Manchester City started the second half much better and had several clear goalscoring opportunities but failed to convert them into goals due to lack of precision. Sergio Agüero had perhaps Manchester City’s best chance in the second half with a quite tame shot on target that was easily saved by Simon Mignolet, the Liverpool goalkeeper. Liverpool managed to hold on to the lead. The second half and the match ended Liverpool 1, Manchester City 0.
Liverpool defeated Manchester City in a thrilling match at Anfield in the 19th week of this season’s English Premier League.
Liverpool were defensively very disciplined and solid but were quite effective in their counterattacks but lacked a bit of precision. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City dominated the possession but failed to be direct in their attacks, especially in the first half.
Liverpool remain on a second place with 43 points in the league table, just six points behind the current league leaders Chelsea. Manchester City remain on a third place with 39 points in the league table but Arsenal can go past them with a win over Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day.
Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool will face Sunderland at Stadium of Light and Manchester City will host Burnley at City of Manchester Stadium on January 2, 2017.
Liverpool: Mignolet – 3.5, Clyne – 3.5, Lovren – 3.5, Klavan – 4, Milner – 5, Henderson – 3, Wijnaldum – 3.5, Can – 3, Lallana – 4, Mane – 4, Firmino – 3.5. | Substitutes: Origi – 3, Lucas Leiva – 3.
Manchester City: Bravo – 1.5, Zabaleta – 3, Stones – 3, Otamendi – 3, Kolarov – 3.5, Fernandinho – 2, Yaya Toure – 2, Sterling – 3, Silva – 2, De Bruyne – 3.5, Aguero – 3. | Substitutes: Navas – 3, Iheanacho – 3.
MAN OF THE MATCH
James Milner (Liverpool)