Man City and Liverpool have a top match. Salah’s goal is wonderful
Participants in the central match of the weekend in the Premier League played very different games in the Champions League – Liverpool played Porto (5: 1) without any problems, and City lost to PSG with a score of 0: 2. If Pep removed Sterling and Marez to the reserve (Foden and Jesus came out in the attacking trio instead), then Klopp put in the same squad as on Tuesday.
Liverpool have lost to injuries to Thiago, Alexander-Arnold and Elliott. Zinchenko and Mendy are still unavailable for City, to which Gundogan was added. But if Guardiola, having lost two left-backs, can safely use the “unkillable” Cansela, then Klopp has the first choice to replace Trent – 35-year-old Milner. It is the right-back zone that has become the main problem for Liverpool in today’s match.
In the first half, City created a streak of chances with a total of 0.75 xG (seven shots). Liverpool had only 0.03 xG at half-time – this is how Understat evaluated Salah’s blocked shot, which was the only one for Klopp’s team in the first half of the meeting.
Structurally, Liverpool used the usual patterns for high pressure – once Ederson and Walker almost rolled the ball into their own goal. But as soon as City got the opportunity to develop attacks through the center of the field, immediately followed by passes to the left flank, where Foden destroyed Milner.
Interestingly, Foden acted in Grilish’s favorite zone, who was forced to move to other positions and was not very noticeable, but this move justified itself. Foden, with the support of partners, constantly found free space, broke away from Milner at speed and accumulated 0.15 expected danger from passes (xThreat) in total per game. This is the third result in the team after Jesus and Bernardo Silva.
Another problematic player for Liverpool is Bernardo Silva , who is taking back his 2018/2019 model this season. Then Pep made a dynamic “eight” out of the Portuguese – Bernardo played so well that he was even recognized as the best player on the team in that campaign. Here is the episode that the midfielder built for Foden after the interception, just brilliance:
Liverpool had some promising passes through Matip’s clever vertical passes (leader of the team for promoted passes – 9), but this led to dangerous moments only after the break. In general, the first half remained with Guardiola’s team.
Salah exploited deep positions and tore apart City’s defenses
Interestingly, Salah’s first goal came from Klopp’s attempt to solve Milner’s problem with Foden. On the defensive, the Liverpool winger has gone deeper. Milner finally got support, and Salah himself had room to dash forward. It came as a surprise for City’s defense – in the second half, Salah was well versed in 1v1 situations. In the moment with the first goal, the Egyptian removed Cansela and organized a goal for Manet:
However, Liverpool was still in the zone of Milner hanging on a yellow card, who had difficulty restraining Foden. City quickly exploited this vulnerability and returned to the game (Sterling’s appearance instead of Grealish helped a lot). Foden, of course, completed the effective attack:
Milner’s problems continued. Sometimes the veteran read episodes from experience, but globally City created a lot of pressure on the left flank of the attack. At the 75th minute, the chief referee Tierney openly forgave Milner for another foul. Guardiola, confident that the Englishman had to be removed, exploded on the edge. Emotions!
Well, then Salah created a masterpiece. “6 + 3” on the system “goal + pass” in seven Premier League games – it is obvious that the Egyptian is simply dragging Liverpool at the start of the season. You will definitely watch his wonderful slalom pass more than once. Five successful dribbling attempts per match – Salah was on fire this evening:
Klopp replaced Milner with Gomez as a safety net, but that did not help – City unleashed the full power of hybrid roles on Liverpool. The return goal was organized by De Bruyne and Foden (through the same problematic right flank of Liverpool’s defense), but the key in this episode was Walker’s sudden connection. Total football at its best:
Saving Rodrigo – Another Crazy Top Match Episode
The match turned out to be extremely fiery anyway, but it could have just a stunning denouement. And again, Salah was in the spotlight – it was he who gave the pass from the free-kick, which Ederson did not have time to intercept . Fabinho saw an empty net, but Rodrigo accomplished a feat:
2-2 – Liverpool cannot beat City in the fourth match in a row. The last time Klopp defeated Guardiola was in November 2019. However, Liverpool have retained the lead in the standings and are one point ahead of City.
However, Guardiola was not particularly upset: “This is a game! It is for this reason that in recent years our teams have been in leading positions, because we try to play that way. Unfortunately, we couldn’t win today, but we didn’t lose either. This is why the Premier League is the best. It was great, really great match. ”
It’s hard to disagree with Pep here. Such games, brilliant in quality and tension, are needed by the audience.
And such a Salah is also needed.
Goal and assist are the Egyptian’s contribution to today’s game. But he also excelled in wrestling, becoming one of Liverpool’s leaders in returning the ball. This allowed the team to return to the meeting after a difficult first half. A perfect example of the influence of a single player on the result.