Manchester City thrash Liverpool to keep title hopes alive
Manchester City beat Liverpool 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The result emphatically kept their Premier League title hopes alive. Pep Guardiola’s side were without the injured Erling Haaland while the visitors had their star striker, Darwin Nunez, on the bench.
The hosts fell behind early through a goal from Mohamed Salah in the 17the minute. The Egyptian ended with confidence after Diogo Jota’s smart dismissal in the penalty area. However, 10 minutes later, Julian Alvarez restored parity. The former River Plate star fired home from a low cross from Jack Grealish.
Julian Alvarez was in shape
The Argentina World Cup winner was on great form as he dragged Liverpool’s defense out of position with deep runs. Sometimes he was also positioned as a false nine. Erling Haland absence scared City fans ahead of kick-off, but Alvarez soon showed his own qualities.
With both sides coming out of the tunnel tied at 1-1, 23-year-old Riyad found Mahrez seconds after the restart. The latter picked off Kevin De Bruyne with a first cross and the Belgian poked the ball past Alisson into the Liverpool goal. Manchester City now had a 2-1 lead.
Manchester City was at its best
Seven minutes later, Ilkay Gundogan made it 3-1 as he kept his composure by first getting the ball under control in a busy penalty area and then finding the net with a clean finish. Manchester City looked imperious as Liverpool ran out of answers.
The reigning champions appeared to be at their best as they played the last 30 minutes of the match with Jurgen Klopp’s side. Liverpool just couldn’t match their passing pace and run off the ball.
The Reds made four changes at once with 20 minutes remaining, but barely got back into the game. The match was tactically a mismatch. John Stones’ entry into midfield was a useful tactical adjustment that allowed De Bruyne to play further forward.
Without Haaland’s physical dominance in the final third, this switch created the conditions for Alvarez to move and confuse the Liverpool defence.
Jack Grealish, who played arguably his best game in a sky blue jersey, then made it 4-1. He completed a fine move in the 74th minute after a beautiful interplay. The result means City narrowed the gap to five points as league leaders Arsenal hosted Leeds later in the day.
Photo credit: IMAGO / Sportimage
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Jack Grealish,Julian Alvarez,Jurgen Klopp,Liverpool,Manchester City,Jose Guardiola,Premier League,World football news