The Etihad stadium was in a frenetic state a night ago as City hosted Liverpool in a quest to get their title race back on track by trying to reduce the gap between the league leaders and the host for the night. The two coaches before the match have shown mutual respect for one another having played together in the German Bundesliga during the era of Bayern and Dortmund, the rivalry has continued in the English Premier League with the two coaches handling Manchester and Liverpool respectively. The coaches have both talked up their opponent as being the best club in the world, words fans feel is a mind game ahead of the crunch tie between these two sides in New Year kick-off match.
Liverpool is league leaders before the match and for the year 2018 with a 7pts clear off their league rival (Manchester City). The Etihad stadium was filled to the brim as fans plunge in their numbers to support the home side knowing the implication of losing that match, which could dash their title hopes because Liverpool would be 10pts clear off the table, so the energy was high as the stadium was filled with so much anticipation that their various team wins. The match was officiated by England’s Anthony Taylor, though the scoreline ended in favor of City as they beat their opponent 2-1, there were so many talking points in the game than just the scoreline itself. A match that was characterized with high pressing, high tempo and one that was approached with care from the coaches down to the players carrying out the instruction of the coaches on the pitch. Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren got the first yellow card of the game in the 20th minutes as he fouled Sergio Aguero of City, followed by Vincent Kompany’s silly attack on Mohammed Salah in the 31st minutes.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoreline in the 40th minutes to give Man City the lead with the stadium thrown into a frenzy making it another history for the diminutive Argentine making it his 37th goal against Premiership’s top 6 clubs.
Roberto Firmino leveled up for the visitors after halftime in the 60th minutes with a very good assist from Andy Robertson to make it one all. The match was in no doubt without its criticisms as various fans had their say concerning the officiating decisions by Andy Taylor, That got not only the fans steered up but also with the coaches as well, as Pep Guardiola was captured throwing his muffler to his seat and also speaking angrily to the match official in what he perceived to have been a foul on Fernandinho, that actually called the attention of the referee to call the match to a halt in other to have a chat with Pep Guardiola which prompted an additional 5minutes to the match after full time.
Liverpool fans were angry that Captain Vincent Kompany stayed on the pitch after a very harsh tackle on Mohammed Salah, with Kompany pleading innocent claiming it was a simulation by Salah, made the referee give him a yellow card. The night was a fun filled one with all witnessing the best two teams in the premiership with a display of attacking prowess, top-notch tactical approach by the managers, etc. One cannot argue that yesterday’s match was the best match so far this season.
Raheem Sterling, Bernado Silva, Leroy Sane, and Fernandinho were all in superb form for City to beat Liverpool, as pundits and fans alike I will give Fernandinho the man of the match for City as he was the missing puzzle to their poor run all this while, he was everywhere as he marshaled the central defense line of City making it hard for the likes of Salah, Mane and, Firmino to have the ball on their feet for as much as they wanted to.
Bernado Silva’s work rate is second to none as the Portuguese worked tirelessly to ensure Liverpool were outplayed, Raheem Sterling was another player that gave his best for the night against his former club, and he was instrumental to the win as he was the one that set up Leroy Sane for the second goal.
On the other side, Allison Becker was a masterclass as he made saves that thrilled the fans, arguably one of the best in the world, he did not disappoint with fantastic saves that are best for the archives and TV. Stood one on with Aguero and was able to save the ball after been rounded by Aguero.
The match ended and City is winner closing in on Liverpool with a 4pts margin as the quest for the premiership title continues with both clubs competing in all fronts.