Friday , April 16 2021

Liverpool v Manchester City: Premier League – live! – theguardian.com, Theguardian.com


GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Manchester City (Mane, 51 mins)

Liverpoolscore a third! It’s a gorgeous Henderson cross, and Mane stoops to head in at the back stick! Bravo gets two hands to it, but can only fumble it in!

48 mins:On Sky, Geoff Shreeves says he was surrounded at half-time by City coaches, demanding to know why they hadn’t been given a penalty. Hopefully they aren’t totally distracted by vengeful frustration, because they could certainly still score a couple of goals here.

Updated

46 mins:They’re off!

ThePremier Leaguehas releaseda statement about the handball incident:

********

The VAR checked the penalty appeal for handball against Trent Alexander-Arnold and confirmed the on-field decision that it did not meet the considerations for a deliberate handball.

So there you go. Now, on with the game: both sides are back on the field and ready for action.

Sky’s punditry panelof Roy Keane, Graeme Souness, Jose Mourinho and Vincent Kompany all think that Alexander-Arnold handballed and City should have had a penalty.

“If there was no VARI highly doubt that the hand ball would of been called, nor would the offside against Salah been whistled. In other words, it would still be two-nil, ”says Mary Waltz. This is clearly true.

Simon Yates has had a good thinkabout that handball call:

“Coming to this a bit late, but isn’t the TAA handball exactly the situation which we were worrying about when the rules were tweaked?” He writes. “If the ball hits the hand of a member of the attacking side in the move leading to a goal, the goal is now supposed to be disallowed for handball regardless of intent etc. So on that basis you should disallow Fabinho’s goal for TAA’s handball. Even though the handball was in theLiverpoolarea. But having given handball you then have to give the penalty even though the handball doesn’t meet the criteria for a penalty, where you don’t give it if the arm isn’t in an unnatural position. ”

Well this is confusing. I think the Alexander-Arnold handball didn’t happen close enough to the Fabinho shot in either time or space for today’s crack refereeing unit to take it into account.

The VAR team, incidentally, say the arm was not in an unnatural position, and the ball came at him too quickly.

Half time: Liverpool 2-0 Manchester City

45 3 mins:Peeeeep! City were hilariously dominant for 10 minutes or so, yet they somehow still managed to be two down in the 13 th, mainly because this back four aren’t much cop at defending. It’s been a lot of fun.

45 2 mins:With four seconds of those two minutes remaining, Aguero has another shot, but it’s weak and easily saved.

45 1 mins:Into first-half stoppage time, of which there’ll be about two minutes.

45 mins:Bravo stops another one! This time it was Salah’s curler from 20 yards, which was neither powerful enough nor precise enough to sneak into the corner.

43 mins:Incidentally we have now been shown a still from the build-up to the Salah goal with the requisite offside-demonstrating blue line, and it’s all good.

Sky Sports Premier League(@ SkySportsPL)

Another tight call as John Stones plays Mo Salah on for Liverpool’s second

📺 Watch live now on Sky Sports PL or follow here:https://t.co/ tIbipDtyYBpic.twitter.com/vw1NYoNc8V

(November) , 2019

(mins:) Aguero is played into the left side of Liverpool’s penalty area, but his shot zips across goal and wide.

Aguero has a shot, but it’s tame.
Aguero has a shot, but it’s tame. Photograph: Paul Ellis / AFP via Getty Images

Updated

40 mins :Salah is released down the right an tries to skip inside Fernandinho, who takes the ball with a clean sliding challenge. But the Egyptian goes down hurt, and the physio is looking at his foot / ankle area again.

Salah receives treatment.
Salah receives treatment. Photograph: Peter Byrne / PA

Updated

38 mins:Bravo saves a shot! It’s Firmino’s effort, stuck left-footed straight at him. Alexander-Arnold created the opportunity, after producing a touch to control Alisson’s clearance that was so beautiful I want to frame it and hang it in my bedroom so it’s the first thing I see every morning when I wake up and reminds me of beauty, poetry and the potential of humankind.

Firmino shoots, but it’s straight at Bravo.
Firmino shoots, but it’s straight at Bravo. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / Getty Images

Updated (at) . 25 PM EST

35 mins:Liverpool attack again. Salah runs free on the left this time; his cross towards Wijnaldum is headed to Firmino, who jinks into the area and then shoots high.

33 mins:Sky’s commentary team is laying into Angelino, asLiverpoolattack down the right again.

29 mins:City hit the post! It’s Angelino, who bumbles through the area and has a rubbish shot, which deflects off Van Dijk’s shin and becomes much better, but still doesn’t go in. Corner.

Angelino has a pop.
Angelino has a pop. Photograph: Phil Noble / Reuters

“Have we had one of those VAR photos yet with zig zag lines confirming Salah onside for the second goal? ”wonders Adam. We have not, just a rushed freeze-frame in which Salah looked suspiciously offside-ish to me. I’m sure he was actually onside though, because the only alternative is that everything is broken and rotten and ruined.

Updated

23 mins:Fabinho trips Gundogan, and somehow gets away without a booking. Just so City fans know where to direct their hate mail, the VAR today is Paul Tierney, with the assistant VAR Constantine Hatzidakis. Also, don’t send hate mail. Play nice.

21 mins:Liverpoolthreaten again, but Wijnaldum’s ball into the area is cleared for a corner, which it also cleared.

OptaJoe(@ OptaJoe)

232 – Liverpool have never previously lost any of the 232@ premierleaguematches at Anfield when they have lead by 2 goals, drawing five and winning 227 of those matches. Dusted?# LIVMCI(pic.twitter.com/NEFuzM8JsS)

(November) , 2019

18 mins:Liverpoolpass the ball around their defense for a while. “Whether the handball should have led to a penalty or not, if I were a City fan, I’d be furious with Agüero,” says Matt Dony. “Play to the whistle. Always play to the whistle. The ball fell almost to his feet, but he was too busy screaming at the ref and and allowed Van Dijk to simply step away from him. Basics. Inexcusable. ”

Duncan Alexander(@ oilysailor)

So far this week Claudio Bravo has faced three shots on target, conceded three goals and been sent off.

(November) , 2019

16 mins:The penalty call continues to cause controversy. “This is a distinctly uncharitable theory, but could this last VARce be down to an unwillingness to rule out such a truly stonking hit to call a penalty at the other end?” Wonders Matt Richman. “You would fear for Michael Oliver if that was the case.” The way the ball struck Alexander-Arnold was extremely penaltyesque, but I just don’t think you can win a penalty by punching the ball into a defender’s arm, however accidental the attacker’s punch might have been.

14 mins:He was onside!Liverpoolare two goals up, and City are attacking beautifully but not defending at all.

GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Manchester City (Salah, 13 mins)

Updated

11 mins:Bernardo Silva gets another cheap free-kick, just outside Liverpool’s penalty area. This time Aguero nearly gets a touch at the near post, Stones nearly gets one at the far post, but the ball bounces out for a goal kick. City are owning this match, but not the scoreline.

9 mins:Then City win a free-kick on the left – Alexander-Arnold again – from which Sterling heads wide from the corner of the six-yard box!

8 mins:The ball bounced into Alexander-Arnold’s arm off Bernardo Silva’s arm. In those particular circumstances, the two handballs cancel each other out and the referee has to play on. I think that’s right, no?

7 mins:There’s the inevitable VAR delay as the handball decision is checked, but the goal stands!

6 mins:City think they should have had a penalty for handball, after the ball flicked off Alexander-Arnold’s thigh and into his arm. The referee waves play on andLiverpoolraid down the left. Mane’s low cross is poked clear, but Fabinho runs onto it, takes a touch and blasts it inside the post from 25 yards!

GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City (Fabinho, 6 mins)

Cowabunga! They’ve had a kick now, sure enough!

Fabinho launches a shot goalbound to score the opener for Liverpool.
Fabinho launches a shot goalbound to score the opener for Liverpool. Photograph: Phil Noble / Reuters

Fabinho celebrates.
Fabinho celebrates. Photograph: Paul Ellis / AFP via Getty Images

Updated

5 mins:Stone heads the corner on, but it goes wide.Liverpoolreally need to keep the ball for 30 seconds ago and hope they start purring.

4 mins:Now the visitors go down the right again, where Bernardo Silva goes shopping at the foulmart and buys a free kick from Robertson. It’s cleared, but City have a corner.

Silva pressures Robertson.
Silva pressures Robertson. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Updated (at) . 37 am EST

3 mins:City go down the left this time, where Sterling fouls Alexander-Arnold.Liverpoolhave literally not kicked the ball yet, so here’s there chance.

2 mins:The entire game so far has been played in the far right corner, as City attack. They pumped the ball up there from kick-off andLiverpoolhaven’t been able to get rid of it. City now have a corner.

All preambles and precursorshave been completed. Prepare for kick-off, because it’s coming.

General view during a minutes silence as part of remembrance commemorations.
General view during a minutes silence as part of remembrance commemorations. Photograph: Phil Noble / Reuters

Updated

“Watching NBC buildupwhich consists entirely of adverts, ”writes Ian Copestake, as Anfield prepares for a minute’s silence. “So far I have bought a pick-up truck and a year’s supply of skin cleanser.”

And they’re out!What’s more, hands have been shaken, and anthems are being sung. There will presumably be some kind of Remembrance Sunday ceremony pre-match, so that’s still to come.

OptaJoe(@ OptaJoe)

1 – Liverpool have only lost one of their last 50 Premier League games (W 41 D8 L1), with that loss coming against Man City in January. Man City, however, have won 11 of their last 12 Premier League away games, losing only against Norwich in that run. Commencement.# LIVMCIpic.twitter.com/CVmCfzQc5T

(November) , 2019

The players are in the tunnel!Kick-off is approaching at breakneck speed. “I’m in Stansted airport,” says Alan McSherry. “I’m finding it hard to accept there’s no place to watch this match airside? Is it true? If the Guardian says it, I’ll know it’s true. ”Thanks for your faith, Alan, but sadly I have no idea whatsoever. I once watched a match at Frankfurt airport, if that helps. Anyone?

Jurgen Klopp talks with Sky:

********

We’ve played them so often, and it’s always so difficult. But the key moments are, all chances we create we should score with, that would help massively. They will have their moments, 100%. Make sure we start good, stay good and finish good.

And so does Virgil van Dijk:

********

Well, it’s pretty clear it’s a massive game for both teams. We’re all looking forward to it. We just have to go out there, enjoy it, give everything we’ve got and have no regrets after.

Jurgen Klopp, hoping his team get off to a good start.
Jurgen Klopp, hoping his team get off to a good start. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Updated

“I didn’t survive heart surgerythis week to watch a damn draw, ”writes Hubert O’Hearn. “I feel amazingly, serenely confident in this match. Every intangible points toLiverpooland Pep is doing his thing (thanks Pep!) Of sending out a Scrambled line-up. Reds have this. Easily. ”Admirable confidence there. And congratulations on the survival business.

Mo Salah called for the physioduring the pre-match warm-up, to deal with some kind of foot-related issue. I’ve heard nothing of a team change, so he is presumably fine:

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool gets treatment in the warm.
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool gets treatment in the warm . Photograph: Javier García / BPI / Shutterstock

Updated

Pep Guardiola hasa chat with Sky. He reveals that Rodri is in the team because he seemed fine in training (like, obviously), and that David Silva is on the bench because they didn’t want to put both of them straight into the starting line-up after injury for such a significant game:

********Our plan? Try to win the game. Run when you don’t have the ball and play when you have the ball. We’ll try to do that. They’re so strong. We know it. I’ve said many times, after winning back to back Premier Leagues we needed to be pushed as well. They are going to help us for the next two, three, four years, help this club understand the level you have to achieve to be up there as long as possible.

Here’s the PA Media takeon the line-ups:

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp went with his tried-and-tested big-game line-up for the visit ofManchester City.

That meant four changes from the Champions League win over Genk with Andy Robertson returning at left-back, Jordan Henderson coming back into midfield and Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane rejoining the forward line.

City made six changes as Claudio Bravo started in goal for the injured Ederson with three of the back four from Wednesday’s Champions League draw against Atalanta altered.

John Stones was picked to partner Fernandinho in the center of defense with Kyle Walker and Angelino, who was making only his secondPremier Leaguestart. Rodrigo came into midfield with Sergio Aguero preferred up front to Gabriel Jesus.

Andy Hunter had a chat with Alissonthis week. Here’s his interview:

********

Last season we had a great experience, an almost perfect season. We lost one game and that one game was against City. We know how big this game is for us. We know how big the game is for everyone – for them and for our fans. In the end it is just three more important points but Manchester City have been the best team in the league for the last few years so we need to give everything to win this game. We don’t want to feel how we felt last season. Being second by just one point means we know that we need to give everything in every game if we want to become Premier League champions. We want it and we will try to do it.

Much more here:

So Ederson, as advertised, is missingand Claudio Bravo starts in his place behind a back four of Walker-Stones-Fernandinho-Angelino. Otherwise the teams look entirely surprise-free.

Manchester City(@ ManCity)

How we’re lining-up at Anfield ***

Bravo, Walker, Stones, Fernandinho (C), Angelino, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero

Subs | Carson, Jesus, Silva, Mahrez, Cancelo, Otamendi, Foden

⚽️@ haysworldwide
(🔵) ***************************************************************************************************************************************************************** (# LIVMCI)#ManCitypic.twitter.com/mucErmvPIw

(November) , 2019

The teams!

The team news is in, and here are this afternoon’s protagonists:

Liverpool:Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane.Subs:Milner , Keita, Gomez, Adrian, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Origi.
Man City:Bravo, Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Jose Angelino, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling.Subs:Gabriel Jesus, Silva, Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, Otamendi, Carson, Foden.
Referee:Michael Oliver.

And here are Pep Guardiola’s:

********

I’ve never gone into a game feeling like an outsider or an underdog, thinking I am not going to win. I am not going to take the bus toLiverpoolthinking I am going to lose the game. That has never happened in my career. Always I try to believe that, if we do the special things we plan to do, we will have our chance to win.

Much more here:

Here are Barney Ronay’sPre-match thoughts:

There is also something different in the texture of this injury-depleted City team. Guardiola loves midfielders, wants to turn the entire world a shade of midfielder, would ideally simply substitute the word “midfielder” for the word footballer. Three months into the season this team has gone Full Midfielder. Seven City midfielders have scored a league goal. Eight City midfielders have started five league games or more, compared with three career defenders.

Much more here:

I have a lot of pre-match reading for you.Honestly, tell everyone in the room to go away for an hour or so, because you’re going to be too busy staring at your phone / tablet / other device to interact in any meaningful way. First off: Mane-Firmino-Salah or Sterling-Aguero-whoever? That is the question:

Hello world!

And welcome to the first leg of this season’sPremier Leaguetitle play-off! Both teams will I’m sure be looking forward to a bit of genuine competition, away from the 36 mildly glorified irritant friendlies which occupy the majority of their domestic attentions. Whoever wins this one will carry an advantage into the second leg, scheduled for the weekend of 4 April, though the nine-point deficit City will be lumbered with should they lose, coupled with Liverpool’s ongoing refusal to be beaten by anyone under any circumstances, might make that one immaterial.

While we wait for the teams here’s a little trip down memory lane, at previous matches between these teams at Anfield since Pep Guardiola joined Jürgen Klopp in England:

Last year’s league game ended goalless, thanks to Riyad Mahrez’s late penalty miss:

Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City misses a penalty
Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City misses a penalty during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield in October 2018. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / Getty Images

The teams played at Anfield twice in 2017 – 18, with the first one ending City’s run of 30 undefeated league games:

Roberto Firmino of Liverpool
Roberto Firmino of Liverpool celebrates the second goal in a 3-2 win over Manchester City at Anfield in January 2018. Photograph: John Powell / Liverpool FC via Getty Images

And the second going a long way to ending their Champions League chances (it was the first leg, but nobody gives away a 3-0 first-leg advantage, except Barcelona obviously):

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Manchester City at Anfield. Photograph: Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

And finally, on New Year’s Eve 2016, Liverpool’s win gave them renewed hope of catching the division’s runaway leaders, Chelsea:

Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum
Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring the only goal in their home game against Manchester City in December 2016. Photograph: Carl Recine / Reuters

And if that’s not enough, have a bit of this:

Updated

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