Liverpool 0-0 Manchester City: 4 men who dominated the game for the Reds
The Clash of the Titans, as the game between the top two sides was billed, failed to live up to the expectations. However, even though there were no goals in the game, the match had its entertaining moments. Both teams had chances to seal the win, but a combination of various factors meant that the game ultimately ended in a draw.
Liverpool were their usual attacking self throughout the 90 minutes, however, Manchester City appeared a little restrained. Perhaps they were wary of the Liverpool attack, perhaps they were content on achieving a draw at Anfield, but Pep Guardiola set up his team to ensure that they did not fall behind Liverpool. Yet, it did not in any manner give the impression that City were restrained in the game, they were careful but quite effective in their passing and build up play. Pep Guardiola wanted to catch Jugen Klopp’s team on the counter and set his team out accordingly.
Manchester City started with Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva as a midfield two, with David Silva playing a supporting striker role with a freedom to roam. Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero and Liverpool’s old boy Raheem Sterling made up the attacking trio. City were compact at the back, but whenever they had a ball, went ahead with determination and zeal, aiming to punish Liverpool. They were relentless in their pursuit, but Liverpool had the steel in them to deal with City’s moves throughout the game. City probably should have won the game when they were awarded a penalty, but Mahrez blasted it into the stands and the game ended 0-0
Liverpool should not be too unhappy about the result. They managed to keep a ferocious City attack under control and also earned the point that keeps that at the top of the league. While the whole team played as a unit, 4 men were crucial for Liverpool. These 4 were inspired, they were possessed by a desire to affect the game and they could not be defeated. The 4 of them ensured City could not surpass Liverpool to the top of the table and we take a look at them here.
#4 Dejan Lovren
The Croatian started in his first game in the league this season, partnering Virgil van Dijk in the defence and immediately made Liverpool look a lot better at the back. However, he almost gave away a penalty with a clumsy challenge on Aguero in the box in the 21st minute. Thankfully, the referee correctly ruled it out. That was the closest City got to the goal in the first half and Lovren was instrumental in keeping the City attack away from Ederson’s goal.
In the second half, Aguero was replaced by Gabriel Jesus and the Brazilian tried to wind up Lovren. However, the Croatian stayed true to his game and did not allow Gabriel Jesus any space or time on the ball to impact the game. There was a shout for a penalty when his arm struck the Brazilian in the 80th minute, but in truth, Gabriel Jesus was just trying to make the most out of a stray arm.
Lovren ensured that Liverpool had answers for everything the Manchester City attack threw at them and he was crucial as Liverpool stayed at the top of the table with a draw.