Liverpool 3-1 Man City LIVE: Reds flay title rivals to open up eight-point lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Klopp’s men look to extend lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Klopp’s men look to extend lead (Image: Getty)

Liverpool 3-1 Man City

  • Fabinho fires Liverpool ahead amid VAR controversy
  • Mohamed Salah doubles lead in frenetic opening period
  • Sadio Mane heads home in early stages of second half
  • Bernardo Silva pulls one back for City late on
  • Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
  • Man City: Bravo; Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Angelino; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero.

FULL-TIME: Man City 3-1 Liverpool

90: An agitated Sterling goes nose-to-nose with Gomez, who pushes him away. Some awkwardness at St George’s Par next week, perhaps.

86: City patiently build for an opening and it culminates in Angelino crossing for Walker, who mistimes his jump and heads over. Salah departs for Gomez as Klopp bolsters his defence. TAA moves up to midfield.

81: There is anxiety around Anfield as Liverpool convert to 4-4-2. Oxlade-Chamberlain came on for Firmino to play on the right with Mane and Salah up top.

78: City pull one back! The visitors sustained a series of attacks and Angelino’s low cross was turned in smartly by Silva. Klopp fumes on the sideline for a perceived foul on Fabinho in the build-up but there’s not much in it.

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Bernardo Silva pulls one back (Image: Getty)

72: Couple stoppages in play as Aguero is put out of his misery and subbed for Jesus. Mane then goes down after an unintentional whack to the face, play is stopped, but he gets up and continues.

68: Aguero misses another chance in this curse he has at Anfield, where he has never scored. De Bruyne knits a pass across the six-yard box and Aguero runs onto it and, stretching, misses the ball completely. If he connects, it’s surely 3-1.

65: Sterling is infuriated as he goes down in the box after Mane applies a hand to his back, sending him over. It looks soft and VAR agrees with Michael Oliver, although that doesn’t really say much.

61: Henderson is replaced by Milner after a fine showing in the middle of the park. Industrious, energetic and with a touch of class for the third goal – he had a typically Jordan Henderson game.

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Sadio Mane put the Reds 3-0 up with a diving header (Image: Getty)

59: Not much in the way of chances the last few minutes. Sterling is a constant outlet for City but they are not finding him often enough. Liverpool are a constant threat on the ball.

51: THREE. NIL. LIVERPOOL. Mane! Liverpool kept the ball well as Henderson forayed down the right wing and produced a superb cross for Mane at the backpost. The Senegalese meets the ball full on and the power is too much for Bravo, whose palms are not enough to keep it out.

48: Sterling has been CIty’s lifeline this game and keeps TAA guessing before winning a corner – City sustain the pressure and win another one after it was taken quickly.

46: Ready for another 45 minutes of that? City were earlier than Liverpool, coming onto the pitch at least one minute beforehand. Liverpool have the honours, attacking an eerily quiet Kop.

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: City players complain the first goal should not have stood (Image: PA)

HALF-TIME: Liverpool 2-0 Man City

45+2: Aguero has another half-opening on the edge of the box after neat footwork from Sterling. He drags his shot easily into Alisson’s grasp, however. Shooting boots need to be laced up at half-time.

45: Salah caresses a first-time effort from 20 yards, arcing the ball from outside the left post back on target but Bravo springs to his right to save well. Two minutes added time.

42: Aguero tails off Lovren and exploit’s the out-of-position TAA but snaps his left-foot shot wide. That was a big chance for a striker of his standard.

40: Worrying signs for Liverpool as Salah stays down following a challenge from Fernandino. His left ankle got caught under the Brazilian’s leg but he plays on.

38: Something of note: De Bruyne is playing at the top right of a 4-4-2 formation devised by Guardiola – Rodri and Gundogan are being flanked by Sterling, on the left, and Silva. They’re struggling for control, so don’t be surprised if Guardiola converts to a three-man midfield in the second period.

35: It’s fantastic from Liverpool on a counter-attack from a City corner. Allison rolls the ball out to Robertson who sends Salah down the channel and a cross comes back out to Firmino  he dummies to create some pace but toe-pokes the ball over the bar.

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Mohamed Salah heads Liverpool 2-0 up (Image: Reuters)

33: Corner to Liverpool and disputes between Walker and Stones about City’s defensive fragility. It’s a mean in-swinging whip from Robertson but Lovren cannot get enough contact on the ball and sends it wide for a goal-kick.

29: Angelino hits the post for City as he’s found making a run into the box by De Bruyne. The deflected toe-poke hits the outside of the upright and goes out for a corner, with which Liverpool deal comfortably.

23: Fabinho, who was rested last weekend amid suspension fears, avoids the book despite a cynical challenge on Gundogan. So far, Liverpool’s clever fouls on the edge of their third have gone unpunished. 

18: City are still playing well and have, generally, been the aggressors so far. Since Liverpool’s second goal it has been bitty, though, with Klopp’s side trying to settle themselves down.

12: GOOOAAALLL! 2-0 Liverpool – Salah! Robertson races down the left flank and plays a pinpoint crossfield ball to Salah who meets it after one bounce and heads home. Two attacks, two goals. Wild scenes at Anfield. There were questions as to whether Salah was offside as Robertson played the ball but, incredulously, the VAR check was complete in a matter of seconds.

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Fabinho celebrates his opening goal (Image: Getty)

09: Sterling has a great chance to level things from a free-kick where Liverpool’s high line is exposed. He’s onside as his glancing header is just wide of the near post – he should have done better.

06: GOOOAAALLL! Fabinho! Man City think they should have a penalty after the ball struck TAA’s hand but Liverpool, led by Mane, go up the other end and a poor clearance is gathered by Fabinho, who pierces a strike past Bravo at a mid-height. Guardiola and City are furious.

03: First signs of the Sterling-Alexander-Arnold battle as the right-back goes down under very little pressure from Sterling. On the other side, Robertson then fouls Silva. The Belgian’s delivery is again disappointing.

02: City earn an early corner after keeping the ball well in the first minute. De Bruyne underhits the set-piece then miscontrols a ball that comes back his way to the delight of nearby Liverpool fans.

01: ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ has been roared. The minute’s silence has been observed. Play is underway at Anfield.

KICK-OFF

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: A raucous atmosphere is building at Anfield (Image: Reuters)

LAST-MINUTE THOUGHTS

Jurgen Klopp: “I don’t think about line-ups too much before a game, so I just react when I see it. We expected Rodri to be back, so we’re ready. It’s a pretty good team!

“We want to be play front-footed football. We have to defend with all we have but we have to be brave in all departments.

“This team we’re playing can win any game in world football with their line-up today. They know how to deal with difficult situations [such as injuries].”

Pep Guardiola: ”We will try to win the game. You have to run when you don’t have the ball and play when you do have the ball. We will try to do that.

“The quality of the opponent is so strong – we know it. That is the challenge. After winning back-to-back Premier Leagues, we need to push as well.

“They are going to help us for the next three or four years and show this club the level we have to achieve. We want to be up there as long as possible.”

FORTRESS ANFIELD?

If that wasn’t enough, Liverpool are unbeaten at Anfield since April 2017 – a run of 45 games.

It is the second longest unbeaten home run in Premier League history, after Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea managed an astonishing 86 matches without a defeat.

Defensively, though, they’ve dropped off a bit.

They could concede in a sixth straight home game and doing so would ensure their longest run without a clean sheet at Anfield since October 2014.

City have scored an incredible 34 times in just 11 games. Gulp.

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead (Image: GETTY)

BIG GAME TODAY EH?

Manchester City were a penalty kick away from winning here at Anfield 12 months ago.

Incredibly, that meant Liverpool are unbeaten at home in the league against City in 16 matches.

Of the last 28 meetings, the Reds have lost just one – in May 2003.

City’s winless Anfield run is their longest in the Premier League against any opponent.

They are looking to claim consecutive top-flight wins over Liverpool for the first time since winning four in a row from 1935 and 1937.

That would cut the gap at the top to just three points and really heat up the title race just as we enter the year’s coldest months.

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead (Image: GETTY)

THE TEAMS

So then, as expected from Liverpool, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain an option from the bench rather than replacing either Gini Wijnaldum or Jordan Henderson.

Virgil van Dijk features despite missing training earlier this week.

For Manchester City, both David Silva and Rodri return but only the latter makes the starting eleven.

No Ederson means Claudio Bravo makes his first Premier League appearance since the 2017-18 season.

Fernandinho starts at centre-back as City struggle with injuries, while Angelino is picked over Benjamin Mendy, who is absent altogether, at left-back.

David Silva starts on the bench with Bernardo Silva joining Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero in the visitors’ front three.

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend lead (Image: GETTY)

TODAY’S LINE-UPS

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Subs: Adrian, Gomez, Milner, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita, Origi.

Man City: Bravo; Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Angelino; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero.

Subs: Carson, Jesus, D. Silva, Mahrez, Cancelo, Otamendi, Foden

PEP GUARDIOLA ON MAN CITY’S ANFIELD RECORD

Pep Guardiola has not led his Manchester City side to a win at Anfield, losing three and drawing one with a negative aggregate of 8-3 in all competitions.

Speaking about the record, which has seen City win once at Anfield since 1983, Guardiola said: ““Statistics? I don’t think about much those, but a long time without winning shows how difficult it is to succeed at Anfield.

“Maybe Sunday, it will end. Life goes on. It’s a game and we will do what we have do to win try and win it.

“I cannot explain our record there. I can explain my periods there. In the last few minutes, we had a penalty to win at Anfield last season.

“It’s not easy to go to stadiums like Anfield. They are bigger stages and Liverpool are a good team – what can I say? Everybody knows it.”

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Klopp’s men look to extend league lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: The atmosphere is bubbling away around Anfield (Image: Getty)

JURGEN KLOPP ON THE MAN CITY RIVALRY

Liverpool’s manager has been keen to avoid an off-field sparring match with Manchester City despite jibing back slightly about Pep Guardiola’s diving comments towards Sadio Mane.

Talking about the rivalry between the two sides, Klopp said: “From a sports point of view, it’s getting bigger and bigger.

“I am here for four years, so what can I say about traditions? If you speak about 50 or 60 years ago it could then be probably completely different, I don’t know exactly. But it’s not important.

“We live now and obviously Man City is a pretty good football team and that means, of course, there’s a rivalry. Thank God there is a rivalry because that means we are not in bad place as well.”

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Line-ups confirmed as Klopp’s men look to extend league lead

Liverpool vs Man City LIVE: Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola pit wits this evening (Image: Getty)

GOOD AFTERNOON

It’s the big one. It’s Sunday, it’s 4pm, it’s Anfield under the lights, it’s Liverpool, it’s Manchester City, it’s Jurgen Klopp, it’s Pep Guardiola… And it’s Express Sport taking you through every step of the way.

Team news for the most heavily-anticipated match of the season so far will be on its way shortly, as soon as the ink hits the paper.

If Liverpool win, they go nine points clear of main title rivals City; if City win, they close the gap to three.

We’re in for a belter…

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