Liverpool vs Man City: Five things we learned as Alexander-Arnold shines and Bravo struggles

Manchester City fell to a ruthless Liverpool performance to leave them nine points behind the leaders in the race for the title

Lawrence Ostlere
Sunday 10 November 2019 19:45 GMT
Liverpool celebrate after taking a 3-0 lead over the champions
Liverpool celebrate after taking a 3-0 lead over the champions (EPA)

1) Anfield is a fortress

We knew this before kick-off, but this game underlined that Anfield is the most difficult ground in Europe to visit right now. Liverpool are 45 league games unbeaten at home, the best current run of any major European team by some distance, and the question is: if City can’t beat them, who can?

2) City miss Ederson and Laporte

Claudio Bravo put in a mixed performance in the Manchester City goal. He might not have been able to stop Liverpool’s first – Fabinho’s finish was driven hard just inside the post – but a better goalkeeper might have stopped Mohamed Salah’s header that came along a few minutes later. Ederson is a couple of inches taller and a decade younger than his teammate, and it is hard to imagine his reach and reflexes would have been beaten with a finish that ended almost in the centre of his net. Add in the absence of Aymeric Laporte, and it was clear Pep Guardiola badly missed his key defensive lynchpins.

3) Aguero’s Anfield drought goes on

It is an extraordinary stat that a striker as prolific as Sergio Aguero has never scored at Anfield. Sometimes he has lacked opportunities but not here – Aguero had two or three ‘almost’ moments which could have given the game a different complexion, dragging one shot wide and just missing out on the toe which was needed to prod home a Kevin De Bruyne cross. City were going to need their top scorer to deliver in order to beat the league leaders, but this was another disappointing visit to Liverpool for Aguero.

4) That Alexander-Arnold pass

Sometimes it’s right just take a moment to appreciate the brilliance of a moment in a game, and the pass by Trent Alexander-Arnold which sparked Liverpool’s second goal was one of those. From his station and right-back, Alexander-Arnold took a quick first touch to shift on to his left foot before sweeping a cross-field pass perfectly into the path of Andrew Robertson surging down the opposite flank, the kind of pass that demands its intended recipient begins sprinting at full pelt. Robertson did, and a few seconds later the ball was in the back of the net.

5) Transitions count

They say football is all about transitions these days, and never has that mantra been more clearly displayed than at Anfield here. City had much of the early possession and looked the more dangerous side, but when the game suddenly flicked to life, Liverpool became deadly and punished City clinically. Over the balance of general play there was little to choose between the two sides, but in those fast moments when the ball changed hands and the game suddenly shifted gear, Liverpool proved too good.

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