Mohamed Salah's sensational second-half goal sealed a 1-0 victory for
Liverpool over Manchester City in a pulsating encounter at Anfield
which also saw Jurgen Klopp sent off.
Salah, fresh from his
six-minute hat-trick against Rangers, produced a brilliant piece of
control to take down Alisson's long kick and spin away from Joao Cancelo
before beating Ederson with a cool finish (min 76.) as Liverpool put their
recent struggles behind them.
Klopp's red card came as tempers frayed in the closing stages, the
Liverpool manager dismissed after reacting furiously when the hosts were
denied a free-kick for an apparent foul by Bernardo Silva on Salah,
whose goal ended a five-game Premier League scoreless streak.
That incident came after Pep Guardiola had also been left irate
earlier in the game when a Phil Foden goal was overturned by VAR after
Erling Haaland was deemed to have fouled Fabinho in the build-up.
Liverpool came into the game 13 points behind City following their
worst start to a season in 10 years but they defended resolutely,
becoming only the second Premier League side all season to prevent
Haaland from scoring, and seizing their chance when Salah, who had
earlier been denied by Ederson in similar circumstances, caused Anfield
to erupt with a goal which breathes life into their season.
For City, meanwhile, the defeat brings an end to their unbeaten start
to the Premier League campaign and leaves them four points behind early
leaders Arsenal, who beat Leeds 1-0 earlier on Sunday.
How Liverpool stopped the City machine
Liverpool were facing a
momentous task against a City side who had scored 13 goals in their
last three Premier League games and that task was made even tougher
before a ball had been kicked.
A muscular injury to Ibrahima Kante saw the French international join
Joel Matip on the sidelines, meaning Joe Gomez had to move across to
centre-back and James Milner had to fill in at right-back, with Trent
Alexander-Arnold only fit enough for the bench.
The makeshift backline faced a stern test against the free-scoring
Halaand, and the City striker had a series of half-chances before the
break fresh from being rested against FC Copenhagen in midweek.
first of those chances saw him denied by Alisson when he attempted to
chip the Liverpool goalkeeper from Ilkay Gundogan's pass. He then twice
spurned headed opportunities, the second of which came from a trademark
Kevin De Bruyne cross.
Liverpool held firm, though, and created
openings of their own in the first period too, with Diogo Jota sending a
free header straight at Ederson from Harvey Elliott's cross, and the
returning Andrew Robertson blazing over following another dangerous
It was after the break, though, that the game truly exploded into life.
frenetic period began with Ederson brilliantly saving from Salah after
the Egyptian had sprung City's offside trap from Roberto Firmino's pass,
and within minutes City thought they were in front.
Foden was the
man to have the ball in the net, firing in via a deflection off the
otherwise outstanding Gomez after Alisson had failed to gather a De
Bruyne pass under pressure from Haaland.
But City's joy was short-lived, with referee Anthony Taylor
instructed to consult the pitch-side monitor and duly penalising Haaland
for a shirt pull on Liverpool midfielder Fabinho.
emboldened Liverpool, with Jota going close again when he headed over
from a Salah cross at the far post, but City continued to threaten too,
with Haaland during a superb one-handed save from Alisson soon
It was Liverpool, though, who made the decisive breakthrough, Salah's
outstanding control from Alisson's kick outfoxing Cancelo and putting
him through on goal for a second time.
City struggled to break
down Liverpool as they tried to fight back in the closing stages, with
tensions boiling over when Klopp was red carded by Taylor.
was Liverpool who created the better chances, with substitute Darwin
Nunez inexplicably opting to shoot rather than find a team-mate during a
three-on-one attack, and Alexander Arnold, another substitute, also
In the end, though, a single goal was enough. Enough
to kickstart Liverpool's season, perhaps, and certainly enough to leave
City with catching up to do on surprise leaders Arsenal.