Match day thirteen began for the Reds, after the last international break until the Spring. This contest stands as the Premier League’s standout and most vital match, which can go a long way to determining who will win the league in May.
Key Player Performances
Alisson Becker – 6.0
Straight into the side, despite his mass amount of travelling whilst representing his country, Brazil. Had a questionable first half, as a loose pass was soon followed by a horrible attempt to release Mohamed Salah, only to see the ball falter to the opposition, which created the opening goal. Had saved well in between those two errors and made good stops later, however, his distribution sees him score lower than usual.
Trent Alexander Arnold – 8.0
Started the game as the hybrid element, with a keen interest on dictating how Liverpool progressed the ball. His first half defensive work against Doku was impressive, as was his general work through that first half. His output increased as the game continued, until he was finally able to clinch the equaliser with a ferocious right foot strike into the bottom corner.
Man of the Match
Kostas Tsimikas – 7.0
The energetic Greek had a solid period at the AXA training ground to prepare for this game, yet was mostly a space occupying element and did not offer much on the ball in the first half.
Joël Matip – 7.0
The Cameroonian held onto his place, with Ibou only just back from injury. He looked unsure and positionally misplaced at times, as he lost Erling Haaland for the opening goal. As the game progressed, so did the giant defender’s performance as he and Virgil were needed to repel some good attacks.
Virgil van Dijk – 8.0
A must start for the inspirational captain of Liverpool 2.0. He seemed calm and composed as he attempted to orchestrate a strong defence against the reigning champions. Maybe could have closed in on Haaland for the opening goal, as the giant Norwegian drifted away from his marker, Matip.
Dominik Szoboszlai – 7.0
The Hungarian skipper had a brilliant fortnight for his country; therefore, he would have been itching to face the Premier League’s table toppers. He showed energy and endeavour in a difficult first half, as he tried to work his way against a supremely confident opponent. Seemed to tail off as the game progressed and was rightly swapped out.
Alexis Mac Allister – 6.0
The Japan skipper, Wataru Endō, was withdrawn in place of the returning Argentina World Cup winner. Macca was composed and diligent in his work, as he looked to set the tempo and control progression of the Reds’ possession. In a game where the Reds were still playing out of position, there was nothing to be concerned with in a solid game.
Subbed – 85 mins
Curtis Jones – 5.0
The relief at seeing the Englishman back now shows his importance to his side, however, in hindsight, it may have been too soon (after injury) to be drafting him into a starting role. Was off the pace in the first half and struggled to offer good moments on the ball.
Subbed – 54 mins
Diogo Jota – 5.0
The Portuguese striker cannot stop scoring now and after a period with Portugal where the minutes were limited, it made sense to start him ahead of Luis Díaz. Was energized in his work and tried to forge opening for himself, yet was mostly an onlooker through the first half and until he was correctly substituted.
Subbed – 54 mins
Darwin Núñez – 7.0
The Uruguayan forward has been brilliant for both club and country, so to see him start after an international break was superb pre-game news. He had half chances, yet was always that little bit rushed or off target. His movement and pace created space and chances for others in a good central striker’s display.
Subbed – 85 mins
Mohamed Salah – 7.0
The Egyptian King came into this game as the Premier League’s outstanding player, with a grace and ability that caused City concern whenever he was on the ball. Was maybe a little guilty of overplaying his hand at times, yet this was a match against the world’s best and most charged team.
Luis Díaz – 6.0 (on 54)
A great sight to see the Colombian flyer back.
Ryan Gravenberch – 6.0 (on 54)
Came on to offer good running and something different from the left.
Cody Gakpo – 6.0 (on 73)
Came on to offer freshness.
Harvey Elliott – 5.0 (on 85)
Offered energy at the death.
Wataru Endō – 5.0 (on 85)
The Manager: Jürgen Klopp – 8.0
The German manager went with the best and most effective side available, which meant a recall for fit-again Curtis Jones, whereas Alexis Mac Allister was a certain pick after his recent suspension. The decision to start Matip was clearly due to his recent form, whereas Trent Alexander Arnold starting as the hybrid was the only pre-match concern. Both those decisions were proved correct.
In terms of how the team operated in the opening period, the Reds probably gave too much respect at times. The first couple of subs in that second half were vital to giving more purpose and energy, against those that were underperforming. The general defensive control and willingness of his players was a fine sight and the manager judged later alterations very well.
Pep Guardiola is the main adversary against the giant German, which levelled out well today.
Manchester City 2 – 2 Liverpool