Manchester City started their battle for a place in the Champions League semi-final with a very bad 3-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield. The Reds destroyed the Blues in the first half and protected the result in the final period, and now it’s mission impossible for Pep Guardiola and his men next week at the Etihad.
The Blues made a conscious effort to take the Anfield crowd out of the game in the first 10 minutes, dominating possession and forcing Liverpool to defend deep into their own half, and although no real chances were created it was very clear that City were in control.
Then City won a corner, Leroy Sané made a bad pass that gave Liverpool the numbers advantage on a counter attack, Mohamed Salah scored the opener, and everything changed. After just 20 minutes, the Reds were up by three goals, the second scored on a tremendous long distance effort from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the third on a header by Sadio Mané. City were stunned and completely out of the game, and they were lucky not to be losing by even more.
At halftime, the Reds were in complete control and had taken a giant step towards a place in the semi-final. Could City somehow find a way back into this game?
Liverpool lost Salah to injury early in the second half, and they lost their counter-attacking prowess. That meant they had to defend for their lives as City looked for at least one goal, and the Reds did a fantastic job at that. They also got some help from the referees, who decided to deny a completely clean goal from Gabriel Jesus because they somehow saw Leroy Sané in an offside position.
This is a bad loss, and Liverpool are now massive favorites, but there’s still a second leg to play and anything can happen when these two face each other.
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Laporte; Fernandinho, De Bruyne; Gundogan (Sterling), Silva, Sané; Jesus
Liverpool: Karius; Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Chamberlain (Moreno), Henderson, Milner; Salah (Wijnaldum), Firmino (Solanke), Mané
Goals: Salah (12’), Oxlade-Chamberlain (20’), Mané (31’)