Liverpool player ratings vs Manchester City
A week to the day since City lost at Stamford Bridge to confirm Liverpool’s title, they faced the new champions and showed that they are far from a spent force.
A week to the day since Manchester City lost at Stamford Bridge to confirm Liverpool’s title victory, they faced the new champions and showed that they are far from a spent force with a comprehensive victory.
Liverpool had some decent early chances through Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mané but failed to capitalise and City soon made them pay. First Raheem Sterling turned Joe Gomez in the Liverpool box and drew a penalty, which the inimitable Kevin de Bruyne tucked away coolly. Ten minutes later Liverpool were caught on the break and Phil Foden released Sterling who fired the ball inside Allison Becker’s near post. Foden compounded Liverpool’s misery on the stroke of half-time with a crisply struck finish into the roof of the net after being played in by De Bruyne again.
The pace seemed to drop a touch in the second-half but City maintained their cutting edge and De Bruyne found Sterling in the box for their fourth, via a touch from the unfortunate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. There was nearly a repeat of last season’s 5-0 win at the Etihad but Mahrez’s late strike was ruled out by VAR, following a handball in the build-up.
It will feel like a hollow victory for Manchester City but it does reinforce their credentials for next year having beaten the runaway champions. For Liverpool the title was all that mattered but Jürgen Klopp may have been concerned with his side’s profligacy in front of goal this evening.
Alisson Becker – Conceded four but had little chance with any of City’s goals this evening and was not given the protection he has been used to in his two years in England. 6/10
Trent Alexander-Arnold – The league’s outstanding right-back was not at his best at the Etihad, struggling to deal with City’s interchanging forward line. Made a few impressive long passes but miscued just as many before being substituted. 5/10
Joe Gomez – Gave away the penalty for City’s opener after a clumsy challenge on Sterling midway through the first-half and was easy beaten by the same man for City’s second. Withdrawn at half-time before he could do anymore harm. 4/10
Virgil van Dijk – Has often cruised through games this season but was kept on his toes throughout by City’s intelligent interplay. Made a clearance off the line early in the second-half but was largely unable to stem the flow of City attacks. 6/10
Andy Robertson – Made a vital early block from De Bruyne’s effort but was caught badly out of position for City’s second and third goals. Never offered the attacking impetus that Klopp’s sides require. 5/10
Georginio Wijnaldum – The Dutchman did his usual shuttling job in the middle of the pitch but was stationary for City’s third goal. Wisely withdrawn in the second half with Liverpool needing a goal. 5/10
Jordan Henderson – While many of his teammates looked off the pace the Reds’ captain maintained his high standards throughout, trying to shake his side from their slumber to no avail. 7/10
Fabinho – Struggled to get Liverpool’s passing game going and looked slightly ponderous on the ball in the first half but slotted into defence well in the second. 6/10
Mohammed Salah – Liverpool’s top scorer was eager to boost his Golden Boot credentials and hit the post from the edge of the box in the early stages but faded badly as the game went on. 6/10
Roberto Firmino – Tends to rely on the explosiveness of players around him and seemed a bit isolated this evening. Had little quality service but looked increasingly tired during his hour on the pitch. 5/10
Sadio Mané – Looked dangerous at points but was not the sustained threat that he can be, notably misjudging a through-ball in the second half and letting it roll through his legs. Did not live up to his usual high standards before being subbed late on. 6/10
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Brought on for Gomez at half-time and was doing well until, in his desperation to clear the ball, steered Sterling’s wayward shot into the Liverpool net. 6/10
Naby Keita – Brought some much-needed dynamism to the Liverpool midfield after his introduction but struggled to make anything happen. 6/10
Divock Origi – Had a few decent touches in the City box but never looked capable of breaking Liverpool’s goal-scoring draught on the road. 5/10
Neco Williams – Brought on for Alexander-Arnold with ten remaining but made little impact. N/A
Takumi Minamino – A late substitute for Mane, rarely involved. N/A