Manchester City and Liverpool locked horn in a tempting encounter at Etihad this evening in order to strengthen their chances of a top-four finish. Liverpool secured four league victories in last five meetings against City and Pep Guardiola’s men were humbled at Anfield when Georginio Wijnaldum’s early goal secured a tidy 1-0 triumph in favour of the Reds on New Year’s eve. However, both sides delivered an end to end stuff and it ended all square at Etihad as they settled for a 1-1 draw.
Below are the Liverpool players rated from the game.
Simon Mignolet: 6.5
Was good with his outing, looked steady during City’s set-pieces. Could have done nothing to stop Aguero’s first-time strike for the equaliser.
Nathaniel Clyne: 7
Had some initial issues to deal with Leroy Sane’s pace. But he settled in quickly and combined well with Sadio Mane to constitute movements from the right-hand flank.
Joel Matip: 6.5
Matip had a solid aerial presence and also was well-positioned to break down City’s passing movements in the attacking third. Made a few crucial interceptions and played a few excellent forward balls from defence to form counter attacks. Found it difficult to contain David Silva as the City skipper was all over the Liverpool defence with his pace and smart movements.
Ragnar Klavan: 7
Klavan retained his place despite Dejan Lovren being fit for the clash. Was little clumsy with his touches in the first half, but the Estonian kept his head cool and delivered a controlled display at back. Made a number of crucial blocks throwing his body to deny City’s attacks.
James Milner: 6
Although he scored from the spot within first few minutes of the second half, the former City midfielder struggled in make-shift left back role as Raheem Sterling often went past him to pose a threat to the Reds defence.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 7.5
Wijnaldum did well in midfield as he held the ball well and stretched the game on both flanks. Ran a lot, came close to scoring and also screened his defence when City were all over the Liverpool defence towards the end.
Emre Can: 7.5
His inconsistency has been the talking point, however, the versatile German pulled off another decent show in the middle of the pitch. He was combative, showed composure and worked hard to win balls in the middle of the pitch. Made a sublime pass for Firmino who was then fouled by Clichy inside the box that resulted in a penalty converted by Milner.
Adam Lallana: 6
Was impressive with his footwork as always. Helped his defence towards the end. Constituted a number of counter attacks with his skills, dribbling and pace. Yet, the Englishman will be on the receiving end for not scoring an absolute sitter inside the six-yard box as he took his eyes off the ball and failed to connect properly.
Sadio Mane: 7
City back-line struggled to deal with his pace and dribbling. Came close to scoring once in the first half after beating Otamendi with his pace but failed to connect it properly in a one-to-one scenario with Caballero. Also, his second half effort was blocked by John Stones that could have ended into the back of the net.
Roberto Firmino: 7
Firmino earned the spot-kick for the Reds. But he himself came close to score twice. But was denied by Caballero on both occasions. He set up a sitter for Adam Lallana towards the end but the Englishman failed to connect it properly, thus missing the chance of the match.
Philippe Coutinho: 5.5
He is yet to be back to his best since his return from injury as the decorated Brazilian had another off-day before being replaced by Divock Origi. However, he showed improvement in the second half as he made some dribbles and set up a fine ball for Firmino but the later could not beat past the City custodian in a one-to-one scenario.
Divock Origi: 5
Involved in a few counter attacks using the width of the right flank. But he failed to make any noteworthy contribution. He did not look fully fit either as he was beaten past by fatigued Otamendi despite fresh legs towards the end.
Lucas Leiva: NA
Came too late to warrant a rating.
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