Schedules and fixtures in March and April are set to determine Liverpool’s fortune and final standing in this season’s league campaign and cup competitions. Having run riot against arch-nemesis Manchester United 7-0 at Anfield in the English Premier League, Jürgen Klopp’s men went down against Bournemouth in their following league match-up, before losing to Real Madrid with a similar score line in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
Kop then travelled to the Etihad Stadium with hopes of pushing for a Champions League spot finish at the end of this season, but could not hold onto its early one-goal lead and was thumped by Manchester City in the latter’s 4-1 comeback victory.
Citizens Hit Four After Reds’ First Blood
Pep Guardiola’s side emerged victorious in the FA Cup Quarterfinal, after it hit six past EFL Championship side Burnley. The 52-year-old manager made six changes to his starting line-up to face Klopp’s Reds in this match, whereas the German head coach had only two replacements to his squad that was defeated by Los Blancos before the international break.
It was the visitors which drew first blood, when their top scorer Mohamed Salah finished off a patient build-up play that started from goalkeeper Alisson Becker. The Brazilian shot stopper found fellow countryman Fabinho, before the latter sent a pass to Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose long ball was met by Diogo Jota. The Portuguese forward controlled the ball well and left it for the Egyptian national team captain to score his 23rd goal of the season.
Kop did not enjoy the lead for long as the home team replied with its own version of team play. In-form Kevin De Bruyne unleashed Riyad Mahrez at the right blank, and the Algerian drove past several players, followed by a pass to İlkay Gündoğan. £100million winger Jack Grealish then matched the timing of the pass from the 32-year-old midfielder, before feeding Julián Álvarez to equalise.
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City Winning Huge without Erling Haaland
The world cup-winning striker’s effort kickstarted a goal-hunting mission for the team in sky blue jerseys. As soon as the game restarted in the second period, Manchester City tore Liverpool’s defence down, thanks to Álvarez’s accurate long-range pass to the out-wide Mahrez. The 32-year-old flippy flanker crossed it first-time for the newly-elected Belgium national team captain to give the home side its first lead of the match.
Seven minutes after its second goal, City furthered the lead with Gündoğan’s shot. The German, who missed last week’s international break after Hansi Flick decided to bring in younger talents to Die Mannschaft, scored off a ricocheted ball despite Liverpool having the numbers in the penalty box; The close-range strike is his fifth goal in 38 appearances in all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City this season.
City was not shy to show its supremacy against its visitors in the match and found another goal 16 minutes before the added time was given. Gündoğan delivered a pinpoint pass to Grealish, and the England international sliced the ball to De Bruyne, who then followed up with a decent ground delivery back to the 27-year-old winger. The Birmingham-born player slid in City’s fourth of the evening, sealing all three points of this league fixture for his team and handing Liverpool its third consecutive defeat in all competitions.
Pep Guardiola is the fastest manager ever to reach 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ home wins in the Premier League 😎 pic.twitter.com/rdFm1lt3X1
— 433 (@433) April 2, 2023
Pep Became the Fastest Manager to Reach 100 Home Victories in the Premier League
With this monumental triumph, City’s head coach created history by becoming the quickest manager to accomplish 100 home wins in the Premier League. The Santpedor-born manager did so in 128 games, eclipsing the previous record set by Arsenal’s legendary manager Arsène Wenger (139 games).
“From minute one to minute 93, it was a perfect performance. Even when we conceded the goal we were playing really well. Of course, there is always a threat they have especially on the transition, but we played really good – one of the best performances in my seven years. Even after the goal, we continued with our idea that we had because players know that we weren’t playing badly. We stayed in control and continued to keep playing and had a little word at half-time about our process. Of course and we were lucky to score the second goal but the game was always stable through 93 minutes”, said the manager.
The Spaniard’s team will face Southampton F. C. at St. Mary’s Stadium in the next league game, as City looks to continue to pile the pressure over leader Arsenal.