Liverpool keeper Alisson had by far his worst game for the Reds, making two basic errors to gift the game to Man City
Manchester City’s emphatic victory at Anfield was a tale of two players. In the red corner, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who made two incredible mistakes that both led to City goals. And in the sky blue corner, Phil Foden, whose second-half performance was astonishingly good – like, ‘Football is definitely coming home!’ good. Or, ‘I totally forgot Kevin de Bruyne wasn’t playing!’ good.
Alisson’s gaffes came from nowhere. The big Brazilian had previously been a one-man fortress, so it was baffling to see how he crumbled in the second half. Twice in the space of a few mad minutes, he kicked the ball straight to a City player, whilst under minimal pressure, and twice City punished him. After the second mistake, he squirted his water bottle on his hair, as if to remind himself to wake up. Too late.
In the 73rd minute, with the score at 1-1, Alisson passed the ball to Foden, whose brilliantly decisive run into the Liverpool box set up a tap-in for Ilkay Gundogan. Three minutes later, still shaken, Alisson picked out Bernardo Silva, who then found Raheem Sterling for the easiest of close-range headers.
Prior to that, Liverpool had done well to get back into the game. Gundogan, who skied a penalty in the first half after Fabinho fouled Sterling, opened the scoring on 49 minutes, after Alisson could only push out a shot from Foden. In the 63rd minute, Mo Salah equalised from the penalty spot after he was pulled back by Ruben Dias – it was a soft penalty – before Alisson’s rushes of blood to the head.
Foden capped his man-of-the-match display with a blockbuster strike for City’s fourth. The young Englishman cut inside on the right side of Liverpool’s area and his flashing left-footed shot was too hot for Alisson to handle. How much better can Foden get? From an England fan’s point of view, let’s hope Gareth Southgate is keen to find out this summer.
As for the title race, Liverpool are out of it. Suddenly they find themselves ten points behind City – and City have a game in hand. Who can stop Pep’s team? On this form, no one. And talking of form, that’s three home league defeats in a row for Jurgen Klopp’s team. The last time a Liverpool side suffered that ignominy was in 1963.
20y 255d – Phil Foden is the youngest player to score and assist in a Premier League game against Liverpool at Anfield. Stardom. pic.twitter.com/RryzSHQ6nb
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 7, 2021
Man of the match: Phil Foden (Man City)