Alisson blamed himself after giving Man City a goal to increase the score to 2-1.  Photo: Reuters.

Liverpool had a nightmare of a goalkeeper when losing to Man City


Alisson’s two mistakes caused Liverpool to be crushed 1-4 by Man City at home in round 23 of the Premier League.

*Goals: Salah 63 ‘(penalty) – Gundogan 49’ 73 ‘, Sterling 76’.

In the 73rd minute, when the two teams drew 1-1, Alisson continuously had difficult handling. Within 20 seconds, he passed the ball to the opponent’s foot twice. After one miss, Man City did not refuse a gift from the opponent’s goalkeeper. Phil Foden slammed the ball against the inability of Andy Robertson and James Milner and passed to Ilkay Gundogan to score at close range.

Alisson blamed himself after giving Man City a goal to increase the score to 2-1. Image: Reuters.

Alisson is known to be one of the best foot goalkeepers. But he is probably too confident in his ability. Just three minutes later, the Brazilian goalkeeper passed Bernardo Silva and the Man City midfielder did not hesitate to punish the opponent with a ball to Raheem Sterling to hit the head on the empty net.

After making expensive mistakes, Alisson hit the field with his hand to show his helplessness and Jurgen Klopp was dumbfounded outside the border. He, like Liverpool players, probably could not have expected Alisson to make such elementary mistakes. The opponent shot himself in the foot, Man City leisurely left Anfield with three points and took a long step in the championship race.

Pep Guardiola’s teachers and students went to Liverpool Stadium with the initiative even without Kevin De Bruyne. Winning will help them leave Man Utd five points behind when kicking less than one game. Liverpool played with reluctant midfielders – Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, but the trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were still enough to make City wary.

The goal from Salah's penalty spot only raised hope for Liverpool.  Photo: Reuters.

The goal from Salah’s penalty spot only raised hope for Liverpool. Image: Reuters.

The first opportunities belong to Liverpool. After 20 minutes the two teams surveyed each other, Klopp’s army accelerated. Mane hit the bar at close range after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross. Next, Firmino volleyed, but Ederson cautiously pushed the ball over the bar.

However, Man City moved closer to the opening score. Sterling passed through Alexander-Arnold and was fouled by Fabinho in the penalty area. But Gundogan takes a free kick. Four of the last six off-target penalties in the Premier League were all taken by a Man City player and three of them took place against Liverpool. Before Gundogan was Riyad Mahrez in October 2018 and Kevin De Bruyne in November 2020.

But this missed situation did not make City’s spirit go down. At the beginning of the second half, Sterling once again overcame Alexander-Arnold. Liverpool’s defense stalled before the player’s entry and although Alisson successfully blocked Foden’s shot, Gundogan was in the right place to kick the opener. This goal once again demonstrated the mobility and coordination within a narrow range of the Man City midfielders – the foundation of the play without a midfielder that Guardiola is using successfully this season.

Gundogan missed the penalty but atoned for a double.  Photo: Reuters.

Gundogan missed the penalty but atoned for a double. Image: Reuters.

The competition was boring compared to the opponent, but Liverpool still found the equalizer. From Alexander-Arnold’s long pass, Ruben Dias failed to clear the ball and let Salah escape. Man City midfielder pulled the opponent’s hand but did not ignore the referee and Salah did not miss the opportunity on the penalty spot to help the home team equalize the score. Salah’s goal ended 410 minutes of Liverpool’s failure to score at home and 602 minutes of Man City without conceding.

But that strike only sparked Liverpool’s hopes before being suppressed by Alisson’s mistakes. The ball and the finish was like Foden’s hammer, set the score 4-1, making the victory even more bold with Man City. This result helped Man City balance the record of 14 wins in all competitions, twice set by Preston (in 1892) and Arsenal (1987). With Liverpool, they were the first team to lose three consecutive home matches as England champions since Chelsea in March 1956.

Klopp’s teachers and students will be guests at Leicester Stadium in the next round on the evening of February 13 and Man City will face Swansea in the FA Cup fifth round on the evening of February 10.

Squad

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Robertson (Tsimikas 85 ‘); Thiago (Shaqiri 68 ‘), Wijnaldum, Jones (Milner 68’); Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Man City: Ederson; Joao Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez (Jesus 72 ‘), Foden, Sterling.

* Fixture – English Premier League results

* Premier League scoreboard

Quang Huy

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