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Three things we learned from Liverpool’s huge win vs. Manchester City

Apr 13, 2014, 11:26 AM EST

LIVERPOOL — Following Liverpool’s dramatic 3-2 win over Manchester City on Sunday, the home side took a massive leap towards winning their first-ever Premier League title.

Brendan Rodgers‘ side are rampant, after they sealed their tenth-straight win to keep them top of the standings on an emotional game at Anfield with the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster being remembered.

But what did we learn from Liverpool’s win? Here’s three things that stuck out.

Liverpool’s midfield just as good as S.A.S.

On Sunday Liverpool’s game-winner Philippe Coutinho curled in a deft finish to seal a massive three points late on. However the little Brazilian was getting stuck in more than anybody else in Red, as his teammates were inspired by his uncharacteristic feisty side. Smashing into City’s left back Gael Clichy at every opportunity, Coutinho was a beast, and the home fans around me at Anfield were applauding and cheering his relentless high-pressure. The diminutive playmaker came up with the game-winning goal so he will, of course, get all the headlines.

source: AP

Liverpool launched themselves ahead, as their midfielders flew out of the traps.

Yet Steven Gerrard put in another monumental display in the middle, Jordan Henderson worked tirelessly to overcome City’s marauding attackers and Raheem Sterling was a wizard on the wing. The teenager’s composure when put clean through in the first six minutes was marvelous and with Roy Hodgson watching on, Sterling looks to be a shoe-in for England’s World Cup squad. We often talk about Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez (but of whom failed to score but created plenty of problems) and rightly so after their 52 goals combined this season, but Liverpool’s midfield came up big when it really mattered.

David Silva can still win City the title

Missing vast swathes of the season through injury, in recent weeks David Silva has been the difference for City. His class shone through and he single-handedly dragged Man City back into the game in the second half. Even when Liverpool were 2-0 up and cruising midway through the first half, every time Silva got on the ball Liverpool’s defense dropped off and a sense of nervousness came over the home fans. Silva proved why in the second half, as he scored the first, his shot was deflected in for the second and his probing passes and clever runs had Liverpool reeling. You sensed he would be the game-winner and in the 75th minute he sent a stretching toe poke just wide of Simon Mignolet‘s post as the Kop breathed a huge sigh of relief with the ‘Silva show’ in full flow.

That miss woke Liverpool up and Coutinho’s winner came moments later. Despite this damaging loss, if City win out they can still put pressure on Liverpool and win the title. With six games to go they are seven points behind the Reds, but have two games in hand. If Silva’s star continues to shine brightly in the final few weeks of the season, they have half a chance.

Still question marks over Liverpool’s defense

source: AP

Liverpool’s defense still looked leaky, but a mistake from Kompany saved them.

As mentioned, Silva orchestrated City’s surging second half comeback, yet that came after some slack defending from Liverpool which let the Citizens back into the game. Time and time again in the first half they gave the ball away just in front of their own back four and they started doing that in the second half too. Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho were solid, yet unspectacular, and every time they got on the ball and were urged forward by the home crowd, they hesitated. Full backs Jon Flanagan and Glen Johnson also looked nervy, as James Milner skinned Flanagan several times in the second half, while Johnson failed to deal with Nasri on a regular basis as the English right back stuck out a lazy leg to deflect a shot past his own ‘keeper for City’s second goal.

In the end a defensive mistake from City sparred Liverpool’s blushes, but the fact that they almost chucked a 2-0 lead away, at home, in the biggest game of the season, shouldn’t be overlooked. In the run-in they must get better at the back, but with their incredible offensive power the Reds may neglect their defensive duties. That could cost them in four tight games to come.

  1. zxlaa - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    This was the biggest game I’ve seen Liverpool play in I don’t know how many years. I’ll take it any way I can get it. They WON….regardless.

    Bring on Chelsea and sic the kids on them.

    • dreadpiratesteve - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      Couldn’t agree more. Coutinho and Sterling are just puppies but they were arguably the two best players on the pitch. Awesome to watch them come up so big in such an enormous match.

      Bring on all comers! We’ll never walk alone!

  2. serfelixculpa - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    This game came down to luck: Liverpool had more of it and pulled a win out of what should have been a draw at minimum. City lost Yaya Toure early in the game, a terrible blow. Vincent Kompany was clearly not at 100 percent (and practically gifted Liverpool that third goal). Suarez should have been sent off halfway through the game, and City was clearly denied at least one (probably two) penalty kicks that should have been called. City led on all the metrics — possession, shots, shots on goal, and so on. Liverpool only just managed to evade a draw, and with just a smidge more luck going the other way, we’d be talking about City’s great win at Anfield.

  3. oopsmissus - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    So let me get this straight:
    The creaking, cumbersome, weak Liverpool defense comically leaked two goals in this game.
    While the majestically strong, airtight defense that is Manchester City stood strong and only conceded three.
    Wait, what!?

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