Liverpool put on a brilliant display to beat Champions Manchester City at home once again and remained just two points behind Manchester United who occupy the final Champions League spot.
Liverpool started of brightly as Adam Lallana found the back of the net only for the goal to be disallowed due to offside. The Merseysiders however did not have to wait long as Philippe Coutinho beat Vincent Kompany in midfield and started a move which ultimately ended with a goal as captain Jordan Henderson had the ball at the edge of the box and dispatched it with aplomb. City keeper Joe Hart had no chance as Henderson’s shot was unsavable.
City looked better after the conceding the goal and slowly started getting into the game. The Champions equalised in the 25th minute after Sergio Aguero created a brilliant chance and played Edin Dzeko who slotted the ball past Simon Mignolet.
With the momentum behind them, City started the second half well after Aguero’s header was just over the crossbar. However, that was pretty much it for Pellegrini’s men as Liverpool started to dominate the second half and took the lead when Coutinho’s screamer in the 75th minute went past Hart. Coutinho scored the winner last time at Anfield when the tow sides faced each other and once again put in a match-winning display against City.
The game was key for both the teams as City had the chance to close Chelsea’s lead at the top to two points. However, they remain five adrift and could go further behind if the blues win their game in hand.
Rodgers delighted with the win
Manager Brendan Rodgers was pleased with his side’s display after a gruelling encounter n midweek and said in the post-match interview, “It was a brilliant result and an equally brilliant performance. I thought we thoroughly deserved the victory.
“I thought the players were relentless today in their work and their intensity and we had some great quality in our football. It was very, very pleasing.
“Some of you guys will have come to our game, travelling with the press on the journey with us,” said the manager. “And I’m sure you felt first-hand what it was like, getting back at half past four in the morning and probably not getting home until about six o’clock.
“To then have to prepare yourself for a game against the champions is no mean feat. To play and perform like we did today, with that intensity and work and quality, you’ve got to take your hat off to [the players].
“How they performed was at a real top level. I’ve got nothing but admiration for them because their focus was good in the game. They worked the system very well. And as the game wore on, we created more chances. We restricted Manchester City to one shot on target.
“The momentum and the flow and rhythm were with us in the game. I felt in particular in the second half, we started brightly and played through the system well. The players are really making the system work for us with their quality and intelligence.
“When you add the intensity of our pressure, we didn’t really give them a moment to settle. You have to applaud my players for that because they were relentless in how they pressed the ball,” he added.