Mohamed Salah and Phil Foden were the stars of the show as Liverpool and Manchester City played out a highly entertaining 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday night.
Liverpool started the game on a bright note, but Manchester City gradually grew into the contest and were soon controlling the proceedings and creating chances. Midway through the first half, Phil Foden almost opened the scoring for the visitors, but Alisson was at hand to deny the shot, while Joao Cancelo and Kevin De Bruyne failed to hit the target from promising positions.
Alisson made another good block to prevent Foden from getting in as half-time arrived with the game still at 0-0. Liverpool looked much more threatening after the break with Diogo Jota drawing a save from Ederson before Sadio Mane eventually broke the deadlock with a fine finish after being released brilliantly by Mohamed Salah in the 59th minute.
The lead, however, lasted for just ten minutes as Foden eventually got his goal with a brilliant left-footed strike from a tight angle after being found by Gabriel Jesus. Five minutes later, though, Liverpool were back in the lead again, this time through Salah’s moment of brilliance as he slalomed past several Manchester City players before beating Ederson in goal with a lovely finish from a difficult angle.
However, the Premier League champions struck back yet again in the 81st minute, with De Bruyne’s powerful effort finding the back of the net via a deflection. Three minutes from full-time, Fabinho could have won it for Liverpool after Ederson made a meal of a Salah cross but Rodri produced a sensational block to deny the Brazilian and save a point for his team as the game ended 2-2.
It was a top-quality encounter between two teams of the highest pedigree. Here are our player ratings for both Liverpool and Manchester City stars after a thrilling contest at Anfield.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Alisson Becker: 7/10
A poor clearance almost gifted Manchester City with a chance. Recovered well from that point on and made a fine save to deny Foden before producing a good tackle on the Englishman to keep the scoreline at 0-0. Not a lot he could have done about either goal.
📸 – Alisson with a good tackle to prevent Foden from going past him.. pic.twitter.com/ymTen8Ivxq
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) October 3, 2021
James Milner: 5/10
Getting the nod again at right-back in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s absence, the veteran Liverpool star was given a torrid time by Foden. Booked in the first half and could count himself lucky to not get a second yellow after a foul on Bernardo Silva. Subbed off.
Joel Matip: 6/10
A fairly solid display from the Cameroonian who defended well for the most part on the evening while also looking composed when he carried the ball out from the back. Created a chance for Jota with one such forward push early in the second half. De Bruyne’s goal deflected off him into the net.
Virgil van Dijk: 6/10
A few iffy moments early on when City put him under pressure, one of which led to Silva creating a chance. But grew steadier with time and kept things in check on his side. Not at blame for the goals.
Andrew Robertson: 6/10
A largely subdued outing from the Scotsman who was unable to influence the proceedings like usual going forward on the left while his delivery from set-pieces was also off the radar. Did defend well for the most part.
Jordan Henderson: 5/10
Think we are seeing opposition sides take advantage of Henderson not tracking runners & positionally being in the wrong place. Milan, Brentford & Man City have all scored goals from it this season. It’s hurting the defensive side of Liverpool’s game at the moment.
— Premier League Panel (@PremLeaguePanel) October 3, 2021
Not good enough from the Liverpool skipper who found it difficult to get into the game, especially in the first half when his passing was way off. Was guilty of not helping Milner out on the defensive side of things as well. Looked tired in the latter stages.
Like most Liverpool players, the Brazilian was unable to establish a foothold in the first half with Manchester City being the more dominant side. Did show more control after the break, making a few crucial interventions. Almost won it late on but his effort was blocked heroically by Rodri.
Curtis Jones: 6/10
Endured a difficult first period but got stuck in and was not overwhelmed. More involved after the half-time break, kept it neat and accurate with his passes and got the assist for Salah’s goal.
Mohamed Salah: 9/10
Liverpool weren’t able to get him into the game during the first period but burst into life after the half-time break. Brilliant pass to set Mane up for the opening goal, before he produced a scintillating run to get past several City players and finish to make it 2-1. Showed why he is one of the best players in the game currently.
Finished with the joint-most duels won (11), highest take-ons completed (5) while creating two big chances as well.
Take just 40 seconds out of your day to appreciate the brilliance of Mohamed Salah 🤩pic.twitter.com/QB4vOvTcso
— Salah Central™ (@SalahCentraI) October 3, 2021
Diogo Jota: 6/10
Preferred over Roberto Firmino yet again, the Portuguese international had a quiet first half apart from a moment when he had the beating of Ruben Dias leading to his yellow card. Much sharper after the break and had Liverpool’s first shot on target.
Sadio Mane: 7/10
Not influential enough for large phases of the game, but made a well-timed run that allowed Salah to find him and then finished it nicely past Ederson to make it 1-0.
Roberto Firmino: 5/10
On for Jota in the 68th minute. Unable to make an impact.
Joe Gomez: N/A
Replaced Milner in the 78th minute. More solid at right-back.
Manchester City Player Ratings
Ederson Moraes: 5.5/10
📲| Ederson [IG]: “Tough game, on a tough day for me. Weakened from a tummy ache. But there are no excuses. 💪🏻👍🏻”
— City Chief (@City_Chief) October 3, 2021
Not forced into action a great deal in the first period. Remarkable distribution, though, with one of his passes playing Foden in for a chance. Made a straightforward stop from Jota early on before beating beaten by Mane. Could possibly have done better for Salah’s goal. Then almost gifted Liverpool the win with a late blunder, but Rodri came to his rescue.
Kyle Walker: 7/10
Solid and reliable on the right side of the City defence, with his pace and reading of the game helping the champions keep Mane quiet for large parts of the game. Does not always stand out, but a key cog for Pep Guardiola’s team.
Ruben Dias: 6/10
Not his best outing. The Portuguese centre-back was beaten by Jota in the first half forcing him to foul his compatriot and get booked. Did make a few good interventions and blocks but Mane ran past him for the opener.
Aymeric Laporte: 5.5/10
Calm and composed in possession, assured in defence. But that changed after the break as Liverpool threatened more in attack. Caught out of position for the first gal before being beaten easily by Salah for the second.
Joao Cancelo: 6/10
Gave a good account of himself at both ends of the pitch in the first half. Played some nice defence-splitting passes and even had a shot drift wide. Not so effective after the break as Salah and Mane kept him pegged back. Easily beaten for the second goal.
Bernardo Silva: 7/10
Bernardo Silva for Man City vs. Liverpool:
◉ Most take-ons completed (4)
◉ Most fouls won (4)
A clinic in close control. ✨ pic.twitter.com/gvnJYB3SqO
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 3, 2021
Full of energy and industry, the Portuguese oozed quality on the ball and impressed with his effort of it. Produced a great run before setting Foden up for a chance in the first half and continued to carve out openings. Faded a bit late on and was one of the players Salah beat for the second goal.
Key to Manchester City staying in control in the early parts of the game. Cut out attacks and recycled possession very effectively to ensure his team stayed on top. Put under pressure after the break though, and failed to stop Salah for the second goal. Redeemed himself with a sensational block to deny Fabinho a certain winner.
Kevin De Bruyne: 7/10
Not at his best, with some of his passes going awry while he also failed to take a chance late in the first half. Did make some inroads after the break though and salvaged a point for his team with a deflected strike, which bumps up his rating.
Kevin De Bruyne has scored at Anfield for the first time in his professional career.
A dream come true for the boyhood Liverpool fan. 👀 pic.twitter.com/PWbeMMCmlH
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) October 3, 2021
Gabriel Jesus: 6/10
The Brazilian wasn’t as devastating as he has been playing out wide in recent games but still did enough to keep Robertson occupied and not let him pose an attacking threat. Did well to set Foden up for the opening goal.
Jack Grealish: 5/10
Asked to play through the middle by Guardiola, the Manchester City record signing was ineffective in an unfamiliar role and hardly caused any problems to the Liverpool centre-backs. Made way for Raheem Sterling.
Phil Foden: 9/10
Lively from the off, the Manchester City youngster was all over James Milner like a rash. Could have had scored twice in the first period if not for Alisson and also had a penalty claim turned down. Did get his deserved goal after the break with a fine finish and had a role in the lead-up to De Bruyne’s goal. Truly a generational talent.
Phil Foden's game by numbers vs. Liverpool:
100% shot accuracy
8 touches in the opp. box
7 passes into the box
5 ball recoveries
James Milner will be having nightmares. 👻 pic.twitter.com/V7kaOjl57t
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 3, 2021
Raheem Sterling: 5/10
On for Grealish in the 65th minute. Could not influence proceedings.