What a game! It was yet another of those 7-goal classics which Anfield has a habit of serving up from time to time, with this one every bit as sensational as those thrillers from the past. We can be a sedentary lot in the my area of the main stand, but yesterday we were all up and down like yo-yos!
The atmosphere was thunderous; raucous and intimidating. Significantly, Raheem Sterling got verbally hammered, Andy Robertson being the third full back in three years to play him off the park. For his trials, the ex-Red (“one greedy bastard!”) got himself booked and was hauled off in the second half, much to the delight of the Anfield faithful. For a player who’s apparently been winning accolades for his displays this season, he was abysmal.
Liverpool outplayed City for virtually the whole game and it was understandable fatigue told in the closing stages after a second goal provided City with an adrenalin boost. The effort of giving this excellent City side no space was clearly visible as several Reds were clearly running on empty.
They could hardly stretch a leg, though the brilliant Robertson was still going strong to the final whistle. At one point he had chased down a loose ball from his own position to 70-yards right across field by the opposite corner flag. How the kop loved that!
In a single moment of one game, the Scot has made himself the absolute cult-hero. Anfield delights in players who give so much for the cause and his name was being sung everywhere thereafter.
Some goals which are not the best aesthetically are remembered for other reasons and The Reds’ fourth yesterday was one such. The ball seemed to head for goal in slow motion when Mo Salah lofted it over everyone before a single bounce took it into the empty goal. Wonderful.
This was one of those days of the noisy, pulsating atmosphere and, not for the first time, we’re reading the next day of an opposition manager convinced his players were affected by it.
As for Liverpool, it was a day of 9/10 all-round, with the exception of Andy Robertson who gets a 10/10. Sadly Karius was worth no more than a 5/10. Not only was he badly to blame for the first goal, but twice in the second half, he was so badly positioned as to let two routine crosses floated horribly across him but luckily out of play.
Mignolet too has his faults, but at least his positional play makes his shot-stopping very effective.
Still, can’t figure why Klopp won’t give Danny Ward his chance. Why do I suspect that the manager has a completely different criterion from everyone else when it comes to what he wants from his ‘keepers?
A final word about referee Andre Marriner. Yesterday he let the game flow, something which both sets of players clearly appreciated. Indeed, Chamberlain said it was a really enjoyable game to play in. There was plenty of blood and thunder about and I can think of several officials who would have ruined such a classic match by constant whistling.