After 17 years of countless tries and bad fortunes, Manchester City finally overcame years of disappointment to break the Anfield curse in dramatic fashion.
Players losing consistency and momentum to making silly mistakes and missing penalties, somehow the ghosts of Anfield always managed to haunt City in some way or the other.
However, finally, Pep Guardiola’s men managed to break the Anfield curse by beating their fierce rivals 4-1 in what was a complete performance against the champions, Liverpool. Goals from Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and a brace from Ilkay Gundogan ensured that the men in blue took away all the three points.
Manchester City Put An End to Anfield Curse in Spectacular Style
Lead Up to the Game
Manchester City came to Merseyside seven points clear of Liverpool with a game in hand. They knew that a win would ensure a big step in their pursuit of the Premier League. However, with key players like Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero absent along with the pressure of their horrific record at Anfield, City’s hopes were kept fairly honest. Liverpool began the match as underdogs with most of their key players sidelined due to the injury. Surprisingly, Guardiola went with a striker-less team with Phil Foden supposedly playing as a false-9. Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez started on the wings.
The Story of the Match
The Reds dominated the early exchanges as City struggled to get into their rhythm. Sadio Mane came close to breaking the deadlock with a header that went inches above Ederson’s goal. The man who was expected to make an impact, Foden barely managed to get along the pace of the game being restricted in the central position rather than his preferred wide areas.
However, in the 36th minute, Raheem Sterling tricked his way passed Trent Alexander Arnold and Fabinho with skill but for the latter to bundle him over in the box gifting his side a penalty. An in-form Ilkay Gundogan stepped up to take the spot-kick and sending the ball horribly into the stands. The incident had shades of Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne about it as City’s nightmares at Anfield had no intentions of easing.
Come the second half and with the withdrawal of Riyad Mahrez for Gabriel Jesus completely changed the complexion of the game. Jesus’ introduction helped Foden shift to his favourite left-wing.
Some brilliant piece of play from Sterling was duly benefited by Gundogan. Salah scored from the spot to level the proceedings but after that, it was all about Guardiola’s side and Alisson. The ever-reliable Brazilian had a horror three minutes basically gifting Blues the ball which was not to be wasted by City. To make matters even worse for Liverpool, their former man Sterling headed into an open net scoring his first goal at Anfield since leaving the club. Foden’s wonderful left-foot strike put the icing on the cake and completed Liverpool’ misery.
If there was anything that the match told us was that Manchester City are still the best team in England and at their best even the champions were awestruck. Following a couple of difficult months at the beginning of the season, City has completely changed their fortunes and more or less secured the title. There is simply no stopping Guardiola’s men who managed to break their Anfield curse and in some style. As for Liverpool, their hopes of defending their title are over and the team needs serious going through.
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