Liverpool 3 - 1 Manchester City: Reds open up eight-point lead at top after sinking City

Heavyweights Liverpool and Manchester City go head-to-head at Anfield today. Catch all the live updates from the Premier League clash on our blog.

So, with a six-point cushion and with home advantage this time around, Klopp's Liverpool gets a chance on Sunday to do something they could not quite manage at the start of 2019 against Manchester City.   -  Getty Images

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live coverage of the Premier League match between table-topper Liverpool and defending champion Manchester City at the Anfield stadium.

 

Thanks for tuning in. See you soon!

So Liverpool is now 46 games unbeaten at home (Anfield) i.e. a mammoth 933 days or 133 weeks. Manchester City has managed the most shots at Anfield in two years but it still ends up at the losing end.

AND IT'S FULL-TIME!! LIVERPOOL 3 - 1 MANCHESTER CITY.

90 + 3' Four minutes of stoppage time was added. Today, Manchester City has had the better ball possession, better successful pass percentage, more goal attempts and more attacks in the final third. But Liverpool will have the last laugh.

90' FREE-KICK FOR CITY!! It's from a pretty good position as well. The foul was on Raheem Sterling. He was kind of intentionally pushed by Joe Gomez to stop Manchester City's flow. OFFSIDE!! De Bruyne's free-kick is wasted once again as both Sterling and Jesus rush forward a bit too early.

87' LIVERPOOL'S FINAL SUBSTITUTION OF THE MATCH!! The goalscorer Mohamed Salah makes way for a centre-back Joe Gomez. Klopp clearly wants his side to forget about attacking and only defend now.

84' At the moment Liverpool's attacking impetus is dead. Klopp's side is happy to sit back and defend. On the other hand, Manchester City is attacking with all it's got. Guardiola is literally screaming at some of his players.

80' SUBSTITUTION!! Liverpool's second of the game. Klopp was fuming at the sideline insisting that he had called for the subs much before City's goal but the referee hadn't allowed it. However, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes in for Roberto Firmino now.

78' 3-1!!! WHAT A FINISH FROM BERNARDO SILVA!! Angelino has been pretty good on the left wing all night and he most deservedly gets an assist. He executed a perfect one-two with Sterling before crossing the ball to Silva who scored the goal with an exquisite finish. Still a mountain to climb for Guardiola's City.

75' CORNER! If in doubt kick it away - and Alisson does exactly that as two City players surrounded him. De Bruyne takes a short corner and Gundogan puts in a poor cross.

71' SUBSTITUTION! Aguero's game to forget ends. He still hasn't scored at the Anfield in 11 outings!! Gabriel Jesus takes Aguero's place on the field. Twenty minutes to go. Can City spring an unlikely comeback?

68' WHAT A CHANCE!!!! Sterling suged forward evading a few Liverpool players. He passed the ball to De Bruyne who cleverly put the ball towards the middle but unfortunately for Manchester City, the experienced Aguero makes a mess of it.

65' YELLOW CARD!!! Rodri gets one for protesting the referee's call. Sterling had claimed a penalty for a soft tackle by Alexander-Arnold but Michael Oliver waved it off. And Rodri gets penalised for supporting his teammate's cause.

61' SUBSTITUTION!!! First one of the night! Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is replaced by James Milner who receives the armband from the outgoing man. Salah and Firmino will play up front now. Mane will fall back just behind them.

59' Anfield is absolutely buzzing right now!!! Good counter from City! Silva to Aguero to Sterling who was almost one on one with the goalkeeper. But the Liverpool centre-backs track back in time to deny their opponents yet another chance.

55' Both benches beginning to warm up right now. Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus would be possible options for Pep Guardiola to at least salvage a point from this game. Meanwhile, Klopp might make a defensive change in the next few moments.

51' AND IT'S 3-0!!!!!!!!!! Mane finds a goal here!!!!! Jordan Henderson's inch-perfect cross made the difference here. The Liverpool skipper has been brilliant in midfield today and he has bagged a well-deserved assist now. Mane made no mistake latching on to the cross with a good header. Manchester City in tatters now.

48' Manchester City has started the second-half in the same way it began the first. Lots of attacking intent. Gundogan with a try from long but a deflection wins City a corner. De Bruyne's corner is cleared way easily by the City defence.

47' Jurgen Klopp has finally got off his seat. He looks fairly calm and composed. Mikel Arteta is having a chat with Mike Dean on the sideline.

THE SECOND-HALF IS UNDERWAY!

Manchester City began the game in amazing fashion but Liverpool's counter-attacking prowess has come out on top in the first 45 minutes. A hand-ball appeal at one end led to a goal at the other end. Did Virgil Van Dijk handle the ball? But nonetheless, Fabinho came up with an absolute stunner to put Liverpool 1-0 ahead in the game.

A few minutes later, Mohamed Salah doubled Liverpool's advantage against the run of play once again. A juicy cross from Andy Robertson gave Salah an easy header to slot home. Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling have looked rusty so far and they need to improve to bring their side back into this game. The next goal in this tie will well and truly be season defining.

THE FIRST-HALF IS DONE AND DUSTED!

45 + 2' Sterling with an ambitious move forward. He finds Gundogan who immediately passes the ball to Aguero who comes up with a poor shot which doesn't trouble Alisson a bit.

45' FOUL! Fernandinho with a clumsy tackle on Fabinho. Good build-up play from Liverpool here. SAVE! Bravo saves a long ranger from Salah. Two minutes of stoppage time to be added on to the first half.

42' WIDE! De Bruyne puts Aguero through on the left as the Argentinian goes for the far post. However, he did not create the angle to hit the target and Alisson lets it roll out for a goal-kick.

40' Sensational defending from Fernandinho. Mo Salah gets on his bike on the left and cuts in before Fernandinho makes the cleanest of ball recoveries.

38' SAVE! Trent-Alexander Arnold makes a dizzying run on the right as he cuts in and bulldozes into the box. He lays it off to Firmino who takes a stab at the goal, but the Brazilian's powerful shot is straight is saved by Bravo.

36' City has dominated the chances but Liverpool's prowess on the counter attack has made life difficult for the visitor's defence. Pep Guardiola looks animated on the touchline.

33' LIVERPOOL CORNER! A loose one conceded here. Kyle Walker blasts John Stones for not marking his man properly. Andy Robertson takes the corner. Dejan Lovren gets a head to it. But it goes wide.

29' CHANCE! Angelino makes a brilliant run from the left flank and passes the ball to De Bruyne who gives it back to full-back but the 'Wall of Anfield - Van Dijk' gets there just in time to avoid the danger. De Bruyne somehow gets back the ball and fires one at goal but Alisson makes a timely save.

26' Mane has been a livewire on the field so far. He's literally been everywhere. Another dangerous counter-attack from Liverpool Mane to Salah to Firmino to Robertson and Fernandinho comes to Manchester City's rescue by making the final clearance.

24' ANOTHER CITY SET-PIECE! This is De Bruyne's sixth dead-ball situation of the match so far. And this one is off the target as well. Manchester City needs to find a way out in this game soon.

21' CLOSE! Gini Wijnaldum with a brilliant one-two with Sadio Mane. He tried to curve his final shot away from Bravo but a deflection of Fernandinho has won Liverpool a corner. However, the resultant set piece was a poor one.

19' OFFSIDE!!! A string of one-two passes were executed in the process. Jordan Henderson initiated the move. But Alexander-Arnold's final flick to Salah ended up a tad offside.

16' Rodri passes the ball to Angelino who comes up with a decent cross from the left flank. Aguero gets a feather on it as Alisson collects it pretty easily.

13' It's 2-0 Liverpool!!!! Another one against the run of play! Andy Robertson with a beautiful ball from the left wing and Mo Salah finishes it off with an effortless header to increase the lead for his side. Two shots on target for Liverpool and two goals!

10' After dominating most parts of the opening 10 minutes, Manchester City is struggling now. Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling are having some problems regarding communication up front.

6' GOAL!!!!! Fabinho with an absolute stunner here! Liverpool takes the lead against the run of play. Ilkay Gundogan with a poor clearance first up. Fabinho got on to the ball took his time and shot the ball past Bravo. There's some more drama! In the lead-up to the counter, there seemed to be a potential handball by Virgil Van Dijk. But VAR rules it out.

5' FREE-KICK! De Bruyne takes it and it's another failed attempt.

4' Good positive play from City so far. Liverpool has spent the first four minutes in its own half. Aguero and Sterling are attacking with intent.

3' De Bruyne delivers the ball from the corner flag. He is unable to find a teammate. However, Sterling latches on to the rebound only to fire it wide.

2' Kyle Walker with back-to-back throw-ins. The second one eventually finds Kevin De Bruyne who puts in a wayward cross. But a deflection earns Manchester City a corner.

And the match is underway!

Fernandinho is Manchester City's skipper for the game, while Jordan Henderson will lead Liverpool. Referee Michael Oliver will supervise the match today.

The atmosphere at the Anfield is absolutely insane!

The players are out!

QUICK FACT - Manchester City is the last team to beat Liverpool in the Premier League. That was exactly 311 days ago.

HERE THEY ARE AGAIN!!!

LIVERPOOL AND MANCHESTER CITY.

The Premier League's leading protagonists primed for another high-paced, highly important battle, both determined to make a statement ahead of an international break.

It is 10 months since these two previously lined up against each other in the league. Back on January 3, the Reds went into the fixture at the Etihad Stadium knowing a win would open up a double-digit lead at the summit.

Success would not have secured the crown, of course, but it would have left their rival with substantial ground to make up and with less than half a season remaining. City knew as much too, leading to a performance full of spirit to go with their undoubted skill.

- SQUADS -

Liverpool: Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum; Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane.

Substitutes: Adrian (G), James Milner, Naby Keita, Joe Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Divock Origi.

Manchester City: Claudio Bravo; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Fernandinho, Angelino; Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan; Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling.

Substitutes: Gabriel Jesus, S Carson (G), Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi, J Cancelo, David Silva.

 

MATCH PREVIEW:

Liverpool has lived through many false dawns in the 29 years since last lifting a league title, but the class of 2019/20 have the chance to prove they are the real deal when reigning champion Manchester City visits Anfield on Sunday.

City’s relentless hunger to push the bar to new heights under Pep Guardiola has kept Liverpool waiting. Despite posting the third highest points tally in English top flight history last season with 97, Liverpool lost out by a solitary point as City backed up its 100-point campaign with 98 to retain the title.

Beset by defensive injuries, those standards have slipped slightly at the start of this season, allowing Jurgen Klopp’s men to open up a six-point lead ahead of Sunday’s battle between the top two.

Revitalised since Klopp took charge four years ago, Liverpool has not lost a home game in the Premier League since April 2017. Its solitary defeat in the last 50 league games on any ground came away to City in January in a titanic tussle that ultimately decided the title race.

The consistency of both sides has seen this fixture become English football’s biggest game in recent seasons. In 2017/18 it was Liverpool who ended City’s quest for an unbeaten league season and thrashed Guardiola’s men 5-1 on aggregate in an ill-tempered Champions League quarterfinal.

While City has suffered shock defeats to Norwich and Wolves in the first 11 games of the season, Liverpool has had the air of champion in recent weeks with its ability to fight to the end for its rewards.

Late goals against Leicester, Tottenham, Manchester United and Aston Villa have earned Klopp’s men an extra eight points in the past month alone. Now they have the perfect opportunity to press home their advantage against a City side further weakened at the back by an injury to goalkeeper Ederson.

The erratic Claudio Bravo, who was sent-off for a characteristic charge from his goal against Atalanta in the Champions League in midweek, will start a Premier League game for the first time since May 2018.

A longer term injury to Aymeric Laporte has already destabilised City’s title defence with midfielder Fernandinho forced to deputise at centre-back, while left-back Benjamin Mendy is still to find his best form after two injury plagued seasons.

Guardiola insisted all will not be lost in the case of his fourth defeat in five visits to Anfield as City boss, but knows how much of a mountain it would leave his side to climb.

* Welcome back to Sportstar's live blog of the Liverpool vs Manchester City Premier League clash *