Incredible, spectacular, speechless, still can’t believe it and I’ve had the whole night to let it sink in. Probably similar to the majority of the fanbase, I was so nervous before the game, we are all aware of what Manchester City are capable of.
Before continuing, I just want to make it absolutely clear that the attack and damage to the Man City bus before the game was bang out of order. That is not a true representation of the LFC fan base. I hope the minority of individuals responsible feel ashamed and are dealt with lawfully.
Back to matters on the field, maybe I’m wrong, and someone will nudge my memory, but for the life of me, I can’t recall in recent history a performance as complete as that – Attack, Midfield, and Defence all 10/10. Fans of both teams and neutrals alike expected a lot of attacking flair and goals, but not many would’ve predicted that result or performance, we were simply sensational. Inside Anfield, it seemed the fans, players, and manager were all performing in perfect harmony.
I have to put my hands up and publically apologise. I wasn’t so sure about the signings of Ox, Robertson, and I even doubted whether or not Salah would be able to replicate his Roma form in England. I’m genuinely delighted to have been proven wrong, Salah has stolen all the headlines but to see Ox & Robertson flourishing demonstrates the knowledge Jurgen Klopp and his staff possess. I wonder how many managers globally would have given Ox the opportunity to play in a midfield three? 12 months ago, I definitely couldn’t see him playing in that position (for any club), let alone scoring an absolute screamer in a Champions League Quarter Final – I rate Ederson but even De Gea or Neuer wouldn’t have got anywhere near that.
We’ve all had our moments and a fair share of rants with Lovren, Karius, Henderson (in my opinion sometimes unjustifiably criticised), TAA and Milner, but you couldn’t pick a fault in any of them last night, they all performed. TAA put in one of the best individual performances I’ve seen this season, against, in my opinion, a future Ballon d’Or winner in Leroy Sane.
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Tactically, I believe Klopp made small significant changes in comparison to the previous thriller at Anfield in January. I saw us being even smarter (if possible) with our pressing, choosing moments and pockets to apply pressure rather than going full throttle from the whistle. We gassed out really badly in the last 10 mins back in January, if the game had continued for much longer City would’ve scored again and maybe even won the game. No such mistakes this time around, the movement & tempo was controlled throughout the 90 minutes, Firmino was special without doing anything special, and the midfield was disciplined. The first half is something I knew we are capable of, there was not much doubt about our attacking qualities but the second half, for me, was even more admirable. A defensive masterclass, something I haven’t seen in a decade from LFC in a big game, against a big opponent.
We lost to Man City 5-0 earlier on in the season, Sane scoring twice, Mane sent off. Fast forward to present time, we are still the only team to have scored three goals against Man City (twice now) this season, with one foot in the Champions League Semi-Finals, the highs and lows of the game – I simply love football.
P.S. Phil Coutinho anyone?
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