MX23RW : Wednesday, October 24 05:53:41
Jan 14, 2018 at 4pm UK at ​Anfield
Attendance: 53,285
Liverpool
4-3
Man CityManchester City
Oxlade-Chamberlain (9'), Firmino (60'), Mane (62'), Salah (68')
Firmino (60'), Milner (93')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Sane (41'), Silva (84'), Gundogan (92')
Otamendi (65'), Sterling (69'), Fernandinho (72')

Live Commentary: Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City - as it happened

Live Commentary: Liverpool 4-3 Man City - as it happened
© Offside
Relive Liverpool's thrilling 4-3 victory over Manchester City as the Reds end the league leaders' hopes of an unbeaten Premier League season.

Manchester City saw their hopes of an unbeaten Premier League season ended in thrilling style this afternoon as they fell to a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Liverpool at Anfield.

Liverpool took the lead through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after just nine minutes, but City ensured that they would go into the break all square when Leroy Sane restored parity shortly before half time.

Goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in a devastating eight-minute spell saw Liverpool blow City away in the second half, although they were forced to hang on for victory after Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan pulled goals back late on.

Find out how an action-packed match unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute coverage below.


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6pmRight, that is all we have time for this evening!

Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for this incredible contest as Liverpool end Manchester City's unbeaten run in the Premier League at 30 matches courtesy of a 4-3 victory at Anfield. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.

From me, though, it is goodbye for now!


5.58pmWhat a game. An incredible contest at Anfield, which sees Liverpool hold out despite some heavy late pressure from Manchester City to end Pep Guardiola's side's dreams of an invincible season!

Three goals in the space of eight second-half minutes proved to be enough for Liverpool after Leroy Sane had earlier cancelled out Oxlade-Chamberlain's opener, although City certainly didn't go down with a whimper as late goals from Bernardo Silva and Gundogan gave them hope of a memorable comeback in the final 10 minutes.


90+5 minFULL TIME: Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City

90+4 minLIVERPOOL SUB: Liverpool make a change before the free kick is taken, with Ragnar Klavan replacing Mane.

90+4 minYELLOW CARD! Milner picks up a late yellow card as Man City win a free kick in a dangerous crossing position...

90+2 minSurely not?! Man City pull another goal back, and suddenly the comeback looks like it could well happen with two minutes of injury time still remaining!

Sane takes the ball inside before finding Aguero, who stands a cross up into the box. Gundogan somehow finds space in there to take the ball down on his chest and poke it past the keeper from close range!


90+2 minGOAL! Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City (Ilkay Gundogan)

90 minThere will be four minutes of added time at the end of this match!

88 minLIVERPOOL SUB: Another change for the Reds here as Salah departs to be replaced by Adam Lallana.

86 minLiverpool have thrown away plenty of leads already this season, of course, so the fans may be biting their fingernails right now. City need to strike soon if they are to give themselves some real hope, though.

84 minA glimmer of hope for Man City, perhaps?

The visitors pull a goal back as Sane cuts inside from the left flank before seeing his shot well blocked. The ball only falls to the feet of Bernardo, though, and he tucks away his finish into the bottom corner. Nervy times ahead for Liverpool!

Bernardo Silva pulls one back during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Manchester City on January 14, 2018© Offside


84 minGOAL! Liverpool 4-2 Man City (Bernardo Silva)

83 minSHOT! Liverpool break yet again and Firmino holds on to the ball before laying it off for Wijnaldum, who drills a low shot just wide of the target.

81 minWijnaldum wins the ball just outside his own area and leads the charge for another counter-attack, but he is slow to get his head up and when he finally spots Mane's run the winger is offside.

79 minLIVERPOOL SUB: Change for the hosts here as James Milner replaces Can.

78 minCHANCE! Chance for City to pull one back and perhaps give themselves a glimmer as Otamendi sneaks in at the back post to get on the end of De Bruyne's cross, but he can't get anything on it to turn it back across the face of goal.

76 minLiverpool are hounding and chasing everything here, with Robertson ending up on the right wing due to his closing down. He wins the ball back alongside Firmino too, although the referee blows from a free kick to City inside their own box.

74 min

72 minYELLOW CARD! Fernandinho now joins his teammates in the book for a cynical challenge.

71 minMAN CITY SUB: Forget the goals, this may be the biggest cheer of the day as Sterling is withdrawn to be replaced by Bernardo Silva.

70 minYELLOW CARD! Sterling becomes the latest player in the book for a sliding challenge on Wijnaldum.

68 minSurely that is game over now! Liverpool extend their lead even further, and it is a poor mistake from Ederson of all people which gifts them it.

Salah plays a pass through which is easily mopped up by Ederson, but his clearance only sends it straight back to Salah. The Egyptian still has plenty to do, but he takes a touch before lofting it over the stranded keeper and into the empty net from all of 35 yards.


68 minGOAL! Liverpool 4-1 Manchester City (Mohamed Salah)

67 minHere is that Mane goal for your viewing pleasure...



65 minYELLOW CARD! Otamendi picks up a yellow card for a cynical block on Salah down the right channel.

64 minLiverpool are absolutely flying now, and they believe that they can get more goals here. There is still time for Man City to get back into this game, but first they need to quell this Liverpool momentum.

62 minIncredible scenes at Anfield! Liverpool have two goals in as many minutes to send Man City well on course for their first league defeat of the season!

Mane, having missed a chance moments ago, picks up possession on the edge of the area before drilling a stunning strike right into the top corner, leaving Ederson so chance. Anfield is rocking!


62 minGOAL! Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City (Sadio Mane)

61 minOFF THE POST! Liverpool are inches away from a second in quick succession as Mane curls one from the edge of the box which clips the outside of the post on its way behind!

60 minLiverpool regain the lead with half an hour remaining, and it is a stunning finish from Roberto Firmino!

The Brazilian shrugs off Stones to get on the end of a pass forward, with the Man City defender beaten far too easily. From there, Firmino lifts an exquisite finish over Ederson and into the far corner. Brilliant finish.


60 minGOAL! Liverpool 2-1 Manchester City (Roberto Firmino)

58 minAlmost an hour gone in this game now and this one could still go either way. A draw is not a terrible result for either side, but you feel that there will be a few more chances before this game is through.

56 minSAVE! Ederson comes for a second corner in the space of a minute and again does not claim it cleanly. Salah picks it up on the right flank before curling one towards goal from a long way out which Ederson needs to tip over the top.

56 minCHANCES! A couple of chances in quick succession for Liverpool as Ederson comes to claim a corner, only to flap at it and divert it straight to Salah. Salah drives it powerfully towards goal, but Ederson recovers well to parry the ball away. Man City look like they may be on the counter straight after, but Liverpool win the ball back again and get it to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who cuts inside his man down the left channel before drilling a low strike towards the near post with Ederson gets down well to push wide.

55 minThe second half has quickly fallen into a similar pattern to the first, with both teams playing quick football and focused on going forward every time they get the ball.

53 minMan City are looking increasingly dangerous here as De Bruyne tries another low cross into the box from the right flank, but again Aguero can't get to it.

51 minOFF THE CROSSBAR! Man City immediately break and good work from De Bruyne and Sterling eventually sees the ball fall to the feet of Aguero, whose first-time effort is blocked behind by Matip. Otamendi rises highest from the resulting corner and plants a superb header towards goal, only to see it crash against the crossbar with Karius beaten.

50 minReally good play from Gomez as he beats Danilo and Gundogan down the right flank before swinging a low cross into the box which Ederson does well to claim.

48 minEderson is quickly off his line to mop up a Mane through-ball which was being chased by Firmino. Good, alert goalkeeping from the City man again there.

46 minKICKOFF: Man City get us back underway for the second half at Anfield!

5.02pmMATCH STATS:

Possession: 43%-57%
Shots: 8-4
Shots on target: 2-2
Corners: 2-3
Fouls: 4-2


5pmThere have been more sights of goal at both ends of the field, but the match has been defined by the intensity and quality both on and off the ball rather than a host of clear-cut chances.

Liverpool and City have both played well and it has been a good, even tussle so far which hopefully we will see more of in the second half. Both teams have enjoyed spells in the ascendancy.


4.58pmIt took until the 41st minute for Man City to respond with the equaliser, and Liverpool will be frustrated as it was an avoidable one from their perspective.

Gomez first misjudged Walker's long diagonal ball forward, allowing Sane to take it down and break in behind the full-back. Sane then cut back onto his left foot before firing a powerful effort past Karius at the near post. The Liverpool keeper should have done better, but it was a fine solo effort from Sane nonetheless.


4.56pmThe opening goal arrived after just nine minutes as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave Liverpool the lead with a fine strike early on, setting the tone for a very good individual display in that opening 45 minutes.

Firmino battled well to win the ball off Delph inside the Man City half before poking it back to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who immediately drove forward. The Ox then drilled a crisp low effort past Ederson and into the corner from around 25 yards to send Anfield into raptures.


4.54pmThe first half comes to an end at Anfield, and it is all square after a really high-quality opening 45 minutes between Liverpool and Manchester City.

Both sides have played with a good tempo and intensity, with the game living up to the billing so far. It is still all to play for in the second half, and both sides will be believing that they can go on to win this game.


45+2 minHALF TIME: Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City

45+1 minThere will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.

45 minSHOT! Man City break quickly and Fernandinho comes into shooting space before letting fly, but he drags his effort comfortably wide.

43 minOxlade-Chamberlain has been really bright in this first half, and he again threatens here by reaching the byline and winning a corner.

41 minOut of nothing, Man City have the equaliser just before half time!

It is a really good goal from Sane too as he collects a long ball on his chest, with his first touch taking Gomez out of the game. He cuts inside before then going back on to his left foot and slamming a powerful effort past Karius at the near post. Karius should have done better, but take nothing away from Sane there.


41 minGOAL! Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City (Leroy Sane)

39 minSAVE! Salah threatens again here as he cuts inside onto his deadly left foot of his before curling an effort towards goal. It is an ambitious strike, though, and Ederson is able to make a comfortable save.

37 minBrilliant work from Liverpool to win the ball back inside their own half just when Man City's threat seemed to be beginning to grow. They quickly launch a counter and ball is played through for Salah, but he cannot add to Liverpool's lead.

35 minSAVE! De Bruyne picks up the ball around 27 yards from goal and drives a low strike towards the bottom corner, but he doesn't catch it perfectly and Karius makes a fairly comfortable save.

34 minLiverpool almost break through again here as Mane slides a pass through for Firmino, but the Brazilian's touch lets him down.

33 minBetter from Liverpool in terms of getting close to De Bruyne as first Wijnaldum and then Mane make life difficult for the Belgian. Liverpool give away a free kick, but they need to keep that close an eye on him.

31 minCHANCE! Half a chance for Liverpool here, and again Oxlade-Chamberlain is involved. He wins two duels against Man City players to break down the right before whipping a cross into the box which Firmino can only glance wide of the near post.

31 minMAN CITY SUB: Delph will not be able to soldier on after all as he limps off to be replaced by Danilo.

30 minDe Bruyne is beginning to have a growing influence on this game, which needs to be ringing alarm bells for Liverpool. The Belgian hasn't managed to do any damage so far, but it could only be a matter of time.

28 minThis is now already Oxlade-Chamberlain's highest-scoring Premier League season too. What must Arsene Wenger be thinking on a day when his side fell to another disappointing defeat?



26 minIt looked as though Man City may be forced into an early change here as Delph goes down and Danilo is on the sidelines ready to come on. Delph insists that he is fine to continue, though, and the change is put on hold.

25 minLiverpool come forward for the first time in a while as Mane slides a pass down the left channel for Wijnaldum, but Mane is then caught on his heels for the return ball and it is picked off. That would have been a good chance too.

23 minSHOT! De Bruyne pings a pass over to Sterling, who in turn knocks it back inside for Sane. Sane has a bit of space to shoot from outside the box, and his effort deflects wide of the target with Karius completely wrong-footed.

23 minMan City are enjoying a good spell here. They have dominated possession over the past five minutes or so and are beginning to press Liverpool back into their own half now.

22 minHere is that Oxlade-Chamberlain goal, which is all that separates the two sides a quarter of the way into this game...



20 minCLOSE! De Bruyne is involved again here as he swings a low cross into the box which is just begging to tapped in. Aguero is just short of getting the decisive touch, although the Argentine was offside anyway.

19 minDe Bruyne looks to slide a ball through to Sterling, but it is cleared out for a throw-in. It was a brilliant piece of vision for De Bruyne, but he just didn't put enough on the pass this time.

17 minThere is space for Liverpool to attack behind the Man City defence here, and they are not shy about exposing it. The hosts have started really well here.

15 minCHANCE! Another bright break from Liverpool as Mane escapes down the left flank, but he cannot find a pass as the attack slows down. He ends up back-heeling it into the path of Salah, but he can't get a shot away. Moments later Salah picks up possession in the box, but Otamendi slows him down and Salah can then only poke it past the near post.

13 minCity look for a quick response as De Bruyne brings the ball forward before slipping a pass to Sterling down the right channel but, much to the delight of the Anfield faithful, the linesman's flag goes up against the pantomime villain.

11 minThere is still a long way to go in this match, of course, but Jurgen Klopp will be delighted to have got that early goal. It should also be a good one for the neutrals as City now need to attack even more, and Liverpool are not exactly a team to sit back.

9 minWhat a start for Liverpool, and it is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who sends Anfield wild with a brilliant opening goal!

Firmino wins possession off Delph and immediately gives the ball to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who drives forward towards the edge of the area before letting fly from around 25 yards out. It is hard, low and right in the corner to beat Ederson and give Liverpool the lead over City!

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores the opener during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Manchester City on January 14, 2018© Offside


9 minGOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain)

7 minThis certainly isn't going to improve Sterling's popularity inside Anfield. The winger collects De Bruyne's pass in the area and beats Can to the ball, but they throws himself to the floor far too easily. Not enough in that one for a penalty.

5 minSterling is predictably getting heavily booed every time he gets on the ball following his acrimonious departure from Liverpool a couple of years ago. These Liverpool fans certainly haven't forgotten.

3 minPlenty of possession early on for Liverpool, and they almost break through for the first time. Mane looks like he is clean through on goal following a flick on from Firmino, but the winger's first touch lets him down. Salah picks up the loose ball, but sees his subsequent effort blocked.

1 minKICKOFF: Here we go then! Liverpool get us underway amid a raucous atmosphere at Anfield!

3.58pmRight, just a couple of minutes away from kickoff in this mouth-watering contest now. The players are out, so let's have a quick reminder of the team news before we get started.

LIVERPOOL STARTING XI: Karius; Gomez, Lovren, Matip, Robertson; Can, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mane

MAN CITY STARTING XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph; Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Gundogan; Sane, Sterling, Aguero


3.56pmThe reverse win was Man City's only triumph in their last six Premier League meetings with Liverpool, though, losing four of those and drawing just one in that time, and the 5-0 scoreline only tells part of the story too.

Liverpool were well in the game at the Etihad and arguably should have been ahead with the chances they created before Mane was sent off for a high boot on Ederson - a decision which divided opinion.

Ederson collides with Sadio Mane during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Liverpool on September 9, 2017© Offside


3.54pmMan City won the most recent meeting 5-0 at the Etihad in September, though, inflicting Klopp's joint-heaviest ever defeat as a manager - equalling a 6-1 loss by his Mainz side against Werder Bremen in October 2006.

That result was the first time City have scored five or more goals in a game against Liverpool since March 1937, and another win today would see them clinch a league double over the Reds for the first time since that 1936-37 campaign, when City won their maiden top-flight title.


3.52pmAnfield has been something of a bogey ground for Manchester City down the years, and it is now 16 visits without a victory for the Citizens across all competitions - including 14 in the league - since a Nicolas Anelka brace helped them to victory in 2003.

The corresponding fixture last season took place on New Year's Eve, when Georginio Wijnaldum scored the only goal of the game after only eight minutes to fire Liverpool to victory.


3.50pmPREDICTION! Right, we're 10 minutes away from kickoff at Anfield, which means that it is time for a prediction!

This, on paper, looks to be the biggest test remaining for Man City in their bid for invincibility, and Liverpool seem well matched to cause Guardiola's side plenty of problems. City will still go into the game as slight favourites, but there are plenty of people backing Liverpool to end their unbeaten run and I am among them. A narrow home win in an entertaining game!

SPORTS MOLE SAYS: Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City


3.48pmYou have to go back to an extra time defeat in last season's FA Cup semi-final for Man City's last loss on British soil - a run of 36 matches which includes 32 wins.

In the Premier League alone Man City are currently on a 30-game unbeaten streak, which is the sixth-longest in the history of England's top flight. A win or draw today would see them match Liverpool's longest-ever unbeaten run of 31 games, set in 1987-88.


3.46pmCity are a whopping 19 points better off than the same stage of last season have still only dropped four points throughout the entire campaign so far, while that dominance has also spread into other competitions.

Guardiola's side have won a staggering 30 of their 33 games across all competitions this term, including nine of their 10 outings since their one and only defeat of the season, which came away to Shakhtar Donetsk when they had already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League.


3.44pmMan City also faced a trip to Merseyside almost exactly a year ago, and on that occasion they were swept aside by Everton in a chastening 4-0 defeat.

This is a much different Man City side now, though, and as if their record points tally, goals scored and goal difference was not enough to outline their dominance of this season so far, Pep Guardiola recently became the first man to win the Premier League Manager of the Month award in four successive months.


3.42pmIn the Premier League Man City are unbeaten in their last 14 away games stretching back to April, picking up 38 points from a possible 42 in that time. That run includes victories at Manchester United and Chelsea too - the other two teams in the top four alongside themselves and City as things stand - and if City manage to win at Anfield as well then they would be the first team to achieve that particular trio of away victories in the top flight since Wimbledon in 1986-87 - and the Dons are the only team to manage the feat since the Second World War.

City have also kept clean sheets in each of their last three away games, and another today would see them make it four on the bounce in the top flight for the first time in their history.

Pep Guardiola applauds during the Premier League game between Manchester City and West Ham United on December 3, 2017© SilverHub


3.40pmThat Palace draw was a match City could have easily lost but for a late missed penalty from the Eagles, and City's last three away games across all competitions have seen them require penalties to get past Leicester, only scrape past an out-of-form Newcastle side and then narrowly avoid defeat to Palace.

This may be as good a time as any for Liverpool to face City, then, but their overall record on the road is still formidable with just one defeat and 16 wins from their 19 away games across all competitions.


3.38pmThe attacking talent on show suggests a game laden with goals, but this match pits the league's best home defensive record against the league's best away defensive record, with both teams conceding only five times respectively.

Liverpool have kept nine clean sheets in their last 13 Premier League home games, but Man City are the only remaining unbeaten team away from home in the league this season and only dropped their first away points of the campaign against Crystal Palace in their most recent visit.


3.36pmOne of those defeats was Klopp's heaviest for Liverpool and joint-heaviest of his managerial career at the hands of Man City in the reverse fixture, though, and it is fair to say that this Man City team is a different beast to many of the sides Liverpool have come up against during that impressive top-six mini-league record.

City are the only team who have outscored Liverpool in the Premier League this season, while also boasting the league's best defensive record, so it will be very interesting to see whether they are able to enjoy a similar level of dominance over Liverpool this time around.


3.34pmIn addition to home advantage, Liverpool also have the advantage of Jurgen Klopp today, with the German having beaten Pep Guardiola four times across all competitions in the past - the joint-highest of any manager alongside Jose Mourinho.

Since Klopp's arrival in October 2015 Liverpool have also won more points in Premier League games between the 'big six' than any other side (39), whilst also boasting more wins (9), fewer defeats (3) and more goals (40) than anyone else in those fixtures.


3.32pmA win tonight would make it four home wins in a row for the first time this season, while even a draw would see them remain unbeaten in their opening 12 home league games of a season for the first time since 2011-12.

Despite all that, Liverpool would still only sit sixth in the table if just home form counted, due largely to their five draws from their 11 league outings at Anfield this term. Indeed, while both of their league defeats have come on the road, Liverpool have picked up just two fewer points away from home than they have at Anfield this term.


3.30pmLast Friday's 2-1 win over Everton in the FA Cup means that they have already equalled last January's tally of wins this year, though, while it also extended their unbeaten run at Anfield to 18 matches across all competitions stretching back to April.

That run includes all 16 home games so far this season and 11 in the Premier League, making one of only two teams - alongside today's opponents - to be undefeated in front of their own fans this term.

James Milner sticks it in from the spot during the FA Cup game between Liverpool and Everton on January 5, 2018© Offside


3.28pmIn the Premier League that unbeaten run stretches back 13 games including three wins in a row, and another win here would make it four on the bounce for the first time since December 2016, when incidentally their fourth victory came against Man City here at Anfield.

Liverpool have only lost two league games all season, but they did not win a single top-flight match in January last year and only won one of nine across all competitions - that coming against minnows Plymouth Argyle in an FA Cup third round replay. The Reds can simply not afford to go on a similar run this year.


3.26pmLiverpool are actually one point worse off than they were at the same stage of last season, when the top-four race went all the way down to the wire, but they come into this match in impressive form having not lost since a 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in October.

The Reds have won 12 and drawn five of their 17 matches across all competitions since then, making for Klopp's longest unbeaten run at Liverpool, and another victory today would see them string together a run of five in a row for the first time since October 2016.


3.24pmTottenham's 4-0 win over Everton yesterday saw Spurs draw level on points and goal difference with Liverpool, which means that a defeat for the Reds this afternoon would see them slip out of the Champions League places.

However, Saturday also brought the good news of another Chelsea draw - against 10-man Leicester - so should Klopp's side become the first English team to beat Man City this season then they would not only restore the three-point gap to fifth place, but they would also climb up to third. Indeed, victory by four goals or more would even see them move up to second, at least until Manchester United take on Stoke tomorrow night.


3.22pmBoth clubs are able to name star-studded sides, then, and on paper this match looks like it could be a classic between two teams to love to play quick and attacking football.

Manchester City's stats make them a daunting task for any club, but Liverpool will feel that they stand as good a chance against Pep Guardiola's side as anyone else. Indeed, while they fell to a 5-0 defeat at the hands of City in the reverse fixture, they actually managed to slice through the City defence on numerous occasions before Mane's 37th-minute red card effectively ended their hopes.


3.20pmKevin De Bruyne is the only player who can match that assist figure, and with David Silva on eight for the season too Man City can boast the three highest assist-makers in the Premier League this season.

De Bruyne keeps up his ever-present record today, although there are six changes from the EFL Cup semi-final win over Bristol City as the likes of Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Delph, Fernandinho and Aguero all return to the starting lineup.


3.18pmAguero is flanked by Sane and former Liverpool player Sterling, who have both been in scintillating form this season. Their importance to the team was showcased by the fact that they featured heavily throughout the hectic festive fixture schedule, surviving Pep Guardiola's rotation system.

Only Salah and Kane have scored more Premier League goals than Sterling this season, while no player in the top flight has laid on more goals than Sane's nine.


3.16pmSergio Aguero will lead the line for Man City again today with Gabriel Jesus still sidelined through injury, but for all of the accolades the Argentine has achieved throughout his career, an Anfield goal is something which has so far eluded him.

Aguero has six goals in 11 appearances against Liverpool overall - more than another other player in the City squad - but all six of those have come in six games at the Etihad, whereas he is yet to find the back of the net in five City visits to the red half of Merseyside.

Sergio Aguero watches on during the Premier League game between Manchester City and West Ham United on December 3, 2017© Offside


3.14pmManchester City, meanwhile, include most of their big-hitters once again following a break from the Premier League to focus on their league duties, during which their quest for the quadruple was kept alive.

David Silva is one influential player to miss out, although the Spaniard is on the bench amid ongoing concerns over the health of his premature son. The playmaker has been flying between England and Spain in recent weeks, but is available to be called upon today should Man City need him.


3.12pmThere are some interesting selections elsewhere for Liverpool today, including a start for Loris Karius in goal ahead of normal league number one Simon Mignolet, who has to make do with a place on the bench.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain once again starts in the midfield three with Lallana left on the bench, and Klopp has made only three changes to the side which beat Everton in the FA Cup third round last Friday. In contrast, there are five changes from their last Premier League outing on New Year's Day.


3.10pmSalah has stolen most of the headlines for Liverpool so far this season, but alongside him Firmino has also enjoyed a fine campaign. The Brazilian may not be an out-and-out striker in the ilk of Aguero, but he has still had a hand in plenty of goals this season and his intelligence is a major part of how Liverpool play.

Sadio Mane has not quite been as his scintillating best for much of the campaign, though, and today would be a perfect time to return to form having been shown a controversial game-changing red card in the reverse.


3.08pmThis is also Liverpool's first match since the record-breaking £146m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, although it is still an impressive attacking lineup named by Jurgen Klopp, led by the returning Mohamed Salah.

Salah has missed the last two games with a groin problem, but he is back this afternoon looking to add to his tally of 17 Premier League goals for the season. Indeed, Salah has been directly involved in 22 goals from his opening 21 Premier League appearances for Liverpool, a tally only Andy Cole (23 for Newcastle) and Dwight Yorke (23 for Manchester United) can beat in Premier League history.


3.06pmWhat can we make of those two teams, then?

Well the headline news is that there is no Virgil van Dijk for Liverpool, with the new world's most expensive defender being denied his Premier League debut for the club due to a tight hamstring.

Van Dijk got his Liverpool career off to a dream start with a late winner at the Kop end in the FA Cup Merseyside derby last Friday, and his absence will be a major blow to Liverpool as they come up against the league's highest scorers here. Dejan Lovren comes into the heart of the defence in his place.

Virgil van Dijk celebrates after quite literally leaping like a salmon to score the Reds' second during the FA Cup game between Liverpool and Everton on January 5, 2018© Offside


3.04pmMAN CITY SUBS: Bravo, Zinchenko, Danilo, Mangala, D Silva, Bernardo, Diaz

3.04pmMAN CITY STARTING XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph; Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Gundogan; Sane, Sterling, Aguero

3.02pmLIVERPOOL SUBS: Mignolet, Milner, Klavan, Lallana, Ings, Solanke, Alexander-Arnold

3.02pmLIVERPOOL STARTING XI: Karius; Gomez, Lovren, Matip, Robertson; Can, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mane

3pmGood afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's later Premier League kickoff, and what a match it promises to be as the division's two top scorers go head to head at Anfield!

Manchester City have been nigh-on unstoppable so far this term, but Liverpool are perhaps the only team in England who look capable of beating the Citizens at their own game and ruining their bid for immortality.

It promises to be a very interesting showdown on Merseyside, so let's waste no time in starting with a look at the team news...


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Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho pictured in front of the Anfield faithful on October 14, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City97202632323
2Liverpool97201631323
3Chelsea96302071321
4Arsenal970222111121
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs9702167921
6Bournemouth95221612417
7Watford95131312116
8Everton94321512315
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves943298115
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231516-114
11Leicester CityLeicester94051515012
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton93241013-311
13Burnley92251017-78
14West Ham UnitedWest Ham9216814-67
15Crystal Palace9216511-67
16Southampton9135614-86
17Cardiff CityCardiff9126819-115
18Fulham91261125-145
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield9036418-143
20Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9027614-82

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