It was the big clash on Sunday and the snacks were ready in front of the television to enjoy a great contest at the venue where Liverpool have been unbeaten for a long time. The wall has been breached, but still, the intensity should not fade so earl, and thus during the do-or-die clash against the in-form Manchester City – the Reds were expected to maintain their outstanding recording against the Sky Blue, who have not won at Anfield since 2003!

The match started and the Sky Blue juggernauts hammered the Reds at their own backyard – Ilkay Gundogan recovered from a first-half penalty miss to score twice, Raheem Sterling found the net at Anfield for the first time since swapping Liverpool for City in 2015 and Phil Foden embellished both the score-line and wonderful individual performance with an emphatic late finish.

The first half was a cagey affair and in the 37th minute the breakthrough almost came when City won a penalty but Gundogan sent that high over the bar.

According to Opta, four of the last six penalties to have missed the target completely in the Premier League have been by Manchester City players, with three of those coming against Liverpool – Riyad Mahrez in October 2018, De Bruyne in November 2020, and Gundogan last night.

After the break, Gundogan prodded home the rebound after Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson saved Foden’s shot.

Liverpool were then awarded a penalty of their own as Ruben Dias tugged back Mohamed Salah in the penalty area. The Egyptian made no mistake with his spot-kick as he brought his side back on level terms just after the hour mark.

The equalizer seemed to have reignited the visitors, and they re-took the lead 10 minutes later. Foden pounced on a botched clearance from Alisson and set up Gundogan to bag his brace. Alisson’s night went from bad to worse in the 76th minute. Another one of his misplaced passes was picked off by Bernardo Silva, who dinked the ball across goal for Sterling to head home into an unguarded net.

Foden then secured the three points in the 83rd minute, cutting in from the right before rifling a powerful left-footed effort past Alisson into the roof of the net.

Without injured duo Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero and starting the game without any recognized strikers, City smashed in four but could, and probably should, have had more.

Phil Foden put in the most impressive performance of the day as he took on the task of playing the false-nine role in Guardiola’s side like a seasoned striker. Many felt that that the academy graduate should have been a starter regularly, but Pep Guardiola knows very well how to utilize the talents – the improvement of the lad has been steady enough, and right now the results are showing.

Liverpool may yet again have been without any recognized center-backs, but experienced replacements Fabinho and Jordan Henderson struggled to cope with the movement and quality that Foden provided.

His fourth goal was one to remember – Foden, who played as a false nine before being switched to the right flank, was not finished and took a cross-field pass, stepped inside Andy Robertson, and lashed a vicious shot high into the net. It was too hot for Alisson to handle and sent Liverpool spinning to a third straight league defeat at Anfield for the first time since 1963.

For City, it is 10 straight victories in the league and 14 in all competitions, which only two top-flight clubs have done – Preston in 1892 and Arsenal in 1987.

Liverpool paid a heavy price for the mistakes they made and their backline was too shaky.

The Reds are out of the title race according to the current scenario until and unless something dramatic happens. But at least they need to get regain their consistency as soon as possible.

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