MAnchester City won the thrilling top game against Liverpool and missed the Reds with coach Jürgen Klopp the next bitter setback. The English football champions prevailed 4-1 (1-1) in the duel between star coaches Klopp and Pep Guardiola on Saturday, even without the injured striker Erling Haaland. The Cityzens are just five points behind leaders Arsenal in the Premier League. Liverpool suffered their ninth defeat of the season.
Mohamed Salah (17th minute) gave the guests a completely surprising lead before Haaland representative Julian Alvarez (27th) equalized and midfield star Kevin De Bruyne (46th) and German international Ilkay Gündogan (53rd) clear the champions brought leadership. The outstanding Jack Grealish then set the final point (74th). The Reds won the first leg 1-0.
Salah scores for Liverpool
Manchester, who were also missing England international Phil Foden (appendectomy), dominated the fast-paced duel, while Liverpool didn’t play offensively. The lead of the Klopp team then fell completely out of nowhere: Salah converted a counterattack initiated by keeper Alisson Becker over a few stops with a precise shot from 18 meters. It was the Reds’ first chance – and in the end the only high-profile one.
City and the fans in the sold-out Etihad Stadium were shocked only briefly, then the champion took over the offensive again. England international Grealish prevented a Salah cross with a strong sprint backwards and the possible 2-0 for the Reds. And almost in return, he hung up after a great combination for Alvarez, who only needed to push in.
The second half started like the first with plenty of tempo: just 53 seconds after the restart, De Bruyne made Guardiola celebrate and Klopp frustrated when he converted a quick counterattack to put the hosts ahead. Gündogan then made the preliminary decision with a precise shot from the penalty area after a good combination.