Manchester City 1-4 Liverpool: Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho run riot at the Etihad

first_img Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho celebrating Liverpool’s third goal Liverpool humbled Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium as Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino ran riot on Saturday evening.The first goal came after only seven minutes through an own goal by Eliaquim Mangala before Coutinho doubled the lead 13 minutes later.The Reds were 3-0 up after 30 minutes as Firmino scored before Sergio Aguero scored a stunner before half time.Martin Skrtel powered in the final goal with 10 minutes remaining on an evening where Liverpool could conceivably have scored eight or nine.The win leaves Liverpool six points adrift of the Champions League places, while Manchester City drop down to third.Liverpool broke the deadlock after only seven minutes when Coutinho robbed Bacary Sagna of the ball on City’s right before Firmino sent in a low cross which was clumsily turned past Joe Hart by Mangala as he tried to sort out his feet.Manchester City’s defensive frailties in the absence of Vincent Kompany were highlighted again for the second goal as Firmino took advantage of Mangala’s indecision to run into the box before delivering a low pass across goal for Coutinho to stroke home.Jurgen Klopp’s high intensity pressing tactic when playing away from home had City like rabbits in a headlight as Coutinho skilfully chipped the ball over the dreadful Mangala and linked with Firmino who volleyed just wide of Hart’s far post.  For as bad as Mangala had been, Liverpool’s Brazilian attacking duo of Coutinho and Firmino had been every bit as brilliant as they combined again for Liverpool’s third.Emre Can produced a lovely backheel to set Coutinho free in the box, before the Brazilian squared to his fellow countryman Firmino to knock the ball into an empty net.Liverpool looked like they would score with every attack but Sergio Aguero, so often the hero for City, gave Manuel Pellegrini’s side a lifeline on the stroke of half time as he ran at the Reds defence before curling in a beautiful right-footed shot past Simon Mignolet from 25 yards.Manchester City replaced Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas with Fernandinho and Fabian Delph at the break and were far more competitive with energy levels similar to those exhibited by Liverpool in the first half.In a scrappy second half, it took a moment of genius from Adam Lallana to carve out the first clear-cut chance as the Englishman cleverly dummied Coutinho’s pass but Hart saved well at Firmino’s feet.City’s best chance came through Raheem Sterling who latched on to a poor backpass from James Milner but the former Red took the ball too wide before setting up Aguero who saw his shot stopped by fantastically Mignolet.Liverpool’s fourth goal was a thunderbolt of a volley by Skrtel after confusion from the corner, six years to the day the defender scored his first for the Reds, also against Manchester City.The result was proof of the hard work put in by Klopp and the players on the training ground as their high intensity pressing could easily have led to another four goals being scored by the Reds. 1last_img


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *