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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 17 June, 2018


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off is at 12.30pm.

Here are the teams…

Manchester City: Ederson, Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Walker, De Bruyne, David Silva, Mendy, Gabriel Jesus, Aguero.

Subs: Bravo, Mangala, Gundogan, Delph, Foden, Bernardo Silva, Sane.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Klavan, Matip, Moreno, Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Subs: Karius, Lovren, Gomez,  Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Solanke, Sturridge.

This should be another thriller — Manchester City and Liverpool almost always deliver when the pair meet.

Under Jurgen Klopp Liverpool have lost just one of 22 games against last season’s top seven in the Premier League, while Man City have lost just one of their last 23 games at the Etihad — a fine clash of stats.

That said, City have kept just six clean sheets of those 23 home games — with both sets of teams high on attacking talent and clearly vulnerable in defence, goals will certainly be on the agenda this afternoon.

The Etihad looking in pristine condition for this afternoon’s game.

Manchester City v Liverpool - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett

The big team news today sees Ragnar Klavan chosen by Jurgen Klopp ahead of Dejan Lovren in the centre of defence.

Liverpool remain without Philippe Coutinho — who boss Klopp decided to omit in order to give the Brazilian playmaker suitable time to regain match fitness — while new signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starts on the bench.

City, meanwhile, make three changes from the team that beat Bournemouth two weeks ago.

Raheem Sterling will not face his old side as the winger is suspended, while Jon Stones takes the place of the injured Vincent Kompany and Bernardo Silva is replaced by the returning Kyle Walker at wing-back in a 3-1-4-2 formation for the Blues.


Manchester City starting with both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus up to, with Pep Guardiola deploying a back three which will be looking to prevent the attacking nous of Mane, Firmino and Salah.


Liverpool starting brightly, however Man City showing their own capabilities to attack with fierce pace on the break — Kevin De Bruyne looking lively as the link between midfield and attack.


New man in town — Oxlade-Chamberlain could make his debut for Liverpool today. He starts on the bench.

Manchester City v Liverpool - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett


Yellow card: Otamendi is booked after hauling down Salah on the very edge of the area. Alberto Moreno smashes the bottom of the wall with the resulting free-kick — a poor effort from the defender.


A monotonous period sees Alexander-Arnold take three throw-ins in quick succession for Liverpool. The defender takes his time with each, earning the whistles and jeers of the home supporters, before referee Jon Moss offers a cautionary word.


Fernandinho with an effort from 30 yards which forces Mignolet into a save, with City wasting the resulting corner as they continue to maintain the upper hand and press Liverpool into their own final third.


Man City really impressing here as Kyle Walker sinks a cross aimed towards the back post. The home supporters certainly are getting behind their side as Guardiola’s side enjoy the lion’s share of possession in these early exchanges.


Liverpool get their first shot on target as Emre Can uses the time and space afforded to him to test Ederson. Can sets himself up well but slips at the last moment as his effort loses all momentum and lands comfortably into the arms of the goalkeeper.


Yellow card: Alexander-Arnold is booked after giving the ball away cheaply to De Bruyne before tugging his shirt in the aftermath. A yellow each and no goals after 20 minutes.


Chance! Mohamed Salah does brilliantly to beat Otamendi on the right wing. The winger hits the ball ahead of him into yards of space before cutting inside — he sees the space is closed down and tries a chance on goal of his own, but his toe-poke is weak and right at Ederson.



And just like that Man City have the lead! Sergio Aguero is played clean through on goal thanks to a brilliant through ball from De Bruyne. The Argentine rounds Mignolet easily and slips the ball into the back of the net. Really brilliant from City.


Yellow card: Sadio Mane sprints at an incredible pace and is hauled down by Fernandinho right on the edge of the area. The winger was ready and willing to pull the trigger there but Liverpool have a free-kick in a promising position…


… it’s a poor effort from Emre Can. No less than 20 yards out from goal the German international blasts his effort well and truly wide of the target to the jeers and applause of the delighted City supporters.


Chance! Mohamed Salah has a one-on-one with Ederson after being played through following some brilliant work from Mane on the left.

Salah takes the ball onto his left but, trying to curl the ball into the far corner, does not put his shot wide enough and sees it saved brilliantly by the Brazilian shot stopper.

He won’t want to see that one again — a real sitter.


A nervy moment for Roger Klaven there as he gives possession away far too cheaply to Gabriel Jesus. The forward darts into the box but is met by a mass of red bodies which put the ball out for a corner. A big let-up for Liverpool there.


Chance again! The ball falls to Jon Stones from the corner and five yards from goal sees his low effort brilliantly saved by Mignotlet at his bottom corner. City have had a growing litany of chances presented as Liverpool look completely discombobulated at the back.


That could be a hammer blow for Liverpool as Mane is given his marching orders by referee Jon Moss. A long ball up the field pits Mane against Ederson — Mane contests the ball along with the goalkeeper and clashes with his opposite number in the air.

Gary Neville claims it is very harsh and he may not be wrong. Both players went for the ball in the air but did Mane lift his leg a little too high? Regardless, Liverpool are down to ten men and face a massive uphill battle in this game.


And it looks as though Ederson will be brought off here as the replay shows Mane’s leg meeting the goalkeeper, although not intentional, in the air. Claudio Bravo is preparing to come on as we approach the break, and a stretcher is brought onto the field.


Substitution for Man City: Ederson is replaced by Claudio Bravo.


Following the extended time allocated to treat Ederson following his clash with Mane, there will be eight minutes of additional time to come at the end of the first half.


A second goal for Man City, but it is disallowed for offside. Pep Guardiola celebrates prematurely along with everyone else inside the Etihad, with Gabriel Jesus’ low effort which beat Mignolet from close range correctly ruled out.


And here is that much debated red card for Sadio Mane…


Just moments after he had a goal ruled out for offside Gabriel Jesus gets on the score sheet and doubles Man City’s lead heading into the break. It’s a fine cross from the boot of De Bruyne on the right and Jesus is happy and willing to glance it past Mignolet emphatically.


Liverpool head into the break looking defeated but not out of this entirely. Man City have bossed the opening 45 minutes almost from start to finish yet still look bafflingly unconvincing at the back.

We knew both sets of teams mirrored one another with strong attacks and suspect defences, and this has been true to form. Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have paired well up front with a goal a each and another for Jesus correctly ruled offside.

Liverpool have had their chances, but the sending off of Sadio Mane will not only be a contentious talking point but could ruin any chance of a comeback for Jurgen Klopp’s side in the second half.


Substitution for Liverpool: Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Mohamed Salah.


Man City are not going to sit back on their two goal cushion, and why should they? They have the lead and are a man to the good, as Sergio Aguero leads the attacking line, hustling and bustling his way into the box before being charged down by Firmino. A strong start to the second interval.


Gabriel Jesus really enjoyed his goal before the break — his first of the season.

Manchester City v Liverpool - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett


Meanwhile Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain has been introduced as he enjoys his first few minutes in the red of Liverpool. The Arsenal wing-back signed for £40 million on deadline day last Thursday.


Two chances in quick succession sees Aguero have a goal ruled out for offside, before City regain possession immediately from Liverpool’s free-kick to bag a third — Gabriel Jesus the scorer.

Liverpool pushed bodies forward in search of a way back into this game but have been found out completely unawares.

Aguero once again finds himself unmarked behind enemy lines and, bearing down on goal, selflessly passes sideways to Jesus — the Brazilian with the easiest of tap-ins.


Liverpool look aimless and with 35 minutes still to play. It could get worse before it gets better for Jurgen Klopp’s side as a potential Gabriel Jesus hat-trick lies in wait as the second half continues.


Substitution for Man City: Gabriel Jesus is replaced by Leroy Sane.


That hat-trick will not be on the cards as Jesus is replaced by Leroy Sane. A brace and another goal ruled out for offside for the striker today, however the most impressive aspect of his performance has been his sublime partnership with Sergio Aguero.


Substitution for Liverpool: Georginio Wijnaldum is replaced by James Milner.


The latest reports suggest Ederson is being assessed for possible cheek and jawbone fractures following his clash with Sadio Mane in the first half.


Manchester City stroking the ball about, waiting patiently for a crack in the Liverpool defence to surface. The Reds are just sitting back, happy to be passive onwatchers as they await the final whistle.

Pep Guardiola will have instructed his players to make the most of their one man advantage, and that they are in this second half.

Liverpool bodies are going through the motions awaiting the final whistle, struggling to get on the ball to create any sort of a chance at goal.


Better from Liverpool as they edge up the pitch following a period of possession. Roberto Firmino drops a neat ball into the path of Alexander-Arnold, however before the young defence can even offer a shot on goal he is ruled offside.


Substitution for Man City: Otamendi is replaced by Mangala.


Save! City go in search of a fourth but Simon Mignolet does brilliantly to save a potential own goal following a block from Matip, which he aimed to deflect out for a corner but which almost landed in the back of his own net… I mean, to add insult to injury — four goals, a red card and an own goal? Hmm.


Liverpool doing well to keep the scoreline as it is. Where some teams might throw in the towel Joel Matip and Roger Klaven have held firm in this second half and kept the score at just 3-0 when it could be so much more for the time being.

Klopp’s side not doing much by way of creating chances, but a man down they will know just how important keeping the score of this game from growing any further could be. Like Liverpool’s own 4-0 demolition of Arsenal, such scoreline’s can have massive repercussions mentally.


And just like that… it is 4-0. Liverpool had done well to hold on, and hold on… but eventually something had to give.

Leroy Sane is only on the pitch 20 minutes and already he is in on the goal action. Sane finds Mendy and continues his own run into the penalty area. The ball returns to him on a plate and he edges it past Mignolet coolly and with brilliant composure.


Both sides came into today’s meeting unbeaten, but Liverpool will return to Merseyside with their tails between their legs.

They have been humiliated here today and will also be without the services of star forward Mane for two games just when he seemed to be hitting form.

With a Champions League group-stage meeting with Seville to come mid-week, Klopp’s charges will need to recover and recover fast.


Almost a chance for Liverpool as captain Jordan Henderson leads the charge going forward.

He breaks through enemy lines and — trying as Sergio Aguero did earlier to round the goalkeeper — is beaten to the ball by the quick reactions of Claudio Bravo, who will want to cling onto this clean sheet with everything he has.


Once again City are happy to knock the ball about. Liverpool players hardly pressing but waiting for the sweet release of referee Jon Moss’s final whistle.

His red card for Sadio Mane will be the key talking point after this game. Initial viewings saw it as harsh, whereas under more reflection a consensus has deemed that Mane’s raised leg into the face of Ederson was worthy of a sending off.

And that should be a wrap — Pep Guardiola has his first win over Jurgen Klopp while in the Premier League and what a win it is.

Leroy Sane grabs his second, Kyle Walker with the assist.

About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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