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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 24 July, 2019
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Hello! And welcome to our minute-by-minute coverage of this afternoon’s highly-anticipated late kick-off in the Premier League as Liverpool welcome champions Manchester City to Anfield.

I’m calling it right now, this is going to be a thriller. Following some brilliant action between the inter-pros, McGregor-Khabib in Vegas and Man United’s incredible 3-2 victory against Newcastle, we need one final drama to make this a sporting weekend to remember.

Today sees the top two teams in the Premier League face off to take sole ownership of first place, and if last season’s battles are anything to go by we should be in for a barnstorming game full of goals, drama and endless talking points. Stick with us, kick-off on Merseyside is coming up in an hour’s time at 4.30pm.

Let’s get started with the team news…

So, today’s teams will line out as:

Liverpool: Alisson, Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

Subs: Mignolet, Fabinho, Keita, Sturridge, Shaqiri, Matip, Alexander-Arnold.

Man City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy, Fernandinho, Silva, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, Aguero.

Subs: Muric, Danilo, Kompany, Sané, Otamendi, Jesus, Foden.

Nothing beats a top-of-the-table clash and with Arsenal — fresh off hammering Fulham 5-1 at Craven Cottage earlier this afternoon — climbing into third spot, there is just a little bit of pressure on both sides at Anfield to snatch a win here today.

Liverpool have been billed as title challengers since the summer, and have largely delivered on that billing with six wins and one draw from their opening seven Premier League games. Jurgen Klopp’s side have looked a bit fatigued in recent weeks, however, exiting the Carabao Cup against Chelsea before falling away to Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Man City have also secured six wins and one draw from their opening seven games. Pe Guardiola’s men are keen to secure back-to-back titles, but just haven’t looked the barnstorming 100-points totalling side they were throughout last season.

Like Liverpool, they have led the chasing pack on the domestic front, but have also showed vulnerabilities during their own European shortcoming at home to Lyon, falling 2-1 to the Ligue 1 outfit in front of a home crowd.

Neither side will want to forfeit their unbeaten league record here today. Top spot is up for grabs, as well as the chance to prove who the real title contender is this season.

Jurgen Klopp has named an intriguing lineup this afternoon. On the day of his 20th birthday (how on earth is he still only 20?) Trent Alexander-Arnold drops to the bench with Joe Gomez named at right back and Dejan Lovren named in the centre of defence for Liverpool. Despite not looking at his absolute best in recent weeks, Mohamed Salah starts up front, as Daniel Sturridge and Xherdan Shaqiri must be content with places on the bench.

Some pre-match reading material ahead of kick-off:

Right, with half an hour to go before the action gets underway, how do we see this one unfolding at Anfield? Let us know below!


Poll Results:

Liverpool win (289)
Draw written all over it (175)
Manchester City win (110)



21Mins

Shot! Liverpool with the first sight at goal as Mohamed Salah twists and turns John Stones, getting the ball onto his favoured left foot before drilling a low effort goal-bound which narrowly misses Ederson’s bottom corner. Very positive from Liverpool so far.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League - Anfield Source: Martin Rickett

5Mins

Another chance to break as Man City are easily disposed in the middle of the park. Salah surges forward, feeding the ball to Sadio Mane. But the winger cannot get the ball out of his feet before losing his composure and then the ball. Pep Guardiola’s side are under a lot of pressure at the moment in their own final third.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League - Anfield Source: Martin Rickett

8Mins

Attack, after attack, after attack from the hosts. Andy Robertson piles forward down the left, but John Stones does really well to close the space and usher the ball cooly out for a corner kick. The England centre back has his work cut out for him inside the opening 10 minutes here.

11Mins

Dejan Lovren with a header. The Croatia defender leaps high to meet James’s Milner’s outswinging corner but his effort is directed right into the surface and is seized upon by Ederson, who reacts quickest to end the danger.

17Mins

Now, then. Man City break free and surge forward in search of the opening goal. Guardiola’s men have struggled to hang onto possession for any period of time so far, but Fernandinho drags his side forward through midfield. He passes to Raheem Sterling who fires a powerful left-footed effort just over the crossbar. The ex-Liverpool man receives a heavy chorus of boos from the home supporters.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League - Anfield Source: Martin Rickett

18Mins

David Silva feeds the ball to Sergio Aguero, who is searching for his first ever goal at Anfield this afternoon, but Virgil Van Dijk reads the danger early to get a foot in and boot the ball to safety.

21Mins

Serious claims for a Man City penalty as Dejan Lovren kicks Aguero in the back of the leg. The Argentine striker got up straight away to try and get his shot away, and referee Martin Atkinson saw no reason to call a foul. It very easily could have been given.

22Mins

Should it have been a penalty?

26Mins

Man City enjoying a period of steady possession now, stroking the ball back and forth from left to right and back across. Liverpool’s passionate start has somewhat subdued as they begin to sit back and press.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League - Anfield Source: Martin Rickett

28Mins

A bit of a worry for Liverpool fans now as James Milner goes down needing treatment. It looks like a hamstring issue for the midfielder, with the Liverpool medics coming on to assess the damage. Naby Keita has been sent to warm up.

31Mins

Milner makes way and it does in fact seem to be his hamstring that’s caused his early exit. The player went down on his own in the middle of the park, not surrounded by anyone, and he hobbles off after less than half an hour. A big miss for Klopp & Co.

33Mins

A few feisty challenges going in at both ends now. Roberto Firmino was penalised for a shoulder on Aymeric Laporte, before Sadio Mane was chopped down by Fernandinho. It’s getting a bit heated.

43Mins

Ten minutes until the break. It’s been an interesting affair, however there have only been three shots on goal — two for Liverpool, and one for City. The champions have enjoyed pockets of possession, but haven’t found their rhythm in the final third to give Sterling, Silva and Aguero the ammunition they require to do some damage and test Alisson between the sticks.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League - Anfield Source: Martin Rickett

40Mins

Another decent break for Man City, who are venturing forward in numbers more and more. On this occasion Riyad Mahrez gets into a pocket of space on the right just outside the box, but Andy Robertson does really well to patrol his marker and get a block on his cross.

43Mins

Riyad Mahrez has a decent opportunity with a free-kick directly in front of goal 35 yards out. He opts to chip it into the area, but Bernardo Silva can’t do anything with it and the ball is blocked away for a throw-in. Fairly lacklustre end to a tense opening half.

45Mins

There will be two minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the first half.

47Mins

Last season’s meetings between Liverpool and Man City finished 5-0, 4-3, 3-0 and 2-1. A stalemate today would be very underwhelming, especially with firepower like Mane, Salah, Firmino, Mahrez, Aguero and Sterling on the pitch. This game needs goals.

52Mins

But none so far. It’s been a very tetchy opening few minutes to the second half, with the low-key end to the first half seeping into the second here. Neither front line has caught fire just yet, and it really does seem to be a game of cat and mouse at both ends.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League - Anfield Source: Martin Rickett

57Mins

A hairy moment for Ederson there as he takes just a moment too long before picking out his pass, allowing Roberto Firmino the chance to block down very, very close to goal. Thankfully for the goalkeeper the ball flies narrowly wide. But it’s a lucky escape.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League - Anfield Source: Martin Rickett

56Mins

60Mins

Vocal appeals for a penalty from the visiting Man City supporters. A corner swung deep into the box strikes Virgil Van Dijk on the arm as he contests a header along with Fernandinho, but referee Martin Atkinson is having none of it and waves play on.

61Mins

Close! Riyad Mahrez very nearly breaks the deadlock with the first real chance of the second half. He takes the ball on his left foot before dragging a low, powerful effort across goal. it seemed to have Alisson beaten, but the effort pulls just wide of the bottom corner. Very, very nearly for the visitors.

63Mins

Chances at both ends now. Sergio Aguero tests Alisson with a shot at the neat post, before Mohamed Salah pops up with a brilliant chance of his own, which the forward curls straight at Ederson. The game is heating up at last.

65Mins

Substitution for Man City: Gabriel Jesus replaces Sergio Aguero.

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: Rui Vieira

68Mins

Salah whips another dangerous ball into the box. It was a cross-turned-shot which narrowly missed the top corner. A fine goal it would have been, but to no avail. This is very close at the moment and you do get the feeling that — to use an awful cliché — one moment of magic could win this.

70Mins

Chance! Salah breaks free once again, latching onto an Andy Robertson long ball over the top clean through on goal, but his chipped effort misses the target as Ederson strayed from his goal-line. Liverpool on top at the moment with 20 minutes to go.

72Mins

Substitution for Liverpool: Daniel Sturridge replaces Roberto Firmino.

Britain Soccer League Cup Source: Rui Vieira

75Mins

Save! Alisson produces two good stops in quick succession, denying Bernardo Silva’s cross first and foremost, before batting away Gabriel Jesus’ follow-up at the near post. Much better from City over the last five minutes.

76Mins

Substitution for Man City: Leroy Sane replaces Raheem Sterling.

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: Rui Vieira

78Mins

Daniel Sturridge is keen to make an immediate impact off the bench just like he did against Chelsea last week. He latches onto Joe Gomez’s left-footed ball into the danger zone, but the striker’s header is lacklustre and is easily gathered by Ederson.

85Mins

Virgil Van Dijk slides in on Leroy Sane inside the box and Martin Atkinson immediately points to the spot. Man City have the chance to win this late off. The drama!

87Mins

MISS! Riyad Mahrez balloons his penalty over the crossbar. It’s an absoutely dreadful miss, the player completely miss-hitting the ball and firing it into Row Z. Anfield erupts!

87Mins

That penalty miss has blown this game into life late on. Van Dijk’s sloppy challenge looked like the defining moment, giving Pep Guardiola’s men the chance to snatch a late, great win. Mahrez was brave enough to take the responsibility with Sergio Aguero substituted off, but the forward completely scuffed his shot. He had plenty of power behind it, but his shot was always rising. Both sides clambering for a winner here, end-t0-end stuff!

90Mins

There will be three minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the second half.

That’s all she wrote. We didn’t get the seven or eight goal thriller we might have liked, but it was a tense and fraught affair throughout. Riyard Mahrez had the chance to snatch all three points, but his 86th minute penalty was skied over the crossbar in dramatic late fashion. Both sides will have to settle for a point. Thanks a million for joining us, you can read our full match report from today’s game here. Cya!

About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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