In a game worthy of the name “The Beautiful Game,” Liverpool retained their tremendous form by defeating the 2nd place EPL team Manchester City 2-1 after only three days rest. Liverpool had to play in Turkey Thursday against Besiktas in which they were eliminated in penalties. The result lifts Liverpool into 5th place and only two points behind Manchester United for 4th. Manchester City on the other hand remain in 2nd but will likely fall even further back on Chelsea, who is now five points up with a game in hand.
The first goal of the day was created by Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson in the 11th minute. Henderson is being groomed to be the next Steven Gerrard and while those are some nearly impossible shoes to fill, scoring goals like this can’t hurt.
Manchester City equalized 15 minutes later with this brilliant Sergio Aguero pass to set up Edin Dzeko with the goal. The great link up with those two in order to exploit all those Liverpool defenders was absolutely brilliant and really sets apart those who are good and those who are great.
While things were tied at 1-1, it was time for Coutinho to repeat what he did last year. Last year, Coutinho scored the game winner against Manchester City at Anfield in the 78th minute. Today, he scored the game winner in the 75th minute and it was just as amazing as the goal from last year. Coutinho left nothing back on that shot and did his “anything you can do, I can do better” shot against Henderson. Simply stunning.
So, the game ended 2-1 in favor of Liverpool and as it was said before, it was a huge win for a team fighting with four other teams for two spots in Champions League. This will also raise even more questions about a stagnating Manchester City team who should be in a better position than they are currently in.
Manchester City’s manager Manuel Pellegrini put the game as Manchester City giving up balls defensively as well being a victim of having two unbelievable goals scored against them. While he didn’t say it, Pellegrini will look at this as a missed opportunity. Even though Liverpool is on form and have been the best EPL team since Christmas, Liverpool played three days ago and traveled a thousand miles to get back. This was as best a situation that Manchester City was going to get and they still couldn’t take advantage.
On Liverpool’s end, this is arguably their biggest win of the season. In a game that, on paper and the short turnaround time, probably at best plan for a draw. Liverpool got the win against a team that doesn’t give up many points and are now very much in the thick of it for a top four spot. Based off of form and the questions concerning their positional rivals, Liverpool is quickly becoming the favorites for one of those open spots. Manager Brendan Rodgers was elated today and probably feels much more confident compared to a few months ago. Rodgers said in the interview that a top four berth would top their runner up spot last year. I don’t know if I would go that far but top four is top four, it’s still an amazing achievement.