The most pivotal moment of the Manchester City-Liverpool match in early November at Anfield came early on. Still, it was the first example of the Reds applying both principals: bravery and perfection.
The video has been seen millions of times.
In the fifth minute, as City’s Bernardo Silva drove into the penalty area, the ball popped up off the foot of a Liverpool defender and appeared to hit the arm of Trent Alexander-Arnold and dropped to the ground.
In an instant, Aguero raised his arm in the air signaling a handball foul, which would have been a penalty. The only problem was that he wasn’t wearing black or carrying a whistle. The City players en masse mentally and physically hiccupped as they pleaded for a penalty.
The Reds did not bother to wait. They saw an opportunity, and they took it. Liverpool cleared the ball out, passed the ball quickly forward on the counter as the away side slowed their pace. The ball ended up on Sadio Mane’s foot as he drove toward the goal on the flank. He fired into the box towards Salah. City defenders desperately cleared the ball out.
One problem: The ball ended up on the foot of Fabinho in open space. The 26-year-old Brazilian launched a laser more accurate than seen in any Star Wars movie into the back of the net. The expected goals (xG) of that shot was 0.02.
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It was that same bravery they displayed when they took a quick corner against a sleepwalking Barcelona side at Anfield en route to their miracle Champions League comeback.
Klopp’s vision of perfection and bravery came to life minutes later as Andrew Robertson took another valiant chance. The Reds defender fired a low percentage cross into the box towards a charging Salah who headed the ball into the net. The xG on that shot was 0.18.
Liverpool 2, Manchester City 0.
In 12 minutes, Guardiola’s club took two massive blows, and though they kept fighting until the end, the match was lost on a TKO.
The final knockout blow came in the 50th minute when Sadio Mane headed the ball over the line to make the score 3-0. City managed to get a goal to save face, but the three points belonged to Liverpool.