Chosen by us to get you up to speed at a glance
Where has this Liverpool been all season? After Manchester City had what would have been the opening goal ruled out following a Var check, Pep Guardiola turned to the Main Stand, as Liverpool fans gloated, and howled in frustration: “This is Anfield”. Yes, it is. And it is Liverpool’s home and it is where their defiance shines brightest and most ferociously.
City were furious Phil Foden’s strike from a tight angle was cancelled out and there was further anger as it was alleged coins were thrown at Guardiola by Liverpool fans that provoked his reaction.
That was not the end of it. For two managerial titans, who are so respectful of each other before games, who hugged warmly before kick-off, there is an extraordinarily sharp rivalry. And so, with five minutes to go, Jurgen Klopp was sent off by referee Anthony Taylor after yet more castigating of the officials – he had already been in the face of assistant referee Gary Beswick, forcing him to step onto the pitch to escape after Foden’s effort hit the net.
There was skill as well as spite. Huge amounts of skill in what was a modern classic – it is a fixture that sets new heights – with great saves, missed chances and a relentless power to the football as Mohamed Salah won the battle of the centre-forwards against Erling Haaland, who drew a rare blank, and scored the only goal.
It meant City suffered their first defeat of the season, Liverpool revived their campaign and Arsenal have a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League table. The only negative for Liverpool, beyond Klopp’s dismissal, was an injury to Diogo Jota who went off on a stretcher in the dying seconds.
As that final whistle blew, Liverpool players – including 36-year-old James Milner who excelled at right-back – dropped to their knees. They may have only lifted themselves up to eighth but this was as emphatic a statement as it gets that they will fight all the way and can refire their season.
Salah was the driving force; the catalyst; the talisman. He was used in his preferred position, as a central striker, and relished it with the wily Roberto Firmino behind him. After Salah’s quickfire midweek hat-trick in the Champions League away to Rangers the Egyptian was irrepressible. He was also the calmest person in the stadium after scoring.
His goal summed up Liverpool’s sharpness with goalkeeper Alisson claiming an assist as he collected an over-hit free-kick and was alert to what was on. And so he delivered a precise, flat goal-kick after spotting that Salah was on half-way with only Joao Cancelo up against him.
Salah was smart, using his body, turning Cancelo and suddenly finding himself through on goal before running on and calmly steering the ball beyond Ederson. There had been a similar incident earlier in the second-half with the goalkeeper brilliantly finger-tipping Salah’s effort around the post but this time he was beaten.
After that the atmosphere became even more febrile; even more bone-jarring. The noise was incredible; the pace was relentless; the challenges unforgiving with Klopp hailing his make-shift defence where Joe Gomez, back as a central defender, also impressed and Haaland just could not beat Alisson.
But, really, where has this Liverpool been? This was the Liverpool we have been used to in recent campaigns, who have gone toe-to-toe with City, and who have pushed them all the way and beaten them more often than anyone else. But, then again, if they could not get up for this game, if they could not capitalise on this cauldron of defiance then hope was lost.
But, gloriously for them, they did just that while so good are City that even in the face of it they will wonder how they lost. So high was the quality of the passing and forward play that both teams would have scored a hatful against virtually any other opponent. Instead, somehow, we had just the one goal.
Liverpool threw themselves at City like red-shirted banshees. City responded by cutting through precisely, time and again, and there were wonderful, flowing attacks from both.
In the first-half the best chances came from headers. Jota’s was easily saved by Ederson while, really, Haaland should have scored when he was wonderfully picked out by Kevin de Bruyne only to plant the ball straight at Alisson. Earlier he had headed over; Andrew Robertson had fired over and back and forth it went.
In the second-half it became even more wild; even more open and there had to be a goal. After Ederson denied Salah – even though a goal-kick was given – Haaland tussled with Fabinho. It looked 50:50 and play carried on with Haaland also challenging Alisson who spilled the ball as City swept through with Foden finishing.
All hell broke loose. Staff from both dug-outs ran around and eventually Taylor was called over to the pitchside monitor and ruled the goal out. As the Liverpool fans celebrated their team countered with Salah picking out Jota. With only Ederson to beat, he headed over before, at the other end, Alisson denied Haaland, pushing away his low shot.
Something had to give and just as it looked like City were firmly in the ascendancy – and maybe they over-committed because of that – they were caught out and conceded. Still there was time for City but despite all their pressure the best two chances fell to Liverpool. Neither was taken. But they held on anyway while there will be repercussions beyond the result.
"Real tight game. We made a mistake, and we lost the game. Kevin didn’t follow the movement of Salah on the halfway line.
"Before the game, the referee said to Jurgen Klopp and my assistant coach, ‘here, it is going to be play on, play on I am not going to whistle any faults, and say play on play on’ then it is not a goal. But he decided to do it. After we scored a goal, they disallowed it. But this is Anfield.
"Liverpool are a fantastic team but we had enough chances. We were brave, we played it how the game should be played. I don’t have regrets or complaints. In general we were good, we made a mistake, and the big moments the stadium came up strong."
Here are the player ratings.
That’ll do it for our live blog. Thanks for following. Goodnight.
"Result? Perfect. Performance? Really, really good. Incredibly intense game. We defended on a very high level for 99 minutes. We should have maybe scored a second or a third. In the box, we really adjusted well. Haaland had only one free header. We defended the six yard box and won the duels.
"This was big today for us. We know how strong they are. We showed up today. We had counter attacks. The situation around the goal is sensational awareness of Ali. And then outstanding from Mo, using his body brilliantly, no foul and then he is one-on-one with the goalie. He might miss one but he does not miss two.
"So many good football moments against the best football team in the world. Diogo will miss the next game, he fell. Not sure how badly yet but he felt a real pain in that moment. Don’t know how bad.
"My red card? Probably deserved. But the situation! You cannot not whistle that. All the things that happened on the pitch, I don’t know what Mo Salah has to do to get a freekick. So many situations.
"Pep and I agreed on the touchline that we didn’t understand the challenges that were allowed. Why would you do it? The game would not be a little bit worse. But we have no power at all, we just stand there. In the moment, something [in me] switched off. I am not proud of that. But it is the clearest foul I ever saw, right in front of the linesman. Why do people not talk about it? He pulled him down. I got a bit carried away. And then later, Ali had the hand on the ball.
"Salah? I didn’t want to take him off. That was a mistake (by the numbers board). I wanted to talk to him to change his role."
"What we expect from the referees is consistency. So when you go through a path of not whistling little contacts throughout the whole game then you have to keep going that way. If you want to whistle all of them the whistle all of them. If you are not, and he was letting us play – which is good, which is fine – but you can’t then whistle that soft one for the goal. If you want consistency you cannot change just because it is a goal."
Manchester City to make complaint after coins are thrown at Pep Guardiola
· Liverpool are unbeaten across their last 28 Premier League matches at Anfield (W21 L7) since losing six in a row between January and March in 2021.
· Manchester City have lost a Premier League away game for the first time since August 2021 against Spurs, ending what was the longest unbeaten away run in their league history (22 games). This was the fourth longest unbeaten away run in Premier League history.
· Liverpool have won 23 Premier League games against reigning champions, seven more than any other side. The Reds are unbeaten in their last 14 such home games (W8 D6).
· Manchester City have failed to score in consecutive away games in all competitions for the first time since December 2020 against FC Porto and Manchester United.
· Pep Guardiola has lost 11 matches against Jürgen Klopp as a manager, at least four more defeats than against any other coach.
· Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in 14 goals against Manchester City in all competitions for Liverpool (9 goals, 5 assists), his most against any opponent for the Reds.
· Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is the second player to score in four consecutive home appearances against Manchester City in the Premier League, after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink between 2000 and 2004.
· Liverpool’s Alisson has assisted Mohamed Salah three times in the Premier League, the most a goalkeeper has assisted a single player in the competition’s history.
"Always hard against them home or away because they keep the ball. Last few weeks, we have not been at our best. I don’t worry if I miss chances. I would worry more if there was not more chances for me. I was calm."
Geoff Shreeves asks him whether the subbing that wasn’t was a number board mistake or if he talked the manager out of taking him off. Salah either doesn’t understand the question or doesn’t fancy discussing it, because he just answers the previous question – which was about his form in front of goal – again instead. Two Ronnies stylee.
"Very intense. It always has been over the last few years. I think we played okay first half. For both sides, it is a lot of running, a lot of communication. We will focus on the next one. You always have to defend for your lives."
A productive visit to the repair shop by Liverpool.
They were much harder to run through and more organised and diligent around their own penalty box.
That moment where Nunez didn’t square it bordered on unprofessional. Klopp would have given him the same treatment he gave the linesman had there been an equaliser. He’s a much bigger threat in these transitional games, though.
Haaland has elite mentality man. Apologises to City fans for not scoring today.
Virgil Van Dijk locked Erling Haaland up today. Form is temporary, class is permanent. That's how you do it.
Where has this Liverpool been all season? After Manchester City had what would have been the opening goal ruled out following a Var check, Pep Guardiola turned to the Main Stand, as Liverpool fans gloated, and screamed in frustration: “This is Anfield”. Yes, it is. And it is Liverpool’s home and it is where their defiance shines brightest and most ferociously.
City were angry Phil Foden’s strike was cancelled and there was further fury as it was alleged coins were thrown at Guardiola by Liverpool fans that provoked his reaction. The Football Association will investigate.
With five minutes to go Jurgen Klopp was sent off by referee Anthony Taylor after yet more haranguing of the officials – the Liverpool manager had been in the face of assistant referee Gary Beswick, forcing him to step onto the pitch after Foden’s effort hit the net.
we’ll have more from Jason in a minute.
Tremendous entertainment. A good result for Liverpool, a good result for the Premier League. Stick with us for reaction and the report.
Had a bit of everything, not least Jurgen Klopp getting the red card.
Six minutes of extra time were prescribed. An injury to Jota means that we are into the ninth minute.
De Bruyne whips in a cross at Haaland. Well, if City could pick an combo for a late, late rescuer that would be it. But the Liverpool central defence, who have been superb this afternoon, do just enough to crowd the Norwegian goalbeast into misplacing the header.
Frantic, frenetic stuff here. Nunez with superb work down the flank, and he crosses… Trent Alexander-Arnold, on as a sub, slides in and is juuuuust a few inches away from wrapping this up.
Salah is now coming off. Liverpool looking to dig in. Jota booked for a cynical foul.
Liverpool have a chance to wrap it up. Nunez breaks, it’s three on one…. Salah is SCREAMING for it in the centre. Nunez fails to spot him, or decides to go alone. Either way, totally the wrong call and he loses the ball.
Andy Carroll would have made the pass#LIVMCI pic.twitter.com/EtlEzWw7Np
John Brewin writes: "Darwin Nunez is one of those players who becomes known as a ‘good defensive striker’."
Now Bernardo and Salah are shoving each other. VVD comes to join in, Bernardo squares up to him. Haaland lumbers over. Ref manages to get everyone calmed down.
Klopp is going tonto on the touchline! He’s really lost the rag, he’s screaming at the officials. Jurgen Klopp is red carded!
Bernardo and Salah are at it, the Liverpool man reckons he has been fouled over down by the corner.
City look to start a quick attack. Thiago slides and two-foots Rodri. I think that was accidental to be fair.
Gripping duel between Haaland and van Dijk. A cross comes in from the right and Haaland is perfectly positioned to nod this in, but VVD somehow scrambles back and manages to intercept, heading over.
Nunes again. Driving forward, fouled on the edge of the box. Liverpool play it in… Milner has the shot but mishits it. City, rocked, clear it.
Liverpool look to press home their advantage. Anfield is rocking. Nunes comes forward, hits a hard low shot just wide.
They’re glad he never got taken now! That brilliant man Mo Salah has given the home side the lead. City have a freekick, they loft it into the box.
He looks up – he sees Salah is breaking. He thumps it long. Salah is one-on-one with Joao Cancelo and he gets clear of him. One on one, nerveless, brilliant finish from Mo Salah and it’s 1-0 to the Reds.
Firmino and Fabinho are off. Henderson and Nunez coming on. Elliott also off. Carvalho on.
There was a momentary confusion there when they held up 11 and everyone, most of all Mo Salah, was like "WHAT?!? Salah off?!!" He goes over to talk to Klopp. It proved to be an error by the officials I guess. Can’t believe that Klopp was talked out of it, surely.
Salah, as he has done so many times before, cuts in from the right at high speed, and tries that trademark curler with the left foot. Just cannot bring it back in enough from outside off stump, as it were, and it’s perhaps two foot wide of Ederson’s right post.
End-to-end stuff. A mistake from Rodri lets Liverpool in, Jota well placed but stumbles.
City go up the other end and Gundogan is causing near panic.
Haaland hits the target but Alisson is equal to it. Decent save.
Fabinho clips Gundogan from behind. Yellow card.
Liverpool break. This is exciting. Both sides absolutely going for it. Jota down the left, crosses, it bypasses the central man and here is Elliott! Oh his touch lets him down. Gets his shot off for a corner, but cleared.
Anfield is going crackers. Pep is whipping up the City fans. Now Klopp is demanding for more from the home supporters! In this din of noise, Liverpool break, City are stretched. Salah gets his head up, floats a cross over…. and Jota, arriving unmarked at the far post, has failed to score with a golden header opportunity.
Mike McGrath reports: "Manchester City are set to complain to the Premier League after Pep Guardiola was alleged to be targeted with coins thrown from the crowd at Anfield during the hot-blooded Premier League fixture against Liverpool.
The Premier League champions are understood to be upset at missiles being thrown at Guardiola after Phil Foden had a second-half goal disallowed for a foul during the build-up by Erling Haaland.
Referee Anthony Taylor was asked to look at Haaland’s shirt-pull on Fabinho shortly before Foden put the ball in the net. The Cheshire official ruled out the goal and it is claimed that coins were thrown afterwards towards the City bench.
The incident is likely to be reported to the referee, which will spark a Football Association probe into the matter."
Haaland has bullied Fabinho off the ball and he steams through. Haaland now gets into the area, Alisson bravely dives at his feet, cannot get the ball under control, it goes loose and it is bundled into the net by Foden and City celebrate.
But Var is going to look at this. The goal is overturned. Pep is going bananas. It’s because Haaland had grabbed Fabinho by the shirt in the build up. A foul, sure. A clear and obvious error that had to be overturned? Arguable.
Chris Bascombe: "Guardiola – yes Guardiola – is currently trying to choreograph the Anfield crowd, gesticulating wildly. He clearly feels that the VAR decision was influenced by the home supporters. Spicing it all up for the finale…"
Ref erroneously gives that as a goalkick. Ederson, who must know that he touched it, obviously says nothing. So goal kick it is.
So, so close. Salah is sent through, he gets away from Diaz. Ake chasing him down but he is not going to get there. He hits a shot at goal, and Ederson gets a thin, vital, touch on it. It’s a brilliant save that sends the ball just wide of the post. Following through, Salah has caught Ederson, who is hurt.
Rodri shoulders Thiago in the face. He’s okay. There were no changes at half time.
Liverpool are kicking us off, it’s Salah. Let’s play. City have scored 17 in the second half of games so far this season, Liverpool 13.
Thiago taken off with a broken foot pic.twitter.com/nlwQfnzcT4
Referee Taylor – who has done well so far, letting the game flow – brings the half to a close. Here’s Chris Bascombe’s half-time verdict:
"Generous applause follows the half-time whistle. Feels like City have dragged Liverpool up to the level we have been accustomed to – this has been one of those games of punches and counter-punches. There is an audible sense of trepidation on the Kop whenever City attack – the De Bruyne and Haaland link could easily have brought a goal – but Klopp’s use of Salah as a central striker has brought some joy."
Both sides giving their all, it’s played at a frantic pace, actual chances have been somewhat sparse.
Cross… Haaland…. ooh he has headed that straight at Alisson. Lucky for Liverpool.
De Bruyne was the player who crossed it. You’d call it a half, maybe a three-quarter chance. He had his weight backwards as he went up for the header and had to float it rather than bullet it.
Rodri and Reuben both with important interventions. A corner, and a Robertson cross cut out. Liverpool enjoying a decent little spell here. Another corner.
City starting to turn the screw. Liverpool man the barricades at a corner. Cleared.
Rodri fouls Salah, ref lets City crack on though, and they make a good attack. Cross. Haaland gets up but cannot direct the header.
Per Chris’s point below, here is Joe Gomez getting across splendidly to stop Foden in his tracks.
Haaland sends Foden through, there is no way past a few Liverpool defenders though so he lays it off to Silv, who flashes over.
Chris Bascombe writes: "This is such an important afternoon in the career of Joe Gomez. After so many injuries and a loss of confidence, he needs a big performance. He has started well with aggression and well-timed tackles, but it is already obvious any slip will be brutally punished. As is often the case when these sides meet, the intensity level is off the scale in the early stages."
Superb solo work from Salah as he uses his deceptive strength to get the better of both centre backs in quick succession. Just needs a little bit more support. Still, you cannot have players everywhere I guess.
An admirable, rather than exciting, match so far.
Liverpool getting into it. Long ball from VVD, to Jota, who sends it on the Milner on the right. The veteran with a cross that Ederson parries out…. to Robertson! He has time – too much time perhaps? – to measure out his shot and puts it over.
Good direct run here from Salah wins a corner. Half cleared. Elliott floats a cross back in. Jota gets up well for a header at goal but straight at the keeper.
Liverpool, Champions League winners in 2019, League Champions in 2020 are the underdog, at Anfield. That tells you how quickly the sands have shifted.
Haaland looking ominous. Made a couple of runs through, Liverpool have just about cut the ball off so far but you feel that he’s going through sooner rather than later.
Firmino has a chance to switch the play to Harvey Elliott but cannot see the pass in time and City’s defence slots back into place.
Passionate start from Liverpool and their fans as you would expect, but City have had a LOT of the ball in the last few minutes and are sensibly more than happy to play it around and draw the sting.
Haaland receives the ball in the centre circle, Gomez tries to challenge him but bounces off. Woof. Erling plays it forward but Cancelo cannot get a cross in.
Now Gomez has shoved Foden in the back. Both sides well up for it, as they should be.
Corner cleared simply.
Bernardo Silva with a full-bloodied aerial challenge on Robertson, who retaliates by shoving him in the back.
City press, there’s nowhere for the Liverpool back four to go. Back to the keeper. Alisson has no real options bar the hoof. Liverpool give possession away. But they win it back, play through the press, and Salah is half-through. He crosses. Corner.
City in their yellow-green and black horizontal stripe, kick off.
You’ll Never Walk Alone fairly belted out by the Anfield faithful. Liverpool will need every bit of help they can get.
our Merseyside master.
"Ibrahima Konate’s injury means there is yet another defensive reshuffle for Klopp, Joe Gomez tasked with silencing Erling Haaland alongside Virgil Van Dijk.
All eyes will be on the Liverpool formation, where it would appear Mohamed Salah will play a more central role with Harvey Elliott and Diogo Jota occupying the wide areas.
For all their brilliance upfront, City can occasionally look vulnerable defensively – the problem being few opponents have possession long enough to test them. Suffice to say Liverpool will need a quick start at Anfield if they are to defy some of the more doomy predictions of a one-sided game."
Liverpool: Alisson, Milner, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson, Thiago, Fabinho, Elliott, Salah, Firmino, Jota. Subs: Henderson, Jones, Tsimikas, Nunez, Carvalho, Bajcetic, Phillips, Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold.
Manchester City: Ederson, Joao Cancelo, Dias, Akanji, Ake, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Haaland, Foden. Subs: Grealish, Laporte, Ortega, Alvarez, Gomez, Mahrez, Palmer, Lewis, Wilson-Esbrand.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
between VVD and Erling Haaland – is that where the game will be decided?
Virgil van Dijk has only lost once at Anfield in his entire career and that was when he played there for Southampton.
How Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool would like to keep that record intact this afternoon.
Here’s Jurgen Klopp:
"This will not be the first time that we have met City this season as we played against them in the FA Community Shield and that was another reminder of their quality – not that we needed it, of course.
"After that game, some pretty ridiculous questions were being asked about Pep, about his team and about Erling Haaland. Not by us, by the way. We knew.
"We knew how well we had had to play to beat them and we knew how good they were. So nothing they have done since then has surprised us in any way. They are a top team with an incredible manager and unbelievable players so it doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to work out that they will play brilliant football and get good results.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is on the bench for Liverpool this afternoon but the injury he picked up against Arsenal last weekend means he’s not fit enough to start. Jurgen Klopp has then turned to his very own swiss-army knife, James Milner, to fill the void.
It’s hard not to cast your mind back to last season, where Milner was given a torrid time by Phil Foden in the same fixture. He will need to produce better this time against what is an even more lethal City attacking line.
Here’s what Kevin de Bruyne had to say in the build-up to a huge afternoon at Anfield:
“We have started the season really well, so our focus is on our performance and to try to ensure that we continue our good form.
“We will do what we always do which is focus on ourselves. You have to be on the top of your game in any Premier League match to win and it will be no different on Sunday.
“The level in the Premier League is so high and this is only increasing every season. If you drop your level and you don’t play to your best, you don’t win games. It is as simple as that.
“We are proud of our consistency, but it takes so much hard work on the training ground every day to maintain this standard. I hope we can continue it.
“In these kinds of games, you have to be strong in defence and take your opportunities when you get them. That is exactly what we will try to do.”
Pep Guardiola appears to have opted for for a slightly more compact XI this afternoon, with both Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez left out while Bernardo Silva pushes forward to compete the forward line alongside Erling Haaland and Phil Foden.
Rodri, De Bruyne and Gündogan are an exepericed midfield three for what Guardiola knows will be a huge test for his side in spite of Liverpool’s slow start to the season.
🔵 TEAM NEWS 🔵
XI | Ederson, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan (C), Bernardo, Haaland, Foden
How we line-up for #LIVMCI 🔴
Pep Guardiola believes Erling Haaland is so good that he shines even when doing nothing.
Haaland has been sensational since joining Manchester City in the summer, scoring 20 goals in just 13 appearances for the Premier League champions.
The Norwegian has bagged three hat-tricks and has also weighed in with three assists.
Yet it is not just these numbers that have impressed City manager Guardiola, but the work the 22-year-old does during the long periods in games when he sees little of the ball.
Guardiola said: "I’ve been really surprised at his mentality. We knew his skills, but not how he behaves in bad moments, in the situations when he’s not involved for 20 minutes.
"He’s never out of the game, he’s always focused. It is difficult to score a goal when you don’t touch the ball, when you are not involved in the feelings, but always he has that belief and he is involved in the process.
"He is always thinking, ‘I will have a chance, I will arrive, I will have the moment, I will score a goal’. He’s never disconnected, even when not being involved much.
"Now he is involved more than in the beginning, but even when he is not involved, he is never disconnected up here. That is the most important thing."
Haaland was rested for the first time since joining City for the midweek draw against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League but is poised to return for Sunday’s trip to Liverpool.
Guardiola expects plenty more to come from the forward although he anticipates there will be tough times too.
He said: "When a player arrives always I expect the best, always I thought this guy would score goals.
"So far the numbers are unbelievable and the important thing is he’s playing regularly. He’s not had to stop, as happened last season, unfortunately, for Borussia Dortmund.
"But he came for many years and he’s just arrived – two or three months.
"He can improve but many bad moments are coming. In that moment it is just, ‘OK, go for the next one’."
We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism.
We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future.
Thank you for your support.
Visit our adblocking instructions page.