Liverpool remain undefeated after a tough-fought draw at home to the defending champions Manchester City. Luck was the Reds’ side as Riyad Mahrez missed a late penalty that gave City the opportunity to win at Anfield for the first time in the league since 2003. Here’s The Anfield Talk’s Anthony (@antstonelake) with the winners and losers.
WINNER: Dejan Lovren
With Trent Alexander-Arnold out with a supposed ankle sprain, Dejan Lovren came in to shift Joe Gomez to right back and the Croatian was outstanding at centre-half throughout the game. Lovren had more tackles (5) than any other player on the pitch against City. Also, only John Stones (5) and Aymeric Laporte (5) won more aerial duels than Lovren (2).
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This was Dejan Lovren’s first appearance in the Premier League this season, having spent the beginning of the season on the shelf thanks to an injury that plagued him throughout the World Cup. He also got the full 90 minutes against Chelsea in the League Cup but he looks back to his best with a stellar performance against the defending champions.
Plus, Lovren and van Dijk combined to limit Sergio Aguero to only 17 touches, only two of which were in the Liverpool penalty area.
LOSER: James Milner
The last two seasons have been a couple of the best of James Milner’s career. Two European Finals and an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side.
However, after only 28 minutes, James Milner had to be brought out of the action thanks to a suspected hamstring injury. This wouldn’t usually be cause to be a “loser” automatically but the performance Milner was putting in prior to the injury unfortunately sees him end up here.
12 complete passes, 63% accuracy, dispossessed once and all this in just 28 minutes. Hopefully he can take the international break to recover and come back as the strong, commanding midfielder that we have seen so far this season.
WINNER: Alisson Becker
Many fans of rival sides have dragged Alisson through the mud recently citing the “normal-ness” of the Brazilian’s saves so far this season, he’s truly put that to bed now with a great performance against a lethal City attack.
32 accurate passes, showing off his distribution skills, coupled with a few really, really good saves truly showed off Alisson’s ability.
Plus, there was a little moment with John Achterburg during the penalty which is lovely and there’s nothing you can say to convince me otherwise.
— Knowing LFC (@KnowingLfc) October 7, 2018
LOSER: Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane lost possession SIX times against Manchester City, he managed no shots, on or off target, caught offside once, and just generally didn’t affect the attacking flow of the game.
Liverpool have struggled recently to click into gear in an attacking sense, but Sadio Mane properly adversely affected the way the Liverpool attacking three functioned.
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Many have singled out Mohamed Salah as the issue of the front three but against Manchester City that simply isn’t true. Yes, his finishing wasn’t up to the standard he established last season but at least he was trying to make things happen. Salah (3) had more shots than any other Liverpool player and only Riyad Mahrez (4) had more shots than him on either side.
LOSER: This lad…
— Buvey (@lawrence_bury) October 7, 2018
WINNER: Liverpool Football Club
8 games in. 20/24 points. Undefeated. Naby Keita coming into his own. Fabinho on the way to being a part of our midfield. World class goalkeeper. One world class centre-half. World class attacking unit.
It will click. The volatility and insecurity amongst Liverpool fans, particularly on Twitter needs to be addressed and thrown out because we could well be witnessing the genesis of one of the best Liverpool sides in history.
We’ve only conceded three goals so far this season, at this same point last season, we had conceded 12. It’s time to be positive, we look like we’ll get out of one of the hardest Champions League groups, we’re joint top of the Premier League, just calm down.