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Friday, February 23, 2024

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The win that must be the turning point in Liverpool’s season

Never ever rile Anfield up, that’s lesson one of being the opposition.

Yet what does one of the greatest managers the planet has ever seen go and do, he plays the pantomime villain.

Eggs on the already red hot fuming, angry Anfield after their disallowed goal, he should have learnt his lesson after what Mikel Arteta done last season

You should never ever do it, as soon as he turned around and gave Anfield exactly what they wanted there was only one way the game was going and that was to the side who have fell so far away from their usual standards but now they have their catalyst to turn the campaign around.

Liverpool have been so below par that they were in the bottom half going into the game against Manchester City which is so often claimed as a title decider due to how often these two take each other to the next level.

But the table can lie and there was something in the air at Anfield, the fans were not going to let this unfathomably good City side which is spearheaded by the next best thing in football walk all over them, there was no chance.

From the first seconds the burning desire in the bellies of every Liverpool fan was portrayed in a rage, they were up for it and the players gave everything and more to show that they were with them every step of the way.

They wanted it as much as they did.

The first half was a close contest, as the pair looked to try and work each other out to no avail with the danger man, the mostly unstoppable man that is Erling Haaland having several half-chances which Alisson dealt with.

Diogo Jota and Andy Robertson also had chances of their own, but with Anfield holding their breath, they could not find the target much to the away ends relief.

After half-time the game went in a similar fashion, with Jurgen Klopp’s side sitting back much more than they usually do to nullify Haaland’s frightening speed in-behind whilst Kevin De Bruyne continued to operate in a wider position than usual, which would have delighted Fabinho and Thiago.

On the 53rd minute it looked like all the hope was zapped away though, the belief that this juggernaut could be stopped had dispersed into everyone not wanting to accept the reality that Phil Foden had the ball in the back of the net just moments after Mo Salah ran through on goal and was denied by Ederson, somehow.

A few moments later though the tide had turned, it was not a reality, Phil Foden had not scored.

Anthony Taylor went to the monitor to view a potential foul in the build-up and saw Haaland pulling on Fabinho’s shirt.

He turned away from the screen and proceeded to do the box motion, that’s when Anfield erupted.

They were well and truly in the game, then Guardiola couldn’t contain himself, that’s when Liverpool went from in with a chance to the favourites to win this blockbuster fixture.

The crowd were on the back of everyone in blue within milliseconds of them getting hold of the ball and they were screaming their own players over the line.

Then, the chance came.

Almost identical to his first chance Salah was through on goal after a stupendous pass from Alisson Becker and a stupidly good touch from the Egyptian to send Joao Cancelo to the shops.

He had all the time in the world with a stampede of City players desperately trying to keep up with even though they knew they weren’t getting near him.

There was no save this time as Salah made sure the ball bounced just slightly to get over Ederson and everyone in red in the ground got what they deserved.

A goal to show that this Liverpool side are not fading away completely they are still there to give anyone in this league problems.

After that it was the longest 20 minutes that the home supporters will have ever endured as City of course kept coming but it was Klopp’s very own chaotic nuisance upfront who had the best chance and should have helped put the game to bed.

Darwin Nunez had possession in a three on one counterattack with Salah in acres of space to his right, yet he decided to go alone and missed the target.

The chaos hadn’t stopped there though as Bernardo Silva wrestled Salah to the ground yet Taylor played on deeming the challenge as fair which sent Jurgen Klopp into overdrive with everyone agreeing with him.

Angry Anfield felt like it was going to explode as Klopp displayed his disgust with the man in the middle and without a moments hesitation Taylor showed the German red.

Heads had well and truly fallen off at this point but they still managed to drag their battling side over the line for three very precious points, three points which feel like so much more.

Three points which has to kickstart a push for everything for Liverpool.

A display of grit, battle and quality from the fans as much as the players.

Liverpool are back in the picture and are back from obscurity but one slip before the World Cup and they’ll find themselves waving goodbye to any potential title push.

It is quite simply all or nothing which is why this sport has everyone on strings.

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