Liverpool fight back twice as Klopp selection pays off despite Man City striker Jesus giving Robertson nightmares

Liverpool twice came from behind to win a 2-2 draw with Man City, with great selection decisions from Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp paying off.

Man City struck first when they took the lead through red-hot Kevin de Bruyne. The Belgian got past Fabinho before trying his luck from outside the box. The shot deflected off Joel Matip’s legs before bouncing off the post with Alisson Becker stranded.

That seemed to wake Liverpool from their lethargy, which they quickly leveled through Diogo Jota. Andy Robertson’s cross found right back Trent Alexander-Arnold. His muffled slash hit Jota calmly, who twisted the leveler under Ederson’s body.

City took the lead again thanks to the surprise selection of Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian showed great composure to finish off a cross from Joao Cancelo after Joel Matip had played offside.

It took just 47 seconds for Liverpool to equalize for the second time after the break. Mohamed Salah’s perfect pass sent Sadio Mane off his feet, who dribbled past Ederson to make it 2-2.

Both sides pushed for a winner, but settled for one point each.

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Edison: He will have hoped to do better with Jota’s goal. He survived what could have been a moment of terror when a back pass rolled down the line from him before punting with milliseconds to spare. Relentless for Mane’s draw. 6

KyleWalker: Excellent knowledge to shut down a Salah counter when he moves in to relieve his central half. He was on his heels after the break by allowing Mane to gallop towards goal before making it 2-2. 6

John Stones: Solid first half but Jota found it harder to contain with Liverpool improving their game after the break. 7

Aymeric Laporte: In the face of Jota’s slip, but he showed tenacity to back up and put a foot in before the striker could pull the trigger on the edge of the break. 7

Joรฃo Cancelo: He annulled Salah in the first half and got an assist with a divine pass to land the first blow on Jesus. He held up well as Salah got better as the game went on. He remained influential at both ends of the pitch and is now arguably City’s second most important player behind De Bruyne. 8

Rodrigo: He could have set Stones up for a bunt, but he couldn’t guide an indisputable header down the middle’s path. He did the dirty work in the engine room and helped City take a small lead in possession. 7

Bernard Silva: Typically calm and collected in the middle and rarely misses a pass. He did not have the same level of influence as De Bruyne when the pair roamed the middle of Liverpool. 7

Kevin DeBruyne: He got past Fabinho before opening the scoring with a deflected shot. Quick feet to entice Robertson with the Scotsman picking up a booking with over an hour to play. He continued to be at the heart of everything City did well and scraped a shot just wide at the half-hour mark. His pained reaction suggested that he knew the net should have bulged.

Always available and dominating the ball in the narrow areas of midfield. He glared at Jesus when the Brazilian went on goal instead of putting him in a better position. 8

Gabriel Jesus: The surprise selection in the three forwards with Mahrez abandoned on the bench. Full of energy and hit both ends of the field. He held his run magnificently before giving City a second lead with a serene finish that was much more difficult than it seemed with Alisson in the face and the ball bouncing high. He gave Robertson a torrid time in the second half before taking a well-deserved breather in the final 10 minutes. 8

Phil Foden: Unusually quiet despite bagging three in his last three against the Reds. 6

Rahim Sterling: He should have put one on City in four minutes, but De Bruyne didn’t blush moments later. He had the ball in the net in the second half, but saw his celebrations dwindle after swerving marginally offside before passing to Alisson. 6


Riad Mahrez (Ahead to Sterling, 75m): Hit the post with a superb free kick, but carelessly shot it with three points on offer in stoppage time. 5

Jack Grealish (By Jesus, 83m): N/A


Alison: Excellent early save from Sterling, but he couldn’t do anything about De Bruyne’s deflected goal. A handful of nervous moments, but he made stops when necessary and spread out well. 7

Trent Alexander-Arnold: Brilliant touch to hit the tie for Jota and would have expected to find the target by attempting a cheeky lob from distance. He did not ignite Jesus’ goal by allowing the Brazilian to slip away. 7

Joel Mattip: Too slow to push as a City corner broke with the centre-back guilty of setting Jesus aside for the Brazilian’s go-ahead goal. Otherwise solid, but that mistake was costly. 6

Virgil van Dijk: The most composed of Liverpool defenders, but even he seemed nervous at times with the stakes skyrocketing. He survived what could have been a disaster when a lack of communication with Alisson almost allowed Jesus to sneak in. The Reds’ best defender before the break with that nervous moment aside. He snuffed out a Sterling one-on-one with ease when the game was balanced. 8

Andrew Robertson: Trademark Dangerous Delivery from bottom left. He had to deal with three players at times and Walker often played as high forward as his forwards. Booked when De Bruyne’s quick feet proved too hot to handle. He had a tough time against Jesus with the Brazilian’s influence in the tournament growing by the minute. 6

Jordan Henderson: Influence was needed to steady the ship with Liverpool enduring several nervous spells in the first half. The final product was missing with the ball at the feet in attack areas. 6

Fabinho: Too easily beaten by De Bruyne for the opening goal and struggled to prevent City’s midfield from being on the upswing for much of the first half. A more imposing display in the second half and it came into play as the game grew increasingly frenetic. A lucky touch to only receive a yellow when catching Bernardo Silva above the ankle at the end. 7

Thiago Alcantara: The spark behind Jota’s equalizing goal with a perfect cross in particular caught the eye. He somehow avoided a yellow card after a wild lunge to stop a counterattack that went unpunished. Luck ran out moments later when he finally showed up for another poor challenge. 7

Mohammed Salah: He struggled to get something out of Cancelo in the first half. He quickly put his anonymous exhibit on the bed a minute after the break when he supplied the bullet for Mane to get high at home. He never gave up, but it wasn’t his best day yet again. 7

Diogo Jota: The right place at the right time, as he usually is, to level Liverpool. He could have caught Alexander-Arnold’s cut, but he made sure his contact was firm to slide the ball under Ederson. A live wire in the second half and regularly came between Laporte and Stones with neither being able to pin him down. Another strong performance from the striker and justified his selection ahead of Firmino and Diaz before being substituted in the final 20 minutes. 8

Sadio Mane: Running back willing to left channel, but couldn’t get the best of Walker in the first half. He found further joy 47 seconds into the second half when he walked away from the flank before calmly passing Ederson. He stuck to his task defensively and remains an important player for Klopp. 8


louis diaz (By Jota, 70m): Hungry for opportunities to impress. 6

naby keita (On for Henderson, 78m): N/A

Roberto Firmino (Activated for Mane, 84m): N/A

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