Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he is happy for his team to win “ugly” during the remainder of the Premier League season if it brings results such as the fortunate 2-1 victory over Burnley at Anfield last Sunday (Mar 12).
Liverpool are determined to make it five consecutive Premier League wins on the spin against Manchester City as they advance their ambitions of a Champions League spot at the expense of Pep Guardiola’s side.
The way Sergio Aguero, whose two goals in the first leg against Monaco should have secured a Champions League quarter-final, took the equaliser suggested that talk City could do without him might be very premature. Tomorrow I will be happy but in this moment I am a little bit disappointed – not too much but a little bit.
Liverpool, who were neck-and-neck with City at the top of the table after 10 games of the season, are fourth with 55 points from 28 games, one less than City and second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, both of whom have played a game fewer. “This is one of the happiest days of my career as a manager”.
But it was Adam Lallana who should have scored the decisive goal, the England global somehow mishitting his shot from eight yards after sublime Liverpool build-up play as both teams lost ground on Tottenham in the race for the second – with Manchester United now just four points behind Jurgen Klopp’s fourth-placed side. At least we showed spirit that we didn’t show in the first half in Monaco.
Marouane Fellaini finally repaid manager Jose Mourinho’s faith by scoring his first Premier League goal in 15 months.
The hosts’ ferocious attacking play should have been rewarded with the opening goal just before the 20-minute mark, though Silva smashed over the bar from inside the area despite having time to set himself following superb wing play from Sane.
A penalty decision would finally come shortly after the interval, in favour of Liverpool as they were presented with a chance to go ahead.
A lot of this is just talking up Liverpool, but it’s easy to see it as well.
Dejan Lovren worked on his sharpness after a knee injury by undertaking 75 minutes for Liverpool’s U23s on Monday, while Roberto Firmino has been running outside again. He will look to lead the line with Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho.
Twelve minutes in Simon Mignolet had to get down smartly at his near post to keep out a Kevin De Bruyne cross-cum-shot from the left, while a couple of minutes later Sergio Aguero was within inches of turning home a Fernandinho cross.
However, the Argentinian did much better midway through the second half as he arrived right on cue to sidefoot home the equaliser from a flawless delivery from the right from De Bruyne. Perhaps already planning out his celebration in his mind before the ball reached him, or maybe the victim of tiny malevolent fairies guiding his right foot astray, Lallana fluffed his chance with the utmost confidence. As the noise levels rose, Sterling and Aguero – twice – spurned late chances, but a draw felt an appropriate outcome.