Can and Wijnaldum find their bite as Liverpool midfield bares its teeth

Liverpool's manager Juergen Klopp gestures during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester City
Liverpool’s manager Juergen Klopp gestures during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester

19 Enero, 2018

Liverpool opened the score after nine minutes through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Leroy Sane equalized before the half time.

City are a great team and deserve to win the Premier League this season, but we saw a game that was a great advert for English football and I hope it sets the tone for the rest of this season.

It shouldn't be understated how important Klopp's appointment at Anfield almost two-and-a-half years ago was.

Coleman handed the 18-year-old his international debut in a World Cup qualifying match against Austria and was rewarded when Woodburn hit the target with a 25-yard wonder strike to win the game. For a Liverpool side that required improvements to the defence and a solid option at the back, Klopp has done excellently to recruit Robertson and while he has been forced to bide his time and wait for a starting spot, he's grabbed the opportunity to usurp Moreno as first choice left-back with both hands and the Reds are all the better for it.

Klopp's patient approach will pay dividends eventually.

Klopp said upon his arrival in October 2015 that he expected to have achieved one title in four years' time, and bringing that in 2018/19 would meet his aim.

Firmino is a vital cog in the high-intensity 'gegenpressing' style that boss Klopp likes to play, which makes risking second-yellow cards and suspensions even more ridiculous.

Some Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang news and Dortmund aren't happy with how things are playing out in the media. Wenger has long been a critic of inflated spending in football, and admitted that Arsenal can no longer compete with the money that United and City can spend on players. Even if it goes wrong in these remaining months of the season and Liverpool finish fifth, the German's job would be safe.

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But Wenger, in a surprisingly liberal moment, said that he had no problem at all with United throwing huge sums at Sanchez.

It will be interesting to see if other teams adopt the same tactical approach against the current Premier League leaders as Liverpool did and if it has the same level of success.

Only three clubs had led against City in the Premier League before Sunday (Everton, Bournemouth and Huddersfield Town and each only once) and here was Liverpool pushing Pep Guardiola into unchartered territory by edging in front for a second time.

You can see a real plan for Liverpool's spine taking shape, and Van Dijk, Keita and Roberto Firmino are key to it all.

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