Manchester City vs Liverpool: Things We Learned

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Liverpool are through to the Semi-Finals of the Champions League after beating Man City 2-1 at the Etihad, 5-1 on aggregate, thanks to goals by Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino. Running out of words to describe Mo Salah I have written many pieces on Mo Salah in the past and I am running out of words to describe him. He definitely wasn’t on his A game today and that is due to him picking up a groin injury in the first leg of this tie, he missed the Merseyside Derby at the weekend because of it but was just fit enough to make the starting eleven today and what a great decision it was. Even if he hadn’t have been in from the start he would have featured at some point during the game and he proved that when he gets a chance he will take it. Sadio Mane went charging through the City defence and was brought down by Ederson, the ball spilled from the keepers hand and Salah was there to pick up the pieces, round the keeper and send a delightful chip into the back of the net giving Liverpool space to breathe after conceding an early goal. Wijnaldum impresses again in the number 6 role Often scrutinised for him performance in away games and the fact he has never scored an away goal while playing in England, he has impressed a lot of people in the last two games. With Emre Can and Adam Lallana out injured and Jordan Henderson suspended for tonight match, it was up to Wijanldum to hold down the fort in midfield alongside Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain. He performed well in this role on Saturday against Everton in the Derby and it was revealed that Klopp had been using Gini in this role during training over the last few weeks. In the opening 45 minutes the Reds midfield was being over-run and it was difficult for Liverpool to keep hold of the ball but something seemed to shock Wijanldum and he came alive and the midfield started to push further up, he was winning tackles and putting City players under pressure when trying to win the ball back and put in a good shift to help Liverpool over the finish line. Could we have a new number 6 on our hands? Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain Man of the Match display  With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Mo Salah on the pitch, it is very rare that another player will shine brighter than them but James Milner did just that. He covered every blade of grass, put his body on the line to block shots, made some great challenges and produced the leadership skills to pull the team together and get the win at the Etihad. If I had to pick one player for my Man of the Match it would be between James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Again, Oxlade-Chamberlain was a standout performer for me, our midfield was seriously over-run during the first half and they allowed City to run with the ball and pick out the key passes to try and get level on aggregate. But it is similar to what happened with Wijnaldum, something seems to have clicked with them, whether Klopp said something at half-time, and they started to take charge. The Ox is becoming a fan favourite at Anfield due to his recent performances and how he treats the fans and he showed just how passionate he is about the club when celebrating the goals and the win at full time with the fans. Alexander-Arnold leaves Sane behind  After an incredible first leg performance against Leroy Sane at Anfield last week, I was interested to see if Trent could put in a similar shift against him tonight and he did. There were times during the first half when Liverpool were really under pressure that Sane got the better of him a couple of times but as the game progressed and he got more comfortable you could see him picking up on what Sane would possibly do next and more often than not, Sane found himself in an offside position rather than attacking the Liverpool defence. The Reds are through to the semi-finals for the first time in 10 years and being only eight the last time it happened, I can’t wait to experience Anfield again on a European night and see the Reds possibly go through to the final. Article by Lauren Black – @LaurenBlack9 For more Redmen TV content including podcasts, subscriber exclusives and three new shows every week subscribe now and get your first month for FREE
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