The Liverpool and Manchester City Rivalry

The Liverpool and Manchester City Rivalry

To describe Liverpool and Manchester City as a “rivalry” is perhaps a bit of a stretch. The majority of rivalries have a rich history of competition, and truthfully there’s only been a handful of games over a handful of seasons where Liverpool and City have been at it, hammer and tongs, on a relatively even keel, with a lot on the line.

But it certainly has the potential to be a real rivalry, especially with the added spice of Pep Guardiola vs Jürgen Klopp, a battle that certainly could be close to being a proper rivalry. Whilst Pep has had the edge in terms of league competition over Klopp, the individual games between the two managers have been much more evenly matched over the years. Liverpool under Klopp and City under Pep have now met four times in the league, with two wins for the Reds, and one for the Citizens.

However, it is also fair to note that the rivalry in its current incarnation pre-dates Pep and Klopp. It pre-dates Klopp and if we’re being honest, it even pre-dates Liverpool’s incredible 3-2 win over City in 2014. So let’s have a brief look at the recent history of this fixture, as well as some of the insane highlights.

The Beginning – 2012 League Cup Semi-Final: Liverpool win 3-2 on aggregate 

Liverpool’s last piece of silverware is probably the beginning of this rivalry taking shape. The first leg at the Etihad was decided by an early penalty from Gerrard, and the Reds took a 1-0 aggregate lead back to Anfield.

Twice at Anfield, City struck back, first through Nigel De Jong and then through Edin Dzeko. But Liverpool were not to be denied against the eventual title-winners, and first Stevie G nailed his second penalty of the tie, before an equaliser on the night 17 minutes from time from Craig Bellamy denied City an away goals win, despite a nervy final fifteen. It was a deserved win over two-legs from the Reds, but the sort of pulsating cup tie that Liverpool have been famous for over the years. And fair enough it was the first time we saw Liverpool come against a good City side when it mattered, but it was also probably the start of a pulsating rivalry.

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Andy Robertson: Mr. Consistent Impressing For Liverpool Again

Andy Robertson: Mr. Consistent Impressing For Liverpool Again

During last summer in which Liverpool did some fine business for the long-term, from the unparalleled brilliance of Mohamed Salah to the utility of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, there is one man that has been the unsung hero through all of this – Andy Robertson.

When Robertson was signed from Hull City last summer for £8 million with Kevin Stewart going the other way, his arrival came at the expense of very little fanfare. Despite being a rare source of light in a dismal season for the Tigers which culminated in relegation at the end of the season, many supporters were calling out for a marquee name instead – with the Reds being linked with many big names in the ilk of Jonas Hector and Theo Hernandez.

Therefore, the ex-Hull man’s arrival was greeted with derision from many rival fans, who mocked Liverpool’s expectations as well as Jurgen Klopp’s decision to sign a left-back from a side that had been relegated from the top flight the previous campaign. Whilst the club’s rivals Chelsea, Man City & Man United were all linked with big names such as Alex Sandro, Danny Rose and Benjamin Mendy, the general consensus was that Liverpool’s pulling power was still limited despite having sealed Champions League qualification at the end of the 2016/17 season.

Many were expecting Robertson to slot into the team straightaway as Klopp’s first full-back, but the German surprised everybody at the start of the season. He decided to give the role to the much-maligned Alberto Moreno – who had been limited to domestic appearances throughout the 2016/17 season due to his error-strewn performances at the back. This came as a shock to many Liverpool fans, who had long been calling for the Spaniard’s back following some poor displays towards the backend of the 2015/16 season.

However, Moreno’s performances in the first few months of the campaign was a far cry from the Alberto Moreno that had become somewhat of a joke figure among rival supporters for his mistakes. After James Milner occupied the left-back role for the previous campaign, the 25-year-old offered balance out wide – coupled with his improved end product and maturity going forward.

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What Defines Success For Liverpool FC: Trophies or Progression?

What Defines Success For Liverpool FC: Trophies or Progression?

“Winning trophies is everything in football”

“Only trophies are a gauge of a team’s success”.

These are opinions many football supporters hold, but despite there being plenty of truth in them, there is far more to it.

Seeing your team pick up silverware is hugely important, without question, and holding any title aloft should be celebrated long into the night. It instils a winning mentality in the team, and can sometimes define the careers of both individuals and managers.

It shouldn’t be the only thing that determines success, however.

Liverpool have only won one trophy since 2006 – a desperately poor return for a club of such prestige – but during the last 12 years, there have been Reds sides who have brought us great joy.

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Where Does Salah Rank Among Europe’s Best?

Where Does Salah Rank Among Europe's Best?

The nature of the conversation around Mo Salah has indeed shifted in recent weeks, culminating in a significant shift following Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Watford. Salah was of course, entirely unplayable on Saturday, scoring four and assisting Bobby Firmino’s goal, but that performance was only the cherry on top of what has been a truly elite season for Salah. His 28 goals make him the top scorer in the top five European leagues, with nobody contributing more than his 37 goals and assists.

So the question is no longer how good is Mo Salah compared to the likes of Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez in the Premier League, but how does Mo stack up against the world’s elite? Well, I did a bit of digging, to try and find out.

First of all, some preliminaries. I wanted to compare Mo with players in a similar position, and of an elite level. So I picked the obvious names: Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar. I also picked Dybala as he’s probably the closest Mo comparison in Serie A, and then I added Kane as his closest contender in the PL, and Lewandowski, as the top goalscorer in Germany. Not all of these players play as wingers obviously, with some outright strikers, so comparisons in all areas won’t be expected to be fair.

The second thing to note is that this is not saying: Mo is as good as Messi/Ronaldo etc. I’m not saying Mo is in that elite calibre; I’m merely comparing stats. Stats don’t tell you everything that you want or need to know, and I’m just looking at some of the numbers. I will, however, try to draw some comparisons and points of note from this season.

A couple of final quick points. I’m only comparing league performances, and all numbers will be per 90 unless stated otherwise.

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Emre Can injury latest

Emre Can will sit out Germany’s friendly with Spain on Friday night due to the back injury that forced his withdrawal against Watford last weekend.

The Liverpool midfielder was taken off midway through the first half of the 5-0 win at Anfield but the issue was not deemed serious enough to prevent him from joining up with his country.

Can has not recovered sufficiently to participate tomorrow evening but may be back in contention when Joachim Low’s side host Brazil in Berlin next Tuesday.

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Salah, Rush, Fowler, Suarez and more four-goal LFC heroes

Mohamed Salah’s glorious quadruple against Watford made him the 28th Liverpool player to score four or more goals in a match.

Several of the Egyptian’s new peers – including Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler – did it more than once, with Salah’s four-goal haul against the Hornets being the 37th time a Red has hit that tally or above in a single game.

We’ve trawled through the archives to pick out 10 of the most notable…

George Allan v Rotherham Town – February 18, 1896

OK, so you would have to be over 100 years old to remember this one, but Allan’s quartet helped John McKenna’s Reds secure a whopping 10-1 triumph at Anfield that remains the club’s record league victory.

Scotland international Allan had also scored four against Burslem Port Vale earlier in the season and went on to net 25 goals in only 20 league matches during the 1895-96 season as Liverpool won the Second Division.

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‘I’m a massive fan of Xabi Alonso’

Gary McAllister is hoping to line up alongside a man he has long admired when Liverpool FC Legends face their Bayern Munich counterparts on Saturday.

The Scot has revealed himself to be a ‘massive fan’ of fellow midfielder Xabi Alonso, who will play 45 minutes for each of his former teams in a match that will raise vital funds for the LFC Foundation.

A Champions League winner during his time with the Reds, Alonso is sure to receive a brilliant reception from the Anfield faithful upon his return.

But he will also be warmly received in the dressing room courtesy of Gary Mac, who has always appreciated the Spaniard’s talents from afar.

McAllister told “He is, first and foremost, a class act and a top bloke. I have met him away from the game and he is a first-class gentleman.

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