Julian Alvarez Shines as Manchester City Overpower Liverpool in a Thrilling Premier League Clash
Julián Álvarez played a pivotal role in three Manchester City goals as they overpowered Liverpool to keep hopes of a third consecutive Premier League title alive. The win will be extra satisfying for Pep Guardiola having initially fallen behind, with the Reds consigned to their first defeat after scoring first in 37 Premier League matches.
Fireworks tend to ensue whenever Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp face off, and despite both sides only just returning from the international break, Saturday’s heavyweight clash immediately lived up to its billing. Riyad Mahrez was the first to threaten as his close-range free-kick whistled past Alisson’s far post, but a textbook Liverpool counter-attack soon had City chasing the game.
As Guardiola’s side waited for a flag that never came, Diogo Jota raced past the last line of defence and laid the ball off to Mohamed Salah, who continued his streak of scoring in all four H2H matches this season with an emphatic finish, ending the hosts’ rampant run of 19 goals without reply. With City’s title chances in jeopardy, they mounted a spirited and speedy response as Álvarez tapped home Jack Grealish’s low cross to level the scores, sparking euphoric celebrations inside Etihad Stadium – not least from the injured Erling Haaland.
Referee Simon Hooper did well to prevent tensions from boiling over in the first half, but City were straight down to business in the second as Álvarez’s sweeping pass kick-started a flowing attack that culminated in a simple tap-in for Kevin De Bruyne. The floodgates opened thereafter as the all-action Álvarez saw his blocked shot land at the feet of İlkay Gündoğan, who slotted home from point-blank range. Another star performer, Grealish, also found time to get in on the action, using De Bruyne for a sharp one-two before calmly slotting past a dejected Alisson.
In notching a fourth consecutive victory for the first time in the Premier League this season, City temporarily close the gap on Arsenal to five points. Liverpool, meanwhile, have taken a hit in their race for the top four and things aren’t about to get any easier for Klopp’s side, with Chelsea and Arsenal up next.