Last Sunday at the Etihad was an up-and-down affair for Liverpool, but an early blitzkrieg against their hated rivals at Anfield South put the Reds out of touching distance and sent Jurgen’s boys to another cup final.
Alisson – 8
Had some early shaky moments on the ball, but his positioning and shot stopping saved Liverpool from an embarrassing collapse after taking a 3-0 lead. The gulf in class between Alisson and City’s Zach Steffen is a major reason why the quadruple is still on for the Reds and City’s treble hopes have been dashed.
Robbo – 7
Put in a trademark energetic display and helped keep City penned into their own end of the sun-drenched pitch in the 1st half domination. His chemistry with Luis Diaz is still being worked on in the lab, and the two should have created a better chance when presented with an opportunity in the 2nd half. He also could have done better to stop Mahrez from getting free to set up City’s 2nd goal.
Big Virg – 7
A mostly composed display as is to be expected from the world’s best central defender. Wearing the captain’s armband for most of the match until Henderson came on, Virgil snuffed out most of the City attacks before they began and helped the Reds give City absolutely no sight of goal in the 1st half. Along with Robbo, he switched off slightly to let Mahrez sneak in to set up the 2nd goal and make things tenser than they had to be.
Konate – 8
His headed goal off a set piece opened the scoring and gave him 3 goals in his last 3 appearances. He rarely put a foot wrong all match, and his impressive blend of speed & strength was on full display, especially when he bodied Sterling early in the match and gave him no view of goal. Sterling’s petulant refusal to let Konate help him off the floor certainly brought a smile to Liverpool supporters. It must be so demoralizing for opposing offenses to have to deal with another man mountain in the middle of the Liverpool defense, and Ibou appears to be a star in the making.
TAA – 7
Trent’s passing and link-up play helped set up Sadio’s thrilling 2nd goal, and he was part of the first half dominance that put the Reds in the driver’s seat. He was mostly quiet after the break, but he had a couple vital clearances late when the match was truly in doubt for a bit.
Thiago – 8
After being crushed by having to miss out on the League Cup Final due to an untimely injury, the brilliant Spaniard made up for it by bossing most of the Wembley pitch. His pinpoint passing led to a delightful assist for Mane, and he uncorked yet another raking cross from the left side out onto the right wing that is becoming a featured part of his arsenal. Liverpool’s quadruple hopes absolutely will rest in part on his ability to stay fit enough to play the biggest matches.
Fabinho – 8
Setting aside the ludicrous yellow card he received from Michael Oliver, Fab was largely excellent and routinely broke up City’s forays forward, including a crunching tackle on Fernandinho when his counterpart had dribbled past some of the Reds. The platform for Liverpool’s incredible 1st half was total midfield control, and Fab played a crucial role in that.
Naby Keita – 8
Liverpool’s midfield was miles better than last Sunday at the Etihad, and Naby’s performance was key in making that happen. He was instrumental in retaining the ball and progressing it forward. It was also nice to see him immediately step up in defense of his man Sadio after Fernandinho’s rash challenge.
Luis Diaz – 7
The wide open spaces of the Wembley pitch seem to perfectly fit his game as he was a constant threat with his pace down the left wing. He hasn’t achieved perfect cohesion yet with his forward line partners, but the sky is the limit once he finally gets in sync with his colleagues.
Mane – 9
Some of Sadio’s finest moments have come against City, and today was no different. All facets of his game were on display when his intensity & ingenuity led to him pressuring Steffen and capitalizing on the American’s blunder. His 2nd goal was expertly taken off a fantastic Thiago lob pass, and his sliced shot into the bottom corner of the near post is right up there with his gorgeous left-footed snipe in the epic 4-3 win at Anfield back in 2018.
Salah – 6
On another day, Mo might have had a couple goals, including one off yet another Steffen mistake. However, whether it be fatigue or simply bad luck, Mo just can’t seem to get it going on the ball. He should have passed centrally to ice the game late but wastefully shot wide. His pressing and running still bring plenty to the side, but Liverpool will need him back to his best if they’re going to make it a May to remember.
Jordan Henderson (On 73) – 5
Brought in to help lock things down and take the sting out of the game, but his introduction coincided with the match getting chaotic and tense at the death. The very end of the match likely wasn’t his fault as the game felt truly done and dusted for the first 15 minutes of his presence on the pitch until the backline switched off. However, he also didn’t contribute much towards calming things down when the chaos started.
Bobby Firmino (On 85) – 6
After his delightful brace vs. Benfica, Bobby was kept on ice for most of this one. He did have a couple positive moments when Liverpool had a chance to kill off the match, but Salah refused to pass to him. He will likely get his shot against one of Liverpool’s archrivals coming up.
Diogo Jota (On 85) – N/A
Sent on to pressure City higher up the pitch and pin them back, he wasn’t very involved. His late introduction likely means he’ll get a chance Tuesday vs. United to give their atrocious backline fits.
Curtis Jones (On 85) – N/A
Got a quick runout but didn’t feature much. He might be an option vs. Everton next weekend when the midfield will need rotating. Wouldn’t hurt to have another Scouser play in the Merseyside Derby
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