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Liverpool 1-4 Manchester City: Gundogan and Foden end Anfield curse

Manchester City, who have a game in hand on all of their title rivals, has now matched the all-time winning run by an English top-flight side across all competitions, winning each of their last 14 matches – the same number as Preston (ending in 1892) and Arsenal (ending in 1987).

Liverpool, meanwhile, are still without a win at Anfield in 2021, and have lost three consecutive matches at their home ground.

Despite their stunning recent form, talk of ‘the Anfield curse’ still had some Manchester City fans worried ahead of their clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

They need not have been concerned.

Despite their brilliant recent form, talk of ‘the Anfield curse’ still had some Manchester City fans worried ahead of their clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

They need not have been concerned.

With a 4-1 victory on Merseyside, Pep Guardiola’s side surged five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a game in hand on all of their rivals.

Most relatively, though, they are now 10 points clear of Liverpool after breaking off their 18-year wait for a win at the home of the current defending champions.

City and Liverpool have comfortably been the best two teams in England in the current seasons, so to step into Anfield and deliver such a major statement is a significant moment for this manifestation of Guardiola’s team.

Without injured duo Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero and starting the game without strikers, City knocked in four but could, and possibly should, have had more.

Despite missing a first-half penalty, Ilkay Gundogan convinced to be the match-winner, his double after the break making it nine goals in 12 games for the Germany midfielder.

But it was Phil Foden who put in the most impressable performance of the day as he adopted the task of playing the false-nine role in Guardiola’s side like a top striker.

Academy graduate Foden has slowly worked his way into the City side when several felt he should have been a regular in the line-up much earlier in his young career.

City was never behind and should have led after 36 minutes were it not for Ilkay Gundogan’s missed penalty.

He made amends, though, with City’s opening goal. Sterling completely outwitted Trent Alexander-Arnold on the left flank, squeezing the ball back for Foden’s shot.

Alisson saved, but the ball went open to Gundogan, who finished high, hitting the part of the net he had aimed at from the spot.

Liverpool got back into the game when Ruben Dias miscalculated a harmless-looking long ball from Alexander-Arnold and ended up hauling back Mo Salah.

Just three minutes later, same again. Alisson made another blunder he played a pass directly to Bernando Silva, who chipped it across the face of goal for Raheem Sterling to convert with a diving header.

The icing, the cherry, was delivered to Foden, capping an incredible display at false nine, by picking up a pass from Gabriel Jesus cutting in from the right and shoving it past Alisson.

Liverpool was done. So too, perhaps, a lot of clubs with plans on the title.

ajay
Sports freak at your door step

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