Ahead of Liverpool’s trip to the Etihad stadium on Saturday at 12:30pm to face Manchester City, I’ve taken a look back at the last five meetings between the two sides.
Manchester City 1-4 Liverpool, 21st November 2015
In Liverpool’s fourth Premier League match under newly-appointed manager Jurgen Klopp, the Reds travelled to the Etihad to face high-flying Manchester City. With Manuel Pellegrini’s men needing a victory to go top of the Premier League, they would have fancied themselves against a Liverpool side just off the back of a dreadful 1-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace. Those mindsets were changed very quickly when the Reds raced into a stunning 0-3 lead after just half an hour, playing some of the most scintillating football we’ve ever seen from a Liverpool side. The front three of Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho tore City’s defence to shreds in the first half hour. After forcing an early own goal from Eliaquim Mangala, Coutinho doubled Liverpool’s lead on 27 minutes before once again turning provider five minutes later for Firmino to score his first and easiest Premier League goal for Liverpool after an exquisite back heel from Emre Can. Sergio Aguero made Reds fans a bit nervous with a great goal just before half time but the result never looked in doubt as Martin Skrtel sealed the victory with a powerful late volley. After a setback the week before, the revival under Klopp was back on track.
Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool (3-1 on penalties) – League Cup Final, 28th February 2016.
After the standard new manager bounce that was Liverpool’s November results, wins had started to dry up for the Reds. Sitting in ninth place behind the likes of Stoke, Southampton and West Ham, eight points adrift of the Champions League positions, Liverpool had a trip to Wembley to look forward to after barely squeezing past Stoke over two legs in the semi-final. The Reds went into the game in poor form and looking a little leggy but given their rich history, many fancied Liverpool to bring back their first trophy in four years. City created chance after chance with Liverpool barely threatening and the Manchester side deservedly broke the deadlock at the start of the second half when Fernandinho smashed the ball past a questionable Simon Mignolet. Having barely been able to move all match, Daniel Sturridge provided Liverpool with a much needed piece of magic with 10 minutes to go, wonderfully picking out Adam Lallana who inexplicably hit the post from a few inches out but thankfully for him, and Liverpool, the ball fell to Philippe Coutinho to equalise for the Reds. Emre Can put Liverpool ahead in the shoot-out but due to second-choice goalkeeper Willy Caballero pulling off some truly outstanding saves, City claimed the 2016 League Cup.
Liverpool 3-0 Manchester City, 2nd March 2016
Three days after City had beaten them in the final at Wembley, Liverpool welcomed Man City to Anfield in a league match. Given a busy schedule and both sides still in Europe, both managers made a few changes. Jon Flanagan set the tone for the game with a crunching tackle on ex-Red Raheem Sterling within the first minute. Adam Lallana opened the scoring with a long range effort after some dubious positioning from Joe Hart and James Milner scored against his former side to put Liverpool into a 2-0 lead at the break. Roberto Firmino added a third for the Reds in the second half to ensure a comfortable and deserved three points for Liverpool. Fans unanimously wondered where that performance was the previous Sunday…
Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City, 31st December 2016
To cap off a sublime opening half of the season for Klopp’s side, they kept the pressure on Chelsea with a 1-0 win over Pep Guardiola’s Man City at Anfield. It was a very cagey game and one of few chances but a moment of quality in the 8th minute was enough for Liverpool to end the year on a high. Adam Lallana floated a beauty of a left footed cross right onto the head of Gini Wijnaldum who powered a header past Claudio Bravo. Much was made of the fact that it was the first meeting of Klopp v Pep in England after the two managers were in charge of Germany’s two best teams, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich respectively. However, both teams cancelled each other out for the large part and apart from the aforementioned moment of quality, this wouldn’t have been a game for the neutral.
Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool, 19th March 2017
Due to a mixture of tiredness, injuries and a certain absence due to the African Cup of Nations culminating in atrocious January form, Liverpool entered this game out of the title race and at serious risk of losing their place in the top four. The Reds seemed to have lost a little bit of their attacking spark that blew away so many teams in the first half of the season and many weren’t overly confident going to the Etihad to face a much improved City side. Unlike the match in December, this was certainly an entertaining watch and nobody could quite believe that the scoreline was 0-0 at half time, Liverpool had a penalty claim turned down and watched Fernandinho miss one of the simplest tap-ins of the season amongst a plethora of chances. Gael Clichy handled in the box early in the second half and the reliable James Milner tucked the penalty away to put Liverpool into a 0-1 lead. Firmino had a golden chance to put the game to bed before a moment of sheer quality led to a Manchester City equaliser through Aguero from an inch-perfect Kevin De Bruyne cross. Adam Lallana and Sergio Aguero missed golden chances to win their side the game but it ended 1-1 in one of the season’s most entertaining matches.