Pep Guardiola’s ongoing nightmare continues as Manchester City bow out of the Champions League after losing the second leg 1-2 to an utterly brilliant Liverpool side as both the quarter-final ties ended 5-1 in aggregate.
Losing their third match on the trot, City previously lost 2-3 to local rivals Manchester United in the Premier League which delayed their league triumph and now require to win two more matches in order to lift the trophy.
Klopp got the better of Guardiola yet again after the German’s flawless record against his ex-Bundesliga colleague meant that the Liverpool manager now has seven wins against his Catalan counterpart, the highest by any against the latter.
Liverpool continue their dream run in the Champions League this season after such a convincing win against the probable Premier League champions prove they are ready to face the toughest of tests ahead. Looking back at yesterday’s high-intensity tie, here’s 5 talking points of the face-off: –
●A tale of two halves:
Even after having an overwhelming two-thirds of the possession, City yet again failed to capitalize on what seemed to be their biggest ammunition. City scored early in the match after Jesus netted the ball off a Sterling through and caused all sorts of problems in the first half with Sané and Bernardo playing upfront. However, they switched off in the second half as both Salah and Firmino scored to end all City hopes.
●Fantastic Salah keeps on performing:
Having undoubtedly the best season of his career, Mohamed Salah needed just a break in the second half to open the score for the Reds and give them an unassailable lead in the all-important tie. The Egyptian is in a terrific goal-scoring run and could very well be the key to Liverpool’s UCL dreams. With 39 goals in all competitions this season, he is certainly up for the Balon D’or this season.
●City offense flop again:
After earning the reputation of being an all-offensive team, City’s failed pursuit to give Klopp’s men a tough fight seemed a distant reality with the men in blue just scoring one goal across both the legs in reply to Liverpool’s five. With Aguero sidelined due to injury issues in both the matches, the City team could never really take authority in the games played.
●Liverpool’s defence not a worry anymore:
With a host of defensively poor performances in the last season and also at the beginning of the ongoing one, Liverpool’s road to UCL semis has a lot to say about the stability Jürgen Klopp has been successful in bringing into the team, specially at the back. With the arrival of Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton in January, the team now looks balanced from all sides as Klopp’s men march onto the next phrase of the tournament.
● Referee play the spoilsport again:
The second leg also saw some refereeing errors just like the first as Leroy Sané’s effort into the goal just before the end of the first half was ruled as offside while replays clearly showing that Milner got a touch on the ball on the way. Pep Guardiola was later sent to the stands in the second half following his revolt against the awry decisions taken by the officials during the break.