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Liverpool vs Manchester City at Anfield

Anfield Referee : Michael Oliver
7th February 2021 4:30 PM (GMT)
  • 1 Liverpool

    • ‘63' Mohamed Salah (Pen)
  • 4 Manchester City

    • ‘49' Ilkay Gündogan
    • ‘73' Ilkay Gündogan
    • ‘76' Raheem Sterling
    • ‘83' Phil Foden


Commentary By John Edwards


Signing off 👋

That’s your lot for this evening, Blues.

Final thoughts? Well, it was a near perfect day for us, wasn’t it? Winning at Anfield for the first time since 2003 and what a win it was.

Of course, Liverpool contributed to their own downfall, but we were ruthless as we stretched our unbeaten run to 14-games in all competitions to maintain our place at the top of the league. 

There is a long way to go but this was a moment to savour and you’d think Phil Foden will think the same after his star showing. 

Next up it’s Swansea City in the FA Cup on Wednesday 10 February and we’ll have full coverage here on

You can watch highlights of tonight’s game from 20:15 (UK) and a full-match replay will be available on CITY+ from midnight.

Check out all the reaction and match stats below and we’ll see you on Wednesday! 


Pep Guardiola - Credit to the players

It was a superb second half display today, so what did the boss say at the break?

Not a lot, as it turns out!

"I didn’t say anything at the break, the players made the decision themselves and they handled the situation themselves and the players in the middle were fantastic."


Gundogan - I tried not to let penalty distract me

What a response it was from the German midfielder!

"I need to admit that missing a penalty is always a bad thing, especially early in the game. There's always a danger of dropping confidence but after I missed I just tried to do the simple things as well as possible. 

"Don't get distracted by the penalty and try to keep going and help my team to win. It worked out well. Maybe I was lucky to be in the right places but I always try to be there when I smell the danger in front of goal. Happy about the goals, relieved but much happier about the result and the way we played." 


Pep Guardiola - City lucky to have Foden

"First half we couldn’t find him that's why we struggle. He played in the middle. The second half he was incredible - he is just 20 and I am pretty sure he will improve. 

"He is always focused and he can also do things in the box. We are lucky. Man City fans have a player who has come through the Academy and loves this club. He is a joy."


Gundogan - A great performance

Another two goals for llkay today and how well did he bounce back from that missed penalty!

"I'm very happy that we won the game, we deserved it we played great especially in the second half. We did really well and apart from the penalty they had no chance to score a goal. We moved the ball well, we deserved to score the goals and all in all it was a great performance." 


Pep Guardiola - A huge victory

It felt a bit doom and gloom at half-time after Ilkay Gundogan's missed penalty, but oh how our boys reacted and the boss was certainly impressed!

"Huge victory for us. Three more points at the end but I take into consideration the fact we won after we missed a penalty and conceded a goal but the way we reacted... that made the difference. 

"We started really well. We cannot play like they play, we have to play in a slow rhythm. Second half we adjusted our set up and the quality of the players did the rest."


Foden - The job isn't done

A morale boosting victory and performance to match for the 20-year old:

"I struck it perfect and I'm just happy to see it go in and help the team. It gives us every chance to go on and win [the title], but the job isn't done and we've got a long way to go. When you beat the champions everyone's confidence goes sky high, so it can only help us. We're just happy to win today."


Foden - We showed courage

The man of the moment has spoken:

"It's brilliant, every player wants to play in big games like this and we showed that courage from minute one. They made it so difficult for us but we showed our courage to play our football and keep going, and in the end it paid off.

"I feel like sometimes we're a slow team to get going. It was definitely better in the second half, it's something to work on. We definitely forced the errors, it's something we're working at in training. Everyone worked for each other and got their rewards today."


As it stands

The Premier League table makes for pleasant viewing after tonight.

We remain in first place, five points clear of Manchester United in second, but with a game in hand and 10 points ahead of Liverpool, who are fourth and have also played a game more than us.


We're Not Really Here 📺

Lots and lots of positives to discuss after that.

Richard Dunne and Nedum Onuoha have the honour on We're Not Really Here and you can tune in now at the top of the page.


Full-time: Liverpool 1-4 City

A big, big win to end our Anfield hoodoo in emphatic fashion!

And it was thanks to a fantastic second half performance as we bounced back from the disappointment of Ilkay Gundogan's penalty miss in the opening 45-minutes.

The German put is ahead when he tapped in from close range shortly after the break, but City were pegged back on the hour mark as Mohamed Salah converted a penalty after being brought down by Ruben Dias.

From there, Pep Guardiola's side took control, with three goals in 10-minutes.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was at fault for two of them, giving the ball away prior to Gundogan adding second and again when Raheem headed in a third, but there was nothing he could do to stop Phil Foden's sensational fourth.

A performance to savour. Enjoy this, Blues! 🙌


WHAT A GOAL! Liverpool 1-4 City

Take a bow, Philip Walter Foden.

He has been superb today and he’s scored a brilliant goal to make it 4-1.

Everyone’s favourite Stopfordian collects the ball on the right wing and drives inside on that wonderful left foot before lashing the ball into the roof of the net.

He enjoyed that one and so he should!



Neil Leigh at Anfield:

"Emphatic response. And one, dare I say it, that is the stuff of champions. There may have been some self-enforced errors from Liverpool but you still have to capitalise when the chance arises and boy have City done there.

"Ilkay Gundogan – my vote for the player of the season already – restored our lead with a close range finish after some more dazzling work by Phil Foden. And Raheem Sterling’s third goal has surely gone a long way to ending our 18-year wait for a victory here at Anfield.

"History in the making finally?"


RAZZZ! Liverpool 1-3 City

Raheem Sterling puts us two goals to the good to cap a brilliant five minutes for City and a horrendous five minutes for Alisson and Liverpool.

It is a mind-boggling mistake from the Brazilian goalkeeper, who tries to play out from the back but succeeds in passing straight to Bernardo Silva on the edge of the area.

The midfielder lofts a cross over the goalkeeper for Sterling to nod in on the line.



YESSSSSSSS! Liverpool 1-2 City

What a day for Ilkay Gundogan as he capitalises on some poor Liverpool defender.

It starts with Alisson nearly getting caught in possession. The Brazilian recovers but then sends his pass straight to Phil Foden, who glides past Jordan Henderson with ease before cutting it back from the touchline for Gundogan to slam home from three-yards.

Top class from Foden.




City win a free-kick on the left, midway in the Liverpool half, after Fabinho goes in the book for a foul on Phil Foden.

The midfielder curls the set-piece over to the far post and John Stones is there to guide it into the opposite corner, but the assistant referee's flag cuts short the celebrations.

No VAR check, the officials could see he was offside.



A fierce 18-yard strike from Bernardo Silva flies just wide of the left upright.

The Portuguese midfielder took it first time when it looked like he space to set himself, but it was all about Raheem Sterling's run in the build up as he got clear of Trent Alexander-Arnold again.

He's caused the Liverpool full-back countless problems today.


Liverpool changes

Two changes in midfield for the hosts.

Xherdan Shaqiri replaces Thiago and former City player James Milner comes on for Curtis Jones.


Penalty to Liverpool

Oh no - not what we need!

Mohamed Salah breaks into the City area and evades Ruben Dias, who tugs him back as he tries to recover and Michael Oliver points to the spot.

Salah will take.



It's advantage City, but Liverpool are still well in this and Curtis Jones is looking particularly lively.

He drives inside off the left flank and tries to curl a low shot into the far corner, but it rolls just wide of the post.



Curtis Jones gets a yard of space on the edge of the area and tries to force a quick response but his left footed effort clears the crossbar.


Just reward for Gundogan

Neil Leigh at Anfield:

"Proof positive that City have character in abundance as well as class.

"It would have been easy for Ilkay Gundogan to get downhearted after his penalty miss. Instead the German has stood tall and that goal was just reward for his desire and commitment, and showed his presence of mind in following up Phil Foden’s parried shot.

"The perfect riposte and perfect start to the second half!"


GOAAAL! Liverpool 0-1 City

Redemption for Ilkay Gundogan!  

The German midfielder reacts quickest to tap home from close range after Alisson can only palm Phil Foden's effort back into the six-yard box.

It all starts with Raheem Sterling on the left, who beats Trent Alexander-Arnold easily before squaring for Foden to sweep his effort goalward. 

Alisson did well to keep that out, but Gundogan was in the right place at the right time.

Another goal for him and he will LOVE that one!


Tactical tweak

No substitutions for either side at half-time, but it looks like Pep Guardiola has made a slight change to how City are shaping up.

Bernardo Silva has moved forward to play alongside Phil Foden up front and it now looks like a traditional 4-4-2 for City.


Dunne - Difficult to create

Could Phil Foden be the key to us making a breakthrough. Richard Dunne thinks so...

"There’s a lot riding on it for Liverpool if they lose so you can see the intensity. City began pressing really well but going forward, it’s been hard for both teams to create anything and find space.  Our wingers could be the ones to get the space. If Foden drops deep then the two wide men could get the space going forward."


Onuoha - Klopp the happier manager

Nedum Onuoha thinks the home boss will feel better about the first half, but he doesn't think Pep Guardiola needs to make wholesale changes...

"I think Klopp would be the happier of the two managers. They’ve got forward with Alexander-Arnold and Robertson, who have had chances to get crosses in.  Pep, for me, doesn’t really need to change anything tactically in the second half. He just needs to get a bit more from the players who are on the pitch and we should be okay."


Ups and downs

Neil Leigh at Anfield:

"All square at the break after a fascinating first 45 minutes.

"There’s no doubt Liverpool enjoyed the greater possession and territory from 20 minutes onwards but it’s City who have come closest with Ilkay Gundogan failing to convert from the penalty spot after Raheem Sterling was brought down.

"At times City have had to muster all our defensive acumen and quality to keep the hosts at bay but, given the speed of our counter-attacks, you still feel we have a goal up our sleeves.

"All to play for going into the second half. Can’t wait!"



A nervy moment for Liverpool as they win a free-kick right on the edge of the City area.

Thiago, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed are all stood over it, with the Spaniard taking control, but the wall does it's job and it deflects behind for a corner.

Alexander-Arnold picks out Mane whose downward header from six-yards is straight at Ederson.


High and wide


Ilkay Gundogan gets it all wrong as he fires his spot kick well over the bar and a golden opportunity to take the lead goes begging.

Pep Guardiola cut a frustrated figure on the touchline. 


Penalty to City!

Oh, here we go! Liverpool have been the better side in this last 10-minutes, but City have a great chance to take the lead after Raheem Sterling is brought down by Fabinho.

The winger cuts inside off the left wing with a mazy run that takes him past Trent Alexander-Arnold and Thiago, but the Brazilian midfielder sticks out a lazy looking leg which sends Sterling tumbling.

Gundogan to take!


Liverpool's confidence growing...

Neil Leigh at Anfield:

"Heart in the mouth time there with that Sadio Mane header before Ederson earned his spurs with a fine save to deny Firmino. Liverpool just gaining a bit of traction through Alexander-Arnold and Robertson from the two full-back positions.

"That said we look a potent threat every time we are running at the Liverpool back line – its just that our final pass is lacking so far.

"Great to see Dias and Rodrigo bringing a bit of Iberian muscle to the party too. They can mix silk and steel when needed!"



Ederson makes the first save of the game to deny Roberto Firmino.

It starts when Ruben Dias heads Jordan Henderson's long ball forward for Mohamed Salah clear, but Firmino reacts quickest.

The Brazilian's first time half volley is sweetly struck and heading for the top corner, but Ederson had the angle covered and pushes over with relative ease.

City clear the resulting corner, but the Reds are finding their feet in this game.



City win a free-kick midway into the Liverpool. Ilkay Gundogan stands over the ball out towards the right flank but he puts too much on his centre which drifts out of play.



It's been a slow start from a Liverpool team who love to play at speed and it is an injection of speed which brings about the first real chance of the game.

Trent Alexander-Arnold weaves down the right before clipping one into the box for Sadio Mane, who beats Joao Cancelo to the ball, but heads over from 10-yards.

A sign this contest is warming up...


Easy on the eye

Neil Leigh at Anfield: 

"A feisty and fiercely first contested first 15 minutes as you would expect given the quality of both teams.

"Liverpool look fired up as that early booking for Thiago Alcantara illustrated. City meanwhile are again fluid and flexible with and without the ball and pulling wonderful shapes and textures all over the pitch with Mahrez and Sterling wide on either flank.

"Probably the biggest boost of all is that Ilkay Gundogan doesn’t appear to be suffering any ill effects from that poorly timed challenge."


No breakthrough

City are still in the ascendancy here, but we've not been able to make anything of it.

Riyad Mahrez has just seen a cross headed clear by Fabinho, with Raheem Sterling recovering the ball on the left, but his attempt at a low pass into a crowded penalty area can't get through the sea of red shirts.


Defence to attack

Roberto Firmino looks to counter for the hosts, but he's outmuscled on halfway by Ruben Dias, who feeds Riyad Mahrez and promptly hurtles forward to support the attack.

The ball is worked back in side and out to Sterling on the left but City can't make anything of it.

Great stuff from Dias!



Liverpool switch the ball to the open Robertson on the left and the Scotsman takes a touch before whipping in a cross, but he can't pick out a team-mate and Ederson makes a comfortable catch.


Formation watch

With Oleksandr Zinchenko coming back into the side we thought City's defence would shape up in the more familiar back four, but Joao Cancelo is still adding that extra man in midfield.

John Stones and Dias are alone at the back when City have possession and we've had plenty of it so far.


Decent start

Ten minutes in and it's fair to say we've settled quicker. No chances, but Liverpool are yet to get a proper foothold in the game. 



City work the ball wide to Raheem Sterling on the left, who's stood up by Trent Alexander-Arnold and elects to pass back to Oleksandr Zinchenko.

The left-back takes it first time, but his low effort is blocked by Jordan Henderson before it can trouble Alisson and the Reds eventually clear.



Thiago picks up an early booking for a foul on Ilkay Gundogan. It was a nasty one too, with Liverpool man coming through the back of our No.8.

He looks in some pain and there is a short delay as the medical team give him some attention. It looks like he's hurt his ankle, but, thankfully, he's OK to continue.


Front three

Phil Foden is playing through the middle of the forward line and he's flanked by Raheem Sterling on the left and Riyad Mahrez on the right.

Bernardo Silva is part of the midfield trio, for now...

City of course, could interchange at will!


Nearly time!

We are five minutes away from kick-off at Anfield, where victory would take us 10-points clear of the defending champions at the top of the league.

This stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for us for nearly two decades, but can Pep Guardiola's in form side change that today.

Let's hope so! 

Here's a reminder of how the two teams line up:

CITY: Ederson, Cancelo, Zinchenko, Dias, Stones, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Foden, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling

LIVERPOOL: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Jones, Thiago, Mane, Salah, Firmino.


Pep - Ignore history and form

The boss has completed his pre-match media duties and here's what he had to say to Sky Sports:

Never in my five seasons have I come here thinking to break a record of not winning. Sometimes we draw, sometimes we win. We haven't won for one reason - because they’re a fantastic team. We’re here to get the three points and win the game.

"Okay, they are below us, it doesn’t work like we will win because we are higher than them in the table. They are still there."


'A big game for sure'

Neil Leigh is our man at Anfield today and he's summed up the pre-match feeling perfectly here...

"Some games just have that bit more frisson and anticipation about them and today’s encounter definitely falls into that camp. Blue versus Red. Manchester vs Merseyside. Guardiola and Klopp. The last two title winners going head to head. It’s a biggie for sure.

"For City, it’s another opportunity to maintain an incredible run of form that has seen us win the past 13 games and record a perfect record so far in 2021. A first victory at Anfield in 18 years would, of course, also help exorcise a few ghosts and provide further belief and momentum to our title charge.

"For Liverpool, after successive home league defeats to Burnley and Brighton, today has become a pivotal encounter if they are to reignite their hopes of retaining the title.

"So much at stake for both sides then on what is a bone-chillingly cold afternoon at Merseyside. Rest assured, the thermometer on the pitch will soon rise come kick-of though!"


Stat pack 📈

🔹 We have lost 17 top-flight games in a row against Liverpool at Anfield. Losing 12 and drawing five since our last win in May 2003. It is our longest run without an away win in the Premier League to any opponent.

🔹That 17-match winless streak at Liverpool is our longest in the Premier League away to any opponent.

🔹 The only away win in the past 24 league meetings between these sides was Liverpool's 4-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium in November 2015.

🔹If we keep a clean sheet today it would be a Club record seventh in a row for us in the Premier League.

🔹 We have conceded just once in the 11 league matches Ruben Dias and John Stones have started together (W10, D1), with that goal a late consolation for Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi in a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge.

🔹 Liverpool are in danger of losing three consecutive league games at Anfield, a sequence they last recorded in 1963.

🔹 The Reds could also fail to score in four consecutive top-flight home matches for the first time in their history.


Gundogan - An amazing opportunity

Ilkay Gundogan has got three points in his sights. The in-form midfielder will no doubt be crucial if we're to be successful this afternoon. It's nine goals and counting for him this season - the best return of his City career.

"It’s an amazing opportunity for us, not just to get three points, but to make the gap between us even bigger. To show we can come here in this great stadium against a great team and show the qualities we’ve shown over the last few weeks."


Dunne - It's must-win for Liverpool

The pressure is all on the hosts according to Richard Dunne:

"I struggle to see that Liverpool are still a challenger in the title race. The gap has become almost impossible to close. A loss for them means it’s finished, it’s a must-win for them so the pressure is all on them. They must win - there are no second chances for them."


Onuoha - Ignore the history books

Nedum Onuoha thinks we have a great opportunity to end our cursed Anfield luck today, something the boyhood Blue hopes the current crop of players are unaware of!

"You’d say so [best chance to win at Anfield]. You do fancy City, but, it’s still Anfield - and that hoodoo still exists but I hope the players out there don’t know too much about that and go out there to get the win."


Talking tactics

Oleksandr Zinchenko's return in place of Aymeric Laporte suggests City will adopt a more familiar four-man defence after virtually playing with three at the back against Burnley.

Joao Cancelo may will still look to offer support in midfield as he has done to wonderful effect, but will need to be wary of the threat of Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson down Liverpool's left.

The other pre-match questions for City are whether Bernardo Silva or Phil Foden will take the third role in midfield alongside Rodrigo and Ilkay Gundogan, and who will play through the middle of the foward line.

Bernardo, Foden, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez have all done so previously.


Liverpool team 🔴📋

Liverpool are boosted by the return of Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Sadio Mane.

The trio replace Caoimhin Kelleher, Nathaniel Phillips and Xherdan Shaqiri as part of four changes, with young Curtis Jones also coming in for James Milner.

XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Jones, Thiago, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

Subs: Adrian, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kabak, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, Origi, Phillips, N. Williams.


Team news 🔵📋

City make two changes to the side that beat Burnley in midweek, with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Phil Foden coming in for Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus, who both drop to the bench.

Kyle Walker is a noticeable absentee, with the right-back missing out as he’s not fully fit. 

XI: Ederson, Cancelo, Zinchenko, Dias, Stones, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Foden, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling

Subs: Steffen, Jesus, Laporte, Torres, Mendy, Fernandinho, Garcia, Doyle, Bernabe.


Stones - I'm definitely excited!

John Stones certainly looks like a man who is enjoying his football at the moment and he is relishing today's match...

"It’s definitely a big game – we all know that as players and fans of football. We’ve had some big games which maybe on paper don’t look like big games. Everyone knows the quality of Liverpool they still have the quality and are champions. We know what we’re in for, we will be well prepared for the game and everyone will wear their heart on their sleeve, I’m sure. 

"I look forward to these games, testing yourself against top players. It’ll be an exciting open, especially for us going into to it. The importance of it brings added pressure - not too much – but the pressure of making another step forward. Definitely excited!"


So far so good

Ellen White's brilliant strike has City in front at half-time against Arsenal in the WSL. 

You can keep up to date with how the second half unfolds on Twitter: @ManCityWomen.

A win would be a nice way to start this super Sunday....


Pep Guardiola: We're going to Anfield to win

To be clear - there is no chance of City playing for a draw today...

“I want to see my team go to Anfield and try to win the game, like day one since we were together. We go there to win the game, not draw. We want to win the game. 

"They are always a top team. They still have a top squad, they know the process, skills, methodology, they are aggressive. They will be more aggressive than ever; they rest after Brighton. They recover and will be ready.”


Injury news 🤕

Team news is due in 30 minutes time, but we already know that several key men will be missing for both sides in this clash of the titans.

Sergio Aguero, Nathan Ake and Kevin De Bruyne will all be absent for City. The Argentine striker is not match ready following his bout of Coronavirus, whilst Ake remains sidelined with a muscular problem and De Bruyne is still recovering from the injury picked up against Aston Villa two weeks ago.

Naby Keita, Diego Jota and long-term absentees Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk are all unavailable for Liverpool.

Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Sadio Mane have trained ahead of this game and could well return, whilst new signing Ozan Kabak is eligible to play.


Form guide 📈

Any big game nerves ahead of this one? It's understandable if so, given we haven't won at Anfield since 2003. However, we come into this clash in fantastic form.

Pep Guardiola's side are unbeaten in 20 games, have won 13 matches in a row in all competitions and have conceded just twice in our last 10 outings.

Liverpool suffered defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion and Burnley in their previous two home games and have failed to win seven of their last 10 fixtures.


Double matchday

There are two big clashes for us today, with our women's first team also in action against Arsenal in the WSL.

We're 25-minutes into the game at Meadow Park with the scores currently deadlocked at 0-0.

You can follow all the action on Twitter: @ManCityWomen.

🤞 Gareth Taylor's side can get us off to a winning start today!


We're Not Really Here 📺

It's matchday, which means there is a We're Not Really Here show for you to enjoy.

Former centre-backs Richard Dunne and Nedum Onuoha are today's guests and they'll join presenter Cel Spellman in the studio at the Etihad Stadium to entertain and inform you throughout the day.

The pre-match show begins at 15:30 (UK), whilst our panel will return at half-time for a brief summary on the opening 45-minutes and after the full-time whistle when they'll provide half an hour of post-match analysis. 

And the good news? You don't need to move a muscle to tune it, simply keep your eyes peeled for the video at the top of this page.

It's the perfect City-focused big game build up and you can get involved by using #WNRH on Twitter.


Hello 👋

Good afternoon, City fans!

And welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester City’s Premier League game against Liverpool.

And what a game it is set up to be as the two best teams in the country in recent seasons lock horns once more.

Fourth place Liverpool may trail league leaders City by seven points but with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp the chief protagonists, it remains a fixture of significant magnitude.

We kick-off at Anfield at 16:30 (UK) and you are in the right place to follow all the action as it unfolds.

We’ll bring you all the pre-match build up, live in game updates and post-match reaction right here.


Other games that day

  • Tottenham Hotspur2
    West Bromwich Albion0
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers0
    Leicester City0
  • Sheffield United1

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Manchester United 23 +19 45
3 Leicester City 23 +14 43
4 Liverpool 23 +15 40
5 Chelsea 23 +14 39
6 West Ham United 23 +6 39
7 Everton 21 +6 37
8 Tottenham Hotspur 22 +14 36
9 Aston Villa 21 +12 35
10 Arsenal 23 +4 31
11 Leeds United 21 -2 29
12 Southampton 22 -8 29
13 Crystal Palace 22 -10 29
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 23 -8 27
15 Brighton and Hove Albion 23 -5 25
16 Newcastle United 23 -13 25
17 Burnley 22 -15 23
18 Fulham 22 -14 15
19 West Bromwich Albion 23 -36 12
20 Sheffield United 23 -22 11
Link To Full Table