Concentration, Counter-pressing and Caution: How Liverpool ambushed Manchester City

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So, it’s Liverpool who book a Champions League semi final spot at the expense of Manchester City. At the end of 180 minutes of breathtaking football over two legs, Jurgen Klopp, again proves to be Pep Guardiola’s nemesis and the cityzens hope of a treble go up in flames.

Talismanic figure, Mohamed Salah scored two vital goals over two legs, plus other strikes from Oxlade Chamberlain, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino helped Liverpool scale the seemingly insurmountable hurdle as they triumphed 5-1 on aggregate over the waiting Premier League champions.

It was quite unpredictable before the first leg at anfield, but an unusual show of concentration by the reds saw them hold their heads up. Perhaps the only thing that was certain for Liverpool before the night at anfield was their ability to score. But not even Salah or any other player could tell how easy or how many goals they could score against City.

Besides, they knew scoring won’t be enough and what they had to do was concentrate more on the ball and avoid cheap goals. Of course, they did that under intense pressure from City and under the floodlights of an electric Anfield atmosphere. Suddenly, the narrative changed ahead of the crucial second leg at the Etihad stadium.

As if concentration wasn’t enough as well, Jurgen Klopp in his usual manner employed counter-pressing and the job was done in fifteen minutes. The reds focused on winning first balls and also did well on second balls as well. It was just a matter of repeating the routine in the second leg.

It wasn’t going to be easy at the Etihad and that was the case. Two minutes into the second leg, City were up by a goal courtesy of a Gabriel Jesus fine finish from a steal by Raheem Sterling. City needed an early goal, they got it and the thoughts of a rampage started flying.

Liverpool had another idea however and that was to be cautious. What at first seemed it was to become a thumping gradually seemed far from being dried and cut, thanks to some questionable decisions by the referee though.

The second half really did have much to offer and one would have expected City to take perfect control of the driver’s seat, but rather Mohamed Salah happened and Liverpool slayed Man City in the front of the blue army.

City were exhilarating over the two legs. They tossed Liverpool here and there but true to the anthem which echoed around Etihad stadium last night; there’s a golden sky at the end of the storm and Liverpool walked on.

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