Helped by a Jordan Henderson wonderstrike and a beautiful Philippe Coutinho goal, Liverpool were able to best second-place Manchester City 2-1 in a Premier League matchup on Sunday at Anfield. The two amazing goals helped Liverpool come away with three points in a match between two squads jostling for position around the top of the league table.
The excitement of the match started pretty immediately. Liverpool got the scoring going with a wonderstrike in the 11th minute from midfielder Henderson. He received a pass at the left edge of the box from forward Raheem Sterling, and bent a beautiful shot that snuck in the top right corner of the goal. City keeper Joe Hart had no chance to stop it. The beautiful strike put the Reds up 1-0.
Liverpool’s lead didn’t last long however. Manchester City found an equalizer in the 25th minute on an Edin Dzeko right-footed shot from the center of the box. Dzeko took a pass from striker Sergio Aguero and snuck a shot past the outstretched hands of Reds keep Simon Mignolet. Aguero created the chance with a skillful dribble that opened space around the goal.
The first half played out with no further scoring. Manuel Pellegrini’s Sky Blues had more of the possession but Liverpool held their own. In fact, Brendan Rodgers’ side had more shots and more shots-on-goal in the first half but weren’t able to regain the lead at Anfield in the first 45 minutes. The final 45 minutes seemingly promised even more excitement between the two top sides. It certainly delivered.
The second half started with both teams getting forward and playing an attacking style. Both sides earned a few chances, but none of the early attempts seemed to be too dangerous. There was no breakthrough until Coutinho stepped in and provided some magic quite similar to Henderson's early strike.
Attacking midfielder Coutinho hit a beautiful shot in the 75th minute from just outside the left edge of the box that curled around diving City keeper Joe Hart to move the score to 2-1. Once again the play was started by a pass from forward Sterling. Coutinho created just enough space to shoot with a cut toward the goal and placed the shot perfectly in the top corner of the net.
City star Aguero almost equalized just four minutes later. The striker got open in the box but pushed a shot from a tough angle just past the left post. The Sky Blues were not deterred and kept pushing forward to try to even the score. But the Reds were able to keep the lead. In fact, Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge nearly put the match away with a similar chance to Aguero's earlier strike in the 87th minute when he was one-on-one with Hart at a tough angle. Sturridge's low attempt slid just by the edge of the goal and the score stayed at 2-1. In the end the missed chance didn't matter. Liverpool earned a hard-fought win over one of the Premier League's top sides.
With the win Liverpool move ever-closer to the top four spots on the table as the Reds jumped past Southampton into fifth place. City missed out on a good opportunity to earn three points and narrow the gap behind first-place Chelsea. Liverpool move on to host Burnley in a league match next Wednesday. Manchester City play next Wednesday as well, hosting Leicester City.