Premier League • England

Player Ratings: Liverpool selection pays off despite Man City star giving Reds ace nightmares

Liverpool trio Andy Robertson, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota

Liverpool twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Man City, with both of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp’s big selection decisions paying off.

Man City struck first when taking the lead through the red-hot Kevin de Bruyne. The Belgian ghosted past Fabinho before trying his luck from just outside the area. The strike deflected off the legs of Joel Matip before bouncing in off the post with Alisson Becker stranded.

That seemed to rouse Liverpool from their slumber who quickly levelled through Diogo Jota. Andy Robertson’s cross found fellow full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold. His cushioned cut-back hit Jota in stride who squirmed the leveller under the body of Ederson.

City re-took the lead through surprise selection Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian showed great composure to tuck home Joao Cancelo’s cross after Joel Matip had played the forward onside.

It took Liverpool just 47 seconds to pull themselves level for a second time after the break. Mohamed Salah’s inch-perfect pass sprung Sadio Mane who fired past Ederson to make it 2-2.

Both sides pushed for a winner but were made to settle for a point apiece.

Man City

Ederson: Will have expected to do better with Jota’s goal. Survived what could’ve been a horror moment when a back-pass rolled all the way onto his line before clearing with milliseconds to spare. Blameless for Mane’s equaliser. 6

Kyle Walker: Excellent awareness to shut down a Salah counter-attack when sweeping over to relieve his centre-half. Caught on his heels after the break when allowing Mane to gallop towards goal before making it 2-2. 6

John Stones: Solid first half but found it tougher to contain Jota with Liverpool upping their game after the break. 7

Aymeric Laporte: Given the slip by Jota but showed tenacity to snap back and get a foot in before the forward could pull the trigger on the stroke of half time.  7

Joao Cancelo: Cancelled Salah out in the first half and bagged an assist with a divine pass to tee up Jesus. Stood up well when Salah improved as the game wore on. Remained influential at both ends of the pitch and is now arguably City’s second most important player behind just De Bruyne. 8

Rodri: Could’ve teed up Stones for a tap-in but couldn’t guide an unchallenged header into the centre-back’s path. Did the dirty work in the engine room and helped City take a narrow lead in the possession stakes. 7

Bernardo Silva: Typically calm and composed in the middle and rarely misplaced a pass. Didn’t have the same level of influence as De Bruyne when the pair roamed into Liverpool’s half. 7

Kevin De Bruyne: Ghosted past Fabinho before opening the scoring via a deflected strike. Quick feet to draw Robertson in with the Scot picking up a booking with over an hour to play. Continued to be at the heart of everything City did well and scuffed a shot narrowly wide on the half hour mark. His pained reaction suggested he knew the net should have bulged.

Always available and commanding the ball in tight areas in midfield. Shot a fierce look towards Jesus when the Brazilian went for goal instead of teeing him up in a better position. 8

Gabriel Jesus: The surprise selection in the front three with Mahrez left on the bench. Full of energy and made an impression at both ends of the pitch. Held his run superbly before giving City a second lead with a composed finish that was far more difficult than it looked with Alisson in his face and the ball bouncing high. Gave Robertson a torrid time in the second half before getting a well-earned breather inside the last 10 minutes. 8

Phil Foden: Unusually quiet despite bagging three in his last three against the Reds. 6

Raheem Sterling: Should’ve put City one up inside four minutes but his blushes were spared by De Bruyne moments later. Had the ball in the net in the second half but saw his celebrations curtailed after straying marginally offside prior to slotting past Alisson. 6


Riyad Mahrez (On for Sterling, 75m): Struck the post with a superb free-kick but sloppily lobbed over with three points on offer in injury time. 5

Jack Grealish (On for Jesus, 83m): N/A


Alisson: Superb early save from Sterling but could do nothing about De Bruyne’s deflected goal. A handful of nervy moments but made saves when required and distributed well. 7

Trent Alexander-Arnold: Brilliant touch to tee up Jota’s equaliser and would’ve expected to find the target when attempting a cheeky lob from distance. Not switched on for Jesus’ goal when allowing the Brazilian to run off him. 7

Joel Matip: Too slow to push out when a City corner broke down with the centre-back guilty of playing Jesus on side for the Brazilian’s go-ahead goal. Otherwise solid but that error was costly. 6

Virgil van Dijk: The most composed of Liverpool’s defenders but even he looked nervy at times with the stakes sky high. Survived what could’ve been a disaster when miscommunication with Alisson almost allowed Jesus to sneak in. The Reds’ best defender prior to the break with that nervy moment aside. Snuffed out a Sterling one-v-one with consummate ease when the game was in the balance. 8

Andrew Robertson: Trademark dangerous delivery from down the left. Had three players to contend with at times with Walker often taking up an advanced position as high as his forwards. Booked when De Bruyne’s quick feet proved too hot to handle. Found it tough against Jesus with the Brazilian’s influence on the contest growing minute by minute. 6

Jordan Henderson: Influence was needed to steady the ship with Liverpool enduring several nervy spells in the first half. Lacked end product with the ball at his feet in attacking areas. 6

Fabinho: Too easily beaten by De Bruyne for the opening goal and struggled to stop City’s midfield being in the ascendancy for large parts of the first half. A more imposing display in the second half and came into his own as the game became increasingly more frantic. A touch fortunate to only receive a yellow when catching Bernardo Silva above the ankle late on. 7

Thiago Alcantara: The spark behind Jota’s equaliser with a perfect cross-field ball in particular catching the eye. Somehow avoided a yellow card after a wild lunge to halt a counter-attack went unpunished. Luck ran out moments later when finally shown a booking for another poor challenge. 7

Mohamed Salah: Struggled to get anything out of Cancelo in the first half. Quickly put his anonymous display to bed within a minute after the break when supplying the bullet for Mane to slot home. Never gave up but not his best day once again. 7

Diogo Jota: Right place at the right time as he so often is to pull Liverpool level. Could’ve snatched at Alexander-Arnold’s cut-back but made sure his contact was firm to slide the ball under Ederson. A livewire in the second half and regularly got between Laporte and Stones with neither able to pin him down. Another strong showing from the forward and justified his selection ahead of Firmino and Diaz before being replaced for the final 20 minutes. 8

Sadio Mane: Willing runner into the left channel but couldn’t get the better of Walker in the first half. Found greater joy 47 seconds into the second half when pulling away from the full-back before calmly slotting past Ederson. Stuck to his task defensively and continues to be a big-game player for Klopp. 8


Luis Diaz (On for Jota, 70m): Starved of chances to impress. 6

Naby Keita (On for Henderson, 78m): N/A

Roberto Firmino (On for Mane, 84m): N/A