Liverpool 2-1 Man City: Coutinho Dents City’s Title Ambition

Liverpool kept top four finish hopes alive as Philippe Coutinho’s spectacular strike sealed a well deserved win over Manchester City on Sunday.

Jordan Henderson curled in from outside of the box to place the hosts in ascendancy but Edin Dzeko restored parity before the break.

Coutinho lashed home from 25 yards to extend Liverpool’s Premier League unbeaten run to 11 games and move up to fifth in the standings, above Southampton.

Manuel Pellegrini stuck with the crop that whitewashed Newcastle United last weekend while Alberto Moreno replaced Jordon Ibe from the Reds’s 2-0 win at Southampton.

Edin Dzeko an Team-Mates celebrates Man City Leveler at Anfield. Image: Getty.
Edin Dzeko an Team-Mates celebrates Man City Leveler at Anfield. Image: Getty.

The Premier League champions were searching for their first win at Anfield since 2003 and, despite some determined showing, ended the day still five points behind Chelsea, who are spared of league duty ahead of their Capital One Cup final clash with neighbours Tottenham Hotspur later on Sunday.

City sought to dominate possession right from kickoff but the team from Merseyside wanted to make the most with the ball as Adam Lallana, moment after firing at Joe Hart when through on goal, volleyed the ball into the net, but his celebration was cut short by the offside flag.

The Kops however waited not longer than two minutes to claim a lead goal with Henderson nesting his curled shot into the top left corner of the visitors’ goal after being picked out by the usual suspect Raheem Sterling- the youngster who has now assisted all three of the skipper’s league goals this season.

Sergio Aguero latched on to a long David Silva pass, beat goalkeeper Simon Mignolet with his half-volley but not the right post as the champions tried returning on equal footing immediately.

A pulsating first-half football dragged on with Brendan Rodgers’ men sitting deep and looking to counter while City bade to stretch the home defence.

JOrdan Henderson and Team_Mates Celebrates their Skipper's Goal Against Man City at Anfield. Image: Getty.
JOrdan Henderson and Team_Mates Celebrates their Skipper’s Goal Against Man City at Anfield. Image: Getty.

The ‘Sky Blues eventually made their way through that defence via a Silva-Aguero combo, releasing Bosnian striker Dzeko to finish smartly into the corner from inside the box in the 25th minute.

The goal turned the table on Liverpool’s now perplexed back -four as Dzeko skied an effort into the home crowd immediately after grabbing a lifeline for his team.

And with both sides resulting to a highline defensive formation towards the end of the first half, momentum dropped and the top biller turned a cagey affair deadlocked to the delight of both managers.

Pellegrini’s men got the second half underway looking to rock Liverpool’s Champions League qualification intentions once and for all, but Henderson was enough of a resistance in the middle of the park for their ambitious guests.

Liverpool had a chance to pull ahead in the 52nd minute only for Sterling to squander a decent chance, throwing caution to the wind under pressure from Pablo Zabaleta, whom he had earlier beaten to a right-wing cross.

Lallana again had a goal ruled for an offside after converting Martin Skrtel’s knockdown from a free-kick,

City, despite their fans’ prodding, were making a mess of the ball in the final third, allowing Liverpool to in turn see more of the ball.

Brazilian midfielder Coutinho, who also scored the winner in this fixture last season, grabbed the headlines 15 minutes from time, when he powered in an unstoppable drive from the corner of the goal area from another Sterling assist.

Aguero snuck into a tiny space in Liverpool’s defence but flashed his low shot across the face of goal as their talismanic Yaya Toure look sort of off-form in the closing minutes of the crucial encounter.

Substitute Daniel Sturridge had a chance to put the game to bed but likewise dragged across City’s goal leaving Liverpool to settle for a narrow but deserved win.