There are a few candidates for Man of the Match after Liverpool beat Manchester City 2-1 and reserved their spot in the Champions League semi-finals.
The performance in the first half wasn’t vintage Liverpool and as far away from the so-called ‘Rock and Roll Football’ you can get.
After the dodgy first ten minutes, The Reds were disciplined. City did dominate with their attacking formation and Liverpool were pegged back in their own 18-yard box.
Forgetting that first couple of minutes. Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren were excellent. The two of them seemed to have Gabriel Jesus under control for most of the half and helped Karius in limiting the likes of Sterling, Sane, Silva and De Bruyne to only 3 shots on goal throughout.
While Karius and co were excellent in the first half. The fantastic three was amazing in the second. With Manchester City pushing on more and Pep Guardiola sitting in the stands, the home side lost a lot of their shape. This was perfect for Salah, Firmino and Mane to do what they do best.
The Man of the Match award this week goes to either Firmino or Salah, I still haven’t decided. The pair of them grabbed their eighth goal each for this Champions League campaign, more than any other Liverpool player in the club’s history.
Salah was superb. The audacity and composure he showed to dink the ball over Otamendi once he’d already rounded Ederson was Lionel Messiesque. He gets the comparisons to the Argentine magician and he really is starting to show the similarities.
There isn’t much more you can say about the former Roma man that hasn’t already been said. The man is a superb footballer and has helped Liverpool qualify for their first Champions League semi-final in ten years.
The goal did give Liverpool breathing space and Firmino took advantage of the calmed nerves, slotting the ball past Ederson with a fantastic finish to confirm the result.
The Brazilian striker will get today’s Man of the Match for me due to his sheer willingness to help the team out. He played left midfield for most of the game just to offer cover and reduce the threat on their right side and he did it fantastically.
Running back, working hard and winning tackles is what Firmino does and he is the best striker in the world at it. No number 9 on the planet puts in work like he does.
The whole team played very well indeed. All of the midfield was good. Wijnaldum, struggled a bit in the first half but excelled in the second with Ox and Milner always looking to break the lines.
I hope in the semi-final, I have another difficult choice to make for the correct reasons once again.