The matchups that decided Liverpool versus Manchester City

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (C) challenges Manchester City’s Portuguese defender Joao Cancelo during their English Premier League match at Anfield in Liverpool on Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

Liverpool-Man City certainly lived up to the hype

Anfield played host to an incredible atmosphere and game this weekend when Liverpool and Manchester City took the field. It was a heavyweight fight that could’ve seen either side walk away with the 3 points. The 2-2 draw, in the end, was a fair result.

There were many talking points coming out of the game but these two matchups are what changed the course of the game: James Milner versus Phil Foden and Mohamed Salah versus Joao Cancelo.

Foden vs. Milner

When the lineups were announced, most people anticipated seeing Jack Grealish playing out on the left against Milner. Instead, it was Foden who gave the Liverpool right-back trouble all game.

Milner was up against it most of the match and was very lucky to have not seen a second yellow card when he made a harsh tackle on Bernardo Silva in the second half. The Liverpool defender had picked up a yellow in the first half when he dragged Foden to the ground.

Foden’s pace, positioning and footwork caught Milner out on multiple occasions. The City winger’s hard work, paired with a neat finish, resulted in a goal to level the game at 1-1.

Foden was looked to in attack throughout the game and it was clear that City were looking to capitalize on Milner’s poor performance. To the delight of many Liverpool supporters, Milner was subbed off in the 78th minute to ensure Liverpool wouldn’t finish the game down a man.

Salah vs. Cancelo

Salah scored an unbelievable goal to give Liverpool a brief 2-1 lead but that was just one part to an outstanding overall performance. Most of the Egyptian’s good work came against the overmatched Man City right back, Cancelo.

Salah gave the Portuguese international problems most of the game, especially in the second half when Liverpool really came to life.

Salah set up Liverpool’s first goal when he breezed past a weak Cancelo tackle (if you can even call it that), then went on a run to set up Sadio Mane for the goal. Cancelo stuck out a flailing leg behind his body, something you might see in a Sunday league match

Salah later shrugged off a Cancelo challenge before weaving his way around a few more City defenders and firing the ball into the net for Liverpool’s second goal of the day. One of the best individual efforts you will see all season.

While Cancelo offered plenty for City in attack, it was clear he could not hang with Salah on a defensive front. A solid first-half performance by Cancelo was marred by a poor defensive display in the second.

As expected, both sides look to be title contenders and gave the fans exactly what they wanted to see. An entertaining draw at Anfield will now have all eyes on the Etihad when Liverpool come to Manchester in early April.