Liverpool showdown rings in new year for Premier League

01 January, 2019, 11:16 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • Alexandre Lacazette celebrates with his team mates after scoring to make it 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium

The Reds lead Pep Guardiola's side by seven points at the top of the Premier League table, with a possible win for the visitors on Thursday giving them an impressive lead just after the half-way mark of the season.

City shook off their consecutive defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester with Sunday's 3-1 win at Southampton, where strikes from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and a James Ward-Prowse own goal sealed victory.

Pep Guardiola, the City manager, has said his side's title challenge will be "over" if they fail to win on Thursday, while also describing Liverpool as perhaps the best team in the world. "Arsenal had been playing pretty well this season so we had to stay focused on them, not think about City", said the defender.

Liverpool were victorious on their last visit to the Etihad, winning 2-1 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate in April to progress to the Champions League semi-finals.

This approach proved effective against Manchester United, where an early blitz overwhelmed the Red Devils and stifled their attacking play.

"I can not answer if he will be available for Thursday".

"City is a game that we want to win".

English Premier League: Manchester City 3-1 Southampton

"I don't know how he is", said Guardiola. This is Arsenal. They're flat-track bullies, they'll beat the lesser teams all day long.

Spurs were in total control in the first half but the strains of 29 games in three competitions on a stretched squad in the first five months of the season began to show in a exhausted performance after the break.

"But Tottenham [in third] will be looking to capitalise as well because we both play each other, so both of us can't pick up full points". But we take it game by game.

"What can we say when Liverpool keep nine clean sheets and score a lot of goals? Every living soul that comes into the stadium on Thursday has to be ready to fight and give it to them, and we should be able to pull everything out of the locker for that game". "We can not play that game and we don't".

After going down late at Fulham in their last match of 2018, they can ill afford to start the New Year with another loss.

Gunners defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos accused Mohamed Salah of diving - something which had been levelled at the Egypt worldwide by Newcastle on Boxing Day when he was awarded a soft spot-kick - to win the penalty for Liverpool's fourth on the stroke of half-time.


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