LET’S hear it for the Liverpool midfield. Perhaps we should call them ‘The Fab Three’.
This dynamic trio tend to play second fiddle to the Reds’ front line of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino when it comes to dishing out the plaudits.
But yesterday it was the home side’s engine room which made the real difference.
They came up with all the answers and showed everything you want from a top-class midfield unit — productivity, protection, creativity and goals.
Fabinho’s strike was an absolute stunner and I think any criticism of the reserve keeper Claudio Bravo is nonsense. Sometimes you’ve just got to accept that there’s nothing that can be done about a bullet of a shot like that.
Of course Ederson, who is one of City’s key players, being out injured and Bravo coming in does not help their chances but let’s not start digging Bravo out for goals which he has no control over. I wouldn’t blame him for the loss. Henderson’s cross from wide out on the right for Mane’s goal was quite unbelievable, too.
The England man never stops working, whatever the game, but he never gets much credit for creating chances.
Then we had the Dutchman Wijnaldum who broke everything up and frustrated City no end.
That said, if Fernandinho had been in City’s midfield and not having to fill in as a central defender, maybe Liverpool would not have been so comfortable.
The loss of Aymeric Laporte at centre-back has had a knock-on effect which has unsettled the champions. They have had to reshuffle the defence and it has never looked quite right.
I do feel City should have had a penalty when Trent Alexander-Arnold handled at 0-0, so the visitors could rightly feel aggrieved about that, especially as Liverpool went straight up the other end and scored.
But they have to accept they were second best. It was a day when their big players did not perform.
They can usually rely on Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne to get them out of any scrape but both were poor and Aguero missed the sort of chances he would normally stick away with his eyes closed.
Then again Liverpool might have had a few more too.
Raheem Sterling, returning to his old home, was not on top of his game either, hard as he tried. It was a day when it just wouldn’t happen for him.
You can’t fault City’s attitude or their commitment but on this occasion they just weren’t good enough.
What a statement this was by Liverpool. It was one which said: “We aren’t going to lose it this time round.”
No one should under-estimate how much they must have been hurting after missing out to City last season despite losing only one game.
Of course the Champions League was a great consolation prize but we know how much they’ve wanted a League title, which would be their first for 30 years.
I’ve backed Liverpool to win it since the start and this just re-enforced my belief in them.
Over the last two seasons they have lost one League game in 50, so you cannot see them losing another four in the next 26 matches — they are too good for that to happen.
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I don’t see any other challengers, despite the fact Chelsea and Leicester are obviously in good form.
Yes, there is still a lot of time to go but it is well and truly in Liverpool’s hands and they will only have themselves to blame if they don’t bring it home this time.
On this form, they deserve the title.
This post written by Jamie Gordon originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.