68 mins: Aguero must score! But he doesn’t even touch it! De Bruyne’s pass is lovely, the Argentinian runs onto it, he sticks out a right foot to turn it in, and … doesn’t!
67 mins: Now Alexander-Arnold bursts down the left, keeps going into the penalty area, and then goes down. No penalty there either.
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. As of 2018, the population of Liverpool is approximately 494,814. Liverpool is the ninth-largest English district by population, and the largest in Merseyside and the Liverpool City Region. It lies within the United Kingdom’s sixth-most populous urban area, and at the centre of the fifth-largest metropolitan area with a population of 2.24 million.Liverpool is on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary, and historically lay within the ancient hundred of West Derby in the southwest of the county of Lancashire in North West England. It became a borough in 1207 and a city in 1880. In 1889, it became a county borough independent of Lancashire. Its growth as a major port was paralleled by the expansion of the city throughout the Industrial Revolution. Along with handling general cargo, freight, and raw materials such as coal and cotton, the city merchants were involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In the 19th century, it was a major port of departure for English and Irish emigrants to North America. Liverpool was home to both the Cunard and White Star Line, and was the port of registry of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, the RMS Lusitania, RMS Queen Mary, and RMS Olympic.
Liverpool is noted for its culture, architecture, and transport links. It is closely associated with the arts, particularly music; the popularity of the Beatles, who are regarded as the most influential band in history, contributed to the city’s status as a tourist destination. Since then, the city has continued to produce hundreds of notable musical acts—musicians from Liverpool have produced 56 No. 1 hit singles, more than any other city in the world. Liverpool also has a long-standing reputation as the origin of countless actors and actresses, artists, comedians, journalists, novelists, poets, and sportspeople. The city has the second-highest number of art galleries, national museums, and listed buildings in the United Kingdom; only the capital, London, has more. The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City includes the Pier Head, Albert Dock, and William Brown Street. In sports, the city is best known for being the home of Premier League football clubs Liverpool and Everton, with matches between the two being known as the Merseyside derby. The annual Grand National horse race takes place at Aintree Racecourse.
Several areas of the city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004. The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007 and was named the 2008 European Capital of Culture, which it shared with the Norwegian city of Stavanger. Liverpool’s status as a port city has attracted a diverse population drawn from a wide range of cultures and religions, particularly from Ireland, Scandinavia, and Wales. The city is home to the oldest black community in the UK and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. Natives and residents of the city of Liverpool are referred to formally as Liverpudlians, but most often as Scousers, a reference to “scouse”, a form of stew. The word “Scouse” has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect.
Liverpool v Manchester City: Premier League – live!
Manchester () is a major city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 534,982 as of 2018 (4th most populous English district). It lies within the United Kingdom’s second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.9 million, and third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.3 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority for the city is Manchester City Council.
The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, which was established in about AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell. It is historically a part of Lancashire, although areas of Cheshire south of the River Mersey were incorporated in the 20th century. The first to be included, Wythenshawe, was added to the city in 1931. Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand “at an astonishing rate” around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester’s unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, and resulted in it becoming the world’s first industrialised city. Manchester achieved city status in 1853. The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, creating the Port of Manchester and directly linking the city to the Irish Sea, 36 miles (58 km) to the west. Its fortune declined after the Second World War, owing to deindustrialisation, but the IRA bombing in 1996 led to extensive investment and regeneration. Following successful redevelopment after the IRA bombing, Manchester was the host city for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Manchester is the third most visited city in the UK, after London and Edinburgh. It is notable for its architecture, culture, musical exports, media links, scientific and engineering output, social impact, sports clubs and transport connections.
A city of notable firsts, Manchester Liverpool Road railway station was the world’s first inter-city passenger railway station. The city has also excelled in scientific advancement, as it was at The University of Manchester in 1917 that scientist Ernest Rutherford first split the atom, in 1948 Frederic C. Williams, Tom Kilburn, and Geoff Tootill developed and built the world’s first stored-program computer, and in 2004 Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov successfully isolated and characterised the first graphene.
66 mins: Sterling goes down in the area. The referee tells him to get up, and books Rodri for arguing. It looks to me like Mane, having been beaten for pace by the England forward, did put a forearm against his back. Goes in the “seen ’em given” column.
64 mins: This game is cooked. Liverpool are hogging the ball and looking threatening, with Salah visibly desperate for more goals.
Liverpool v Manchester City: Premier League – live!
63 mins: Fabinho finds himself in a pocket of space. Shooooot! Screams the crowd. His shot is blocked.
61 mins: Jordan Henderson comes off, presumably so he can have more time to endlessly replay that cross and/or backheel flick in his imagination. Milner is on.
60 mins: Henderson executes a showy backheel flicked pass to Mane.
59 mins: I find De Bruyne’s facial hair extremely unconvincing. Not as unconvincing as the City defence, but not far off.
57 mins: Liverpool are purring now, whenever they have the ball. They like a kitten toying with a half-dead mouse.
54 mins: Sterling cuts in from the left, feints to shoot, feints again, cuts in a bit more, feints to shoot again, eventually decides he should probably actually shoot, and then has a shot that deflects wide.
53 mins: More dodgy defending down the left from City there, mind. Henderson picked up the ball 20 yards from the byline, and just ran in a straight line. Gundogan kept up with him for a while but then gave up, leaving Angelino, who had presumably decided that Gundogan had this under control, behind the play and helpless.
GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Manchester City (Mane, 51 mins)
Liverpool score a third! It’s a gorgeous Henderson cross, and Mane stoops to head in at the back stick! Bravo gets two hands to it, but can only fumble it in!
48 mins: On Sky, Geoff Shreeves says he was surrounded at half-time by City coaches, demanding to know why they hadn’t been given a penalty. Hopefully they aren’t totally distracted by vengeful frustration, because they could certainly still score a couple of goals here.
46 mins: They’re off!
The Premier League has released a statement about the handball incident:
The VAR checked the penalty appeal for handball against Trent Alexander-Arnold and confirmed the on-field decision that it did not meet the considerations for a deliberate handball.
So there you go. Now, on with the game: both sides are back on the field and ready for action.
Sky’s punditry panel of Roy Keane, Graeme Souness, Jose Mourinho and Vincent Kompany all think that Alexander-Arnold handballed and City should have had a penalty.
“If there was no VAR I highly doubt that the hand ball would of been called, nor would the offside against Salah been whistled. In other words, it would still be two-nil,” says Mary Waltz. This is clearly true.
Alexander-Arnold’s left-footed crossfield pass to Robertson in the build-up to Liverpool’s second can also go on the wall, incidentally.
Simon Yates has had a good think about that handball call:
“Coming to this a bit late, but isn’t the TAA handball exactly the situation which we were worrying about when the rules were tweaked?” he writes. “If the ball hits the hand of a member of the attacking side in the move leading to a goal, the goal is now supposed to be disallowed for handball regardless of intent etc. So on that basis you should disallow Fabinho’s goal for TAA’s handball. Even though the handball was in the Liverpool area. But having given handball you then have to give the penalty even though the handball doesn’t meet the criteria for a penalty, where you don’t give it if the arm isn’t in an unnatural position.”
Well this is confusing. I think the Alexander-Arnold handball didn’t happen close enough to the Fabinho shot in either time or space for today’s crack refereeing unit to take it into account.
The VAR team, incidentally, say the arm was not in an unnatural position, and the ball came at him too quickly.
Half time: Liverpool 2-0 Manchester City
45+3 mins: Peeeeep! City were hilariously dominant for 10 minutes or so, yet they somehow still managed to be two down in the 13th, mainly because this back four aren’t much cop at defending. It’s been a lot of fun.
45+2 mins: With four seconds of those two minutes remaining, Aguero has another shot, but it’s weak and easily saved.
45+1 mins: Into first-half stoppage time, of which there’ll be about two minutes.
45 mins: Bravo stops another one! This time it was Salah’s curler from 20 yards, which was neither powerful enough nor precise enough to sneak into the corner.
43 mins: Incidentally we have now been shown a still from the build-up to the Salah goal with the requisite offside-demonstrating blue line, and it’s all good.
42 mins: Aguero is played into the left side of Liverpool’s penalty area, but his shot zips across goal and wide.
40 mins: Salah is released down the right an tries to skip inside Fernandinho, who takes the ball with a clean sliding challenge. But the Egyptian goes down hurt, and the physio is looking at his foot/ankle area again.
38 mins: Bravo saves a shot! It’s Firmino’s effort, stuck left-footed straight at him. Alexander-Arnold created the opportunity, after producing a touch to control Alisson’s clearance that was so beautiful I want to frame it and hang it in my bedroom so it’s the first thing I see every morning when I wake up and reminds me of beauty, poetry and the potential of humankind.
35 mins: Liverpool attack again. Salah runs free on the left this time; his cross towards Wijnaldum is headed to Firmino, who jinks into the area and then shoots high.
34 mins: They win a corner. Robertson takes, and Lovren glances it across goal and wide.
33 mins: Sky’s commentary team is laying into Angelino, as Liverpool attack down the right again.
29 mins: City hit the post! It’s Angelino, who bumbles through the area and has a rubbish shot, which deflects off Van Dijk’s shin and becomes much better, but still doesn’t go in. Corner.
“Have we had one of those VAR photos yet with zig zag lines confirming Salah onside for the second goal?” wonders Adam. We have not, just a rushed freeze-frame in which Salah looked suspiciously offside-ish to me. I’m sure he was actually onside though, because the only alternative is that everything is broken and rotten and ruined.
27 mins: City’s defence is bearing gifts. They half-clear the ball straight to Salah, standing all alone on the edge of the area, but then he passes to Firmino and the ball is nicked away.
25 mins: Save! Aguero does some fine work to not only keep the ball in a crowded area but somehow fashion space for a shot, but it’s all for nought because Alisson saves it.
23 mins: Fabinho trips Gundogan, and somehow gets away without a booking. Just so City fans know where to direct their hate mail, the VAR today is Paul Tierney, with the assistant VAR Constantine Hatzidakis. Also, don’t send hate mail. Play nice.
21 mins: Liverpool threaten again, but Wijnaldum’s ball into the area is cleared for a corner, which it also cleared.
18 mins: Liverpool pass the ball around their defence for a while. “Whether the handball should have led to a penalty or not, if I were a City fan, I’d be furious with Agüero,” says Matt Dony. “Play to the whistle. Always play to the whistle. The ball fell almost to his feet, but he was too busy screaming at the ref and and allowed Van Dijk to simply step away from him. Basics. Inexcusable.”
16 mins: The penalty call continues to cause controversy. “This is a distinctly uncharitable theory, but could this last VARce be down to an unwillingness to rule out such a truly stonking hit to call a penalty at the other end?” wonders Matt Richman. “You would fear for Michael Oliver if that was the case.” The way the ball struck Alexander-Arnold was extremely penaltyesque, but I just don’t think you can win a penalty by punching the ball into a defender’s arm, however accidental the attacker’s punch might have been.
14 mins: He was onside! Liverpool are two goals up, and City are attacking beautifully but not defending at all.