Ragnar Klavan

Liverpool ends unbeaten run of rattled Man City

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  • Goals traded in first 45
  • Reds score three in eight minutes
  • Man City’s 30-game PL unbeaten run ends
  • B. Silva, Gundogan score late
  • MORE: JPW’s 3 things at Anfield

Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah scored second half goals as Liverpool topped Man City 4-3 at Anfield on Sunday

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Leroy Sane traded first half goals before Liverpool exploded after the break. The Reds move third with the win on 47 points, 15 back of leaders City.

Bernardo Silva scored in the 84th minute and Ilkay Gundogan nabbed one in stoppage time for Man City to close the gap.

Virgil Van Dijk missed out for Liverpool with a minor leg injury.

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Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were perhaps a bit too excited to find a fourth minute break, and an early chance was wasted but a warning sign proffered to Man City.

Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring to cap a frenetic first 10 minutes when he belted a low shot past a slow-to-react Ederson. It was 1-0.

Sergio Aguero just missed a sliding equalizer when his offside run nearly met a Kevin De Bruyne cross.

Minutes later, Leroy Sane saw a left-footed shot deflect off Dejan Lovren‘s back and out for a corner kick which City played short. And Karius was low to collect a De Bruyne shot in the 35th minute.

Fabian Delph was injured and replaced by Danilo, but it was another fullback who picked up an assist as Man City, to the surprise of few, had an answer before the break.

Kyle Walker sent a long ball over the top of the defense to Sane, and an overeager Joe Gomez let Sane’s chest trap befuddle him. The German then cooked Joel Matip before blasting an effort past Loris Karius to make it 1-1.

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Nicolas Otamendi’s fine season nearly took the next step when his header off a 51st minute corner popped off the cross bar.

Liverpool’s aim to reclaim the lead was stymied by an Ederson stop on Salah, but a corner soon followed when Oxlade-Chamberlain’s attempt at a brace was partially blocked by City.

Firmino did restore the advantage when he bodied off John Stones and chipped Ederson to make it 2-1 in the 60th.

And Anfield just avoided pure bedlam when Mane cranked a shot off the cross bar less than a minute after the goal.

That wild reaction arrived in the 62nd minute when Mane got another chance. Salah blocked an Otamendi clearance, and a composed Mane betrayed his cool with a vicious strike past Ederson.

Then this, from Salah:

But it wasn’t over, somehow. Bernardo Silva was in the catbird seat to pull within two, and Gundogan just poked a ball home in the first of four minutes of stoppage time.

City then won a free kick in the fourth minute of stoppage. De Bruyne presided over the effort, as Klopp subtituted Ragnar Klavan for Mane to waste precious time.

Aguero’s diving header deceived the eyes and the rules as he was offside when his header sailed into the outside of the netting.

Stars and duds from Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool

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The festive fixtures began with a gift that kept on giving (up goals) as Arsenal came back from 2-0 down in a 3-3 draw with Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Friday.

[ MORE: Recap | 3 things ]

Who was most responsible for the result, for better or worse? Here are one man’s thoughts.

Three stars

  1. Philippe Coutinho — His clever header to make it 1-0 was a neat bit of skill, and the Brazilian was very much Liverpool’s star.
  2. Mohamed Salah — Didn’t finish as clinically as he has — if he did, the Reds would’ve been up 3-0 at the break — but was a big part of everything the Reds did and attack wasn’t why they lost.
  3. Jack Wilshere — There may be egg on my face after I review the first half — JPW didn’t love JW’s day — but Wilshere did so many little things well in the second half and a big thing, too, covering near-90 yards to break up a Liverpool counter. Was asked to do a lot with Xhaka in what appeared to be close to a double pivot.

Three duds

  1. Laurent Koscielny — Just hasn’t looked right for some time, and seems to physically slip in giving away the ball at least once a match. Very poor and made a mistake in the build-up or the business end of all three goals conceded by Arsenal.
  2. Simon Mignolet — The second goal was a bullet from Xhaka, but to miss that poorly on a shot right at you that sent the match to 2-2 was regrettable.
  3. Joe Gomez — Hasn’t been miserable every match, though he certainly was on the Alexis goal. What Klopp wouldn’t give to have Nathaniel Clyne return to health.

Bonus rating

  1. Petr Cech — Was set to be one of the stars of this until he only got a piece of Firmino’s rip to make it 3-3. Three goals allowed is three goals allowed. Still, a decent game for a 3-3.
  2. Alexandre Lacazette — Was probably frustrated by his wingers not trying to find him often, but he plays a fairly complete game as a center forward. Terrific assist on Ozil’s goal.
  3. Ragnar Klavan — A couple fine interventions make us want to highlight his performance in keeping Lacazette off the score sheet. Then again, three goals allowed.
  4. Alexis Sanchez — Only apparent in short bursts during the first 45, there’s no denying his role in the electric comeback.

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Everton

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The 229th Merseyside Derby features some interesting lineup selections from the bosses of Liverpool and Everton (Watch live at 9:15 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

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Anfield is the scene for Jurgen Klopp‘s choice of Dominic Solanke up top, Ragnar Klavan in the back, and both Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho on the bench.

As for Everton, it’ll be Cuco Martina, Jonjoe Kenny, and Mason Holgate in a speedy back line with bed rock Ashley Williams. Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka both take seats on the bench.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Solanke. Subs: Karius, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Coutinho, Can, Ings, Alexander-Arnold.

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Gana Gueye, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse. Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Keane, Jagielka, Lennon, Vlasic, Lookman.

Report: Liverpool could lose Matip for a month

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Originally ruled out for just this weekend’s fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion, the prognosis of Liverpool defender Joel Matip’s injury worry appears worse than feared.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Matip could miss up to a month of action due to a thigh injury, potentially sidelining him for a busy set of games. Between now and the end of December, Liverpool has eight matches, including one against Arsenal and another in the UEFA Champions League.

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The injury is yet another blow to a beleaguered Liverpool backline, which has conceded 18 goals this Premier League season. Matip has made 13 appearances in the Premier League this season.

Liverpool is going to have to get big performances from Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan in the center of defense while Matip is gone if they want to remain competitive for a Champions League position.

Watch Live: West Ham vs. Liverpool

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With a pair of intra-top end battles coming Sunday, Liverpool hopes a trip to West Ham can help them close ground (Watch live at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Jordan Henderson misses out for Liverpool, though Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum both passed fitness tests. Ragnar Klavan starts over Dejan Lovren with Joel Matip.

The Irons have Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez up top, and leave big money signing Marko Arnautovic on the bench.

LINEUPS

West Ham: Hart, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Reid, Fernandes, Obiang, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini, Ayew, Chicharito. Subs: Adrian, Rice, Masuaku, Haksabanovic, Arnautovic, Carroll, Sakho.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Klavan, Moreno, Can, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Mane, Firmino. Subs: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Milner, Grujic, Sturridge, Solanke.