Manchester City defeated Liverpool 3-2 in a thrilling match on Thursday at the Etihad, earning a spot in the Carabao Cup quarterfinals.
Erling Haaland continued his brilliance and connected with Kevin De Bruyne’s cross to volley it into the goal and give his team an early lead just 10 minutes into the game.
In the 20th minute, Fabio Carvalho, a midfielder for Liverpool, equalised by putting a pass from James Milner past Stefan Ortega, the goalkeeper for City.
Riyad Mahrez’s brilliantly timed shot that struck the bottom corner of the net gave City the lead once more minutes after the break.
The drama continued as following a short corner play from City with De Bruyne swinging the ball into the box as defender Nathan Ake peeled off around the back to head the ball past goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.
Despite efforts from Salah and Nunez, Liverpool couldn’t equalise for a third time as City hung on to book their place in the quarterfinals.
Jurgen Klopp was left wondering why VAR wasn’t available in the Carabao Cup until the semifinals, with the Liverpool coach saying Haaland looked offside before scoring the opener.
“We have VAR, the referees are used to VAR. The technology is here, why shouldn’t we use it? We worked hard, we did good stuff. It was not good enough for tonight but it’s City at their home ground, it will always be an incredibly difficult game,” exclaimed Klopp as quoted by ESPN.
In their first game back following the World Cup break, City coach Pep Guardiola and his rival Klopp went with strong lineups.
Although Julian Alvarez, the team’s standout striker, was not present because he was still in Argentina celebrating his nation’s victory, the hosts fielded six players who had played in Qatar.
Haaland appeared rejuvenated after the extended break he received as a result of Norway’s failure to advance, and made a significant contribution to his team’s build-up play. This helped create a fantastic opportunity for Cole Palmer, but the youngster missed the target with his shot.
When given his first real opportunity, Haaland didn’t have any issues, extending his left leg to put Kevin De Bruyne’s cross in the back of the net.
As a result, Liverpool was able to pass through City’s defence and score the equaliser through Carvalho.
Guardiola’s team appeared more likely to score again, and they did it soon after the break when Mahrez used one foot to control a through ball from Rodri and the other to hammer it low into the goal.
However, Liverpool immediately fought back, and Nunez made a lung-bursting run down the left side to grab a pass and send it across for Salah to tap in.
The quarterfinal meeting between Manchester City and Southampton is scheduled to start the week of January 9. (ANI)