Liverpool 3-2 Man City: Player ratings as Mané finds scoring touch at Wembley

Don Kopleone rates the Reds as they remained unbeaten this season against their trophy rivals and secured another trip to ‘Anfield South’.

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After so long being accused of neglecting the domestic cup competitions, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool will be back at Wembley next month for this year’s FA Cup Final.

The Reds faced Manchester City in today’s semi, with Pep Guardiola naming a surprising starting XI, with the likes of Rodri and Aymeric Laporte missing out. Some of these changes were forced by the injuries of Kyle Walker and Kevin de Bruyne, but this still felt a weakened City side.

And Liverpool took full advantage. Thiago was already starting to dictate proceedings when Ibrahima Konaté rose from a corner to open the scoring.

Pep Guardiola today called upon his substitute ‘keeper, Zack Steffen, but Sadio Mané pressed the American into a mistake. 2-0 to Liverpool before 20 minutes were on the clock.

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The game slowed down a little, while Thiago continued to pull the strings.

And on the stroke of half-time the Spaniard chipped a through ball that sent Mané in on goal. The Reds’ number ten still had a lot to do, though, and smashed his volley home, just inside the near post.

City woke up after the interval. Jack Grealish pulled one back hardly a minute into the second-half.


Liverpool wasted chances to extend their lead, and when Bernardo Silva registered late on it felt as though Klopp might come to bemoan some naïve decision-making.

But his side managed to see out their reduced lead in injury-time.

Liverpool win at Anfield South, and hopefully trigger a title-race momentum swing in the process.

Your ratings, from Wembley:

Starting XI

Ali 6 – Some erratic first-half passing put his team under pressure, almost as if the Steffen error at the other end affected the Brazilian’s confidence too. Came up big to deny Jesus at 3-1, though.

Trent 8 – Under the microscope defensively last week but was flawless when City had possession today.

Ibou 7 – Huge early header for a third goal of the month, defended very well but a naïve, misplaced second-half pass led to a Jesus one-on-one.

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Big Virg 6.5 – Not at his most dominant, and couldn’t get a foot on the through ball that led to Grealish’s goal.

Robbo 6.5 – Too loathe to play the first-time pass at times when the counter was on. Both City goals came down the Scot’s flank.

Nabs 7.5 – Pressed incredibly and warranted his surprise selection, even if his long-range shooting radar was once again not properly calibrated.


Fabs 7 – Another sub-par performance by ‘Flaco’s’ standards, before the break, but he recovered to be one of the Reds’ standouts in the second-half.

ThiaGOAT 8.5 – For the first 45, Liverpool’s No.6 gave as good a central-midfield performance as you’ll ever see. Never gave the ball away, turned into space with genius regularity and pinged the assist for the third into Mané’s path. Slightly less influential in the second, but continued to be technically astounding. Sensational.

Mo 6.5 – Mostly smart if not always at his most dangerous, until the last 20 minutes, for which that assessment could be reversed. Unlucky to see his lob only hit the side-netting but wasted a late breakaway.

Sadio 8.5 – Energetic and efficient press was summarised by his first goal, Liverpool’s second, and his technical and explosive quality was on show for the third. Hold-up play was excellent as time ticked on. The Senegalese is showing a serious return to form, just as we hit the crux of this season. Man of the match.

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Luis Suárez Díaz 7 – Won free-kick after free-kick with his quick feet and bamboozled the City defence on more than one occasion. Tired a little after the hour.


Hendo 6.5 – Hurried play a little unnecessarily when the game was there to be seen out.

Di-no-goal 6.5 – Salah should have found the Portuguese at the back post.

Bobby 6 – Wasted a glorious late opportunity.

CJ N/A – Didn’t seem the logical choice for seeing out the game and City swiftly scored.

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Don Kopleone

Scouse, not Sicilian.

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