Roberto Firmino continues to struggle as Liverpool are held by Man City


Man City vs Liverpool

Sunday’s marquee Premier League tie played out a short time ago, as Man City welcomed Liverpool to Manchester.

It was the visitors who headed into proceedings in the better form of the sides, with Pep Guardiola’s City having started the day in the bottom half of the English top-flight table.

However, despite their recent struggles, the Sky Blues had dominated this fixture over recent seasons.

The last meeting between the two clubs saw City emerge with a resounding 4-0 win, with Liverpool having picked up just one victory over the Manchester powerhouse in their last five attempts.

When all was said and done at the Etihad on Sunday, though, the points were shared.

End-to-end action

Liverpool had the first decent chance of the game. Trent Alexander-Arnold played a lovely over the top ball to Diogo Jota, who’s run was eventually dealt with by Ederson.

Gabriel Jesus then found himself beyond the visitors’ backline just a few minutes in, suggesting viewers were in for an end-to-end, open clash.

Liverpool’s fearsome attacking quartet of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota, meanwhile, were causing plenty of problems early on, opening up City’s defence to great effect.

With 11 minutes gone, Kyle Walker then brought down Sadio Mane inside the hosts’ box. Mo Salah stepped up to convert the ensuing spot-kick, handing Liverpool a probably deserved lead.

However, Raheem Sterling really should have equalised just before the 25-minute mark

Kevin De Bruyne whipped in one of his trademark deliveries from the right, setting up Sterling in a one-on-one with Alisson. The Englishman, though, hit a rather tame effort at the Brazilian.

But City did eventually hit back five minutes later, when De Bruyne found Gabriel Jesus in the Liverpool box.

The Brazilian turned Trent Alexander-Arnold, before slotting past Alisson.

The always dangerous De Bruyne was involved once again 39 minutes in, as his cross bounced off the arm of Joe Gomez, resulting in a City penalty. KDB himself stepped up to take the spot-kick, but fired his effort wide.

Jota then came inches away from putting Liverpool 2-1 up on the stroke of half-time, but Ederson saved the Portuguese’s effort well.

The first 45 drew to a close with 1-1 probably a fair scoreline.


The second 45 began in much the same vein as the first, with some highly entertaining exchanges.

Both goalkeepers were called into action within the first five minutes, following a lovely De Bruyne cross and a limp shot from Jota.

Jesus then missed a massive opportunity to put City in front. Joao Cancelo dinked a cute ball over Liverpool’s backline, only for the free Jesus to direct his header wide.

With City growing into proceedings, Klopp opted to haul off Firmino for Xherdan Shaqiri – a move which saw Jota switch from the right-wing to a centre-forward role.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was then replaced by James Milner after the right-back went down with what appeared to be a calf injury.

The clash entered into something of a lull in the final 20 minutes, with both sides clearly concerned by the prospect of conceding, eventually resulting in a 1-1 full-time scoreline.

Firmino struggling

Both sides were, in the end, probably content with a point, despite Liverpool now no longer holding top spot in the Premier League table.

One of the more worrying issues for the Reds at the Etihad, though, was the display of Roberto Firmino.

The Brazilian has never been known as a true goalscoring centre-forward, with his link-up play and pressing ability of more importance to Jurgen Klopp’s side.

However, that shouldn’t take away from the fact that Firmino’s form has been pretty concerning for some time now.

In fact, despite Liverpool’s Premier League dominance last term, the Brazilian managed to net at Anfield just once, with that goal having coming in the penultimate matchweek of the campaign.

Firmino’s struggles have since continued into 2020/21, too, with many having already voiced the opinion that the in-form Jota should replace the 29-year-old in Liverpool’s front-three.

Of course, both started the clash at the Etihad, but Firmino was hooked just before the hour mark.

Some rather concerning stats, meanwhile, have also come to light on the back of this evening’s clash, centering on the former Hoffenheim hitman’s form.

Firmino has now failed to produce a shot on target in 4 Premier League game this season, whilst having also not created a single chance in three of his league appearances in 2020/21:

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Leicester City FC 8 9 18
2 Tottenham Hotspur FC 8 10 17
3 Southampton FC 8 4 16
4 Liverpool FC 7 2 16
5 Chelsea FC 8 10 15
6 Everton FC 8 2 13
7 Crystal Palace FC 8 0 13
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 8 -1 13
9 Aston Villa FC 6 6 12
10 Arsenal FC 7 2 12
11 West Ham United FC 8 4 11
12 Manchester City FC 6 1 11
13 Newcastle United FC 8 -3 11
14 Manchester United FC 7 -2 10
15 Leeds United 8 -3 10
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 8 -3 6
17 Fulham FC 8 -8 4
18 West Bromwich Albion 8 -11 3
19 Burnley FC 7 -9 2
20 Sheffield United FC 8 -10 1
Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 8
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 8
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 8
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 8
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 7
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 7
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 5
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 5
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 5
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Werner, Timo Chelsea FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Jimenez, Raul Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Adams, Che Southampton FC 3
Ward-Prowse, James Southampton FC 3