City and Arsenal praise Klopp | Soccer | Sports

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The most self-conscious Arsenal traveled to the Etihad to get into a rabbit hole from which Manchester City did not know how to get them out, thrown as always but with a lack of lucidity yesterday afternoon, a Sunday that could tip the Premier towards third in contention, the Liverpool of the greatest sorcerer, Jürgen Klopp.

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Stefan Ortega, Gvardiol, Aké (Rico Lewis, min. 26), Rúben Dias, Manuel Akanji, De Bruyne, Kovacic (Grealish, min. 61), Bernardo Silva, Foden (Jeremy Doku, min. 61), Rodrigo and Erling Braut Haaland

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Arsenal

David Raya, Jakub Kiwior (Takehiro Tomiyasu, min. 65), William Saliba, Ben White, Gabriel, Jorginho (Thomas, min. 66), Odegaard, Declan Rice, Gabriel Jesus (Trossard, min. 72), Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka (Martinelli, min. 78)

Goals

Referee Anthony Taylor

Yellow cards Gabriel Jesus (min. 66) and David Raya (min. 78)

The final 0-0 exposed Guardiola’s lack of resources and Arteta’s inexplicable prudence on a day that did not allow speculation. A rarefied atmosphere of a eliminatory match, an irreversible afternoon, loaded the players and benches with tension. Liverpool’s victory at Anfield against Brighton, an hour earlier, triggered a feeling of urgency among their two biggest pursuers. Each one responded in their own way. Conditioned by the injury of his starting goalkeeper, Ederson, forced to line up the very slow Ortega, weighed down by the absence of Stones and forced to give control of the game to the dazed Kovacic, Guardiola did everything he could to take his team to the limit of its creative possibilities. City assumed all the risks. He even lived beyond his means, at the mercy of a De Bruyne who jumped onto the field with leaden feet, waiting for the service to be brought to his rooms. The attitude of the Belgian, who was supposed to lead by example, reduced the speed of circulation in a scenario in which the mobility of the ball was essential to loosen the double defensive line set up by the intimidated Arteta.

The Arsenal coach was not emboldened against a City wavering at the feet of Kovacic and without the constant support of De Bruyne. Without extending the pressure in a sustained manner, Arteta initially provided air to his rival and isolated Odegaard in functions that forced him to multiply in search of a counterattack. Even so, it was almost time for Kovacic, in a couple of inattentions, to serve him the 0-1 on a plate. Gabriel Jesús had it in his boots.

The teams jammed together like crowds gathering at a revolving door at the exit of a concert. The revolving door was Jorginho, Rice, Magalhaes and Saliba, relatively comfortable in their defile for more than an hour. Until the explosive Doku entered on City’s right wing, the game led to a logjam: a shot between the three sticks for each team. Only Rodri kept the pulse in the agonizing afternoon. The midfielder never let himself be gripped by the psychic contracture that clouded so many colleagues around him. Rodri was always clear about it. He always led the attack towards Arsenal’s most delicate spot, where he perceived the possibility of a bad fit, where Rice found himself in a foreign land, deployed as a left inside back. Rodri did not lose his composure or the ball. But he lacked partners equal to him.

Based on insistence, with more heart than precision, City disconnected Arsenal from the game. Accustomed to taking the initiative, without the ball the visitors were overwhelmed. Whatever Havertz is, center forward or interior, he went unnoticed. Saka, too. Arteta delayed the changes. The entrances of Martinelli and Trossard, two dynamite players, had a cushioned effect due to Odegaard’s mental exhaustion. When the Norwegian found himself surrounded by accomplices, he was unhinged.

Martin Odegaard must have felt as frustrated as his countryman on the opposite bank, Erling Haaland. City’s number nine was forced to act as a receiver of long balls to stay on his back, or to live among the centre-backs in a battle that condemned him to hitting himself to avoid falling asleep. Almost at the end of the game Gvardiol took a corner to the far post and botched the shot as if he lacked coordination. What he lacked was self-love, the certainty of his convictions, the horizon of his mission. From now on it will not be enough for him to only officiate as a nine to score goals in industrial quantities.

The afternoon was spent with songs. The fans vibrated. The Etihad displayed all its colors. But neither Arsenal, with 65 points, nor City, with 64, flew to their usual heights. Liverpool, which has 67, escapes them with nine games remaining.

Luis Díaz consecrates the king of comebacks

Colombian Luis Díaz achieved Liverpool’s 23rd victorious comeback this season. No team in Europe has turned the score around so many times this season. After 29 days, the rebellious spirit has earned them the lead in the most disputed Premier League of the century. Yesterday’s goal by Díaz against Brighton was not the most elegant of goals imaginable, but technically it had ingredients of prodigious definition. To the quick movement behind the center backs, a reaction to the ball that Salah deflected after a corner, Díaz added a correction when the ball bounced off a defender. He oriented its trajectory, adjusted his body and in a fraction of a second he stood between the ball and the goalkeeper to put his foot in and shoot into the net.

The 2-1, at 27 minutes, was Díaz’s 12th goal this season. It was also the anticipated endpoint of a duel marked by randomness. Due to the volume of opportunities generated, Liverpool should have won by a landslide. Instead, Klopp’s team focused on drama. Since Dani Welbeck made it 0-1 in the second minute, the game went in unexpected directions.

The red players shot at the visiting goal up to 30 times. More than ten assists, each one more precise than the last, Mac Allister made for Salah, who made it 1-1. The Argentine midfielder has not stopped growing since he won the World Cup at the end of 2022. Under the guidance of Klopp, he has transformed into a total midfielder, the true driver of the most fervent team in England, today embarked on a sentimental crusade to time that sports.

Anfield, the town, the staff, the club employees, are eager to reach the goal first and say goodbye in style to the coach they feel they owe so much to. Klopp will leave them, no matter what, but for love, as in bolero, it is not a lack of affection. Against Brighton the field was a temple at the service of the patriarch.

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