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Liverpool vs Manchester City – player ratings: Who walked tall and who wilted under pressure at raucous Anfield?

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Bernardo Silva and Sadio Mane - Liverpool vs Manchester City – player ratings: Who walked tall and who wilted under pressure at raucous Anfield?
Sadio Mane watches Bernardo Silva closely during Sunday’s match at Anfield

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Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to eight points following their 3-1 victory over Manchester City – and nine over the champions – but who impressed most and who went missing at Anfield on Sunday?

Liverpool

Alisson

Dealt calmly with everything City threw at him but was helped by some judicious blocks by his centre-backs and the Anfield hex on Aguero’s finishing. 7/10

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Terrific going forward as ever and hit some wonderful crossfield passes but poor defensive positioning left Liverpool’s right flank persistently exposed by Sterling. 6/10

Dejan Lovren

Solid throughout and made one exceptional block on a goalbound Sterling shot when lying in the penalty area, telescoping up his right leg to divert it over. 7/10

Virgil van Dijk

Experiencing something of a dip by his very highest standards as shown by a couple of misplaced headers and when losing the elusive Aguero. 7/10

Andrew Robertson

Another performance full of drive and purpose and the way he links with Alexander-Arnold to switch play and stretch the opposition tears defences apart as shown by his role in Salah’s goal. 8/10

Jordan Henderson

Tidy and efficient in the first half, his move to the right in the second to exploit Angelino’s vulnerability created Liverpool’s third and killed City’s belief. 7/10

Fabinho

Criminally underrated last season, his influence grows by the game. Enjoys the needle of the central midfield battle and his goal was a thunderbolt, Gerrardesque special. 9/10

Fabinho fires Liverpool into the lead with a strike reminiscent of Steven Gerrard during his pomp

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Giorginio Wijnaldum

Less prominent than usual but little wonder given he was preoccupied with the evasive De Bruyne and thwarting City’s playmaker. 6/10

Mohamed Salah

His best game for weeks, relishing the opportunity to gorge on Angelino’s naivety. Excellent finish to score – should have done better with a left-foot shot later. 8/10

Roberto Firmino

His positioning was too much for Stones and Fernandinho to handle and the fluidity of the front three’s movement makes suckers of even the best defenders. 8/10

Mane heads the ball beyond Claudio Bravo to hand Liverpool a three-goal lead

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Sadio Mane

Underlined his credentials as the early favourite for Footballer of the Year with the timing of his bursts, a fine goal and the extraordinary diligence of his defensive work. 9/10

Substitutes: Milner for Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain for Mane and Gomez for Salah.

Manchester City

Claudio Bravo

Surprised by the power and precision of Fabinho’s shot which arrowed inside the post and his distribution lacked Ederson’s range and composure. 5/10

Kyle Walker

Mane and Robertson persistently make mugs of right-backs. Walker too often found himself overloaded and unable to stem the tide. 5/10

John Stones

Never convinces when it is incumbent on him to be the main man. As the sole proper centre-back he needed to step up but his passing and positioning were slovenly. 4/10

Fernandinho

A fish out of water against the best front three around and using him there is doubly wounding as it robs City of midfield heft and guile. 5/10

Angelino

Some promising contributions going forward but made novice errors defensively against Liverpool’s buoyant right-flank. Remains City’s problem position. 4/10

Kevin De Bruyne

His confident swagger and shrewd passing carried City’s standard throughout the match but others’ poor finishing ruined the chances he created. 7/10

Rodrigo

Uncharacteristically anonymous against Fabinho and unable to find any rhythm to his passing to disrupt Liverpool’s lines. Missed David Silva’s runs. 5/10

Ilkay Gundogan

Should have imposed himself more in the midfield battle. His brain often finds a way to fox physically dominant opponents but not here where he was overrun. 5/10

Bernardo Silva

His finish was the one moment of ruthlessness to match Liverpool’s and he never shirked creative responsibility. Walker could have done with more help defensively, though. 6/10

Sergio Aguero

Anywhere but Anfield he is cash in the bank when backed to score but once more he contrived to waste a hatful of chances he would have buried elsewhere. 5/10

Raheem Sterling

Despite his every touch being jeered he repeatedly had Alexander-Arnold on toast, but could not score the goal to silence the fans who once cheered. 7/10  

Substitute: Gabriel Jesus for Aguero.

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