Liverpool end Man City unbeaten streak as Salah beats Haaland in the battle of forwards

LIVERPOOL, England -- Liverpool beat Manchester City 1-0 on Sunday, a result that was more notable, perhaps, for who scored than who didn't. The utter dominance of Man City and Erling Haaland finally came to a halt, at least for now, and it was Mohamed Salah and Liverpool who did it.

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ESPN's Mark Ogden has reaction and analysis from Anfield.

JUMP TO: Player ratings | Best/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Postmatch quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Rapid reaction

1. Haaland's scoring streak ends as City's unbeaten run ends, courtesy of Salah

Mohamed Salah won the battle of the forwards at Anfield, scoring a second-half winner in a 1-0 victory against Manchester City on a day when Erling Haaland's incredible goal scoring streak came to an end. Haaland had scored in each of his last 10 games in all competitions.

Salah -- who scored the fastest-ever Champions League hat trick during a six-minute goal spree against Rangers on Wednesday -- pounced on a mistake by Joao Cancelo before racing clear and beating goalkeeper Ederson in the 76th minute of a tempestuous clash against the reigning champions, which ended with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp sent off by referee Anthony Taylor.

Salah's goal ensured a crucial win for Klopp's team, who remain 10 points behind City and 14 adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal. The result also ends City's unbeaten start to the season, denying Pep Guardiola's team the chance of emulating Arsenal's 2004 Invincibles by going through a season without defeat.

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In the recent tradition of meetings between these two sides, both teams created chances to win a high-tempo game which suggested that Liverpool, despite their slow start to the season, remain a world-class team capable of winning major honours.

Injuries to a number of key players had weakened Liverpool, but after withstanding heavy City pressure in the first half and a disallowed Phil Foden goal on 53 minutes, they took the lead when Salah scored his 11th goal in 15 games this season.

The Egyptian is still nine goals behind Haaland, who has his 20 for City this season, but Salah delivers in the big games when it matters most. He did so again to breathe new life into Liverpool's season.

2. Gomez's shines as Liverpool neutralise Haaland

Joe Gomez has endured a tough season at Liverpool, with a woeful display last month during the 4-1 Champions League defeat at Napoli proving to be the nadir -- but the England international was outstanding alongside Virgil van Dijk in a makeshift back-four that nullified Haaland.

Facing Haaland is a challenge for any defender, but the 25-year-old has had to overcome injury and form issues in recent months, so he was only in the team because of injuries to Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate.

But between him and Van Dijk, Gomez shut down Haaland and left the in-form striker with his first goalless game since facing Bournemouth two weeks ago -- a run of 10 games in all competitions.

And although Haaland went close with two good headers, he never threatened to destroy Liverpool as he has done to other opponents this season.

Gomez has pace, strength, composure and an ability to read the game and his calmness shone through in a back-four that relied on former City midfielder James Milner to plug the gap at right-back caused by Trent Alexander-Arnold's lack of fitness.

And with injuries beginning to mount for England ahead of the World Cup next month, Gomez could yet make a late surge into Gareth Southgate's squad if he can maintain his return to form.

3. Anfield gets Guardiola again

There's something about Anfield that brings out a different side to Man City manager Pep Guardiola and we saw it again during Sunday's high-octane encounter with Liverpool.

Whether it is the Anfield atmosphere, the unusually-tight playing area or the fact that Jurgen Klopp's team have been a constant threat to his own side throughout the past five years, the City manager allows himself to get rattled more than at any other stadium.

After seeing a Phil Foden goal in the second-half disallowed following a VAR check which penalised a foul by Haaland on Fabinho, Guardiola was incandescent, despite the correct decision eventually being made by referee Anthony Taylor.

Guardiola's reaction to the goal even being checked was little short of petulant, as though it was an injustice for it to be checked, but when the goal was ruled out, the former Barcelona coach then turned to the Main Stand and started to goad the Liverpool fans by urging them to make more noise.

It was the kind of response you would expect from Jose Mourinho rather than Guardiola, but it is not the first time he has allowed the Anfield atmosphere to get the better of him.

Guardiola's only win at Liverpool since taking charge at City in 2016 came in February 2021, when his side won 4-1.

But that was during the COVID-19 lockdown season when stadiums were empty. So Guardiola is still waiting for his first win in front of fans at Anfield, and it shows.

Player ratings

LIVERPOOL: Alisson 8, Milner 7, Gomez 8, Van Dijk 7, Robertson 7; Fabinho 7, Thiago 7, Elliott 7; Jota 6, Firmino 6, Salah 7.

SUBS: Nunez 6, Henderson 6, Carvalho 6, Tsimikas 6.

MAN CITY: Ederson 7; Cancelo 6, Dias 6, Akanji 7, Ake 7; De Bruyne 7, Rodri 7, Gundogan 6; Bernardo Silva 6, Haaland 6, Foden7.

SUBS: Alvarez 6.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Alisson Becker, Liverpool

The goalkeeper won his personal battle with Erling Haaland, keeping the City forward frustrated with a number of key saves. A clean sheet against Haaland is a rarity for any keeper this season.

WORST: Joao Cancelo, Manchester City

A tough call on a day when both sides played out a classic at Anfield, but Cancelo made the decisive mistake that cost his team the game.

Highlights and notable moments

Manchester City thought they had taken the lead in the 54th minute through a Foden goal, but a VAR review determined that Haaland had committed a foul on the lead-up to the goal.

Guardiola was furious, but you can see the footage for yourself:

Liverpool finally found their lead in the 75th minute when goalkeeper Alisson punted the ball upfield for Salah to run onto. Salah finished with a chip to beat Man City goalkeeper Ederson 1v1.

But how about that goalkeeper assist though, eh?

After the match: What the players and managers said

Guardiola on the disallowed goal: "The referee came to the coaches and said play on, play on. There were a million fouls. But after we scored a goal, he decided it is not play on. This is Anfield."

Klopp on the result, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "Very important; we cannot be too picky in this situation. Against the best team in the world it is incredibly hard, but we deserved the three points with an incredible performance. Nobody could set a high press so you have to be smart, and we were, and you have to defend with a big heart, which we did. It was a game of real passion and we go there in the end."

Fabinho on the result, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live: "It was really important to win today in front of our fans after a really good game we played against Rangers. We knew City's quality for this game, we knew what we had to do and the team played an incredible game without the ball. We defended together, we knew we had to suffer a little bit but we suffer together and then after we created some good chances to score and then Mo Salah's goal gave us the win so we are very happy."

Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)

  • Haaland's 10-game scoring streak in all competitions comes to an end. His six shots against Liverpool was his most without a goal in his club career since Jan 1. 2022 vs. Entracht when he still played at Dortmund.

  • Salah snapped his five-match scoreless drought in the Premier League. Liverpool is 73-5-16 (.862 win percentage) in Premier League matches when Salah scores at least one goal. Salah has scored in five of the last seven games vs. Manchester City in all competitions, and four of the last five in the Premier League.

  • This match marked the fifth time Man City has had a goal overruled by VAR in the last two Premier League seasons, tied with West Ham and Arsenal for the most such instances.

Up next

Liverpool: The Reds have a quick turnaround as they host West Ham United in Premier League action on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. Then they take the road to face Nottingham Forest in league play on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET.

Manchester City: The Citizens host Brighton & Hove Albion next weekend in Premier League action on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET. Then they head to Germany where they will face Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League on Oct. 25 at 3 p.m.