It was the tie that perhaps neither of them wanted when Manchester City drew Liverpool in the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League. Both sides have been fancied to progress if they received favourable draws but at least it makes for one thing – a definite English representative in the Semi-Finals!
After pretty much wrapping up the league some time ago, Manchester City have been eyeing the biggest prize of all and one that has evaded them painfully since their Sheikh arrived – the Champions League. They have been in some scintillating form this year but they seem to have an Achilles heel in Liverpool.
That might be a strange thing to say after their 5-0 win against the Reds in the first few weeks of the season, but since that point Liverpool, with the fluent attacking trio of Firmino, Mane and of course Salah, have produced fast swashbuckling football against those that dare to go toe-to-toe with them.
And that’s what convinces us that this game may not be the cakewalk that some Man City fans are expecting. Earlier in the season Liverpool found a way to beat City 4-3 at home (they were 4-1 up until the end remember) – by playing them at their own game. Simply by tackling from the front and attacking City as quickly as they could they created several chances, especially at the start of the game. Surprising teams by starting with pace and power has caught many teams out.
We could be in for a feast of football across the two games, especially if Pep Guardiola keeps to his principles and attacks Liverpool, leaving space behind for Salah to have a run against a City defence that can be a bit dodgy when under pressure even after all that investment. If they come out of the traps fast and get a couple of goals in the first leg it’ll make the second leg in Manchester very tasty indeed!