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Liverpool 1, Manchester City 0: First Thoughts

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Liverpool win a nail-biter thanks to a Gini Wijnaldum goal.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool 1 Wijnaldum 8’ Manchester City 0

  • Can rejoins the starting XI in place of Origi, but Sturridge remains on the bench, probably to save him for the game against Sunderland on Monday.
  • Sterling gets fouled by James Milner right outside the box in the second minute and concedes a free kick. Thankfully, Zabaleta sends it harmlessly into the wall. But it seems clear that that wing is going to get plenty of love by City tonight.
  • GOAL! Wijnaldum 8’: After a nervy beginning to the game, Liverpool engineer a lovely goal. Lallana gets a cross off right to Gini’s head, and the Dutchman makes no mistake, blasting it past Bravo for the first goal of the match.
  • Liverpool have been pushing for a second. They’re looking really sharp so far. As in other matches this season, it took them the first few minutes to find their feet, and now they’re turning the screw. With that said, City will probably score now, but there you go.
  • Five minutes to halftime, and Manchester City have dragged themselves back into it. After 40 minutes of intense pressing from Liverpool, legs seem to be tiring and players are getting sloppy. They could do with the halftime whistle right about now.
  • HALFTIME: Liverpool played the middle 30 minutes of that first half strong, but faltered at the beginning and the end. Tired legs may mean we’ll see changes from Klopp earlier than usual, especially with an eye on another game in just 48 hours. Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge aren’t bad options to have over the final 30-35 minutes. Aguero and de Bruyne have been ineffective so far for City — though Liverpool shouldn’t count on that in the second half — and Milner has done a good job in dealing with Sterling’s pace on the left side.
  • Liverpool have started off strong in the second half, but they haven’t been able to add to their lead yet.
  • I DON’T LIKE THIS. Liverpool have begun dropping deeper, letting City get more possession and charge forward.
  • Jordan Henderson goes off at 63 minutes, maybe because of injury, maybe because of precaution, maybe because of tactics. He’s replaced by Divock Origi. It’s fine, no worries. I’m glad I didn’t eat anything heavy for lunch today.
  • Liverpool look completely exhausted here. They’re gifting City with the ball here, giving up possession several times in a row. Some fresh legs wouldn’t go amiss.
  • Lucas has replaced Mané in a defensive substitution with two minutes of regular time remaining.
  • I’m having hot flashes here, but Liverpool have pulled it out. They’re start 2017 in second place.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.