City’s pivotal 2018/19 home clash with Liverpool, as seen through the eyes of Sergio Aguero & Leroy Sane….

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Barely over the midway stage of the season, when Liverpool visited the Etihad in January 2019, it already felt like this was a game đô thị dare not lose.

Pep Guardiola’s side, imperious the season before during the glorious ‘Centurions’ season, were suddenly playing catch up as Jurgen Klopp’s men arrived in the blue half of Manchester unbeaten in their opening đôi mươi Premier League games.

"The response from Anfield had been as loud as the ‘heavy metal’ style of football Klopp loves lớn say his team plays with, dropping just six points from a possible 60."

If this were a boxing contest, thành phố had taken an early blow on the jaw before steadying with a series of jabs khổng lồ win a couple of rounds back.

There was still 17 games lớn play no matter what the result of this game, so the title race couldn’t possibly decided in this, the latest Titanic meeting of the north’s two powerhouses.




So, why did it feel like a thành phố loss would make a worrying gap at the top feel lượt thích chasm?

It was because this game was so much more than just a battle for three points.

Liverpool had phối their stall out with a brand of swashbuckling football that was regularly blowing teams away & they came into this fixture having thrashed Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield.

Their 30-year wait for a Premier League title had become a millstone around their neck, but now only Manchester thành phố stood in their way. Only, indeed...

Even with 17 games left, if Liverpool won và increased the lead to lớn 10 points, many felt it would be a lead they wouldn’t surrender.

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They were kicking for home with a little less than half the race remaining.

From City’s point of view, victory would reduce the gap khổng lồ just four points và the battle for the title would re-ignite, but, more importantly, it would sew a seed of doubt in the minds of Klopp’s men that the defending champions were hellbent on hunting them down.



Sergio Aguero và Leroy Sane were two of City’s potential matchwinners, with Aguero’s habit of scoring goals against the Reds at the Etihad and Sane’s reputation of tormenting the Merseysiders on a regular basis.

Aguero recalls the feeling ahead of that pivotal clash.

"We had ahead of us what was practically a decisive match..."

Kun Aguero

“If we couldn"t get the three points, it"d have been an uphill battle lớn close a 10-point gap – even with 17 games left in the season.

“They were unbeaten, but we were confident in our game. We couldn"t afford any distractions, we couldn"t pass up any opportunity. We knew it would be a really gritty trò chơi - lượt thích any game against Liverpool nowadays - but with the added emotion of staking out all our aspirations.””

Sane, City’s explosive left wing talent, was one of the few forwards that gave Trent Alexander-Arnold sleepless nights, says the players were annoyed that pundits and journalists were already suggesting Liverpool would run away with the title.

He felt it was a little disrespectful khổng lồ dismiss a team that had won four trophies và broken numerous Premier League records just a few months before with the campaign barely halfway through.

"That night, I was extremely motivated to lớn prove those wrong who had already written us off."

Leroy Sane

"I can’t deny that there was a certain pressure inside me, but the desire to lớn achieve something outweighed it. So all I was thinking about was winning.

“Pep tried lớn take the pressure off us before the game. He said that the pressure was more on Liverpool because they knew that if we won, we would get going again. The Premier League table at that time was enough motivation for us. In this case it was not really necessary to lớn have that big motivational speech ahead of the game.

“Pep told us to lớn stay patient during the game no matter what happened and to believe in ourselves.”

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